From shows like 90210, Clueless, Friends and Baywatch, the 90s had it all. We all symbolically danced the Macarena together and drank the style Kool-aid in our spaghetti straps. Every decade has a dance craze and we were all Gettin’ Jiggy With It
and Livin' La Vida Loca.
- 90s Necklaces
In the mid-1990s, several popular celebrities were spotted wearing luxury pieces, including Julia Roberts and Cindy Crawford that incited a demand for luxurious goods.
Consequently, necklaces were worn as a status symbol. If you were spotted in public with a choker or an over-sized necklace, you’d likely catch people’s attention. Hence, a big bold statement necklace was all about the bling. They were longer, chunkier and dripped with diamonds.
- 90s Chokers
Some call them chokers, others call them dog collars. In the 90s you called them cool! When it came to chokers there was always a style for everyone. Some were big and bulky for a more metal look, while others were dainty looking like something out of the 1800s. The 90’s were full of the funky choker looks that were worn by some of our favorite stars.
Blame it on Alyssa Milano for making them cool in the smash flick Poison Ivy. These tight collar-like necklaces sat tightly around the neck and lent an edgy, sexy grunge goddess vibe to almost all outfits. Yes, grunge fashion was glamorous back then.
The early 90s started a new era for the chain link statement necklace. Their popularity was greatly influenced by hip hop and R&B music artists such as Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, Salt-N-Pepa, Missy Elliott, MC Lyte and many others. Not only did these amazing works of art make an appearance on the necks of the biggest names in music, but they also appeared in music videos and were worn day to day by teenagers across the country. The appearance of gold chains sank below the neckline and waistline and appeared to be worn for the sake of the bling appeal. These costly chains became an accessory on their own, hanging lower than one's belly button and solidified with either a silver pendant or a diamond pendant.
Moreover, the gold chain statement necklace captured the decadence of the era and were worn with pride. In the 90s, your necklace was a testament to your success. Showing off your wealth and class meant owning a chunky gold chain statement necklace. If you didn’t have one, people knew you weren’t making it. On the streets of New York, on the red carpet of Hollywood, or around the neck of every girl in your grade, it was impossible to not notice a perfect chain necklace.
A lot of things came to the forefront in the '90s and one of them was a trend towards bigger earrings. Round, chandelier-style earrings were the hottest accessory on the market. They looked fantastic with all different kinds of other big jewelry pieces--pendants, bracelets, necklaces--and that's part of what makes them so appealing.
Furthermore, These statement earrings were usually made of heavy material, like glass, wood and metal, and mostly were made by hand. Because of their size these earrings also received the nickname of 'hanging lanterns' or 'chandeliers'. In 1998, the shoulder duster chandelier earrings generated such a frenzy among customers and were sold-out worldwide in no time. People who managed to get their hands on one of these sought-after earrings treasured them for years.
A trend of opulence and luxury defined the 1990s in jewelry. The ring designs were bold, reflecting the excessive lifestyles and materialism of the era.
Diamonds were on everyone's fingers. The 1990s era featured round rings that showcased a flashy evolution of diamond shapes. The jewelry business changed with the addition of prong-setting and halo settings, which allowed jewelers to make bigger, more extravagant rings.
The Cocktail ring in the 1990s was worn by Hollywood starlets like Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, Jessica Lange and Winona Ryder, making classic cocktail rings cool again. They were typically lasered, pave set or had other styles of pave-style accents. A classic, accented cocktail ring with an enameled finish was a favorite among women.
The 1990s brought about a continuous evolution in the bracelet category. Jewelry designers were inspired by international trends and transformed their collections to include bolder pieces with more distinctive shapes and designs. Imagine the world of bracelets pre-1990s, and you would see a jewelry box full of traditional designs like ropes, bangles and link bracelets. They were slender and minimalistic, with an emphasis on gold and diamonds. By the 1990s, a more sparkly trend emerged, featuring rhinestone crystals and dazzling colors that evoked the energy of the decade.
Specifically, there was a charm bracelet craze in the 90s. Every girl wanted to have one and every girl wanted to have all the charms that could be put on her bracelet. Girls began collecting charms that meant something special to them, charms from their families, from their favorite TV shows or books or movies or sports teams or just cool looking charms.
In addition, gold bangles for women were plastered on arms throughout the nation. They were everywhere. Super-elite and full of attitude, 1990s gold bangles were fit for the fashionista. They came in all shapes and sizes. They were seen on almost every female celebrity in the 90s, from pop stars like Jennifer Lopez to reality TV starlets like Jennifer Aniston.
In conclusion, 1990s fashion was a statement that a woman can be powerful and still feminine. It was less about the jewels themselves, but rather the feeling they invoked.