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Fashion Jewelry Styles And Trends

Updated on September 10, 2011

Women Have Loved Jewelry Since Ancient Times

Since as long as people have roamed the earth, there has been a desire to adorn oneself with beautiful objects. From the glittering gold jewelry dating back over 4000 years ago in Egypt to the latest diamond creations seen on celebrities, jewelry has never lost its power to inspire awe and delight. These days, the choices for jewelry are broader than ever and beautiful, affordable materials such as Swarovski crystals and freshwater pearls have made it possible to get the most stylish and current looks at any price point. This guide to fashion jewelry styles and trends will give you all the knowledge you need to build a jewelry wardrobe that is chic, current, and timeless all at the same time.

Build Your Jewelry Wardrobe With Genuine Gems And Fabulous Fakes

It was Coco Chanel who popularized costume jewelry. She boldly mixed expensive gems like diamonds with affordable materials like faux pearls. Chanel designed her fabulous fakes with the philosophy that even sporty outfits deserved some fun jewelry and that when it came to faux pieces, bigger was better. She was one of the first haute couture designers to work with the Swarovski crystal company of Austria, and today Swarovski crystals are a favorite with celebrities around the world. Swarovski man-made pearls are another popular material for fashion jewelry, as they allow the wearer to get the trendy look of chunky necklaces without paying for South Sea pearls. Another big trend right now is the layered look of multiple necklaces. This look is especially hot with pearls, gold chains, and silver chains, all mixed and matched. Any woman can easily achieve this popular fashion by combining the chains she already has in her jewelry box with a couple of pearl necklaces, whether the pearls are Swarovski, freshwater, or Akoya.

As for fashion jewelry styles, there are a number of different types of necklaces, earrings, and bracelets from which a woman can choose. Every year new variations will appear, but the great thing about jewelry is that it never truly goes out of fashion. You can refresh the pieces you own by wearing them in a slightly different way or by adding a new pair of earrings, for example, with a necklace you already have in your jewelry box. The layered pearl necklace trend is the perfect example of this; it is a new way to style classic elements. Not only does it look great, it is thrifty as well! When building your jewelry wardrobe, these are the terms you will need to know...

Chandelier And Stiletto Earrings Are Glamorous

Chandelier earrings: Whether they are made from crystals, pearls, rhinestones, or diamonds, chandelier earrings are one of the most glamorous statements a woman can make with jewelry. Wildly popular during the Art Deco period when shorter haircuts called for statement making earrings, chandeliers are also very popular today. They can tend to have a vintage flavor, yet also feel very current. The large size of pearl or crystal chandelier earrings makes them ideal for evening, and they are also a favorite for weddings. Chandelier earrings made in the wedding colors are a hot trend for bridesmaid jewelry, while rhinestone chandeliers will mimic the glittering style of celebrities at the award shows.

Stiletto earrings: Just like the stiletto shoes created by Salvatore Ferragamo, stiletto earrings are long, thin, and sexy. They give a gorgeous high style look with a modern minimalist flair. Stiletto earrings are a good alternative to chandelier earrings for evening when a more sleek line is desired. A stiletto earring can be made from a row of Swarovski crystals or diamonds falling straight from the ear, or from a thin silver chain with a few crystal accents at the bottom. They are very swingy and look fantastic with short hair.

Dainty Drop And Stud Earrings

Drop earrings: Chandelier and stiletto earrings are a form of drops, of course, but the term drop earring usually refers to shorter drops. For more movement, the pearl, crystal, or other gem can be suspended from a French wire, or a more traditional style can be created by attaching the drop to a stud earring. Teardrop shaped pearls are a very classic drop earring design for brides. Drops made from teardrop or briolette shaped diamonds or Swarovski crystals are fabulous for adding sparkle to any special occasion. A crystal and pearl combination drop is another elegant option. Earrings with multiple drops of different lengths are modern and carefree.

Stud earrings: The workhorse of any woman's jewelry wardrobe, stud earrings are the ones you will wear day in and day out. Don't confuse simple with boring; a stud earring can still make a great statement. Reach for a pearl stud (Swarovski, freshwater, or Akoya) when hoping to convey a style of classic elegance. Diamond, cz, or crystal studs are perfect for an upscale style, and simple silver or gold earrings are sporty and good for daytime. Studs can also be a great style to choose when experimenting with some of the newest trends, such as the nature inspired imagery which is a theme for this year. Flowers, birds, butterflies, and leaves are among the designs which are on the top of the list for chic jewelry.

How to Make a Tin Cup Necklace

Celebrity Inspired Lariat And Tin Cup Necklaces

Lariat necklace: The lariat is a unique necklace design which makes a bold statement. A lariat is a unique style which features very long strands which are crossed over each other to hold them in place. A jewel at the end of the chain adds weight to keep the lariat from coming undone. Many lariats feature glittering crystals or even diamonds all the way down the chain, which makes them absolutely breathtaking. Perhaps the best part about a lariat is that it allows the wearer to customize the necklace to fit her neckline. Some lariat necklaces are designed with the long drops down the back, which is a dramatic accent for a dress or gown with an open back.

Tin Cup necklace: The tin cup necklace (or bracelet) features pearls or crystals which are evenly spaced out along a very fine chain. The name of the style was inspired by the film Tin Cup, in which Renee Russo wore a floating pearl necklace which immediately sparked a fashion craze. Also known as a pearl station necklace, the immense popularity of the tin cup necklace can be attributed to its versatility. It offers the elegance of pearls, but has a lighter and more contemporary look than a traditional pearl strand. That makes the tin cup necklace ideal for daytime wear, to dress up, or to dress down. It is an extremely popular bridesmaid gift as well. To give your tin cup necklace a fresh new style, include it in an jumble of chains and other pearls for the trendy layered necklace look.

Classic Strands And Chokers Are Timeless

Choker: Aptly named, the choker necklace fits very close to the neck. Usually measuring about 14 to 17 inches in length, a choker is a very elegant way to highlight a slim neck, a pretty face, and graceful shoulders. French and English ladies used to wear velvet ribbons with cameos or other ornaments, and the style became fashionable among women of all classes. Today, pearl and crystal chokers are very chic, and are often fairly wide. They are a gorgeous complement to a strapless gown, which requires a necklace with a strong presence. Chokers are most flattering and attractive on younger ladies with smooth slender necks. Ladies who carry more weight in their necks, chins, and shoulders tend to do better with longer pendant necklaces.

Strand necklace: A full strand of pearls, beads, crystals, or gems is one of the most elegant forms of necklace. A classic pearl strand can be quite formal, a diamond Riveria necklace is very grand, and a simple strand of beads funky and fun. Traditional pearl strand lengths are: Princess: 17 – 19 inches, Opera: 26 – 36 inches, Rope: 37 inches or longer. A long rope of pearls brings to mind the flappers of the Roaring '20s, especially when tied in a knot near the waist. Although strands of pearls were traditionally thought of as being a very conservative style of jewelry, there is a trend these days to wear them more casually with daytime clothing.

Drop Necklaces: Y-Necklaces And Pendants

Y-necklace: The Y-necklace is a flattering design which combines the best of a strand and a pendant. They usually feature chains of silver or gold with pearls, crystals, or other gems delicately spaced along the chain and a drop pendant in the center. The center drop can be fairly short or it can be quite long with multiple central drops. This style is often selected for formal occasions, as it is very elegant with many necklines, including strapless, V-neck, and spaghetti strap. Very often a Y-necklace will be offered as a set with a coordinating pair of earrings which are made in the same style as the central drop on the necklace.

Pendant or Solitaire necklace: A pendant is a single decorative accent which slips onto a chain. The style of a pendant can be anything, from a vintage-inspired locket to a pearl and crystal drop to a simple silver pendant. The advantage of a pendant necklace is that it is very understated and easy to wear for any occasion. Many women will have several chains in different precious metals such as sterling silver, yellow gold, and white gold, with a variety of pendants which can be placed on the chains to create different looks. Pendants can also be worn on leather or silk cords, ribbons, or wide omega necklaces for even more versatility. A solitaire is a type of pendant which features one single gem, usually a diamond or cz, set into a metal basket or bezel. A single pearl drop may also be referred to as a solitaire.

Complete The Look With Bracelets

Bracelets are generally thought of as secondary to necklaces and earrings, but there are many lovely styles from which to choose. A chunky silver link bracelet with an engraved tag in the Tiffany style is a great everyday bracelet, as well as an excellent gift idea. A cuff style bracelet is one with an open back which fits close to the wrist. Oval shaped cuffs tend to be the most comfortable. A “slave” bracelet is a style which links a cuff bracelet on the wrist to a ring worn on the hand; Native American jewelry collections often feature bracelets of this design.

A bangle bracelet is one which forms a complete circle or oval. Bangles can range tremendously in style. A heavy oval shaped gold bangle with a hook closure references the high style of the “horsey” country club set. Colorful enamel bangles with cheerful motifs or in bright colors are a popular fashion accessory for summer. In India, armloads of thin bangles made from gold, silver, glass, beads, or enamel are an essential part of every woman's wardrobe. The goal is to have a sets of bangles with colors to coordinate with all of the woman's outfits, and the more the better! As part part of the traditional Indian wedding jewelry set, bangles not only symbolize prosperity, but also the marital status of the wearer. Indian brides traditionally wear red and white bangles to represent energy and a new beginning.

Cocktail Rings, Wedding Bands, and Other Rings

Rings, of course, have immense symbolic meaning throughout history. They are also a fun fashion accessory. Many women will wear the same rings every day, such as a wedding band and engagement ring. Signet rings with a monogram or family crest are worn by both men and women, as are class rings. Rings may also be worn to showcase a person's heritage, as in the case of the Irish Claddagh ring (which of course, may also be worn to show marital status).

When rings are a purely fashionable accessory, they tend to get larger and more whimsical. Large cocktail rings featuring semi-precious or “frankly fake” gems are always a fun way to dress up an outfit for a night out. The cocktail ring was a bold accessory worn by the exuberant flappers of the 1920s who wore them to the glamorous cocktail parties held during Prohibition. The design remained in style well into the 1950s, and even into modern times. The cocktail ring is defined by its oversized central stone, often in a festive color, and frequently surrounded by smaller czs or diamonds. While not an essential part of an everyday wardrobe, a bold cocktail ring is the perfect way to make an evening outfit more festive. Celebrities frequently sport large cocktail rings on the red carpet, and the array of fabulous fakes available puts the cocktail ring within the reach of any woman. Coco Chanel would definitely approve.

Express Your Style With Jewelry!

A good wardrobe of jewelry with plenty of variety is essential to any well dressed woman. Other pieces which are useful to have include hoop earrings, charm bracelets, and necklaces with adjustable lengths. Jewelry can be used to add flair to a basic outfit, express your personality or mood, show your marital status, and so much more. Jewelry brightens up our days, refreshes our wardrobes, and expresses devotion. With all of its wonderful attributes, is it any wonder that women have loved jewelry since the earliest days of mankind?


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    • ubrish profile image

      ubrish ali 

      4 years ago from Pakistan(Asia)

      No doubt,jewellery has never lost it power to insspire and delight.I also love jewellery and have wide variety of jewelry of different countries.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      There is a website I recently found that has a lot of the current and stylish jewelry of the moment. I was looking for a new pieces of jewelry that I can wear for this coming spring and summer. I did a web search and found I ordered this amazing enamel ring that I just love and have gotten many compliments

    • profile image

      Boutique Fashion  

      7 years ago

      Phenomenal selection of jewelry. I truly believe that a nice jewelry piece brightens up an outfit!

    • BrianS profile image

      Brian Stephens 

      8 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

      This was worth the visit just for the gorgeous models, nice hub. Given me some ideas for a Christmas present as well.


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