A costume jewel is generally not considered fashionable and is meant to help the performer or actress get into character. These jewelry pieces are created specifically for these purposes, typically made from metal, leather, wood, or glass. On the other hand, a fashion jewelry piece is a type of accessory designed with one purpose in mind: fashion. The use of gemstones and diamonds in jewelry has only been around since the 18th century. It was used chiefly as clothing adornment during this ancient period and branched into different industries over time.
There are many different types of costume jewelry. In the 1920s and 1930s, Costume Jewelry was primarily dominated by ornate pieces, including large brooches with gemstones and pearl necklaces. These elaborate designs are not often used today because they are challenging to make and unaffordable.
Note: The main difference between costume and fashion jewelry pieces is that fashion jewelry is typically made from metal or gemstones (or a combination of both). It usually uses gold, silver, platinum, brass, or copper to construct any piece. Most fashion jewelry pieces are meant to be worn as an accessory to clothing.
While most costume jewelry items were initially intended to look like the costume jewelry pieces from centuries past and were created for this purpose, they have evolved into a means of adornment worn on the body. Most fashion jewelry pieces today do not have gemstones or pearls but use silver or gold as their primary material. This can be accentuated with beautiful gold details to add reflective qualities or a combination of both. In addition to ornamentation and decoration, fashion jewelry is also used for its functionality. Some fashion jewelry includes small charms to remind us of who we are every day and how we should live our lives. Some fashion jewelry pieces are also created to signify important events such as graduations or marriages. They are also a way of showing off one's personality, style, and fashion sense.
Costume Jewelry is meant to be worn as an accessory to a costume or outfit or in a theatrical setting. They are made from plastic, glass, and silk – materials that can easily be used in any jewelry while still looking separate from regular fashion jewelry. Costume jewelry is typically made with low-quality materials, so it appears cheap or tacky. However, the best costume jewelry pieces are made from fine materials that emphasize their high style. Another common distinction between costume and fashion jewelry is in their materials. Costume Jewelry utilizes low-quality materials such as plastic and silk, which are not only of lesser quality but also unattractive. With fashion jewelry, it is common for the metals used to be of the highest quality regarding flexibility, strength, and resilience to wear.
While the word costume generally means a specific type of clothing belonging to a role or character in a play or movie, many costumes, and period pieces have been created over time.
Note: The most common types of costumes in the past and even today are the ones that are used for historical reenactments or theatrical performances. On the other hand, costume jewelry pieces do not have to be made from costume or period pieces, as nothing prohibits someone from making a fashion jewelry piece out of anything they feel like wearing.
In addition to these main differences, there are also more minor ones between costume and fashion jewelry. Costume jewelry pieces tend to have higher prices since they are more challenging to make than fashion jewelry pieces, and most people find them not as attractive as some people do with their fashion jewelry.
Another main difference between costume and fashion jewelry is the way that they are used. Many people use their costume jewelry occasions as a pretext for showing off their fashion sense, making them wear what looks better on them. People can also adorn their clothing with costume jewelry instead of fashion accessories to make them look more expensive and show off how rich they are. However, fashion jewelry pieces are usually worn rather than clothing because it is usually more attractive or appealing to wear someone else's outfit than your own and not feel out of place doing so.
Costume jewelry is also used in criminal activities such as the drug trade because it is more difficult to trace than authentic jewelry and is more valuable than its appearance indicates. In addition, people also use costume jewelry, original jewelry, and gold pieces to make it appear that they have a lot of money when they do not. While costume and fashion jewelry are used for criminal or illegal activities, costume jewelry has been used for much longer and is easier to obtain.
In addition, the cost of the costume or fashion piece means nothing since anyone could make an expensive piece out of inexpensive materials if desired. The only way to tell if a part is costly is if you are familiar with the materials and construction. This means criminals could easily make fake jewelry to look natural or artificial, an expensive piece out of cheap or illegally acquired materials.
Variations of costume jewelry pieces consist of:
Just like fashion jewelry, costume jewelry pieces are worn by people who do not spend their entire lives looking like they do in their everyday lives. They can be worn as accessories during daily activities such as sports, work, or even on a date. This is why people wear them in public places during everyday activities such as on the beach, in clubs, at festivals, and on special occasions.
Standard methods of wearing costume jewelry include but are not limited to:
Most fashion jewelry is designed for the wearer to easily take it off without damaging or ruining it or having to spend a lot of time washing and putting back on pieces they have already worn. This is why most fashion jewelry consists of elastics, ties, elasticized pieces, and pins and closures. Some fashion jewelry may also include decorative closures, such as charm bracelets. Other ways that the closure on a fashion piece can be removed include attaching it to other parts of the clothing, taking it off and then sewing it back on, or cutting through the fabric right at where the closure is attached.
It is not uncommon for people to wear both fashion and costume jewelry simultaneously to make their outfits look more extravagant or to add more accessories. Costume jewelry, however, must be worn with a costume or period clothing used for historical reenactments, such as a Victorian wedding dress or a flapper-era dress from the 1920s. It can also be used as an accessory with fashion outfits, such as contemporary or vintage clothing of other eras.
Many fashion jewelry pieces are attached to the clothing through particular types of snaps or buttons, making it easier to put on and take off when wearing them. Other people wear more delicate jewelry pieces by attaching them to a necklace or a bracelet. They can also be worn over certain parts of the clothing, such as on the shoulders, back, or upper arm, while at the same time wearing other jewelry pieces on different parts of the body.
The number of different types of fashion jewelry pieces and their uses has dramatically expanded in recent years since many designers have started creating new jeweled costume jewelry pieces for specific periods in history. Some examples include:
Many modern trends are also inspired and influenced by historical themes. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see some of these new fashion jewelry pieces alongside other traditional ones.
Costume jewelry is also used in television and movie productions and literature. Some costume jewelry pieces are recognizable, such as in "Pretty Woman." Frequently during this period, people wore their costume jewelry pieces with costumes styled after the era and specific details. For example, an Edwardian woman would most likely wear a smaller chain clasp at the front of their corset under their bodice to give off the impression that they have an extra-small waist, or they may wear a large round brooch to make it look like they had a small waist.
In the novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde, the character Dorian Gray wears a Greek-style necklace that was supposedly made from human hair and was made for him by his friend Lord Henry Wotton. This is due to it showing imperfections in the hair, and because the Greek-style necklace has only four or six gems, and other than that, it could be any precious stone.
In conclusion, as you can see, fashion jewelry and costume jewelry are often used interchangeably, even though they are two completely different words. There is a remarkable similarity between the two types of pieces; they can be used together to make one's outfit look unique.