How to Wear Vintage Jewellery

How to Wear Vintage Jewellery

If you’re reading this, it’s probably safe to say that you’re a fan of vintage jewellery. From the boisterous colours and patterns of ‘80s costume jewellery, to the more delicate floral beauty of 1940s jewellery pieces, there’s something for everyone in the realms of vintage jewellery. Today, we’re going over some useful tips and tricks for how to wear vintage jewellery, with both costume and fine jewellery considered.

Let’s start with the costume jewellery.

Vintage Costume Jewellery

In case you’re unsure, costume jewellery is the name given to jewellery that doesn’t make use of precious gemstones or metals. Mostly, you’ll find a lot of enamel, plastics, semi-precious and crystals in your costume jewellery.

This type of jewellery is wonderful for its expansive use of colour as well as the novelty nature of costume jewellery pieces. Sometimes it’s oversized and over-the-top in a fantastic way, while at other times it can be dainty and sweet. Novelty costume jewellery is also incredibly beautiful and charismatic, with lots of emphasis on animals, iconography, and flowers.

So, how do you wear costume jewellery?

How to Wear Vintage Jewellery
vintage gemstone brooch wearing
vintage jewellery stacked
Image courtesy of Ron Lach on Pexels, CC BY CC0 1.0

One of the best kinds of vintage costume jewellery to wear is a brooch. These versatile jewellery pieces can be styled in a range of ways. The most common way to wear a costume jewellery brooch is on the lapel of a jacket. They can also be worn in your hair, as an accent on your shoes, handbag, or even to fasten a scarf in place.

Costume jewellery is a good type to experiment with; the lack of more expensive and precious materials makes them a little more hardy and less likely to suffer expensive damage. For costume jewellery necklaces, consider stacking them and layering them in interesting ways. A range of chains or beaded necklaces can create a textured look with real depth. You can use a range of colours, lengths, and materials together to personalise it to your taste.

Another element of costume jewellery is earrings. Oversized costume earrings always look amazing with an updo hairstyle or short hair. One of the best elements of costume jewellery is the fact that its versatility makes it perfect for every occasion. You can wear these jewellery pieces as part of an everyday outfit just as easily as you can wear them for more fanciful and elaborate events.

When you’re styling vintage costume earrings, opt for a size balance. If you have some large earrings, whether they’re studs or drop earrings, wear them solo without much else to get in the way. If they’re on the smaller side, however, and you have multiple ear piercings, you can wear multiple together and repeat the same kind of layered effect we talked about with necklaces.

turquoise drop earrings wearing
vintage stud earring wearing

Overall, there’s so much to love about vintage costume jewellery, and there are lots of ways to style it to suit you perfectly. It’s no wonder that costume jewellery collecting becomes addictive, and so many of us have jewellery boxes simply overflowing with stunning pieces.

Fine Vintage Jewellery

Where fine jewellery differs from costume jewellery is in the materials used; rather than crystals and acrylics of different kinds, precious gemstones and metals are the standard. Fine jewellery is typically more expensive than its costume counterparts because of this, and so it’s recommended that you’re more careful with this than the costume jewellery in terms of wearing and styling.

When styling fine vintage jewellery pieces like necklaces, it’s important to consider the gemstones you’re using. Pearls, coral, and other gemstones used in bead-style necklaces are exceedingly popular choices for fine vintage jewellery. Pearls are very soft stones that are easily affected by other materials, and so wearing them on their own is essential to their longevity. Thankfully, these types of vintage necklaces are so iconic that wearing them on their own is the best way to let them shine. Pair with some antique or vintage pearl earrings if you have them, or let them take centre stage on their own.

vintage pearl necklace wearing
coral vintage necklace wearing

Speaking of earrings, fine vintage jewellery earrings are another element that can stand alone with minimal effort. It’s unclear whether it’s the cost of fine vintage jewellery that makes it more likely to be worn alone (as building a collection is something that can take a lifetime) or whether it is simply because they are incredibly fabulous and well-made pieces of jewellery.

Vintage diamond studs are timeless styles that can be worn for everyday events like a lunch out or even a date night. You can wear them on their own with your hair up to let them catch as much light as possible. Equally, vintage diamond drop earrings are perfect for when it’s time to properly dress up – think weddings, black-tie events, or special parties. Vintage motifs like floral designs are some of the most popular styles, and for good reason!

diamond bracelet wearing
vintage gemstone bracelet wearing

Another aspect of fine vintage jewellery that is a delight to style is the bracelet. Jewellery has gone through such an evolution in the last century, leading to distinct and unique eras of jewellery that are always stunning to wear for a range of occasions. Vintage Art Deco jewellery, for example, has a completely different look to mid-century jewellery that prefers highly feminine themes like flowers and animals.

Once again, these types of jewellery pieces are best displayed on their own to highlight their beauty. You can wear jewellery elsewhere to highlight the beauty of the bracelet, but you should leave your wrists bare besides the fine jewellery piece itself. Earrings are some of the best companions to a feature bracelet, with plain gold or studs with a matching colour being the ideal pairing.

If you haven’t considered vintage jewellery before, it’s time to think about adding it to your repertoire. Vintage aesthetics of all kinds are hitting the runways now like never before, and taking inspiration from times gone by is the best thing you can do right now to be super relevant and trendy.

When you’re wanting to style vintage jewellery – be it costume jewellery or fine jewellery – think about what looks you love and see how you can emulate them. Remember to keep the balance in your outfit so that the jewellery can properly shine, and – most importantly – have fun! Enjoying jewellery is what brought you here, so make sure that attitude leads your decisions and you’re bound to glow and shine!

The author’s views are entirely their own and may not always reflect the views of AC Silver.

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