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JEWELRY HISTORY: THE 1960S

Let’s face it; who doesn’t love a good vintage throwback dress-up party? To help give you some dress up ideas, we put together a guide on how to create an authentic ’60s look. Let us give you some tidbits on the decade...

1960S JEWELRY HISTORY

The costume jewelry of the 1960s looked pretty much the same at the beginning as the previous decade. However, a change was brewing. Designs were becoming unconventional, daring and more expressive. By the end of the decade, 1960s fashion accessories had transitioned from familiar shiny gold parures to fantastic dramatic designs constructed in budget-friendly new plastics. Women were no longer concerned with matching earrings, brooches, rings, necklaces and sometimes bracelets. Femininity (pearls and a slender black dress) were out and cool Space Age style was in. What sparked this forward-looking, eccentric, post-war mood in fashion? Buzz Aldrin's inspirational first steps on the moon.

Suddenly, women's 1960s fashion trends were open to all and easily obtained. The development of ready to wear fashion combined with the expansion of clothing factories reflected itself in a market of mass production. New fake plastic-like fabrics and fibers replaced natural materials and metals. Ready to wear fashion was undergoing a metamorphosis and modernization never before witnessed.

At the beginning of the decade, 1960s fashion accessories like shiny gold, pastel pearls and sparkling paste closely matched the styles of the previous decade, the 1950s. Jewelry designers then began to play more with the concept of textured surfaces applied to jewelry. Textured gold was a popular choice in the late 1950s and managed to stay so well into the 60s. Additional textured gold options appeared like crinkled and hammered surfaces. Also, the fusing of luminous gold onto gold, a gritty effect dulling the shine of gold, was in high demand.

Towards the end of the decade; the glitz and sparkle of paste and rhinestone had completely vanished. New streamlined metal designs were on trend with little to no accompanying stones.

1960S STYLES: GEOMETRIC SHAPES IN JEWELRY

The shapes used in jewelry designs became much courageous and, as a consequence, almost sculptural.

The optical art, pop art and art deco movements of the decade not only influenced fashion, but also of course accessories and jewelry creation. Jewelry trends strove to strongly emulate themes from the 1920s art deco movement. In these new creations, common geometric jewelry shapes included triangles, diamonds, spirals and hexagons, etc.

1960S TRENDS: FLORAL JEWELRY TRENDS

For decades, floral designs have been a source of inspiration for jewelry designers. Floral designs transitioned, becoming larger in the 1960s, styled in the modern plastics. The Hippie movement in the later years of the decade saw the rise of Flower Power. This movement filtered through to fashion with floral jewelry trends in unique colors becoming increasingly common.

New multi color resins and plastics of the time allowed the explosion of artistic endeavors and exciting new design concepts to unfold. Risks that could not be taken with expensive metals and precious stones could easily be attempted with cheap goods like base metal and plastics. The 1960s fashion trends were all about garnering attention, especially with jewelry. No unique color or style was prohibited.

The decade's counter culture and youth culture both inspired the period and influenced it. The Baby Boomers of the 1960s sought to distance themselves from their elders' beliefs and attitudes. These adolescents and young adults, unhindered by the authority of their parents and the older generation, began to construct their own views.

1960S JEWELRY TRENDS: LONG EARRINGS

By now, pierced ear lobes had become socially appropriate. Now women could wear dangling, huge earrings — and the bigger, the better. As women started to wear their hair shorter or tucked back under a headband, this focused attention on the neck and ears. The pierced ear lobes became the ideal spot to sport multi color, exaggerated hoops in the new perspex materials of the day.

STRONG, BRIGHTER COLORS & BOLD COLOR COMBINATIONS

By the 1960s, trending color palettes were unconventional and even shamelessly daring. Designers of the 60s decade dispensed with the color palettes of previous rigid eras, choosing more vibrant, unusual ones like contrasting colors. Patterns and combinations were sometimes designed to clash on purpose. The mood of the decade was all about free-spirited youth culture. As a consequence of this, new counterculture ideas emerged. New trending color palettes were created to shock. Contrasting color was reasonably fashionable in an era of psychedelic clothing and album covers.

Enormous cocktail rings continued to be worn in the 1960s. New designs became even greater in scale with more use of brighter colors and global influences. In the late 1960s, Indian inspired art shaped both fashion and jewelry. The hippie movement was rising and long strings of “ love beads ” reflected this counter cultural movement as well as the rebellious hippie style of wearing a ring on each finger.

1960S Bracelets

Whether they were plastic, luminous, gold or painted wooden bangles, it’s clear that the people of the 60s were huge fans of bracelets and layered them on till they couldn’t see their arms. Easily obtained in a host of shades, the ultimate 1960s bracelets were bangles. Bangles allowed women to refresh their outfits quickly and easily, and often, bangles were able to employ a host of trends simultaneously. Chunky plastic bangles and painted wooden bangles in striking color combinations were the perfect bohemian 1960s fashion accessory, as were thin bangle stacks looping the entire arm. New plastics like resin, vinyl and perspex were easily assessable for this style.

We hope you have enjoyed our 1960s fashion era guide. We hope this helps stir dress up ideas for an authentic '60s look.