A-Z of a vintage girl · vintage fashion · vintage style

J is for Jewellery: the A-Z of a Vintage Girl in a Modern World

Happy Sunday, one and all!

I’d like to start with two very, very exciting pieces of news. The first is that my second guest post, a condensed version of this very A-Z, is now live on the fabulous Pin Up Persuasion blog. I’m so, so grateful to Jessica for the opportunity, and once you’ve read it (or before, I’m not fussy), if there are any letters coming up that you have suggestions for, please do let me know!

The second piece of mega-exciting news (with bells on), is that I’m through to the judges’ round for Miss Vintage UK! Thank you so, so much to everyone that voted, it means the world to me (and in a future post, I’ll explain an important reason why). For now, please know that I am very grateful, and think you’re all ruddy marvellous.

Now, onto the business of this week’s post – jewellery! At first, it was going to be jiving and other dances, until I realised I foolishly wrote about dresses and dancing only a few weeks ago. The Boy helpfully suggested writing about jocks, jesters and Jiminy Cricket, before hitting the jackpot when he suggested jewellery (he later admitted he thought of this almost immediately, but wanted to see how long he could make stupid suggestions before I cracked and hit him with a pillow. In case you were wondering, it’s 12 minutes and 24 seconds).

Vintage jewellery is a wonderful way to accessorise, for a few different reasons, which are as follows:

  1. Imagine the fun its previous owner had wearing it. A string of pearls you wear to a fun day out could have been worn to a wedding, a christening, or spent many a happy evening twirling around a dance floor (can you tell that I really love stories?)
  2. If you don’t fancy wearing vintage or vintage-style clothes (or perhaps you’re just getting started), vintage jewellery is a great way of sprucing up a modern outfit, or easing yourself in gently.
  3. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re a brooch sort of a person, an earring obsessive, or bonkers about bracelets (and let’s not forget those who are nutty about necklaces). Sorry, I don’t know what’s going on with my alliteration obsession at the moment. It’s getting out of hand.

Pearls (vintage and modern versions) are a big favourite of mine, and are as much a part of my look as my red lipstick and dresses.

My favourite set is one that used to belong to my gran, and now belongs to my auntie. I asked if I could borrow them for my wedding, as part of my something old (and something to remember my gran by), and she very kindly agreed (we had a lovely time in Shades of White, where I bought my wedding dress, deciding which ones would look best). I also ended up wearing one of my gran’s rings, which was diamond and sapphire. In an odd turn of events, the sapphire on the very top of the ring needed replacing, which my mum did just before the wedding, so that one piece of jewellery ended up being my something old, new, borrowed and blue.


And it meant that my gran was a part of my day – if she couldn’t be there in person, this was the very next best thing:

Carrie-Ann and Chris - 0114

(photo by Lina & Tom)

This photo is actually doubly special, because you’ll see I’m with my chum, Miller’s Mate. Regular readers will know about my friends Chereé and Phil, and their angel baby Miller – Miller’s Mate now goes everywhere that Miller would have been, and I’m pretty darn honoured that I was considered special enough to hold him on my wedding day.

And I’ve got a thing for sparkly neckwear too. I think it’s a great way to add a bit of excitement to a classic outfit (I don’t wear plain colours too often, as evidenced by my walking into the office in a black dress and shoes this week and being asked if I was feeling ok).

This original 50s paste necklace, for example, jazzes up my classic black House of Foxy dress rather nicely. I’m also wearing a matching earring and brooch set, which from Lovett & Co (which I love so much that I also bought it in two other colours), and a hairpiece from Claire’s Accessories, which I very nearly repurposed for our wedding.


As someone with an awful lot of ear piercings, I tend to stick to small studs or pearls in most cases, with big earrings in the lowest piercing. I haven’t managed to find any true vintage ones that have caught my eye just yet (as clip-ons tend to make my ears throb after 30 minutes and that makes me grumpy), so watch this space!

And brooches will always have a special place in my heart. Not least because my nan had a massive collection of them when I was growing up, and seeing them reminds me of many a happy afternoon rooting through them and asking her to tell me stories about them. She had several cat brooches, and made up names and back stories for them as if they were real (I’m still not entirely convinced that they didn’t come to life and have lots of adventures when we left the room).

When I was starting to get into vintage loveliness, one of my friends (who we’ll call Catherine. Well, it’s what her mum calls her) bought me a beautiful marcasite brooch, which she’d bought from the local antiques shop. It was instant love, and I’ve since built up quite a collection.

One pointer though, and I can’t stress this enough – take them OFF your dress before you put the dress in the wash.

You’ll thank me for that later.


(HMU by Sarah’s Doo-Wop Dos, Photo by Jez Brown)

Next week, we’ll be discussing keeping it classy. Or something equally exciting beginning with K. It’s like a vintage version of Sesame Street.

Have a spiffing week!


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