The term costume jewelry was apparently introduced in the 1930s by Coco Chanel. She promoted faux pearls as it as her belief that costume jewelry was meant to make women feel beautiful rather than give her an aura of wealth. By being inexpensive, costume jewelry could be replaced with the next fashion. The 1930s also saw the stockmarket crash when nobody could afford real jewelry and so the fashion of costume jewelry took off.
When I look for jewelry, my gut instinct goes for good design and simplicity. I am always attracted to good crafstmanship and vintage costume jewelry has this in abundance! Its funny how what was considered everyday in the twenties and thirties are now considered quite precious.
The subtlety and beauty of the above 1930's faux pearl necklace, the 1920s beads and the filigree and rhinestone hair clip from the thirties have an appeal which far outshines contemporary mass machine produced costume jewelry. It is not so much bling, but beauty and subtlety and an understated femininity (girl power) which all of us girls respond to. I am a romantic and I love wearing something that someone else in another time and place may have worn and in this way, the piece carries a host of secret stories.