May 30, 2011

A Vixen's Charm School Guide to Wearing Vintage Jewelry

Upon consulting our Charm School textbook (first published in 1962), we Vixens found a number of indispensable tips - and a few archaic ones - about how to wear vintage jewelry. According to the charm school headmistress:

  • Pearls are ideal for both day and night, and are quintessentially classic.
  • Bracelets that don't jangle are both understated and proper.
  • Earrings with a matching necklace "speaks of good taste".
  • Gold or silver bracelets can be worn in great quantity "if they fit you and the costume".
  • Rhinestones may only be worn after noon, if paired with a dressy outfit.
  • If purchasing an entire parure of rhinestones, wear only one or two at a time.
When selecting a necklace, keep in mind the length of your neck. The charm school says "A high choker, for example, is not for the woman with a short neck, for it tends to make the neck appear even shorter. A brooch or clips are more flattering ornaments in this case. But, if a necklace is really wanted, it should be long enough to fall well below the base of the throat".

And when shopping for earrings, "the woman with a large, round face should wear massive, bulky ear clips for better proportion. Little ones will look lost". For a long, narrow face, choose "ear clips triangular in sharp - with the base at the lowest part of the lobe and the point at the top" to create a "more becoming" oval appearance.

And for prettier hands, choose according to their shape as well:
  • Long and slim hands require a flexible mesh bracelet or several slender circlets. Rings should have stones with wide settings, as wide as the finger, and dark fingernail polish.
  • Large hands use wide rings best, or rings with high dome-shaped settings. "Wear a massive bracelet with high ornament, pushed up on arm" and dark or medium polish with clear moons & tips.
  • The slim little hand needs narrow bracelets and rings with gems set as rosettes.
  • And the broader hand can use substantial bracelets pushed up the arm to balance the proportion, with rings in elongated settings and light polish.


Resources:
Author Unknown (1969).
State College of Beauty Culture Guide to Beauty - Charm - Poise. New York: Milady Publishing Corp.

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