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Costume Jewellery

Come out of your shell with beach-ready jewellery

We’re seeing lots of natural motifs in the world of costume jewellery lately, and none more so than the humble seashell.

Shells were huge in the early 2000s and most recently had another moment in 2017, when Prada filled its catwalks with accessories covered in them.

Now, British Vogue has again highlighted shell-adorned jewellery as a noteworthy trend for the summer, pointing out that even the high-end designers are incorporating them into necklaces, earrings and more.

“Be it a choker or longer strands of shells, the cowrie [the sort of shell that resembles a helmet with tiny teeth, FYI] necklace is a simple and affordable way to dive into vacation-ready summer style,” the fashion bible states.

We’ve talked before about how trends are cyclical, and it seems this one has been doing the rounds for far longer than anyone imagined. According to a new study from the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History at Tel Aviv University, prehistoric humans were using shells to make necklaces more than 120,000 years ago.

Researchers have found shells at a grave site in Israel featuring smears of ochre, suggesting they were threaded together and painted red. This makes them among the oldest adornments people ever created – and proves our ancestors weren’t all that much different from us in wanting to look great!

Speaking of looking great in shell jewellery, there are lots of ways to wear these beach-found beauties. You can layer shell necklaces with other styles for a punky feel, or create instant holiday vibes with shell earrings against a white cotton sundress.

Denim shorts and a casual T-shirt will add a surfer aesthetic, and shells against a little black dress are the ideal alternative to diamantes for summer evenings.

And if you want to wear shells but need a subtler look for work, then sophisticated shell earrings like these will be perfect. Check out our other pieces to go with them here and have fun with your jewellery this summer – whether you’re at the beach or not.