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Something Old, Something New

Something Old, Something New
February 2, 2015 Barbara Schwartz

This familiar rhyme that has been embraced by generations of brides is also applicable to pairing vintage costume jewelry with today’s fashions.  Many women see a vintage piece that appeals to them but hesitate to buy it because they ask: “What would I wear it with?”.  The question applies to both clothing and additional jewelry.  The answer depends on your personal style as well as what you already have in your closet and jewelry box.  Let’s get specific with an elegant vintage necklace by Miriam Haskell, which I’ve chosen for its color (red is really hot right now) and its versatility. I’ve styled the necklace with a classic, neutral outfit.

The Outfit

This grey sheath and black blazer ensemble is perfect to wear to the office and then out for the evening.  Although these items are currently on the market, you may already have pieces like them in your wardrobe.  With this necklace as the focal point, I’ve added a splash of one of today’s popular colors, which I’ve repeated in the handbag. Black suede kitten heels with a patent and zipper-trimmed toe ensure comfort for a long day as well as style.

The Necklace

This opera-length 1950s piece is comprised of deep-red glass beads.  The round beads alternate in size from 1/2-inch 1042to 3/4-inch; four large molded-glass accent beads have gold-tone caps, filigree beads, and rhinestone rondelles at both ends.   See the close-up on the right for this detail.  The gold-metal clasp is adorned with filigree and rhinestones. You can see more detailed images of this piece here on the TruFaux Jewels website.

I consider this necklace a statement piece – the accessory that’s front and center in this outfit.  So how would I choose earrings to wear?  Let’s look at some possibilities.  The components of the necklace – deep red glass beads, gold-tone metal, and clear rhinestones – provide clues for what other jewelry might work.  Here are your choices – which option would you pick?

Earring Options

For this example, I’ve chosen four pairs of earrings that may be similar to pieces you might have in your jewelry box: ruby, gold filigree, gold hoops, and real (or faux) diamond studs.  Each option is discussed below. [Sorry, the earrings can no longer be displayed.]

Option 1: Ruby Studs

If ruby or garnet is your birthstone, chances are that you have a pair of earrings with that gem (whether precious or imitation), like these by Color My Life.  Matching reds is difficult, so I would avoid wearing red earrings with this necklace, unless you’re lucky enough to have a pair produced by Miriam Haskell with the same beads.

Option 2:  Gold Filigree Dangling Earrings

These hand-crafted filgree earrings by Vanilo Tamara are the right color metal and pick up on the filigree beads in the necklace, but the length of the earrings (over 3″) and their fan motif are too over-powering to wear with a statement necklace.  The earrings compete with rather than compliment it. Gold filigree studs would be a nice alternative.

Option 3:  Gold Hoops

Gold hoop earrings are a staple in many women’s jewelry boxes for a good reason:  they’re neutral in style, and they never go out of style.  These Blue Nile Small Hoop Earrings in 14k yellow gold are an example of the type of earring you could wear with this necklace.  The gold is consistent with the color of metal in the necklace, and the earrings are simple enough not to compete for attention. Medium-size  hoops would work as well.  If you wanted to add a bracelet, I would suggest a gold bangle, which many women also consider a jewelry wardrobe staple.

Option 4:  Diamond Studs

Diamond studs (whether real or faux), another earring staple for many women, are another good choice to accompany this necklace.  These diamond earrings by Blue Nile are an example of a pair you might already own.  Even though they’re set in platinum (rather than yellow gold, like the necklace), the setting disappears when the earrings are worn.  These earrings would compliment the rhinestone rondelles in the necklace and add another touch of elegance to the jewels for this outfit.

The Complete Outfit

Here are three versions of the complete outfit.  I have used earring options 3 and 4 as well as a third alternative.  Notice that I’ve added a bangle bracelet to the version with gold hoops. You could also wear a simple gold bracelet with the other two examples. How do you like these looks?

Gold Hoop Earrings & Bracelet

Diamond Stud Earrings

Gold Love Knot Earrings

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