THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

February 23, 2008

Faking It

Filed under: Accessories,Embellishment,Fashion,Inspirations — phyllisc @ 12:07 pm


For the past new years I’ve been building a collection of  costume jewelry and I want to spread the news that (1) costume doesn’t mean ugly, and (2) costume doesn’t need to mean cheaply made.

I’m not a huge fan of fine jewelry; mostly because the pieces I do like are way out of my price range, and the pieces that are in my price range are kind of twee and bland for my taste.  Give me costume any day!

The necklace above is a foray into faux tortoise; it’s a Liz Claiborne piece from Macy’s.  I do wish it were a bit longer,  but that’s easy to change because I can go to A.C. Moore and just buy chain to make an extender.  The resin and Swarovski crystal bangles are Kenneth Jay Lane and are brand new on  – aren’t they fabulous?  I really want them and they also come in clear and black in addition to faux tortoise and black.  I may also look for a nice silver chain necklace with big links to wear with this; I like to double up necklaces.

 I wear my faux Chanel jacket all the time with these pieces; the pearls came from the Store Who Shall Not Be Named, the Voldemort of Retail.  This strand is 48 inches long, perfect for doubling up.  The glass pearls are nice and heavy, and each is individually knotted.  The black & silver necklace was made by RivkasMom on Etsy, and it’s made from a gunmetal chain,  lava rock beads, and the beads are embellished with Swarovski crystals.

Somestimes I wear just the pearls along with this brooch; it’s Monet from about 2-3 years ago.

The necklace on the jacket below I found about 2 years ago in Filene’s Basement; I love the bold colors,  and the way it nicely fills in a neckline.  The brooch is 20 years old at least, I think it’s Catherine Stein but it’s unmarked and I forgot who made it long ago.

I’m always on the look out for cool costume pieces, and good sources include,, as well as discounters like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s.  Costume jewelry gets marked down pretty fast, and you can get some great deals.  The most expensive piece here was $60.



  1. Costume jewelry is so much fun! I just got a chunky glass bead bracelet today while at World Market restocking the wine rack. Gotta love it–a lwine shop with jewelry, food, gourmet treats, and decor!

    I’d love to be able to have my costume looks in real gold and gems but then I’d probably be afraid to wear them. I wear a lot of sterling silver. I live in the Southwest so there’s a plethora of beautiful silver to choose from, both plain and with an amazing variety of beautiful stones.

    Any hints as to what Voldemort’s really is? Does it start with a W? tee hee

    Comment by Nancy (nanflan) — February 23, 2008 @ 3:08 pm

  2. Oops, forgot to add–

    All of the selections are beautiful. I especially like the black and silver necklace.

    Comment by Nancy (nanflan) — February 23, 2008 @ 3:10 pm

  3. I see the dressform is being put to good use! All your examples are so well styled – my favorite piece is those tortoise rings in the first picture.

    Comment by Summerset — February 24, 2008 @ 1:21 pm

  4. I’ve got a ton of really ancient costume jewelry. My collection started when I spent all the money in my savings account in one shopping trip! I STILL feel bad about it!! BUT, my favorite activity ever when I was still a teenager was to buy material, choose a pattern, and head to the 2nd hand store for jewelry to match. ECSTASY!!!!!!!

    Comment by odumnobles — February 25, 2008 @ 7:31 am

  5. Phyllis .- a good lesson in styling. I love this necklace chain with large black ball, it is beautiful and very versatile to adapt to different styles: glam, pop-rock, vintage, gowns, etc.. Etc.. Etc.. Congratulations on this collection. A big hug for you. Paco

    Comment by Paco Peralta — February 25, 2008 @ 7:39 am

  6. Costume jewelry also allows for more creativity in daily lives. With a reasonable cost it is possible to build a larger collection that can bring about almost endless style combinations.

    Comment by sguyot — February 25, 2008 @ 8:18 am

  7. I spent the whole evening last night looking through websites that sell beads and jewelry-making materials. I too have expensive tastes without an extravagant budget. Just as I’m learning to make myself clothes that represent (and fit) me, I have decided to make myself custom jewelry to match my tastes and body size.

    Your post was very much in line with my thinking today.

    I always enjoy reading your blog…even if I have to catch up on entries once in a while.

    Comment by Mimi — March 7, 2008 @ 2:38 pm

  8. very interesting, this had never occured to me. Im going to get my craft kit out and try to come up with something cool.

    Comment by Melie Bianco Handbags — October 19, 2008 @ 12:08 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: