Five Types of Vintage Jewelry We Need to Bring Back

by Madeline Raynor

Vintage-inspired looks will never go out of style. But even though vintage clothing like leggings and sparkly flapper dresses are popular now, there are so many more styles from the past that we’ve forgotten about. Lockets were very popular in the Victorian era and are still ubiquitous today, but why have we forgotten about cameos, another popular style of Victorian jewelry? Here are five kinds of vintage jewelry we need to bring back. You can find these pieces at thrift/vintage stores, flea markets, yard sales, and on Etsy. Modern retailers also make some of them new. Prices can range from super cheap to a small fortune for authentic antiques. It’s totally possible to walk away with a genuine vintage piece of jewelry for a few bucks.

1. Sweater Guards

Era: 1950s


Also called sweater clips, these were originally used to pin your cardigan together when you wear it around your shoulders so that it wouldn’t fall off. You can also clip one to both sides of your unbuttoned cardigan for decoration.

I’ve loved sweater guards ever since I saw Zooey Deschanel wearing one in the She & Him “Bank Dance” music video promoting (500) Days of Summer.

zooey deschanel

Emma Pillsbury (played by Jayma Mays) also wears these all the time on Glee.


2. Dress Clips

Era: 1920s through 1950s

 dress clips


A dress clip is a brooch with a clip mechanism that is used to adorn your dress. You can clip a pair of them to either side of a neckline, use a single one on the lowest point of a v-neck, or put them anywhere on the neckline, really. A pair of matching dress clips is sometimes called a duette. Use them to add some sparkle to a plain dress.

3. Brooches

Era: The first brooches are from the Bronze Age and they’re still manufactured today, although they were very popular in the 19th century and the 1950s.


A brooch is another word for a pin, usually worn as decoration on a sweater or dress. Brooches can also be used to hold a cloak, shawl, or scarf around your shoulders. Your scarf will never slip off again.

Joan Holloway from Mad Men (played by Christina Hendricks) is a big brooch fan.

joans teal blue dress

Michelle Obama loves them too.


4. Cameos

Era: The first cameos were made in Greece in the 3rd Century BC. Cameos were popular in ancient Rome as well as in the 19th century and the 1910s.


Victorian era

Nina Dobrev’s Vampire Diaries character Katherine Pierce (who is from the Victorian era) wears a cameo.

katherine pierce vampire diaries22

Rihanna also used a cameo brooch to adorn her beanie.


5. Hat Pins

Era: 1880s through 1910s


vixen vintage copy

A hat pin is used to keep a hat on your head. You poke it through your hat and into your hair for a secure hold, then out again. Some hat pins have a removable tip at the end to protect fingers from the point of the pin. Never worry about your hat blowing off your head again.

Header photo: The Vampire Diaires/The CW

Images Via Jennifer Hayslip, (500) Days of Summer/Fox Searchlight, Glee/Fox, sanibelsands/Etsy, TheHouseofMagpie/Etsy, Tuppence Ha’penny Vintage, Tuppence Ha’penny Vintage, TheTreasureHuntLLC/Etsy, Mad Men/AMC, Moxie Fashionista, MsBsDesigns/Etsy, The Vampire Diaires/The CW, Vintage Fashion Guide, JujubePins/Etsy, Vixen Vintage

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