Vintage Jewlery Styles

Are you familiar with the television show Mad Men? It’s okay if you aren’t, I’m not either. However, it has been popping up a lot lately on various style websites. Thanks to these websites, I now know the show takes place during the 1960s and has a lot of great style going on.

With the talk of Mad Men going around the fashion forums, I’m feeling inspired to create some retro-inspired jewelry. If you know me well, you know I have a soft spot for retro jewelry and clothing, but I don’t create it often nor wear it often. I need some feedback on what other ladies think about it before I do too much with it.

The jewelry of this era was defined by pearl necklaces (real and glass), button earrings, statement pendants on chains (gold or silver), and brooches. Some of the other jewelry trends were large cocktail rings, glass jewels, and multi-strand necklaces. At just about any level in society, jewelry seemed to play an important role in every woman’s wardrobe.

Another material that often showed up in jewelry during the 1950s and 1960s was Lucite, a synthetic polymer used in place of glass (Plexiglas is a form of the same material). It was lightweight, durable, and economical. In simple terms, it’s a transparent or translucent plastic. I mention Lucite specifically, because it is not something you see very much in jewelry today, but I really like the look of chunky Lucite jewelry pieces.

What I find interesting about this time period is there were actually two different worlds going on in regards to jewelry and fashion. I’m focusing on more the Mad Men style of jewelry because that is my personal preference and that’s what is getting noted in the fashion media outlets, but I feel I must also make a note of the hippie style jewelry that was present in this time period. Hippie jewelry styles focused more on natural materials, especially wood, shells, stone, feathers, leather, and cotton cord. The metals in hippie jewelry styles were often aged looking and not shiny like it was in the Mad Men style.

I find it interesting how these two styles of jewelry were both very popular during the same era, yet they couldn’t be more different, and they are both back in style today. I have a few pieces I have created to unleash my inner vintage love.

This necklace is more of the Mad Men style. I think the color creates the vintage look more than the necklace style itself. It was created with Swarovski’s crystal pearls and sterling silver. Swarovski’s crystal pearls have a leaded crystal core to give them some weight, and then they are finished with multiple layers of highly luminous pearlescence to give them a high-quality pearl look.

I would put this necklace in the hippie style category. It was created with wood beads accented with green glass beads to give it a great natural look. It is chunky, but very lightweight.

Which style do you prefer?

Thanks for reading!

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