Finding the Right Costume jewelry
Jewelry trends have changed dramatically over time. Each ethnic group, geographical area and social class can lay claim to a certain stone, chain or cord style or piercing. Wearing the right jewelry with your costume can be the difference between hearing someone say “Wow, cool costume” and “Oh my gosh, you sort of look like…”
Gothic Jewelry – On the dark side
Costumes like Dracula, anything Gothic, and witches are best suited for silver and black leather. Long necklaces with religious crosses are symbolic of Gothic styles. Witches and vampires prefer a pentacle. Multi-charmed necklaces with celestial symbols are also great additions to a witch’s costume, as are excessive bracelets. A small potion bottle or leather sack worn as an amulet give the impression that a witch is ready for casting a spell at a moment’s notice.
Blackening the silver makes the jewelry look more authentic, old and tarnished. Rather than waiting hundreds of years, you can blacken any silver jewelry by dipping it in bleach and allowing it to air-dry for a few hours, Afterward, gently wipe off the raised parts and allow the blackness to settle deep in the cracks. It will continue to blacken unless you wash or buff off the oxidation.
Plastic costume jewelry can be blackened with a permanent marker. Just color deep inside the cracks, wipe the excess gently with a cloth and spritz with hair spray to seal. If you expect it to get wet, seal it with clear nail polish instead.
Jewelry with a leather cord or base is versatile. Halloween costume jewelry often uses vinyl instead of real leather. Black leather can be part of a vampire, witch, gothic, motorcycle biker or other tough-guy costume. Brown leather in jewelry is popular with hippy costumes, cowboys and Indians.
Gold For the Ancients
If you’re dressing as a Greek God or Goddess, Cleopatra or a Pharaoh then gold is the metal of choice for authenticity. Blackening it as described above for silver will make it look older. You can restore it later on, with jewelry polish. Greek, Roman and Egyptian characters are often depicted with large golden belts, bracelets of varying widths, headbands and anklets.
Hippy costumes have beaded love beads, very long chains of colorful glass “seed beads.” Native American Indian costumes, like Pocahontas will have complicated beadwork including turquoise and tortoise shell.
If you’re dressing as a gypsy or fortune teller, you’ll be wearing a variety of mystical symbols and amulets on several different types of cord and chain, in both silver and gold. Several bracelets of varying width and anklets that jingle while you walk also add that special touch to your costume.
Specialty Halloween Jewelry
Costume vendors sell specialty jewelry that you might not wear during the rest of the year, like spider web necklaces that are just perfect for a ghoulish costume. You can also find magnetic piercings to simulate a nose ring, extra earring holes or even a navel piercing for your Genie or Belly Dancer costume.
Though they aren’t generally thought of as jewelry, decorative glasses might be an important part of your Halloween costume. You can’t be Harry Potter without the signature glasses. Horn-rimmed glasses are a great addition to any 1950’s costume, whether you’re a Pink Lady from Greece or wearing a poodle skirt to the sock hop. Old Wizard costumes look great with a teeny pair of spectacles perched at the tip of your nose.
As you’re planning your costume, pay attention to your collection of rings, bracelets, anklets and glasses. If your costume calls for a tiara, shop around before the big day. Gathering every bit of your costume is half the fun of dressing up. Make sure all the pieces are in order so that you can look your best.
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