Jewelry & Watches

The Chic and Proper Way to Wear Costume Jewelry

Compared to fine jewelry, costume jewelry has more playful design elements.

Jewelry is the best way to make a statement. Diamonds, pearls, and precious metals are a favorite, but if you want to try out a new trend, you can always rely on costume jewelry. This, however, begs the question: How exactly should one wear the fancy pieces? Here, we present a handy guide to accessorizing with costume jewelry.

Always go big.

We wear fine jewelry to elegantly tie a look together. When it comes to fashion jewelry, however, the exact opposite goes: More is more. An oversize piece is a good way to add an interesting element to a simple outfit, be it in the form of a dramatic necklace or a dangling pair of earrings. Always remember to keep a balance and avoid layering a couple of statement-making pieces together.

Experiment with unusual materials.

Jewelry doesn’t have to end with metals and precious stones. From glass to enamel, there are plenty of eye-catching costume pieces available. Wood is an ideal material for a beachside event or a fun summer day in the tropics. Check out Elsa Peretti’s timeless yet inexpensive collection for Tiffany & Co or Chanel’s chic maltese cross cuffs and brooches. 


Try a fun trend.

If you want to take on the most current accessory trends, it’s always best to go the fashion jewelry route. Right now, you’ll see mismatched earrings and ribbons just about everywhere. They’re not the most practical styles, so it would be best to pick these up in more inexpensive versions. Trends come and go, but we've noticed they usually come back after a few years. So, hold on to all your pieces no matter how dated they can look cause they'll likely be back in style in no time.

Play with colors.

Now’s the time to play with color. Skip classic silver and gold, and go for rose gold finishes. You can also take on the multicolor trend by choosing a fun yet elegant rainbow Swarovski necklace in the style of Alessandro Michele’s Gucci. You can even play with colors through beaded earrings, bright tassels, or stunning crystals.

Skip the logos.

In fashion, logos trigger a great divide. Done right, they can be interesting but finding the right balance is tricky. Some wearers look good with one nondescript piece, but others can pull off a logo-heavy outfit with the right attitude. With jewelry, it’s best to steer clear of the logo if you want to avoid looking like a fashion victim.

Look out for quirky elements.

Compared to fine jewelry, costume jewelry has more playful design elements. You’ll find pieces in the form of hearts, lips, animals, and even bugs which, no doubt, will add a quirky twist to any outfit. 

Don’t pass it off as the real thing.

There’s lots of fashion jewelry out today that look exactly like the real thing. Of course, you can go the minimal route with dainty plated necklaces and rings, but don’t buy classic-looking fake diamonds and pretend they're real. Instead, sport fashion jewelry as a statement piece.

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Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is a style writer based in Manila. He writes about fashion, trends, shopping, current news, and more for
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