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Embrace Your Inner Beach Mommi This Summer With Ocean-Themed Jewelry

I am very much a Beach Vibes Gay, which I thought was a recent development. After all, I never lived particularly close to the beach until the end of 2020 when I moved to south Florida. I started telling my girlfriend that I was going to start decorating our home with seashells and fish knickknacks, and I was only half-joking. (Indeed from where I’m currently sitting in my living room, I can see…three different fish knickknacks). But apparently beach vibes have always been in my DNA. I recently found a jewelry box from my youth, and it turned out to be a treasure trove of early-to-mid-2000s nautical jewelry???? I was not a Puka Shells Dyke, but I apparently was a Dolphin Ring Dyke. I found not one, not two, but FOUR dolphin rings in my old jewelry box. And you better believe I took those bad boys out and started unironically wearing them in the year 2022. I thought I had evolved into a Beach Mommi over time, but really, I’m just returning to my roots. Now all I wanna wear are nautically inspired jewelry and clothes from the Tommy Bahama catalogue. I am who I am and who I have apparently always been!!!!!! Also for more beachy looks, please refer to Christina’s excellent guide to dressing like you’re in the movie The Birdcage. Here is a queer beach jewelry guide for you, but first, a photo of one of my dolphin rings:

Managing Editor Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya models her yellow dolphin ring from her youth for the queer beach jewelry guide

this is where I’m at, energetically

Everyday Sea Necklaces

These are lowkey/versatile necklaces that could easily be layered with other necklaces and worn with everyday looks. Because not everyone necessarily wants a giant octopus on their neck! (Though if you are into a more maximalist sea creature look, see the next section, below). I for one am thrilled to see early 2000s-esque dolphin jewelry is having a MOMENT. I shall wear my rediscovered cheap dolphin rings with pride.

Statement Sea Necklaces

OH OKAY, you want to wear your ocean love BOLDLY. Perhaps Ursula is your villain origin story slash queer root? Perhaps you like something a little playful when it comes to your accessories? I’m very into these vintage-inspired nautical lockets like the one featured in the first image. The Etsy seller makes other ones, too, including one with a girl and an orca on it. For a couple extra bucks, you can throw a charm on it. And I am personally ready to just throw charms on everything again like it’s 2003. The artist who made the whale necklace in image six also makes an octopus version that is v cool.

Beachy Bracelets/Anklets

Tbh when I do wear jewelry to the actual beach, it’s usually just a bracelet or anklet situation. Did I just buy an an abalone + dolphin charm bracelet on eBay to go with my many dolphin rings? Yes I did. And I didn’t link any of those above since usually only one is available, but if you are interested, here are some other vintage ones you can snag: Dolphin Silver Tone Bracelet ($9); Double Dolphin Silver Tone Bracelet ($9); Pink and Green Dolphin Bracelet ($6); 1980s Dolphin Bracelet ($9). (Am I the only one on this hyper-specific dolphin jewelry nostalgia journey??? Maybe so.)

Sea Creature Rings

I realize this makes me a basic beach bitch, but I am absolutely a sucker for the Pura Vida wave rings. I wear mine almost daily. Also, do you know what your sea-themed rings would look great in? These very cute oyster ring dishes! Also, there are soooo many octopus rings out there, making me feel like I need an octopus ring. Also, it wouldn’t be a queer beach jewelry guide without some butch ring options. That anchor ring might be the basic butch version of a wave ring, but I’m into it sorry!!!! And of course, I must link some of THEE dolphin rings I can’t stop talking about (but once again, these are only available as single items or in low quantities so get em while you can!): Dolphin Rings in Various Shapes and Colors ($10, six available); Silver and Green Dolphin Ring ($13); okay who will be the brave soul who purchases this 36-set of dolphin rings for $25?????

Oceanic Ear Cuffs

Are ear cuffs having a moment? Have ear cuffs BEEN having a moment and I’ve just been oblivious? Well, I’m thrilled, because I’m allergic to basically all earrings if I wear them in my actual piercings, but ear cuffs I can wear all day.

Seaside Earrings

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from making this beach jewelry guide, it’s that people simply love to wear cephalopods??? Anyway, those linked cuttlefish earrings literally have “lesbian” in the title of the Etsy listing, and I’m not exactly sure why, but I do admit those cephalopods look like girlfriends.

Fishy Pins

If you want to wear an enamel pin-studded jean jacket to the beach, who am I to stop you? Or, perhaps, you merely want to rock the beach on your jean jacket/leather jacket/tote bag/etc. even when you are nowhere near the beach. I support it!

That’s it for this queer beach jewelry guide! What accessories do you wear to the beach/to channel the sea?

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 868 articles for us.


  1. Ooh you just reminded me of the seahorse earrings I bought at Tampa aquarium, and I have a brunch tomorrow so I’m definitely going to wear them. Thanks and I love the cuttlefish!

  2. Kayla thanks for the inspiring ocean themed jewelry. I love all of them.

    I also love being near the ocean and spent my entire life living no more than 30 miles from the ocean (born in Los Angeles, attended schools in San Diego and Boston and now living in San Francisco area).

    Now I know what gifts to give my friends who love the cool, salty ocean air as much as I do.

  3. Sometimes it is low key scary how seen I feel when I see articles like this on Autostraddle. I am very much a nautical queer and have been wanting to add more sea themed jewelry and clothing to my aesthetic. Thank you

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