Whether you grew up in the '70s or live vicariously through your parents' stories of the era, looking back it feels like everything was so carefree — the lifestyle, the music, and certainly the fashion. In fact, many of the quirky trends born during the decade have paved the way for fashion today. And believe it or not, many of the '70s jewelry trends still hold a valuable spot in jewelry collections by designers alike.
"The whole approach in the '70s embodied effortlessness," Libby Page, Senior Fashion Market Editor at Net-A-Porter, tells TZR. "From chains and lockets to oversized hoop earrings, it was all about feel good jewelry." Today, shoppers are returning to a more playful, individualized sensibility when it comes to adding to their own collections, trying out colorful stones, chunky chains, and even crystals with mystic qualities protecting health and mental clarity.
Thea Miller, founder of DRU Jewelry, a label that builds on the trends of the '70s to create colorful, symbolic jewelry with an updated aesthetic, adds that women today are drawn to the era because it was a similar cultural moment. "Art and fashion are a reflection of society," she says. "Of course, we look to the '70s for inspiration. That decade represents freedom and revolution and that’s where we are now as a society."
As of late, many noteworthy '70s jewelry trends made an appearance during Spring/Summer 2021 fashion month. For instance, Jason Wu showed colorful beads and gold chains from Instagram-favorite jewelry label Eliou, while glistening crystals were included in the collections of brands like Miu Miu and Givenchy.
Ahead, find eight jewelry trends that originated in the '70s that are still relevant today.
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The '70s Jewelry Trend: Hoops
"In terms of hoops, not only are they a symbol of the '70s, women love them because there is a hoop to match every woman's style, so women don't have to choose just one way to be defined," Miller says. For an especially modern twist, try a thick huggie style.
The '70s Jewelry Trend: Chokers
All hail the chunky choker necklace. While you might associate it with the '90s jewelry trends, the choker was among the beloved necklaces back in the '70s. During the decade, the necklace was shown in chunky styles that hung off the neck, as well as skinnier iterations like suede string tied in a bow.
The '70s Jewelry Trend: Large Scultupural Studs
The larger-than-life, scultupural studs (and clip ons) that were all the craze in the '70s are offered up in fresh interpretations today. Try out funky shapes with Ippolita's glitzy pinball earrings or Mounser's eye-catching enamel earrings. If you're looking to add just a smidge of color to your look, Nina Ricci's blown glass earrings will do the trick.
The '70s Jewelry Trend: Natural Materials
"People are moving towards authenticity and rawness," Miller notes of the return of rougher cuts and natural stones. "Lapis, malachite, and turquoise all have these attributes." The jewelry designer uses these stones because she loves that each one is different, with changing color, texture, and feeling. "In addition, I think these stones are grounding, and we are all desperately looking for the feeling right now," she says.
The '70s Jewelry Trend: Gold Chains
As Page notes, gold chains from the '70s have been modernized thanks to cool labels like Jennifer Fisher and Loren Stewart. Try out the sleek Micro Link Chain from Jennifer Fisher, or go for something chunky with the Gold-Tone Chain Necklace by Chloé.
The '70s Jewelry Trend: Beads
Beads are the perfect way to incorporate color into your jewelry collection. Give a '70-inspired multi-color necklace a whirl with Maison Monik's Necklace Chicles or Brinker & Eliza's Fleur Bracelet. On the other hand, if you like your jewelry more minimal, opt for Walters Faith's Saxon Rose Quartz Bead Necklace.
The '70s Jewelry Trend: Crystals
Crystals instantly add a bit of nighttime elegance to your look. According to Page, they're prime example of a noteworthy jewelry trend that's come full circle. Start slowly with a subtle crystal earring before making your way to an over-the-top sparkly necklace.
The '70s Jewelry Trend: Bangles
Attention minimalist out there: If you aren't wearing '70s-inspired bangles, you'll probably want to start. Sure, they can be a tad noisy if you go for a full arm party, but if you pile on simple gold bangles with a sleek watch, the result is ever so chic.