80s Jewelry: Everything You Need to Know About 80s Fashion

What Was 80's Jewelry?

80’s jewelry was characterized by large and dramatic pieces. 

The bigger the hair, the better.

Not just the hair, clothing were just as big. Just look at the shoulder pads!

Bigger + Bolder = Better

Bigger and bolder is better! 

The jewelry of this time were neon-coloured and colourful. 

Eye-catching designs that would grab your attention immediately were the essence of 80s jewelry! 

Personal Expression

Jewelry has always been a form of expressionism, and still is today too. 

In the 80s, besides being a form of expression, jewelry was also used to make a statement.

Large fine jewelry were worn by the rich and famous. 

But a large, thick, chunky pure 24K gold chain necklace is not affordable for most. 

Most people resorted to wearing large costume jewelry instead.


A popular jewelry trends of this time included earrings that featured loud geometric prints like stars and triangles. 

Huge earrings, large beaded necklaces and big bracelets were all jewelry you would see on a girl from this generation!

Jewelry Types

1. 80's Earrings

i. Oversized Earrings

Oversized earrings were a staple jewelry piece for a woman of the 80s.

Oversized earrings were too heavy for the ear, so clip-ons earrings were popular alternatives.

ii. Neon-Colors

Neon colours were extremely popular. Loud and bright colours were all the rage during this era. 

2. 80’s Rings

Costume cocktail rings feature a much larger than normal centrepiece which is designed to attract attention with its large size and bright colours.

Women of the 80s would definitely have a few piece of these staples in their jewelry box.

3. 80’s Large Costume Jewelry

Large costume jewelry was the epitome of 80s jewelry. Large, bold statement pieces in bold, neon and vibrant colours were seen everywhere. 

4. 80’s Necklaces

Large pendants, faux pearls, and beads were common motifs in the necklaces of the 80s.

In this era, you would see women with ropes and ropes of faux pearls in a variety of colours.

It’s not uncommon to see necklaces layered in multiple strands too. 

5. 80’s Bracelets

Jelly bracelets in neon-yellow, pink, green, and any other assortment of bright colours would be seen layered on a single wrist. 

Cuffs and bangles were commonly worn too for people that didn’t prefer layering on multiple bangles. 

6. 80’s Brooches

Large bold brooches were worn pinned to clothes or to keep fabric pieces together. 

Like all other jewelry of the 80s, brooches were dramatic.

7. 80’s Bangles

In terms of bangles of the 80s, you would usually opt for a single oversized bangle or a bunch of thin ones. 

8. 80’s Faux Pearls

Pearls have always been a commonly-used and well-loved motif in jewelry, in the past and in present day.

In the 80s, faux pearl embellishments were seen often on necklaces. Ropes and ropes of faux pearls in varying lengths were layered around the neck.

Fashion Icons of the 80s

1. Madonna

Madonna was a fashion icon of the 80s. Madonna’s punk rock style was an inspiration for many young women of the generation. 

She was often seen sporting leather bracelets with studs and chains.

2. Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper was known for her bold accessories, makeup and bright red hair. This 80s fashion icon and her colourful statement jewelry really comes to show that girls just want to have fun. 

3. Princess Diana

Princess Diana was often photographed in tabloids. She was considered a fashion icon of the time. She often wore pearls and gemstones, although still large, they were considered small and minimal at the time.

Different Types of Jewelry of the 80s

1. 80's Gold Jewelry

Large chunky gold jewelry is what an 80s girl will for sure remember.   

Nothing shines as brightly as metals. 

Gold, shiny and eye-catching, made for perfect bold and dramatic jewelry.

2. 80's Formal Jewelry 

Wearing a bright aqua-blue poofy dress? Choose earrings that feature a gemstone in the same shade. 

This was an era of large jewelry in bright and matching colours! 

3. 80's Plastic Jewelry 

For teens, bright and colourful plastic jelly bracelets were the “it” thing. You would layer multiple ones on each hand. 

Another reason for the prevalence of plastic jewelry was because the jewelry pieces were so large and heavy.  

Plastic was a much lighter (and inexpensive) alternative to precious metals. 

4. 80’s Neon Jewelry

Neon colours were everywhere in the 80s. They were bright, colourful and captivating. Whether it was in makeup, jewelry, or clothing, you wouldn’t be seen without at least something neon on!

Bright neon colours were fun and full of life - an important characteristic of the 80s. 

80s Jewelry Trends That Are Back in Fashion

1. Scrunchies

Scrunchies are making a comeback as seen in the New York fashion week of recent years.

Models were seen with hair in loose ponytails with colourful and ruffled scrunchies.  

In 2020, scrunchies can be seen everywhere - holding hair up in a loose ponytail or worn on the wrists.

Scrunchies were invented in the 60s and gained popularity in the 80s and early 90s.

The colourful and large ruffled design of scrunchies fit perfectly in the large, bright and dramatic apparel of this time period. 

In 2000, scrunchies were seen as a thing of the past when clothing, including hair ties, shifted to being tight and small. Remember black nylon hair ties and choker necklaces? 

It seems we have reached the 20 years that mark an end of a fashion generation, and certain trends of the past starts to look fresh and new again.  

Check out our affordable everyday jewelry including our silk scrunchies that come in a wide variety of subtle colours! 

2. Gold Pendants

While large costume gold pendants haven’t made their way back to the fashion scene of 2020, fine 24K gold pendants (in more subtle and smaller designs) have remained timeless. 

Each sterling silver pendant is coated in either 24K gold, 18K rose gold, or rhodium for three different beautiful looks.

3. Statement Earrings

Gone are the days of large costume jewelry, but in 2020, we still like statement jewelry. 

But instead of layering on many large statement pieces, you’d want to pick a statement piece as a focus of your jewelry and layer on other simple pieces to highlight the piece. 

For example, if you choose a pair of gold statement earrings, you might want to pair it with a simple pendant necklace or a simple thin bracelet. 

Check out our statement gold-plated earrings that make great everyday jewelry.


Related Posts

The Art of Layering Jewelry: Tips and Tricks for a Perfect Look
The Art of Layering Jewelry: Tips and Tricks for a Perfect Look
Layering jewelry has become a popular trend in recent years. It allows you to mix and match different pieces to create a
Read More
The Benefits of Personalized Jewelry: Why It Makes a Thoughtful Gift
The Benefits of Personalized Jewelry: Why It Makes a Thoughtful Gift
Jewelry has always been a popular gift choice for many occasions, whether it's for a birthday, anniversary, graduation,
Read More
Gemstone Care 101: Essential Tips for Preserving Your Precious Jewelry
Gemstone Care 101: Essential Tips for Preserving Your Precious Jewelry
Gemstone jewelry is a popular accessory for many people, but to keep it looking beautiful for years to come, it is impor
Read More