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Dress Up Your Little Black Dress with Costume Jewelry

Dress Up Your Little Black Dress with Costume Jewelry
November 21, 2013 Barbara Schwartz

Although black has been a fashion staple for decades (if not centuries), the fashion world credited Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel with originating the little black dress in the 1920s. In the October 1, 1926 issue of Vogue, an article entitled “The Debut of the Winter Mode” describes a “black crêpe de chine dress” by Chanel as “the Chanel ‘Ford’ – the frock that all the world will wear”. Nearly a century later, the little black dress has remained a wardrobe essential, especially for parties.

Whether you are buying a new black dress for this holiday season or are pulling one from your closet, you can create a glamorous look with glamorous accessories. I’ve selected several gorgeous pieces of vintage costume jewelry from the TruFaux Jewels website that fit the bill and built three evening outfits around the jewels. These pieces, which date from the late 1940s through the 1950s, are right in style with today’s 1940s Glam look but are different from what everyone else will be wearing. I hope you find these choices inspiring.

Gold & Diamanté

This black brocade dress provides a wonderful backdrop for these lovely 1950s gold and diamanté (clear rhinestone) pieces. The adjustable gold-plated necklace with layers of textured disks and rhinestone accents, and the gold-plated mesh cuff with square-cut pastes are both by Hattie Carnegie. The clip-back earrings with pavé centers and gold-plated scrolls by Elsa Schiaparelli can be worn by women with or without pierced ears. A black glitter-finished, gold-framed clutch and black velvet, embroidered pumps with crystals complete the outfit.



Red is a fabulous accent color for black, so this outfit features ruby costume pieces. These Ruby Snowflake 1950s Earrings by Schreiner (seen here) and this triple-strand ruby glass bead bracelet by Miriam Haskell add just the right amount of color to this black lace cocktail dress. I’ve selected a red python-print clutch bag to add a bit more color and texture. The black satin-strap sandals are really elegant.


The shoulder of a one-shoulder dress like this ruched piece is the perfect place to display a gorgeous brooch – this Emerald & Diamanté Sunburst 1950s Brooch by Hattie Carnegie (seen here). Wear your own faux or real diamond studs. This 1940s bracelet by Eisenberg has rectangular emerald glass stones in sets of four that each form an arch, giving the piece more dimension. I’ve added a black python-print clutch and sophisticated black suede lace sandals as the remaining accessories.

For More Holiday Ideas

Visit the TruFaux Jewels boutique to see a selection of necklaces, brooches, bracelets and earrings that will add something special to your holiday outfit.

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