Ladylike Accessories – Vintage Jewelry

Vintage jewelry adds interest to any outfit because it’s more unique to its modern day counterparts. I personally don’t enjoy buying items that “everyone else has”, so wearing vintage jewelry helps me express individuality because I rarely find anyone with the same items. Here are three reasons to add vintage items to your collection:


1. An unusual and elegant piece of vintage jewelry will have a more interesting history. I get asked about the heart bracelet (below) every time I wear it because it’s so different than anything available now. I love being able to tell people the back story about it because it’s 124 years old.

2. More than likely, vintage jewelry is well made. Even if you don’t find something that’s authentic 14k gold, the costume jewelry from back in the day is nicer than our costume jewelry today. Look for the item to have weight to it as that helps to determine if it’s a nicer piece.

3. It can be easily and affordably acquired. Most of my vintage jewelry is inherited from my late grandmas, but a few items have been found at estate sales and antique stores. You’ll have well-made item that you’ll seldom find anywhere else. Another option is when you inherit or borrow jewelry from an older family member. I have many items from my late grandmas that mean a lot to me because they were worn by someone I loved.

Here are my favorite vintage jewelry items from my own collection that I wear on a regular basis:

Screen shot 2014-11-18 at 12.01.34 PMThese earrings are all from my grandmothers that I enjoy wearing. I mainly wear pearl studs on a daily basis, but the drop pearls are my go-to for more elegant attire. The cameos studs add a classic style to any outfit I may wear.

Tips for buying second hand earrings: I personally don’t like clip-on earrings, but I do know people who don’t mind them. Check to make sure the earring is not a clip on before buying. Also soak the earrings in a jewelry cleaner before wearing since used earrings are kind of gross.


Screen shot 2014-11-18 at 12.01.14 PMThis is my favorite bracelet that I own. The band expands to your wrist and the heart opens up to a locket where it has my husband and my initials. My husband found it at an antique store in the original box and gave it to me as a Christmas gift when we were dating. It has sentimental value to me, but my favorite characteristic about it is it’s age. The bracelet was made in 1890, and since I was born in 1990, it’s 100 years older than me. I love telling people the story behind this unique piece!


Screen shot 2014-11-18 at 12.01.42 PMScreen shot 2014-11-18 at 12.26.33 PMAll three of these rings were inherited from my grandma that passed away when my mom was a child. It’s hard to find rings in my size, so it was a welcome coincidence that her old rings fit me perfectly. The ring on the far left has a gothic R for Robinson (her last name which I was named after). The center ring is the one I wear most and wore on my right hand on the wedding day. I think the thick, gold band is so unusual and elegant. The one on the right is one I wear often as well – it’s her 1948 class ring and I get many compliments on it.


Screen shot 2014-11-18 at 12.01.24 PMOn the left is a very old hair comb from my grandma that looks lovely added into an up-do for a formal event. The bracelet on the right is one I wear all summer that I found at an estate sale. It has some weight to it, so I could tell it was a higher quality piece of costume jewelry and I was able to purchase it for $12.


Do you have a vintage piece of jewelry you love to wear?



2 Comments on Ladylike Accessories – Vintage Jewelry

  1. Kristina
    November 19, 2014 at 6:57 pm (9 years ago)

    I love that 1890’s bracelet! I’ve never seen anything like it, especially from that time period.

    You’re lucky you have jewelry that was passed down in your family. I have a few of my mom’s pieces but that’s it – not really vintage since most of them were purchased in the 1980’s. My favorite piece, though, is a strand of pearls that my father bought for her on a trip to Hong Kong. I don’t have any kids but I’m going to leave them to my niece to pass down to her children.

    • thedressdecoded
      November 21, 2014 at 3:27 pm (9 years ago)

      You have a lucky niece! Yes, I’m fortunate to have older vintage jewelry, although I think a lot of the 80’s costume jewelry can be well made as well. I’d love to see your pearls, they sound lovely!


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