Guest Post: Vintage jewellery eras and looks

The vintage period covers anything that was made more than twenty years ago, but within the last century. This was a fantastic period for jewellery, when styles changed from decade to decade. You only need to take a glance at the Hollywood icons of the time to see what was the height of fashion, and who everyone wanted to look like at the time.

The great thing is that it’s not hard to add some of this vintage glamour to your repertoire, you just need to know what you’re looking for and where to find it!


The style of jewellery you pick will depend a lot on what vintage period the jewellery is from. So here’s a quick lesson in how styles vary from era to era:


Art Deco

This was the early part of the 20th century, with designs being quite linear and abstract. Colors used were bright and styles reflected the liberation of the jazz era.



Covering World War II, this period was characterised by big and bold designs that accentuated stone size, while money and resources were tight in economically harsh times.


1950s Hollywood Glamour

The new era of celebrity, television and film heavily influenced a sophisticated trend, with pearls in particular becoming very popular.


1960s Hippie Era

Pieces from this era are often bold, chunky and utilize colors such as black and white heavily, ethnic jewelry with beads, bangles and charms also became very popular.


1970s Disco

As disco clothes became shinier and louder jewelry became less ornate and tended towards chunkier bolder designs so as not to be overshadowed by the clothes.



Vintage bracelets, whether dainty or daring, draw the eye to one of the most elegant parts of your body – the wrist. Styles vary, going with a single vintage bangle which is stiff and circular will create an elegant and sophisticated look. Multiple bangles can also be worn and stacked to create a more bohemian look which was popular in the 1960s at the height of the hippie era. A classic choice will of course be a vintage pearl bracelet, pearls have a timeless look than transcend eras, and being white will not dominate but compliment a variety of dress colours.



Vintage necklaces from the Art Deco and Retro period can often have a chunkier locket or stone that is the focal point. If you’re going for a slightly quirkier look then this could certainly suit you, though a large necklace such as this will be very prominent. Opting for a vintage necklace from the 1950s era, whether pearls or diamonds will ensure a more elegant and sophisticated look.



There are a range of earring styles – drop, hoop, stud and chandelier – that will each give your look a different slant. Drop earrings come in a range of styles themselves, from long thin and elegant to short and chunky. Stud pearl earrings were very popular in the 1950s and are a safe bet for a sophisticated style. Audrey Hepburn, the epitome of high class, made this look famous in the 50’s and 60’s with the understated nature of the look accentuating her natural beauty.  Earrings from the retro period tend to be larger with brightly coloured stones.


Shopping for vintage now no longer means a Saturday spent wandering around a market – although this is still great fun! For all those rainy winter days there are now a host of big name websites stocking vintage jewellery online, including Amazon, eBay and Libertons, where you can view detailed information about the jewellery and jewellers before buying.


The great thing about going vintage is that there’s so much inspiration out there to help you choose your look. As can be seen above vintage jewellery spans a number of looks and can be used to add some sophistication, a bit of bohemian charm or retro chic, so whatever your style you’ll always find something you love!

021513krugman1-blog480 hippies Week 8. Marilyn Monroe Week 9. Audrey Hepburn

2 Responses to “Guest Post: Vintage jewellery eras and looks”
  1. I would of loved to have lived in the 1920’s… all that flapper jazz!

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