In general, Indian clothes are very heavy and formal. That is precisely why they traditionally require minimal accessorizing. This was generally the case unless women planned to go to grand occasions like weddings or other formal occasions that required dressing up. However, the fact remains that jewelry and accessories are deeply rooted in India’s costume heritage. This was specially the case with the royalty and nobility of India, whether male or female. Over the centuries, the grandeur and authenticity of those jewelry types has been replaced by costume jewelry necklaces, earrings, bangles and more. However, the affinity for jewelry remains as strong as ever. The idea of fashion jewelry came about as an alternative to authentic metallic jewelry that was usually studded with precious jewels and gems because it was initially only the prerogative of the elite in the country. Cheap costume jewelry necklaces and other accessories can now be found all around India in a plethora of designs, i.e. a pleasing mix of traditional and modern. The framework as well as the internal embellishments is now made from artificial materials, which can be found in abundance in India. Indian women’s love for unique costume jewelry necklaces can be seen all over the country, right from urban centers that use resources like beads, oxidized metals and other affordable materials to the rural areas where women prefer necklaces made from naturally available materials like bamboo, cane, seashells, brass, copper and bone, among others. While earrings are very popular with women, costume jewelry necklaces are the real show stoppers as they are more clearly visible, especially given the wide necklines of Indian costumes such as the saree blouse, kurta or choli.
Drawing inspiration from the times of the Maharajas, Nawabs and the Mughals, Indian designers have spawned a wide range of chunky costume jewelry necklaces that women prefer pairing with their daily wear ethnic ensembles. For instance, work wear salwar kameez are preferred to be worn with chunky jewelry as it adds heaviness to a relatively plain outfit. Since workplaces also demand a lot of formal semblance, women often go for chunky necklaces with formal salwar kameez or sarees to create the ideal balance between spunk and formality, without being too obvious.
India is home to a number of religious celebrations as well as customs and traditions. These are more akin to annual events. For days like these, women favor metallic accessories to go with their moderate to heavily embellished ethnic wear outfits. Everything, right from a traditional Gujarati Ghaghra Kachli that is worn at the time of Navratras and traditional gold zari embellished chanderi silk saree to modern sarees in fabrics like crepe, jacquard, tissue and brocade can be paired with gold costume jewelry necklaces. Many women prefer taking this styling route because, although gold is an auspicious metal in the Indian culture, pure forms are highly expensive. Therefore, costume jewelry in gold that can match different colors of zari embroidery as well as embroidery intricacy is preferred more often. Besides gold, women from around the country also favor silver costume jewelry necklaces. These pieces are just as ideal for grand celebrations while also being slightly cheaper than gold costume jewelry, based on the intricacy of the design.
Pearl costume jewelry necklaces are also very much in vogue. Initially, pearls were associated with stateliness and maturity, and women were expected to wear them after marriage. However, younger, unmarried women, especially those who are working, prefer to wear this sophisticated jewelry item. It is not as expensive as the authentic variety.
Styling Tips and Tricks
One of the easiest ways to style plunging necklines in Indo-Western wear such as long tunics or ethnic kurtis is to pair them with long costume jewelry necklaces. These can also be made to match the embellishments on the kurti. For instance, if there are floral prints on the kurti or tunic, then the chain can also have a statement nature-inspired piece on it. This makes for a wholesome look, as opposed to wearing disparate elements that do not go together.
To bring variety in the wardrobe or to deviate from the normal style, one can also don unique costume jewelry necklaces. As animal motifs are currently trending in the market, one can wear a statement piece that is delicate and intricate to go with an art silk saree. It is even better if the piece is studded with semi-precious gems or differently hued elements, to bring some peppiness to the overall ensemble.
Chiffon sarees or others made in similar light materials can also be set off with complementary Meenakari costume necklaces. This style of jewelry is meant to complement the color scheme of the ensemble while also adding a slight bit of grandeur through the metallic framework, which is generally in gold.