Just like music, jeans, and diets, jewelry styles come in and out of fashion in cycles, meaning that what's cool today might have been just as on-trend when your grandmother was your age. But how can this knowledge help you at the pawn shop counter, surrounded by jewelry found in peoples' grandmothers' closets, at estate sales, and in the back of old jewelry boxes? If you're shopping on the cheap but want to make sure that you're in style, then here are three modern trends to look for in old pawn shop jewelry.
These delicate bracelets to go on the end of your gams are going to dominate the spring and summer jewelry scene, when hemlines rise high enough for them to be seen again. While anklets are never really out of fashion, per se, their popularity has waxed and waned over the past 80 years or so in the American fashion world.
Anklets were last popular in the 70s, usually decorated with the initials of the wearer (or the wearer's significant other), but first dominated the American fashion scene in the days of doo-wop and poodle skirts, when 50s fashionistas would accentuate their bobby socks with a shining anklet.
Large, long, colorful — if it makes the earring a focal point of the outfit, then it qualifies as a statement earring. Last year saw large earrings come to the forefront as well with the resurgence of the 80s hoop, but this year it looks like big earrings aren't limited to any one shape or style, so let your earrings speak for you.
Statement earrings actually go back as far as Ancient Egypt, but more modernly America first saw statement earrings rise by the hand of Coco Chanel and her costume jewelry in the 1920s, followed by cocktail jewelry in the 40s and large plastic earrings in the 60s.
These small, usually one-stone affairs have spent more time out of fashion than in fashion, possibly due to their slightly base connotation; pickpockets and other grifters in America would sometimes wear these rings, making them a sort of symbol for a person you didn't want to bump into on the street. The American Mafia also used pinky rings, furthering their association with crime.
First popular on the American continent at the start of the Roaring Twenties, pinky rings fell out of fashion as Modernism took over from Edwardian fashions and didn't resurface until about the 70s, where they became a sort of symbol for gay Americans to signal their sexuality. They resurfaced again in the hip-hop world at the turn of the millennium, not coming back into fashion until nearly two decades later today.
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