Tag Archives: vintage

Engagement Rings Through The Years

With engagement season upon us, it’s time to take a stroll down memory lane and dig in to the origins of the engagement ring and trends throughout the years.

It has been documented that engagement rings date back to ancient Egyptians as they have been found buried with metal wire around the third finger of their left hands, the same finger we wear wedding bands on in present day.  The diamond engagement ring dates back to the Middle Ages when Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave Mary of Burgundy a gold ring with the letter M spelled out in small diamonds, though it is believed that an advertising campaign for jewelry De Beers from the 1940s is what really thrust diamond engagement rings into popularity with the slogan, “A diamond is forever,” a phrase that is well-known and still used to this day.

Now more than ever, we are seeing less traditional diamond rings and more gem stones taking front and center. Let’s take a look at how we got here.

1930s

Unlike what we think is a traditional engagement ring, 1930s rings boasted an art deco feel with not just diamonds but gemstones.

1940s

This decade saw the rise in big and bold rings, with intricate details that included ribbons, bows, and flowers.

1950s

Stacked engagement and wedding rings were all the rage this decade, which is likely due Audrey Hepburn’s trend-setting ring.  This trend is something we are still seeing today!

1960s

Celebrities set off the “bigger is better” trend, with record breaking carat sizes. Just check out Elizabeth Taylor’s 33-carat engagement ring from Richard Burton:

elizabeth taylor engagement ring from richard burton

1970s

The new popular cut was the princess cut – something I view as traditional, though at the time was viewed as a cut that strayed away from engagement rings past.

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1980s

Two words: Princess Diana. Her iconic sapphire had girls ogling knock-offs!

princess diana ring

1990s – Present

We have been seeing a mix of decades past most recently, but it’s important to mention the rise of the halo ring these past few years.

Personally, I think you can never go wrong with a classic solitaire. What’s your favorite?

Something Borrowed, Something New

Growing up I was never that girl who dreamt of her wedding day. The only thing I ever thought about for my wedding day was that the groom was going to be Backstreet Boy, Nick Carter. All of that changed on April 29th, 2010, when my now husband proposed to me at the very top of the Eiffel Tower.

I was a woman obsessed. I became that girl on Facebook I hate, over sharing my planning, giving updates as to what I checked off my to-do list, and the ever-dreaded countdown. Even after the wedding, I couldn’t tear myself away from TLC’s Brideday. To this day, Say Yes to the Dress is a show I do not miss, and one of my more recent faves is the show Something Borrowed, Something New.

The show concept is basically self-explanatory. A bride and her mom come in to see stylist Sam Saboura and fashion designer Kelly Nishimoto, and explain how mom wants daughter to wear her (dated) wedding gown, daughter thinks it’s ugly, bantering ensues. Sam takes the bride on on a shopping trip for a new gown, while Kelly works to redesign mom’s dress into a modern masterpiece. When the bride gets back to the studio after picking her “something new,” she’s brought into the dressing room to try on the updated “something borrowed,” and make the tough decision as to which dress she will wear down the aisle.

It’s actually amazing to see Kelly literally transform these hopeless gowns into aisle-worthy masterpieces. With the trendiness of vintage dresses and the sentiment behind them, I would think more brides would opt for the something borrowed more often. As a former bride, I wanted nothing more than to be unique on my wedding day (I lucked out and got a one-of-a-kind Alita Graham gown), and what’s more unique than a one-of-a-kind vintage gown? Though a new dress you pick out may look unique, that gown is being mass-produced and worn by brides all over the world, and there’s nothing unique about that.

I actually get excited when the bride chooses her mom’s gown. I get so emotionally involved in the overall process that I want to hug the bride for her decision, and high-five Kelly for a job well done!

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This young bride chose her mom’s rejiggered gown.

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Brooch, Smooch

I adore a good brooch.

This concept of a brooch is a bit new for me. It began a few years ago, when my aunt gave me one of my grandmother’s opal brooches. She knows that I love opals because they are my birthstone and figured I would get the most use out of it than anyone else in the family.

I was kind of puzzled. I was super excited to get it, but I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. Being in my mid-twenties at the time, and at a job where jeans were the norm, I didn’t think I would ever really have the chance wear it.

When blazers started making a comeback, and when I was brave enough to buy one that didn’t make me feel old or butch, it dawned on me that I could pin it on the lapel.

Since then, there has been no turning back. I’ve been wearing that opal brooch on every lapel that ever touched me. I never felt the need to get a new one, since the one I have has such sentimental value to it. But, a few months ago, November 8th to be exact, I did find a beautiful Eiffel Tower brooch on Etsy. The Eiffel Tower is another thing that holds a special place in my heart as it is where my husband proposed to me. I didn’t think twice, I bought it.

Although I love it, I couldn’t bring myself to wear it right away. I couldn’t imagine replacing grandma’s pin. This past week was the first time I wore it. It was a nice change, and it added a pop of color to my gray and black ensemble, which made it easier to wear. I’m looking forward to adding it into my rotation.

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*Grandma’s opal brooch

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*My new brooch, Romantic Bird / Eiffel Tower / Rose Brooch from minnadiy on Etsy

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New Bag In Rotation

I’m not really a bag gal. I have a few bags that I keep in rotation through out the year to change each season. My fall bag I stretched a bit longer than usual to just now. I love it. It’s vintage. It’s Coach. It was free!

My mom kept her old Coach bags from the early 90s and a year or so ago I remembered this and asked if I can have the brown one (luckily that was the one she still had. I’ve been asking for the black one recently and we can’t find it). She was thrilled and honored that I wanted it. I was thrilled that she was willing to part with it!

I get so many compliments on it that this year I didn’t want to give it up to my designated winter bag.

See you in the Spring, my love.

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