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Anyone who enjoys shopping would probably love to be able to open a walk-in wardrobe like Carrie Bradshaw's to see a glittering display of gold, diamond and platinum jewellery alongside their Manolos each morning. Sadly, without a column in a New York newspaper - or a Mr Big - to pay for it, this is likely to remain a pipedream for most of them.

However, that's not to say that you can't still offer your customers a high-end look using accessories, even if your research shows their budget isn't quite A-list yet. How? Enter costume jewellery.

What is costume jewellery?

Traditional or fine jewellery typically uses materials including gold, silver and precious stones. On the other hand, costume jewellery is manufactured from more commonplace materials like wood, glass and acrylic.

Indeed, many brands have made their name designing fashion jewellery like this, including Yves Saint Laurent and Coco Chanel.

The lack of expensive materials means the price of costume jewellery is likely to be much more affordable than the price point for fine jewellery, yet the finished result can be equally as eye-catching and chic.

Costume jewellery first shot to prominence in the 1920s and 1930s, when even Hollywood stars began to venture out in replica necklaces and bracelets rather than wearing the real thing to premieres where they might be lost or stolen.

The trend caught on and mass production meant the growing middle class could own a little bit of luxury to accompany them in their everyday lives.

Isn't costume jewellery just junk?

It's a common misconception that costume jewellery is junk that will turn your wrists green and your ears black. Actually, even affordable accessories can be made from high-quality materials.

After all, Elizabeth Taylor had an extensive collection, big brand Kenneth Jay Lane is renowned for it in the US (and has dressed presidents' wives) and even Swarovski is technically costume jewellery - and you don't see millions of people turning their noses up at any of them.

Sometimes, costume jewellery can even become collectible and sought-after in its own right, making it a must-have for any wardrobe.

It's best to think of costume jewellery as affordable luxury that offers customers a fresh look at a price point to suit them.

Benefits of wearing costume jewellery

As with those early days of wearing costume jewellery, one of the key reasons people love it is because they can wear it wherever they like without fear of loss or damage. Sure, it might still be a little bit upsetting if you lose a necklace you really like - but it wouldn't be the same as losing the diamond bracelet Granny bought you for your 21st birthday.

Costume jewellery is easy to replace and not a huge investment.

Another plus point is being able to display your personality through accessories. Fine jewellery tends to be staid and refined, but costume jewellery can be bold and adventurous. This makes it perfect for really finishing off an outfit and even livening up a boring suit in the boardroom.

Finally, costume jewellery is part of a growing penchant for fast fashion that's evolving all the time. Customers might see something on Instagram they want to copy before it goes out of style, and having access to affordable accessories allows them to do that.

They might not want to buy real gold necklaces every time they have somewhere to go or spot someone they'd like to emulate, but it's perfectly possible to buy cheap fashion accessories to fill that need.

How retailers can benefit from costume jewellery

Having a range of costume jewellery in stock in your store can be a real boon to retailers. Cheap accessories can help you to capitalise on the market for occasional treats as a part of people's disposable income, rather than as a 'once in a blue moon' event.

Have you heard the 'Treat Yo'Self' hashtag being tossed around on social media? Young people are increasingly buying things - especially inexpensive jewellery - for themselves and if you have products in stock that they like, then you should benefit from extra sales.

In addition, buying in cheap jewellery means you can rotate your stock and always have something ready to go for special occasions like Christmas, New Year's Eve, summer holidays and even Halloween, ensuring you're current and on customers' radars.

Costume jewellery and online retail

Buying wholesale costume jewellery once meant having to trawl through new suppliers at trade shows. However, the internet means this model has shifted and you can now browse wholesale jewellery retailers online.

Here at Majique, we can offer a great range of fashion jewellery available to buy wholesale, whether you want affordable earrings, on-trend necklaces or even budget bridal accessories.

Check out our designs here.

Feel free to contact us to discuss your individual requirements

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