Jewelry School: How To Wear Antique & Vintage Jewelry

We girls all love jewelry, little bits of beautiful to highlight our own beauty. Being an antique dealer, I particularly love wearing ANTIQUE JEWELRY. You have a lot of questions about how to wear antique and vintage jewelry, my email in box always has lots of questions about the what, where and when, so here are a few suggestions that I hope will get you to actually wear your beautiful antique and vintage jewelry. 

Brooches also known as Pins.  Nothing could be simpler than to accent your outfit with a gorgeous antique or vintage pin.  There are several ways to use antique pins. These are just a small gathering of ideas, a springboard for you to think up some great ways to wear your brooches.

See all our current brooches here.

Black is always in style, and most antique jewelry looks fabulous when worn with black. If you adore Victorian Jewelry, black is a wonderful choice as many 19th century pieces have black in them. Your basic little black dress is a foolproof way to wear many antique brooches. Any one of them will accent your LBD in a way no one else can duplicate exactly. The Art Deco rhinestone brooch above looks just a little more “au courant” when pinned to the décolleté of your dress. {I like it vertical for interest.}

LBDbroochdecoSee all our current brooches here.

Above is a different brooch, with beautiful marcasite monogram, pinned in the same place for a different look.


I love wearing big, oversized vintage Rhinestone pins. Many are very collectible, especially the signed pieces, you can wear them on a jeans jacket like I often do, or highlight their glamorous elegance by wearing one big brooch on your evening gown, on your shoulder, or to hold your evening cashmere wrap in place.

Some pins look amazing when attached to a chain, or length of ribbon, many antique cameos even come with a hanging bail for a chain. This gives you two looks from the same pin.

Brooches can be worn together, on the lapel of a jacket, or to hold a scarf in place as shown below.


You can place a brooch anywhere, really!


See all our current brooches here.

This large Antique Pinchbeck Mourning Brooch is a gracious way to keep my cashmere wrap attached so it doesn’t fall off my shoulder on a slightly chilly evening when we dine out at one of the elegant restaurants overlooking the ocean in spring or summer.


Here is another sparkling vintage brooch holding a petal pink pashima in place.  Antique and Vintage brooches are a fun addition to your accessories, and wardrobe, they are great to collect {they don’t take up as much room as some of your other collections} and are so uniquely personal. The best thing? Collecting and wearing antique and vintage jewelry means that more than likely, you will not meet anyone else wearing the same beautiful piece as you.

It’s fine to mix and match, think of coordinating, rather than exact matches. Many times collectors of antique jewelry don’t have the luxury of having a complete matching set, so finding a brooch or necklace and a pair of earrings that can be worn together is simply a matter of coordinating colors, or style. Gold with gold, pearls with pearls, black with black. But today, pretty much anything goes…if it pleases you and expresses your own personal style…it’s a good thing!

Necklaces.  Necklaces are, mostly, wearable with everything. There really is no “wrong way” to wear a necklace. Layering necklaces is not complicated. Don’t be afraid to mix and match chains with lockets, or with one of our antique silver necklaces.


See all our available necklaces here.

Here, I’ve layered two of our necklaces together, and antique short necklace with a hand painted portrait of Marie Antoinette, and an antique perfume bottle necklace that was attached to an artist created long chain by designer Georgia Hecht. While they were not made to go together, they look stunning paired, don’t you agree?


Here is the same perfume bottle necklace layered with a different perfume bottle necklace for a totally different look!


Lockets can be easily combined with chains, or even other lockets.

See all our available necklaces here.



Below, I show one of our Antique Victorian Love Token Necklaces combined with a Fresh Water Pearl Necklace with an Antique Sterling English Award Fob.  Yes, you can also wear each of these by themselves, but it’s gives you more options when you dare to combine!

Here is our Antique Victorian Watch Key with that glorious purple Amethyst stone, combined with a modern purple chain necklace made for us by a local jewelry designer. The gold does not have to match, mixed metals is very current at the moment, it is a wonderful way to create completely different looks with some of your antique necklaces and other jewelry.
Then, of course, you can just wear a necklace by itself. I wanted to show you how elegant our Victorian Necklaces look when worn with a simple wool black dress. This is a swivel mourning locket, with one side holding a lock of hair and a snippet of a hand written letter ~LBDVictorianMourningLocket
~ the other side has an elegant White Rose detail {sorry it’s so difficult to see…it’s quite reflective for the camera}. This necklace looks graceful, and again, it’s not something you can expect any other person attending your grand gala for the club to be wearing.

See all our available necklaces here.

I hope that this has given you a jump start in thinking up creative ways to wear {and show off} your antique and vintage jewelry. I have not shown antique bracelets in this post, but of course you can easily wear more than one bracelet at a time and combine those to your heart content. I often wear a charm bracelet next to my watch, and more bracelets on the other arm. I mix bangles and chain and charm bracelets with wild abandon ~ you only live once!  If you are looking for something new {antique} to add to your jewelry collection, I offer gorgeous Antique Jewelry from the Victorian, Edwardian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco period. You can see all our latest acquisitions here.

Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and uniquely yours. Visit our shop

8 thoughts on “Jewelry School: How To Wear Antique & Vintage Jewelry”

    1. Thank you Tammy! I love wearing one necklace, but sometimes, TWO is just better!

  1. Joan K

    …..ahhhh what a luscious way to start my day this morning !!
    Looking at all these beautiful pieces & sipping my coffee ……a Good Morning indeed 🙂

    Love your website …both visually & all the info you share with us !!
    Thank you

    1. Hi Joan, thanks so much for visiting and reading my blog, and sharing your coffee!! Good morning to YOU, too.

  2. Patricia Leonhardt

    This is such a lovely, feminine website. It reminds me of the Victoria magazines of the late 80s. I am so glad that I found this page and that I can make new blogging friends!

    1. Pat, you have no idea what an immense compliment that is to me. Thank you so much. I am so glad to “meet” you here on my blog, I hope to live up to your sweet compliment and to see you here again and again!

  3. Karen T.

    Thanks for all the great ideas! I love them all! And, your offerings are quite unique!

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