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1970s Costume jewellery

March 16, 2015

Who doesn’t love 1970s Costume jewellery ? You’re either a costume jewellery person or you’re a gold and silver girl, with a healthy respect for subtle pieces, but for me jewellery is about dressing up, it’s the most imaginative way of wearing jewellery and it can say so much about your personality.


Melone bags by Bulgari, Monete Collection, 1971 .

Melone bags by Bulgari, Monete Collection, 1971 .

Costume jewellery from the 1970s

You don’t have to do Pat Butcher when you wear 1970s Costume jewellery, but you can liven up your jewellery box and add some lovely statement pieces, and it doesn’t have to be junk plastic that makes you look like you got your necklace on the front cover of Jackie magazine circa 1976.

1970s Costume jewellery comeback

Naturally, the 70s is having a comeback this year and if you’re into the70s then the battles half won, because there’s no point following a trend if it makes you feel uncomfortable.


But there are some classic pieces from the 70s that are really going to complete your 70s vibe, and if you don’t want to go all the way, then a few key pieces from the 70s can be a respectful nod to the bygone era of platform heels and tiered skirts, without having to go the whole hog.


Let’s take a look at how you can dress your jewellery box 1970s style……

Ethnic 1970s jewellery, big, bright and blue

Ethnic 1970s jewellery, big, bright and blue


There were various trends going on with 1970s Costume jewellery at the time, the ethnic hippy vibe was marked by ethic jewellery with materials made from natural materials and stones, with wood beads, mother of pearl and natural occurring stones.


There were geometric shapes with circles and squares. Slave bracelets from ancient times came back in the 70s as an ethic alternative to the shimmer of the disco fever train which threatened to take us all on perilous journey into Lycra. Earrings came with tribal prints in jade and botanical greens.


The 70s also saw a revival of Egyptian jewellery following a successful museum visit to London of the Tutankhamen tour in 1972. Egyptian amulets and semi-precious stones helped create some marvellous designs.


There were cameos on chains and lockets, with glamorous chunky chains, layers of necklaces and no dainty stuff, it was attention grabbing and vibrant.


Disco was a very different animal and with it, it brought not only 1970s Costume jewellery but the clothes, full of shimmer, sparkle and bling.


With Lycra skin tight leggings in shimmering colours came sparkly boob tubes and shiny shoes.Jewellery reflected this with bright shiny jewellery with shimmering sparkles and rhinestones to match the class.


There were hoop earrings and thick larger than life chains. Sparkly, shimmering bangles that complimented the shimmer from the clothes.You can definitely go down that route if you wish, or you combine both hippy/boho with disco fever and create a really dynamic look.


Whichever look you favour however, you need to consider where you can source these pieces.Yes, you can buy retro and imitation pieces, you’ll find them in most high street stores as they cash in on this year’s trends that trickle down from the catwalk.


However, unless you want to walk down the street in something at least 20 other people will be wearing, you’ll probably need to consider your options.

Mount Fuji. Bulgari brooche, 1971

Mount Fuji. Bulgari brooche, 1971

Vintage 1970s Costume jewellery

If you want to source some original 1970s Costume jewellery pieces that compliment your outfit and have jewellery that stands out as classic vintage items, then you know what to do.


A good vintage store, (dare I say it) such as Blue17 would be a good place to start from. You can buy multiple strands of necklaces/chains and layer up, wear multiple bangles and match them with hoop earrings.


When looking for vintage ethnic 1970s Costume jewellery pieces, look for unusual shapes and colours, original pieces that really stand out, natural materials like wood and stones. And most importantly, enjoy the search, because shopping for vintage should always be about the discovery and not just the purchase.



1970s jewellery – bright, colourful and vivid

1970s jewellery – disco or ethnic, the choice is yours

Jewellery – 1970s layering up

Skinny scarves, chunky jewellery – key 70s looks