8 Tips for Emulating Runway Looks with Fashionable Costume Jewelry

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Twice a year, fashion weeks give a tantalizing glimpse into what stylish trends are on the horizon. From Paris to Milan, models strut catwalks debuting new collections from powerhouse designers like Chanel, Gucci, and Prada. Their bold ensembles feature showstopping accessories and costume jewelry that spark our imagination.

Of course, their runway looks seem unattainable on a normal budget. But it’s possible to emulate their essence with the right mix of fashionable costume jewelry. You can recreate that Fashion Week ambiance for a night out without spending thousands.

At first, it may seem intimidating to try to copy those catwalk concoctions. But with clever styling and standout costume pieces, you’ll feel ready to storm the runways in no time.

Here are 8 tips for emulating high fashion runway looks with budget-friendly costume jewelry:

1. Make a Statement with Vibrant, Sculptural Earrings

During Fashion Week, over-the-top earrings are the norm. Designers use their jewelry as an avant-garde art installation to frame the face. Models walk the catwalk in sculptural, asymmetrical earrings spiked with vibrant gems in every color. The contrast of shape and color is striking.

At your local costume jewelry store, keep an eye out for earrings that make these types of artistic statements. Look for bright jewel tones, interesting textures, and asymmetric shapes. Actually, for fashionable statement earrings, the bolder, the better! Mismatched earrings are also runway-worthy for making an eclectic statement.

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Chunky gemstone drops in sapphire and emerald hues are easy to find. Or go for wooden shapes embellished with metallic beads and faux diamonds. The goal is to catch the eye and hold the focus.

2. Create a Glimmering Statement Necklace Collection

You can never wear too many necklaces on the runway. Models often layer chokers, delicate chains, and bold pendants for an opulent style. This creates dimension and interest around the face.

costume jewelry

When sourcing costume jewelry for this look, gather an assortment of chains in varying lengths. Combine metal colors like silver and gold for contrast. Then find eye-catching focal point pendants that emulate luxury brands on a budget. Cluster them on longer chains near your décolletage, or try a few delicate chokers layered together.

Shop for sculptural pendants with vibrant stones or initials, religious symbols, or unique materials like wood or seashells. Follow the designers’ lead and let your imagination run wild when combining eclectic pieces for an FW-worthy look.

3. Cuff Your Wrist with an Armful of Bangles

One signature Fashion Week stylistic choice is an arm stacked with eye-catching bangles and bracelets. This street-style accessory piles on glitz and color to balance out runway gowns.

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When curating your designer-inspired arm party, scan for cuffs with unique details. Look for hammered metals, engraved symbols, fabric accents, or glass beads for texture. Try mixing materials like carved wood with gold for contrast.

Next, stock up on jangling bangles in every finish, along with chunky chains. These will add sound and motion when layered together. Feel free to color coordinate or opt for a fun color mixture. Arrange them to travel from wrist to forearm for maximum impact.

4. Scout Vintage-Inspired Brooches for Your Outerwear

Vintage glamour made a comeback on recent runways with models wearing jeweled brooches and pins. Designers took inspiration from past eras, embellishing jackets and dresses with Deco geometrics, Victorian florals and pearls, Rococo-style patterns, and more.

When sourcing accessories to recreate this timeless opulent look, scout your local vintage and antique shops. Here you may uncover authentic pieces that inspired today’s designers. Look for crystal-encrusted pins, jeweled insects, embroidered florals, and golden filigree shapes.

For easier sourcing, many costume jewelry brands also emulate vintage styles at affordable prices. Look for striking pins to scatter over blazers, coats, sweaters, and hats this FW season. Let these eye-catching brooches transform your outerwear into a work of bejeweled art.

5. Adorn Your Fingers with Cocktail Rings

You've found the one, now I find the dress.

Cocktail rings lit up the catwalk, adorned on models’ fingers in eye-catching stacks. The oversized, ornate costume rings featured everything from towering gemstones to Art Deco detailing. They added luxe punctuation at the end of the models’ hands.

Emulate this bold trend with your costume jewelry finds. Look for antique-inspired etchings, multilayered bands, and oversized gemstones in gorgeous colors. Feel free to mix metals, shapes, and eras for an eclectic spin.

Powerful single rings also made a statement on the runway. Opt for sculptural bands with dimensions in silver or gold. And don’t be afraid to wear these substantial rings on multiple fingers at once for extra dazzle.

6. Wrap Your Neck in Ladylike Pearls or Edgy Chokers

Contrasting necklaces provided two go-to FW accessories this fashion month. Designers embraced classics like strands of ladylike pearls. The pure white beads added a softness to modern styles.

Alternatively, black choker necklaces provided an edgy Fashion Week choice. Models wore slim velvet and lace chokers for ’90s minimalism. Extra wide tattoo-style chokers also added bold elegance.

costume jewelry on fashion week ramp

For romantic runway inspiration, try on delicate pearl necklaces. Go for dramatic with black lace wrapped multiple times around the neck. Or find an engraved pendant necklace on a black ribbon for quiet allure. Costume jewelry offers so many choices for channeling this neckwear trend.

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7. Accessorize Your Hair with Ornate Pins and Combs

An unexpected Fashion Week hair accessory trend emerged this season. Designers embellished models’ updos and braids with decorative combs, cuffs, chains, and pins. These ornamental touches framed faces with sparkling elegance.

Use this trend as an excuse to shop for glamorous hair jewelry. Look for pieces like crystal-encrusted bobby pins, metallic hair bands, or vintage-style pins. Feel free to accessorize a casual low bun or embellish an elegant updo.

This is an easy way to emulate Fashion Week flair. Let these eye-catching hair accents serve as the jewelry focus while keeping the rest of your look minimal.

8. Define Your Silhouette with a Jewelry Belt

Cinched waists were everywhere on the catwalk this season. Models wore corset-style belts over dresses and billowing blouses for instant style. The defined silhouettes gave movement to voluminous looks.

Find your own dazzling costume jewelry belt to emulate this runway trend. Go for a bold metal waist-cincher embellished with rhinestones or faux gems. Or choose a delicate chain belt layered over a chunkier stoned version.

Place your belt at the waist, hips, or even rib cage to accentuate your shape. Use it to add flair to simple dresses, cinch coats, or bring a pop of shine to any outfit. There are endless ways to use a jeweled belt to highlight your figure with runway authority.

As you can see, runway jewelry translates beautifully to costume pieces with the right stylistic tricks. Follow these tips when sourcing your gems and accessories for creating catwalk-worthy looks. Then set your sights on emulating Fashion Week one glimmering piece at a time.

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