One good trend begets another, and it was with a revival of 1950s fashion that a new love of costume jewels swept the fashion world. Plain white t-shirts and mohair sweaters alike have been given new glamourous life by way of rhinestone necklaces and aurora borealis crystals that all reminisce on the jewellery trends of the ’50s.

But while the statement necklace may be having a glory moment and a half, let’s not forget those retro-inspired earrings that have also come to channel a mix of vintage and modern. You don’t have to be wearing an evening gown to make these work; go for costume jewels and you can wear them any time of day.

Above, clockwise from left: Kenneth Jay Lane Swarovski crystal earrings at; Dolce & Gabbana crystal pendant clip on earrings at; Bounkit gold-plated quartz & amethyst clip earrings at; Mawi teardrop crystal earrings at; Erikson Beamon gunmetal-plated Swarovski crystal clip earrings at; Shourouk Swarovski and glass earrings at

Retro statement earrings: the trend

Big or small, clip on earrings or pierced, emerald green, sapphire blue or ruby red. This look is all about whatever style and colour catches your fancy (or matches your dress) so there’s no requirement to be historically accurate. You might opt for genuine vintage pieces for something truly unique; or simply to pick up a few pairs on the high street. The beauty of statement earrings is that, right now, you don’t require them to be made from precious stones.

crystal earrings elegant
Elegant emerald drop earrings at Paris fashion week.

How to wear them

There’s no real right or wrong for costume jewel earrings, but if your goal is to make a statement then bigger and brighter is obviously better.

  • They can be kept as the key piece of statement jewellery, or worn with clashes of other bold crystals around the neck and wrists.
  • Pair them with something vintage-inspired and soft, like the feather dress pictured above, for an elegant look.
  • Or, contrast the opulence of glittering crystals with something completely casual and downplayed – like a sporty outfit, jeans and t-shirt or baseball cap.
  • Experiment with different hairstyles. A bouffant 60s ponytail works wonders while a feminine/masculine contrast can be created by opting for a boyish hairstyle.

crystal earrings casual
Statement earrings contrasted with a baseball cap, on the street in Paris.


Share some style:

Want to keep up with fashion?

Once a week, we send out an update with the latest fashion trends, styles and collections.
Get yours direct in your inbox and keep ahead of fashion.

Our newsletter is spam free and your email address will never be shared or sold.