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The Maximalist Jewelry Trend: My 3 Favorites for Summer 2023

A collage of maximalist jewelry trend pieces for summer 2023

Last week I posted a pair of rhinestone star earrings (almost as an afterthought) to my post about minimalist summer dressing. After getting a few questions about them in my inbox, I decided to give them, or perhaps more accurately the trend that is behind them, a bit of attention this week.

Style experts have been declaring maximalism as the look of the minute for a while now, and I'm here for it. While I don't necessarily consider myself a maximalist when it comes to accessories, equally I wouldn't describe myself as a minimalist. I fall neatly in the center, fuelled by my highly artistic and painstakingly cultivated process which basically consists of me looking at some jewelry pieces and thinking "well now this is cute" and kind of going from there.

The savvy vintage seller in me also feels the need to point out that lot of the maximalist jewelry trends in circulation right now draw pretty heavily from the styles of the 80s. Styles such as button earrings, abstract "artsy-fartsy" shapes, and unconventional materials are all appearing in mainstream shops again. Really, it's sort of a free for all out there right now; the one unifying factor being that most of these pieces are full of fun. Like I always say, this is supposed to be fun, right?

Here are three types of maximalist-inspired jewelry that I am really loving for summer, with some pretty fantastic offerings brought to you by my fellow Etsy sellers.


Maximalist Jewelry Trend No. 1: Real Shells

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There's a part of me that has always been inclined to dismiss real shell jewelry as tacky tourist fodder, despite my absolute love of beachcombing. However, you can save the energy that you were about to expend on lecturing me about my own hypocrisy, because this summer's beach-inspired maximalist shell jewelry trends have completely disabused me of that notion! These pieces are at once bold and organic, luxurious yet recognizably commonplace. All I can think of when I look at these pieces is sitting in a breezy tropical climate in a maxi dress sipping an adult beverage. A person could do much, much worse.

Maximalist Jewelry Trend No. 2: Fringe Jewelry

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Any of you who have been hanging around the blog for a while already know I love anything with fringe on it! These pieces give you a bit of a glow and have a swooshy, luxurious feel to them when you're wearing them. What's more, many of these fringe pieces are extraordinarily light to wear, so if like me you love a swingy statement chandelier earring but are starting to notice that inevitable gravitational downward trajectory of the holes in your earlobes, lightweight chain fringe pieces are an excellent choice!

Maximalist Jewelry Trend No. 3: Oversized Whimsy

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My star earrings (the aforementioned original inspiration for this post) fall into a category of maximalism I've dubbed "oversized whimsy." This is perhaps the most 80s-derivative maximalist trend on the go, drawing wearable design inspiration straight from the more-is-more nature of the "me decade." Oversized whimsy is a broad moniker, encompassing anything and everything big, whimsical and fun: stars, hearts, lightning bolts, rainbows, unicorns, sea urchins...anything that catches your fancy can fall into this category.

Even those of you who aren't fans of huge jewelry pieces can enjoy the maximalist trend. Swap-out some of the chunk and heft of a solid statement piece for the color and shine of a slightly smaller, but infinitely more colorful one. Don't like chunky pieces? Choose a layered "fringe" look made from a handful of delicate pieces. The thing I like best about this trend is how flexible it is - there is truly something for everyone.

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