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Pre-Loved Vintage Jewellery Styling Ideas

Having a vintage Cartier or Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery piece can easily become the most iconic treasure in your jewellery wardrobe – but sometimes, balancing a classic piece with a modern outfit can be quite tricky, especially if you’d like to bring out the vintage feel of your jewellery. To help you emphasise the luxury heritage of our pre-loved jewellery collection, we gathered our favourite styling tips, inspired by classic fashion collections and modern street style.

Before you begin

Similarly to new trends and collection launches, each year every design house showcases a story with each collection. Learning more about the origin and era of your pre-loved, vintage jewellery will definitely help you sense the right styling direction and whether to go with a simple look or something that matches the history of the necklace or bracelet. Besides aiding with styling, this will also give you more details on the craftsmanship and real worth of your jewellery, including a detailed explanation about the design and stones used.

Neutral Tones

Whether it’s a one-toned gold necklace or a sapphire and diamond ring, neutral tones will fit any piece beautifully, without being too loud. Besides timeless black, white and grey shades, we also love soft pastels such as dusty pink, baby blue or beige. Alongside showcasing and highlighting the varying tones of the jewellery, these colours are also versatile and practical for any occasion. They can be easily matched with more daring silhouettes such as a deep V neck or an asymmetric neckline.

van cleef and arpels diamond and ruby bracelet worn on a model wearing a beige dress

Van Cleef & Arpels 18K Yellow Gold Ruby & Diamond Vintage Statement Bracelet (1960’s)

Styling Idea: A beige midi dress or silk blouse

Vintage Silhouettes 

To truly make your necklace, ring or bracelet the focus point of the outfit, go back to iconic fashion trends such as a turtle-neck top, a Chanel vintage flap bag or a sharp Thierry Mugler blazer. If vintage classics are far from your personal style but you’d still like to experiment with the idea, only add a small element of vintage to your look, and keep the rest simple yet modern. These subtle details, such as a feminine midi skirt or a vintage Hermes scarf will go especially well with smaller pieces such as rings, bangles and stud earrings.

vintage georg jensen yellow gold link necklace worn with a black roll neck jumper

Georg Jensen 18K Yellow Gold Vintage Link Design Necklace (1940’s)

Styling idea: a black turtle neck top and Dior new look skirt

Georg Jensen 18K Yellow Gold Vintage Dolphin Brooch (1950’s/60’s)

Styling idea: a white pantsuit or jumpsuit and a midi ring

Keeping it Simple 

Besides neutral shades and soft pastels, another elegant way to style your pre-loved jewellery to is to choose clean lines and lightly structured outfits such as a turtleneck midi dress, high-waisted trousers or a strappy backed top. These silhouettes will keep your outfit minimalistic and will keep the spotlight on your statement pieces such as necklaces and brooches.

vintage weiner werkstatte topaz diamond and ruby pendant in yellow gold worn with a black evening dress

Wiener Werkstatte 14K Yellow Gold Topaz, Diamond & Ruby Anton Kling Pendant (1923)

Styling idea: a straight line black or white gown

vintage cartier brooch watch in platinum worn by a model in white dress

Cartier Platinum Diamond Set Rare Vintage Brooch Watch (1912)

Styling idea: an all-white outfit with a long sleeve top and high waisted trousers

Classic Necklines 

Getting the neckline right for a luxury vintage necklace or a pair of earrings is essential, and although traditional necklines could be an obvious choice, more modern shapes can work amazingly well with pre-loved jewellery as well. For statement necklaces, we recommend sweetheart, off shoulder and boat neck dresses, while high neck, asymmetric and straight neckline dresses or tops are a perfect match for earrings. For brooches, our absolute favourites are V-neck dresses and blazers, but you can also experiment with a pussy-bow blouse or collared shirt for a more formal look.

pre-owned georg jensen large link yellow gold necklace worn with a black evening dress

Georg Jensen 18K Yellow Gold Large Rare Vintage Link Design Necklace (1960’s)

Styling idea: a sweetheart neck or deep burgundy velvet dress

pre owned tiffany and co gold rope earrings worn with a black roll neck jumper

Tiffany & Co. 18K Yellow Gold Rope Design Schlumberger Earrings (1980’s)

Styling idea: a ribbed turtleneck top with a pencil skirt