How to wear rhinestone costume jewelry

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rhinestone head
Rhinestones go with anything!
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Have some fun with your style!

From bold and dramatic to understated and subtle, shine never goes out of style. Rhinestone pieces are the perfect alternative to precious and semi-precious jewelry, especially if youíre on a budget. They can be worn day or night, casually or for an ultra-glamorous look. Read on to learn more about rhinestones and how to wear this great costume jewelry.

What is a rhinestone?

The first stones called rhinestone were beautiful quartz pebbles found on the banks of the Rhine River in Europe. Today, the term is defined as a man-made imitation of a cut and polished gemstone. Rhinestones are crustal, glass or acrylic beads that reflect light and are made in every color imaginable. Vintage rhinestones are made of leaded glass, sometimes with a foil backing, sometimes without. Rhinestone jewelry is often worn in a multitude of ways, often far beyond the original intent of the designer. 

How to wear this jewelry

Sparkly jewelry makes people smile and can take an everyday outfit from ho-hum to outstanding. How many or how few rhinestones to wear depends on the person and their fashion style.


For a simple, understated look, choose a basic pendant with a rhinestone accent. Wear it by itself or with a complimentary pair of earrings. To bump up the wow factor, layer a few necklaces in a variety of styles to create a statement piece. This is perfect with a plain dress or blouse, so it doesnít compete with the jewelry. If you have a favorite necklace and want to add some shine to it, use costume earrings or pins. Create a whole new look for a necklace or choker by attaching a pin one or an earring or two. Pretty drop earrings become a unique pendant when attached to a choker.


Many women feel that if once bracelet is good, two or more are better. Take your funky vintage pieces and wear a few at a time. If you have a few narrow bangles, use a rhinestone pin to hold them together and make them look like a single piece. The same is true for stretchy bracelets Ė a pin can make a single strand look amazing or hold a few of them together. Sometimes clip-on earrings can be used the same way. Necklaces and chokers can also be worn as bracelets, just wind them around the wrist a few times. 


Rhinestone earrings are a great way to add some fun to your outfit without being too splashy. A simple drop earring looks good with a basic black dress or a t-shirt and jeans. To amp up the bling, combine a sparkly clip-on next to the drop earring. Vintage clip-on earrings can be worn in plenty of ways. Attach one or two to a length of ribbon and wear them as a choker or headband. Place them on the toe area of plain shoes for instant glamour. Or you can wear them in your hair as an accent to a sweet up-do. Wherever you can clip on a vintage earring, itís usually a great spot for some sparkle.


Pins are similar to clip-on earrings. Attach them to virtually any piece of clothing as a fun accessory. Sure, you can go traditional and wear them on a coat lapel or on a scarf. Pins attached to the collar of a blouse near the top button can give a new look to an old standby top. Use a pin on a piece of ribbon or slender scarf to accent a handbag. A pin also rejuvenates an old hat when attached to the band. Wear a favorite pin in your hair as a cover up for a ponytail holder. 

Letís face it, when it comes to wearing rhinestone costume jewelry, the options are endless. Scour vintage shops and estate sales to find vintage pieces that compliment modern ones to give you more accessory choices. Live a little, have some fun and wear jewelry.

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