I fell in love with vintage jewelry at a young age, playing dress-up with all of my grandmother's bold clip-on earrings and dazzling brooches. And lucky for me, vintage jewelry has never really gone out of style. It's timelessness and one-of-a-kind allure are admired by both avid collectors and fashionistas who covet the charm of these intricately designed pieces full of history, beauty and mystery reflective of a different time.
Vintage costume jewelry can be an affordable way to make a statement and is the perfect accessory to add some old Hollywood glamour to your look. As we approach the season of fundraisers, galas, prom and formal events, consider making your look more unique by adding vintage jewelry.
Don't worry about the jewelry matching exactly just stay within the same stone color. If you already own a pair of diamond studs, add a vintage clear-rhinestone brooch to your dress for a bit more glam. If your dress has a belt or some side ruching, consider adding a brooch to the waistline of your dress to emphasize your waist. You can also add a brooch to an updo with a bobby pin. In addition to brooches, you can find some really fabulous earring/necklace sets that will instantly transform your look to be completely chic.
Go big in only one place. Vintage costume jewelry is dazzling and beautiful and will easily draw attention. If you're wearing a statement necklace, go smaller in the earrings and practically bare on your arms. Use statement pieces to draw the eye to one area, not five. Wearing too many statement pieces tends to be overkill and will only distract so use vintage costume jewelry sparingly.
When buying vintage jewelry, make sure to examine it with care. Does it have any missing stones? Does the piece look like it was crafted well? Vintage jewelry is timeless so buy what you like and don't worry about the trends when it comes to investing in a piece you love. Vintage costume jewelry can range from $10 to $1,000. However, the pieces that are on the expensive side are typically those that are incredibly rare or were designed by a high-end fashion label. However, the majority of costume jewelry you can find very inexpensively for under $100. If you compare this price to something you'd buy at a department store, the price is virtually equivalent so perhaps invest in a quality vintage piece that you will have for a lifetime and pass down to the next generation.
Most jewelry we buy for special occasions tend to be pieces we will only wear once a year, however, consider how you might incorporate a vintage piece with other outfits in your wardrobe. A brooch, for example, can really be worn with a variety of items. Wear it on the lapel of a jacket or try combining three brooches and wearing it as a statement on basic shift dress. You can also use a brooch to secure a scarf around your neck.
Below are two of my favorite local boutiques that sell an amazing assortment of vintage costume jewelry. Stop in the next time you're in need of a vintage statement piece for your next event.
Pink Junktique - 98275 Overseas Highway in Key Largo. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.
In One Era - 227 Petronia St. in Key West. Open 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except Mondays.
In addition, if you're into online shopping try Ebay.com or Etsy.com. Both have a great selection of vintage jewelry from a variety of sellers around the world. The more specific you are with your search, the better results you'll have. I recommend searching for phrases such as: Vintage rhinestone brooch or vintage rhinestone necklace set. Good luck and happy shopping!