When you think about jewelry, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Gemstones? Rings? Necklaces? Cost? Jewelry is so much more than expensive gemstones in a ring or necklace setting, and the term can encompass watches, necklaces, bracelets, and even headbands and more. The fun thing about fashion accessories is that they can make an outfit exciting without necessarily breaking the bank. While the price of many jewelers can be expensive, this does not mean that everyday people cannot have fun with adornment and fashion. Focus on costume and fashion accessory pieces for beauty at great prices.
Costume vs. Fashion Pieces
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, costume jewelry is “fancy jewelry that is usually made of inexpensive materials rather than real gold, diamonds, et cetera.” These products may include rhinestones, plastic gems, or beads. Costume accessories were made popular around the 1930s by women who sought to protect their heirlooms from daily wear and tear and possible theft. These pieces were made to look similar to their more expensive counterparts so that women could wear them occasionally without worrying about losing them. Alternately, fashion accessories, which became popular around the 1980s, are fairly inexpensive. These trendy pieces are often described as “statement pieces,” while costume accessories would be described as “vintage” or “classic.”
When making costume and fashion pieces, specialists often use a nickel base sprayed with pieces of gold or silver to give it a high-end look. Fake gems and rhinestones may also be used to make the accessory look more like the real deal. Created to look like small diamonds by putting metal flakes on the back of rock crystals, rhinestones sparkle under the light and can be dyed to several colors. Other materials used to make costume and fashion jewelry are rubber, metal, plastic, acrylic, and semi-precious stones.
Over the decades, fashion pieces have made several statements. In the 1980s, women wore huge beaded necklaces and colorful bracelets; sweatbands were worn as fashion statements as well. Teenagers and young women wore extravagant gold-plated hoop earrings, bangles, and plastic bracelets.
In the 1990s, when grunge was popular, young people often wore chunky pieces made with nickel and silver plating. Metal bead necklaces and chains were also go-to pieces. And rings for noses, navels, ears, tongues, eyebrows, and lips were part of the grunge/heavy metal/rock band look.
Finally, in the 2000s, sterling silver became more popular and affordable. Thinly-made necklaces gave wearers the desired subtle look, and accessories like costume jewelry became more and more trendy. Men liked gold-plated and silver-plated Figaro chains, multi-colored beaded bracelets were the rave for children and young adults, and rubber bracelets, bangles, and charm bracelets made a comeback.
Costume and fashion adornments are, indeed, an affordable way to look cool. Prices can range from $5-$400. Whether you buy these pieces from a local jeweler or buy the material to make it yourself, either type of accessory can be a fun and creative way to spruce up your wardrobe and feel elegant!