Jewelry Flashback: Our Fave Looks from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s & 80’s

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the 80’s are back. Some may argue that this isn’t such a good thing (Acid-wash jeans? Leg warmers? I thought we put these fashion faux pas behind us, people!), but Blue Door Beads would like to play devil’s advocate, just a wee bit.

Photo courtesy of dorotheasclosetvintage.com

A few awesome things about 80’s jewelry fashion: big & chunky bracelets, necklaces and earrings, and lots and lots flash, either with vibrant colors or loads of sparkle! These looks may not be for everyone, but we whole-heartedly support having fun with your jewelry. If that means having folks raise their eyebrows at your rhinestone-encrusted baubles, then so be it. For those of us who never had a BeDazzler as a kid, now is our chance to make up for lost time. 🙂

Photo courtesy of thegemchronicles.com

Not the biggest fan of 80’s jewelry? Well, what about jewelry from the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s? Check out a few of our fave pieces (and our fave jewelry fashion icons):

It is hard to compete with the glitz factor of costume jewelry from the 1950’s. Who wouldn’t feel instantly sexy by adorning herself with layers upon layers of sparkly rhinestones? Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, after all.

Photo courtesy of retrohousewife.com

We love this photo of Marilyn dripping in jewels because she just looks so deliriously happy! Her glee may be due in part to the fact that she was of the most famous women in the world at the time, but we like to think it’s because she’s enjoying her amazing collection of diamonds. Lucky gal!

On to the 1960s, the decade when folks were busily flying around on PanAm, drinking, smoking, and being glamorous. Although the most common accessories were cigarettes and martini glasses, we celebrate the much healthier option of a fabulous strand of classic white pearls — or three strands in the case of the über-chic Jackie O.

Pearls possess a certain timeless elegance that makes them the perfect piece of jewelry to hand down from grandmother, to mother, to daughter. Obviously, pearl strands have been around much longer than the 1960’s, but we feel they are the perfect accessory for the styles of this decade, and we can’t think of a better 1960’s fashion icon than the former first lady.

Photo courtesy of rubyplaza.com

We don’t know about you, but this gal looks like she wants to go have an adventure in a folk music band with that tambourine!  This “alternative” style was due in part to the recession of the 1970’s in the West; public tastes, including fashion, veered away from the bright-and-shiny exuberance of the 1960’s and turned eastward instead, toward different cultures and the “ethnic” look.

Photo courtesy of rubylane.com

This brought about a huge surge in massive statement jewelry pieces. Just as was true with the cars of the decade (or “land yachts”, as we like to call them), in the 1970’s, bigger was better! Featuring funky, chunky beads mixed with different metals and materials, 1970’s jewelry pieces were some of the boldest jewelry to date.

The 1970’s may have ushered in a time of eye-catching, gigantic jewelry, but the 1980’s introduced a new & crazy color trend: NEON! Whether it was on lunch boxes, notebooks, clothes or jewelry, neon was everywhere, and if it was too bright for you, well…you better hope you had some rad Ray Bans to cut down on the glare.

Photo courtesy of rubylane.com

We have to say, vibrant jewelry just makes us happy! We can’t think of a better accessory for a plain white or black shirt than a brilliantly hued necklace, and it seems it’s always the bright, bold necklaces that earn us the most compliments — and who doesn’t love the occasional ego boost? So, we feel like the 80’s got it right, at least color-wise.

We can’t wrap up our four-decade blog without a shout-out to one of the most prolific style icons of the 1980’s. Love her or hate her, Madonna sure did know how to maximize her jewelry sex appeal.

Photo courtesy of aqauaskye.com

Pearls, rhinestones, chains — Madonna mixed them all with serious attitude, and although we don’t feel we’d ever be confident enough to wear a negligee in public or bold enough to rock her cone-bra look (we’ll leave that to Lady Gaga), we will happily stack our bracelets, layer our necklaces, and revel in our rock ‘n roll side.

We hope you have enjoyed this flashback to jewelry eras past. Whether you’re a fan of vintage styles, or are always looking to create new, modern looks, we applaud you for being adventurous with your jewelry style. Bead boldly!

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