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Styled by Anna Katsanis I Hoops by Bonheur

How to Recreate an Authentic 1970s Jewelry Look

The 70s gave us many fashion fads that are recycled and still as popular today as they were yesteryear (like layering necklaces). While still not as loud and colorful as the 80s jewelry crazes, the flashiness from the 1970s Disco Era made its mark via its boundary-breaking style and one-of-a-kind jewelry designs.

Disco music had just hit the scene and taken the 70s by storm. Who can forget Gloria Gaynor in her gold sequin jumpsuit and matching cape? Inspired by the all-out glamour of the Studio 54 set (Cher, Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall, Liza Minnelli, Debbie Harry, Olivia Newton-John, Grace Jones, etc.), disco jewelry was an over the top, glittery style.

On the opposite end, counterculture jewelry representing youth culture and made from inexpensive materials was also trending. 

  • 70s earrings

    Exciting shapes, striking colors and high-spirited designs typified earrings from the 70s. The times of long strands of pearls and dainty diamond studs were coming to an end, and large chandelier earrings with dangling gemstones and feathers were entering the mainstream. In the 1970s, jewelry designers straddled the line between class and glam. Bold, geometric forms were used and set with precious gems to create a look that exuded luxury and wealth.

    During the 1970s, a new style of earring emerged. These earrings were created for pierced ears such as high earrings, extra long drop earrings and large hoops with thick links as opposed to the old boring clip-on styles of the previous decade . These glam  earring styles were perfect for pairing with metallic disco dresses on those crazy boogie nights.

    First, If you were a woman in the seventies then you wouldn’t be caught dead without extra long earrings. In the 1970s, long danglers with mixed metals and colorful stones were a common luxury trend.

    Secondly, earrings from the 70s are remembered for many things. Definitely, the most notable and memorable is that of the iconic hoop earrings. More than a fashion statement, yellow gold hoop earrings became the gold standard in young, urban, luxury. The popularity of hoop earrings in the 1970s originated due to stars like Farrah Fawcett wearing them. She helped make yellow gold hoop earrings a glamorous, sexy style. Hoops continue to grow in size until they were as large as a bracelet. 

    Third, David Bowie wore a large single diamond stud earring in the early 1970s, inspiring others to do the same. The trend caught on quickly, and by 1972, Britain's "Sunday Times" deemed large single diamond stud earrings the accessory of the year. Studs have been used as everyday earrings since the thirties. However, in the 70’s they were large and in charge and the ultimate accessory for the disco diva.

    The 1970s was a decade marked by radical change. It brought about everything from the first home video games to the first roller disco dance craze. The fashion world was no exception to this culture shock, with the "bohemian chic" style of the 1970s influencing jewelry designers and buyers alike. 

    In the midst of social and political unrest, women began to question the status quo and make a statement through fashion. “This free-spirited mind-set was reflected in their sense of style as colorful, plastic, and bohemian earrings flew from shop windows to street corners across America.”

    Frosted glass circles, heart-clad earrings, and feather clips dotted the boho-chic look of the 1970s. It was an era of vinyl records and cassette tapes, bell-bottoms and harem pants, disco balls and wild prints. Bold, bright colors were all that people wanted to be seen in as they adorned themselves with hippie accessories. They twisted into multicolored headbands crowned with giant feathers and embellished their ears with chic mismatched earrings.

  • 1970s Necklaces

    The 1970s brought a sense of rebellion and excitement to fashion that changed necklaces forever. Women could start to experiment with different styles as the decade progressed.

    The 1970s were a decade of glamour and excess. The rich and famous were flaunting their wealth with gold chains at extravagant Hollywood parties. In the 1970s, women entered the workplace and were all also wearing real gold. Yes, heavy gold chain necklaces were everywhere thanks to the influence of celebrities and purchasing power of women. 

    Here's the skinny, layering several chains at once was super groovy in the 70s. Heavy gold chain necklaces, both short and long were all considered fab and seen on nearly everyone including 70s icon Goldie Hawn.

    The 1970s was an era where wide, chunky jewels were popular. These necklaces were large, extravagant and represented luxury. Huge, flashy, eye-catching pendants were especially off the hook. Dangling from full-length chokers to ornate pendants on delicate chains, these pieces were a signature of 70s glamour.

    1970's jewelry was an elegant accessory for women. It complimented their fun fashions, like big bell bottom pants or pop collars on shirts. Fashionable 70s women were getting down with faux pearls. It was all about wearing long strings with shiny satin dresses for the evening, à la Raquel Welch. 1970s necklace styles included long pearl necklaces, multi-layered pearl necklaces and pearl chokers.

    Exotic and precious, primitive and raw, the 70's were a time for new beginnings. The costume jewelry of the day was extravagant statement pieces that went beyond what was considered to be "costume". As opposed to today's jewelry that is mass-produced, the focus of this era was on the handmade piece and the individuality it represented.

    On the opposite end of luxe, disco-style necklaces were an inexpensive, but fashionable alternative to the pearls and diamonds of the decade. Tropical cocktail jewelry in the 1970s was in full swing. Tropical pineapple and cherries, bamboo clusters, boho rope chains and signature groovy stones make up this fun decade.

  • 1970s Bracelets

    The 1970s was a time of disco, bell-bottoms, and excess. Obviously a time when chunky jewelry fit right in.

    In the 1970's, bracelets were considered to be a luxury. Other jewelry had been favored for decades such as necklaces, rings and earrings. Beautiful bracelets for women were still worn but they were not worn in the same way as other jewelry items. They were usually made with a variety of stones, such as carnelian, garnet and onyx to give it added texture and color or they were made from semiprecious stones like lapis lazuli or turquoise. These bold, colorful gemstones were set in solid gold and were worn by everyone from disco divas to flower children.

    Bracelets for women bracelets came in all shapes and sizes but were notably large and wide. This included broad statement cuffs and polished stackable bangles in shimmering gold or silver. 

    Banglezilla, Extreme bangles in the 70s were pretty outrageous. People wore them and they were heavy, expensive and they clanged a lot. Stackable bangles for women were on the rage.Whether it was a silver or a gold bangle that added that extra flare to your outfit, they were must haves in the 70's.

    In addition, bangle bracelets gained popularity after Jackie O wore one to her husband's inauguration.  In the 1970s, trend-setting celebrities like Farrah Fawcett and Bianca Jagger sported lavish and designer jewelry. They made bracelets filled with gold coins and colorful bangles the ultimate accessories of popular hippie culture.

    In the 1970s, the mood was all about luxury. It was a time when people bought their first home or they bought a car. Jewelry was no exception. Beaded bracelets from the 70's were extravagant, statement pieces. When you wore them, people knew it. Loved them or hated them...they screamed attention.

    On a deeper level, bracelets were more than a status symbol. People wore unique bracelets to express themselves and their personality. Whether you were dressing up for a disco party or going to school, people used accessories such as bracelets to add a personal touch and make themselves stand out amongst everyone else.

    Furthermore, the 70's was a decade of social change, with the United States taking part in the Vietnam War, and the Civil Rights Movement. The popular POW bracelets worn were not meant to be for fashion... they had a very deep and significant purpose. 
    1970s women's fashion included trending identity bracelets. Unlike today’s simple woven or link bracelets, the 1970s Pow bracelet was made from a rolling system of tiny brass balls. This bracelet style went viral as many people etched on their bracelets the names of soldiers in Vietnam.

    Among the very young, friendship bracelets were trending. A friendship bracelet is usually made from strand of embroidery floss, thread, or yarn that is hand-knotted around two strands. These bracelets became popular during the 1970s and were presented as gifts to friends or significant others.

  • 1970s Rings

    When 70s rings are mentioned, the word “bling” is on the tip of everyone’s tongue. These treasures were made to be seen and worn and they certainly stood out in a crowd.

    The 1970s brought a new look to fashion jewelry. Gone were the delicate shapes and formal styles of yesteryear; the "big statement" rings were now in style. John Mayer's lyrics to his song, "Bigger Than My Body", illustrates this decade perfectly

    Cocktail rings for women in the 1970s were ostentatious. Made for the elite, they exuded success. For nights out, discotheque-goers of the 1970s wore over-the-top ring styles like statement cocktail rings stacked on each finger. Cocktail rings also became an essential part of an everyday wardrobe for all women. There were cocktail rings for women in almost every color and design you could imagine. The most popular ring styles were made of either gold, platinum or silver.

    In addition, genuine diamond rings were especially in style. As one of the most iconic symbols of opulence, gemstones such as rubies and diamonds were often seen in classically created rings. This decade brought us many new ring trends to love and cherish. The first being the cushion-cut ring with its wider setting, making the stone or stones appear larger. Then the princess-cut ring with its square shaped center stone and round side stones became popular.

    Next, symbol rings were popular in the 1970s to show solidarity with the newly elected President Carter. In a time of disillusionment and cynicism, these symbol rings were meant to remind the wearer that even though it was the 1970s, there were still some very benevolent people in the world.

    Also, celebrities and non-celebrities alike wore them as a symbol of their love for Hollywood. In the 1970s, signet rings were everywhere.They were symbols of power and wealth -- worn by celebrities, professional athletes and even presidents. Princess Diana’s fingertips were loaded with these gorgeous jewels.

    In the late 70s,  just about fifty percent of American women sported a signet ring and it was even a status symbol for high school students because of the price tag. Women  typically wore their engagement rings on their right hand and their big signet ring on their left. Gold and silver signet rings were so popular, they even inspired a story in Jackie Kennedy’s famous self-portraits.

    Leaf, Rock, and Tree rings represented the three classes of signet rings in the 1970s. Each held a stone specific to their class. The first class I would call were Leaf Rings; they had stones that were flat on one side like the leaves on a tree. The second, Rock Rings, had a stone with an indistinguishable shape like a rock. The third and final type of ring was called a Tree Ring and had two leaves that were much more pointed than the other two types of signet rings.

    For the bohemian, boho-style lovers. Rings from the 70s were inspired by the nature, made of natural materials such as wood, stone and more unusual materials like marble, bronze or iron.

The 1970s was a time of self-expression, personal freedom and a mishmash of styles. The decade was characterized by large plush earrings, fashionable outfits, glittering disco parties and self-expression.

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