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How to Wear Vintage Jewelry

  • How to wear emerald costume jewelry with contemporary fashion

    7 Ways to Wear Emerald Costume Jewelry

    One of the most precious of all gemstones, emerald derives its name from the ancient Greek word for green. The first known emerald mines, which date to at least 330 BC in Egypt, supplied Cleopatra with her favorite gems. Because green is the color of spring, emerald is seen by many as the symbol of rebirth. Although it’s the birthstone for May, this luscious gem is popular with women born in other months of the year. Here are a few ideas on how to wear emerald costume jewelry.

    The Color

    The color emerald is associated with the richest landscapes and the lushest greens. Ireland is the Emerald Isle, and Seattle, the real-life Emerald City. In 2013, Pantone named it the Color of the Year, and I wrote about it in my very first blog post that February. But for me, this rich, elegant, and luxurious hue is always a top choice.

    Emerald gemstones range in color from blue-green to green. Greens are typically cool colors and, therefore, more flattering to women who look best in a cool color palette. However, some greens work for women whose color palette is warm, especially if the stones are set in gold-tone (warm) metal.

    I’ve put together outfits for both cool and warm palettes, each styled with an emerald piece from TruFaux Jewels. The clothes are classics that you may have in your closet. One of my goals in providing styling tips is to inspire you to refresh your existing wardrobe with vintage costume jewelry.

    How to Wear It with a Cool Palette

    These first two outfits illustrate how you can dress up jeans, a denim jacket, and a tee shirt for a well-coordinated look that will take you to casual Fridays at the office, drinks with friends, and other off-duty activities. Substitute a blazer for the denim jacket, if that’s more your style. These jewels are set in white metal, which works well for cool palettes.

    In Brunch Style on the left, the v-neck of the tee shirt forms the perfect place to nestle this Emerald & Filigree Art Deco Necklace with Chicklets. The delicate metalwork in the necklace complements the Emerald, Diamanté & Sterling Filigree Art Deco Bracelet. The knotted earrings complete the jeweled accessories; you could also wear silver hoops, silver ball earrings, or diamond studs (to complement the diamanté in the bracelet).

    Another take on smart-casual, Easy Style features a bolder jewel: an Emerald & Diamanté Circle 1940s Brooch by McClelland Barclay. Pin it to the shoulder of your jacket or to the lapel, if you have one. The necklines of the tee and jacket and the silver hoop earrings repeat the shape of the brooch.

    Here are two outfits for the office or off-duty occasions when you want to dress up a bit. On the left, the denim sheath in Upgrade your Chic is topped with a white jacket with this Emerald & Diamanté Sunburst 1950s Brooch by Hattie Carnegie. Simple faux or real diamond studs complete the jewels. Notice that the necklines are round, like the shape of the brooch. You could easily substitute a dress in another cool color. The white jacket allows the colorful brooch to pop.

    I’ve always liked black, white, and red together, so why not black, white, and green? On the right, How Lovely! features a black ruffled skirt with a white blouse with three-quarter sleeves. I’ve added two 1950s jewels: Emerald & Diamanté Sunburst Earrings and an Emerald Chaton & Diamanté Bracelet (to adorn the bare wrist).

    How to Wear It with a Warm Palette

    These two jeans outfits can easily be dressed up with trousers. On the left, col.or.ful shows a blouse with a vibrant print that includes bright green. I’ve chosen these Emerald Bead Czech Art Deco Pendant Earrings to highlight the green. The round balls complement the round necklines of the top and jacket. You could substitute a more neutral jacket or cardigan, if this look is too dazzling for your taste.

    For Casual Friday, I’ve chosen this Emerald & Pavé Vermeil Bow 1950s Brooch to adorn the lapel of this chocolate blazer. If your jacket has no lapel, pin the brooch to your shoulder. I’ve chosen gold carved ball earrings to complement the openwork on the brooch. You could also wear faux or real diamond studs to go with the diamanté.

    This last outfit in beige and green – accessorize  is shown with this Emerald, Ruby, Pearl & Diamanté 1950s Double-clip Brooch worn two ways: as a single brooch (on the left) and as a pair of dress clips (on the right). Double-clip brooches (also known as Duettes and Clip-Mates) were the most essential jeweled accessory in the 1930s to 1940s because they were so versatile. Here the dress clips are fastened to the lapels of the jacket, which is how I like to wear them. You could also wear a single clip at the base of the v-neck of a top or dress, or wear both clips on a round- or square-neck top.

    For More Emerald Jewels

    Click through to see the May Birthstone collection.

    For More Styling Inspiration

    Take a look at my How to Wear Emerald collection of casual, office, and evening wear adorned with TruFaux Jewels.

    TruFaux Jewels
  • 7 Ways to Sparkle Like Diamonds

    Since ancient times, diamonds have been admired objects of desire. Stones that are colorless through light yellow (on the industry’s color-grading scale) are the most abundant. Only 1 in 10,000 diamonds has a fancy color. According to some legends, diamonds were created when lightning struck rocks; according to others, diamonds…

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  • 7 Ways to Wear Aquamarine

    Named for the Latin words for sea and of the water, aquamarine is the greenish-blue to sky-blue member of the same mineral family as emerald. Believed to protect sailors and calm waves, this gemstone has been a symbol of youth, hope, health, and fidelity for centuries. In addition, aquamarine has…

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  • How to Wear February’s Birthstone: Amethyst

    Amethyst, the birthstone for February, occurs in hues ranging from deep purple to pale bluish-violet to lilac or mauve. This gemstone derives its name from the Greek word amethystos, which means sober, as the ancient Greeks believed the stone would guard against intoxication. Once as costly as rubies, emeralds, and sapphires,…

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  • Have Fun with Vintage Pins

    When you think about a brooch (or pin) as a jeweled accessory, do you picture Queen Elizabeth II or your grandmother? Think again. Brooches have resurfaced as popular and essential items of adornment. You’ll see them worn in a myriad of ways: on lapels, waistbands, collars, pockets, purses, hats, belts,…

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  • How to Wear January’s Birthstone: Garnet

    January’s birthstone, garnet, is actually the name of a group of related gemstones that occur in a wide range of colors. Although red garnets are the most abundant and have the longest history, this gem also occurs in shades of orange, yellow, and green. Red garnets have been prized for…

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  • ‘Downton Abbey’ Style Earrings

    Designed to complement the streamlined silhouette of 1920s fashion, earrings like these and other jewelry of that decade became accessories rather than ornaments of wealth. Fortunately we don’t have to dress like a flapper or Lady Mary to wear these amethyst and filigree drops today. They remain as appealing now…

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  • How to Wear December’s Birthstone: Turquoise

    Follow my blog with Bloglovin Long prized for its intense color, turquoise is one of the world’s most ancient gemstones. It adorned Egyptian pharaohs, the Aztecs of Mexico, and early Native Americans. Many cultures have believed that this gem will guarantee its wearer good health, good fortune, and protection from…

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  • Dress Up Your Little Navy Dress with Vintage Jewels

    Ever since a 1926 issue of Vogue dubbed Coco Chanel’s black crêpe de chine dress “the frock that all the world will wear”, the little black dress has been the basis for modern women’s cocktail attire. But have you considered wearing navy instead? It’s called the universal color because it’s…

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  • How to Wear November’s Birthstones: Citrine-Topaz

    Two gemstones that range in color from pale yellow to brownish- or reddish orange –citrine and topaz – are both linked to November. Throughout history, the two have often been confused, but legends associated with both emphasize healing – their ability to calm anger and dispel bad omens. The Colors…

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