In fashion, the jewelry makes the outfit. It's no secret that the perfect earrings, necklace, bracelets or rings can make or break a runway show, but it's often easy to overlook the importance of those five extra minutes spent choosing the right jewelry (jewellery) in the morning before you leave for work.

Costume or fashion jewelry has the advantage of usually being less expensive than fine jewelry, with bold colors and shapes that turn simple attire into a fashion statement. Fashion jewelry first came into popularity in the early 20th century, using rhinestones or lucites set in inexpensive base metals like pewter, nickel or brass. While fine jewelry was (and is) often considered an investment, costume jewelry was fashion at it's finest. In the 20th century, when the middle class was coming to power in America, women longed to possess beautiful heirloom pieces of their own and handmade replicas of heirloom pieces were within their reach. Hollywood stars appeared on screen in bold, colorful necklaces, rings and earrings, creating an image that women could imitate in their daily lives. Movie stars like Vivien Leigh and Elizabeth Taylor began endorsing designers, and trendy and affordable fashion jewelry filled department stores-and its popularity has done nothing but increase since then.

To create a look that suits your personal style, you need only choose your colors wisely. Red jewelry with a yellow dress, for instance creates a bold look that attracts attention and makes a bold statement. Green jewelry with the same yellow dress is slightly more conservative, yet stylish look. Modern fashion jewelry has taken Coco Chanel's lead and high-end costume jewellery designers create bold, elegant brooches, earrings, bracelets, watches and necklaces using gold, rose gold and silver, faux pearls and fine resins to create modern jewelry with vintage style to attain 'collectible' status and increase in value over time. Costume bridal jewelry like special hair pieces, or pearl earrings and necklaces has also become a popular sub-category of costume jewelry. Italian designers like Alcozer & J. create remarkable handmade brooches and earrings using brass, semi-precious stones and faux pearls in the same vein as their predecessors in the early 20th century for an authentic vintage look with modern elegance. Others like I Bijoux di Simonetta take advantage of modern technologies and resins to create bold, brightly-colored pieces that stand out and turn everyday outfits into styles that pop, fit for the runway. High-end designers like Rosato create bold designs with diamond paves and 18K gold.

Today, nearly every fashion designer has their own line of fashion jewelry. Emporio Armani, Roberto Cavalli, Alviero Martini and many others create trendy lines of costume jewelry to be worn with their collections. Selecting the right jewelry is a fun and rewarding task. In just five well-spent minutes, you can perfect a look and define your style-and knows that it might not be just the thing you need to gain confidence and sophistication?



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