Style file: Cocktail hour costume jewellery

Say it loud and proud with colourful costume jewellery – the perfect final flourish for formal occasions

The frequency with which formal occasions pop up over the summer is enough to have women running for the hills, or at least to the local high street, armed with their flexible friend in order to have something new to wear, whether they can afford it or not. The feeling that a special occasion needs to be celebrated with a new dress runs deep.

But those with a bulging diary needn’t be filled with despair and dread over what to wear to any upcoming engagements, as assiduously employing a few pieces of costume jewellery will help put life in your old party dress yet.

Generally, bigger is better when it comes to costume jewellery – or statement as it’s known in the modern vernacular. These aren’t the sort of pieces that you want to pass off as the real deal – if you’re wearing a dress from Topshop, nobody will think that gumball-size rock on your finger is anything but glass.

Statement necklaces remain a big story this summer, and those with multiple coloured stones are just the thing to jolly up a plain shift dress, or pull together an outfit of separates. Pearls are one of the season’s key trends, and while a single strand of the real deal is undeniably elegant, it doesn’t quite give off the party vibe that suits some summer functions. Instead you’ll find pearls scaled up to super-size proportions and twinned with crystals to create an effect that’s more club night than country club.

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