vintage jewelry: who, what, wear...

vintage is undoubtedly hot right now. all the celebs are wearing it and all the fashion mags talk about it, but it can be a difficult thing to translate into everyday wear for the average person. think about it - pepto-bismol pink 90s bridesmaid dresses from goodwill don't exactly fit the "vintage" category girls want to be seen in (unless you were at my 21st birthday "waltz" in tallahassee several years ago...), and you're better off purchasing something new rather than the raggedy dior handbag filled with old gum wrappers from the local consignment. luckily for us, house of lavande's vanessa nedvins (remember her from a few posts ago?) was nice enough to share the "who, what and wear" for going vintage.

jewelry is a great place to start when testing out vintage, because in my opinion, there are less chances to go wrong and anyone can wear it. age and style savviness are not factors.

vintage jewelry, specifically hol, is seen all over the red carpets and in everyday wear on many celebs. if you're looking for inspiration, take note from ashley tisdale at the mtv movie awards, evan rachel wood at her premiere in paris, emmy rossum out for a walk around the city, or my personal faves rachel mcadams, sophia bush and leighton meester on other stylish outings. nedvins told me she found it especially exciting when nicole richie started wearing hol since she owns her own jewelry line and is such a trendsetter in the industry. when asked about other celebs she'd like to style, she mentioned kate moss or heidi klum since they are both inspirations in the fashion world.

zoe saldana wearing hol
see my "behind the seams" post on hol or visit its web site.

as for what trends are in, nedvins says the "chunky 80s-style, club-kid feel" is and will continue to be popular in accessories for a bit, so vintage is perfect for picking up this trend. stackable bracelets are also in style, as well as layered necklaces (maybe pair one of hols jeweled czech pieces with a few long strands of pearls...), and statement necklaces of course. silver is also being asked about in the store a lot recently, which is interesting since gold had made such a strong comeback for a while.

wear pieces that make you feel special. nedvins believes customers should choose something that a.) brightens their face, and/or b.) induces a memory. she sees both types of purchases in her store: "many women choose specific house of lavande pieces because of an emotional tie - maybe the piece reminds them of something their grandmother wore. the younger set, however, is wearing hol because it is a way to be different and stand out. they can look stunning without wearing something everyone else can buy at the mall."

1960 hattie carnegie ~ $348
the real where:
like most fashions, styles in vintage jewelry varies from one place to another. places like new york, chicago and palm beach all have different ideas and classifications for vintage and trends. nedvins says new yorkers are more fearless and riskier - think lots of plastic bracelets and other bold pieces - and the only other place similar to nyc is l.a. chicago, on the other hand, is classier and higher-end, rather than experimental like new york. think vintage chanel.
and if you're a regular to my blog or live in the area, you probably know that there is no other place like palm beach. according to nedvins, palm beachers either come in already knowing what they want, or they see something that strikes them and they just have to buy it right then. there's no real rhyme or reason to their purchasing habits. palm beachers are also careful not to be too "old" even when wearing vintage, are slightly more reserved in their choices, and have more awareness between what is real and fake.
depending on the style, vintage can be worn anytime, but hol pieces are perfect for adding an extra special touch to spice up an outfit for an event or interview, or changing a day-to-night look just by switching up a few pieces.
ashley tisdale wearing hol at 2009 mtv movie awards

the real question is why not. wearing vintage gives you a tie to the past. vintage jewels are not able to be replicated and can't be found in regular retail stores today. when you're wearing them you have peace of mind that no one else will have the same thing, which can't necessarily be said if you show up to an event wearing harry winston, van cleef & arpels or tiffany's. and my favorite reason why: in my experience, vintage pieces are always fantastic conversation openers.

1960 unsigned multi victorian ring ~ $1,200
if even after nedvins' tips you can't decide how to wear vintage jewelry, hol offers styling services to help choose what's right for you (which i should have put to good use - notice how some of the pieces i was drawn to tended to overwhelm my weirdly tiny arms!). hol stylists use fabric swatches and/or photos of outfits and their owners to put together five or six looks with various ornaments before purchasing. many celebs and their personal stylists go this route, so you'll be in good company!


  1. I love that flower piece! Is there vintage clothing store nearby that is comparable to HOL? All of their jewelry is perfect, but I'm skeptical about most vintage clothes

  2. i'm actually looking into that myself...so let me know if you find good places any locally! pbpulse.com's fashion editor just wrote about a few pbc consignment stores that i plan to check out this weekend, so here's a start: http://tr.im/xDqU. i don't know how much vintage they carry, but i'm especially interested in collectable & delectable, inc. i'll update next week!