Fashion accessories are so great at complimenting outfits! Statement accessories can make even a flawed outfit look glamorous. Some fashion accessories are timeless, some are trendy and go out of fashion, while some go in and out of fashion. Pearl earrings and leather belts are timeless, and of course there are other accessories such as necklaces, watches, neckties, bracelets, rings, bags, purses, headwear, and anklets.
If you have looked at your mother’s, grandmother’s, and great grandmother’s, you may have observed they wore necklaces. Necklaces are thought to be as old as humans can remember. The oldest necklaces were made from shells, bones, teeth, feathers, wood, seeds, stones, coral beads, and other possible natural materials found in the natural space. Then, the development of metal crafting led to shaping of necklaces from metals – bronze, copper, silver, and gold. Then gold chain with gemstones emerged, and it showed social status and level of wealth during the Middle Ages.
Necklaces made from materials such as gold, silver, pearls, and diamonds gained traction over time, and are still the ‘go to’ today. These materials are right for professional, business, and bridal dress. Necklace/chain is used to make a fashion statement.
And wood necklaces are making a comeback!
Similar to the necklace, bracelets/bangles evolved from the use of materials such as stones, wood and shells to bronze, copper and gold.
As far back as the biblical days, bracelets were made of gold and bronze. The ancient Chinese made bracelets from wood, jade and gold. The gold bracelets were often plain while the bronze bracelets were festooned with designs. The Ancient Egyptians made bracelets with mostly strings of gold beads and hoops while some were hinged. In the Ancient Greeks, Romans and Assyrian era, bracelets were carved as coiled spiral snakes or penannular armbands with enameled sphinxes and heads of lions or bulls. Iron Age had spiral forms of bracelets with animal motifs especially in Europe.
Bracelets went out of vogue in the Middle Ages but was introduced back in the 17th century.
In the 20th century, plastic was used to make bracelets and it became a fashion choice for children and teens. A combination of materials has been employed till date as in such cases of gold-plated brass and sterling silver.
Archaeological findings suggest that the Sumerian women wore crescent-shaped gold as far back as 2,500 BC while men and women wore earrings – mushroom-shaped studs in Egypt in 1,500 BC.
It was a symbol of wealth in the first millennium BC for Greeks and Etruscans to wear gold earrings. Later, the Romans began to add gems or coloured stones in earrings. And the Byzantine’s crescent-shaped gold filigree earrings, and plain gold hoops with pearl pendants on chains set the fashion for earrings.
The stylish hairstyles and headdresses from 11th to early 16th century took earrings out of vogue. Thereafter, it made a comeback among gentlemen and courtiers during English Renaissance. With time, it became a ‘can’t do without’ for men and women. Different types and designs emerged, and earrings became a form of an expression and personal choice.
Belts were worn by both men and women since the bronze age as a sash or girdle. Later in the 19th century, until the world war, it was used as a decorative and utilitarian part of the military uniform. In the 20th century, men began to wear leather belts to prevent pants from falling. Belts are also worn as a fashionable accessory.
Fashion accessories have come to stay and everyone have their preferences and ‘can’t do without’
And you? Share in the comment section your preferences or ‘can’t do without’ accessories