Retrolite love! A Classic Hardware jewelry review

I have an affinity for costume jewelry. And while my tastes can vary, I often tend to lean towards the plastics. The colorful, bold baubles of Bakelite, celluloid, and all manner of vintage and retro plastics in-between. Such fun!

I had the immense pleasure of being sent a few such wonderful items from a fantastic American-made jewelry company, Classic Hardware. Artist and designer Karyn Cantor started the line in 1995 and it’s been going strong ever since. I actually remember wearing Classic Hardware pieces 10 or more years ago, and I’m thrilled that they’re still around and cranking out fantastic retro pieces. They’ve just gotten even better with time!

The pieces I graciously received are from their Retrolite collection. And ladies, seriously, this is the cutest stuff ever. The items run the gamut from straight up vintage repro to whimsical and retro fabulous.

Retrolite love! A Classic Hardware jewelry review

From bow barrettes to horse head and horseshoe necklaces to carved rose rings, it’s really no exaggeration to say that I’d be perfectly happy if every single piece came home to live with me!

I took my pieces out for a test drive on a cold cold day and prior to my haircut, in case you’re wondering how I suddenly sprouted all my hair back in the last photo. πŸ˜‰

The first is the adorable swallow pin, a nice-sized brooch very reminiscent of Bakelite brooches.

Classic Hardware Retrolite brooch

The cherry red color really pops off my vintage Mexican tourist jacket, but it also comes in black, too.

Classic Hardware Retrolite brooch

The second is the most unusual of the pieces I received, and I really thought my head might explode from the cuteness. It’s a cuckoo clock necklace. Yes, you read that right. There are a lot of classic images that get immortalized in vintage-inspired jewelry all the time. Classic Hardware does these all well for sure, but they also step outside that ‘comfort zone’, if you will. Cuckoo clocks?! Adorable, quirky perfection. Yes, please!

Classic Hardware Retrolite cuckoo clock necklace

Hopefully you haven’t dropped dead from the cute, but I wouldn’t blame you if you did. Sorry. I kind of feel like I need to sew up a Maria Von Trapp dress and call it Edelweiss, for the perfect backdrop for this necklace.

(I was kidding when I first started typing that, but hmm, now that you mention it…uh oh, I’m suddenly searching for floral fabric featuring edelweiss!)

Classic Hardware Retrolite cuckoo clock necklace

Back to the necklace. It’s really well-crafted, too. Sturdy chain and a great clasp to boot. It’s a beautiful piece.

Classic Hardware

And then there’s the rose leaf ring, which is carved retro perfection.

Classic Hardware Retrolite leaf ring

I love a good statement ring, and this definitely qualifies as one.

Classic Hardware Retrolite leaf ring

I think the photo below really captures how well the Retrolite collection mixes in with vintage jewelry. It’s right at home with my Bakelite bangles!

Classic Hardware Retrolite leaf ring, swallow brooch and vintage Bakelite bangles

Honestly, I really can’t say enough good things about my experience both working with Classic Hardware and their fantastic jewelry. I’m thrilled to see the company creating such delightful pieces after all these years. With reasonable prices, creative and whimsical designs, and excellent customer service, what’s not to love?

Retrolite love! A Classic Hardware jewelry review

Outfit details

necklace, brooch and ring: courtesy of Classic Hardware
Bakelite bangles and earrings: misc.
Mexican tourist jacket: misc.
blouse: L.L. Bean
Western belt: misc.
jeans: Freddies of Pinewood

Now I’m just daydreaming about what other pieces I’d like to add to my collection. A bubble hearts charm bracelet? A red and blue flower brooch? Or a butterscotch leaf necklace? How about you?

If you haven’t yet run fleeing from my blog to check out Classic Hardware, now’s the time! πŸ™‚

 

Filed: Vintage Dibs and Dabs, Vintage Wardrobe

Tagged: , , ,

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Golly, 16 Comments!

  • Oh, gorgeous! I’ve seen Retrolite jewelry a few times, and I always lust over it for a while and I’ve yet to take the leap to purchase some…. some day soon!

    Reply

  • rachlovespenguins March 14, 2014 at 9:42am

    Hey I have that brooch! I’ve had mine for about ten years now and it’s still every bit as perfect as it was on day one, so I know yours has a very long and happy life ahead of it. πŸ™‚
    I think I’m going to need a flower brooch too…..either the red/light blue or the jade/light blue. Maybe both? lol And quite possibly that adorable little cowboy pin as well. Brooches are my true accessory weakness. πŸ˜›

    Reply

  • I’m not really a jewelry person myself but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a well-crafted piece. Also, don’t you think that cuckoo clock would make a great pin brooch, too? Great company, I’ll have to pass this along to some of my friends. πŸ™‚

    Reply

  • Classic Hardware has -such- cute stuff and the colors and finish are so authentic! I love your little clock necklace, reminds me of the antique cuckoo clock at my great grandma’s house- just darling!

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  • While I do love an elegant pearl piece, some crystals or even semi-precious stones at times, my heart massively skips a beat for the whimsical, playful, and imaginative world of vintage (and vintage inspired) plastic jewelry, too, so this delightful brand is right up my alley. Thank you for the great review – and adding many a new item to me length-of-the-equator long wishlist. πŸ™‚

    β™₯ Jessica

    Reply

  • Hahahaha how funny! That birdie brooch is EXACTLY the same bird as the red swallow necklace I wear all the time πŸ™‚ although mine is from a local boutique here (and probably about 8 years old at this point- wow!). People always assume it’s vintage Bakelite, but it’s not πŸ™‚ good to know they have a dead match as a brooch- now I know where to direct people when they ask where they can get my necklace πŸ™‚ haha!

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  • Glad to see others loving their retrolite collection as much as I do!

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  • What utterly glorious pieces! I’m off to peruse their site.

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  • Too cute! Lovin the ring

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  • This is just gorgeous thanks so much for sharing it. I don’t sew or knit but I love to look at your blog

    retro rover

    Reply

  • This stuff is just gorgeous! I could just buy it all, but I don’t think my bank account would be terribly pleased if I did. πŸ˜› I’m especially loving the bird brooch– so cute!

    Cheers,
    Jenny

    Reply

  • I definitely have a severe lack of accessories in my wardrobe.. Putting these on my to-buy list for sure!

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  • Love the broach and love the dresses those ladies are wearing in the photos too! That is a great Mexican jacket you are wearing.

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  • Oh I love Classic Hardware! I have their cowboy brooch! And adore it!

    Nice Mexican tourist jacket too!!

    xoxo
    -Janey

    Reply

  • Such gorgeous jewellery! I absolutely love the swallow pin and the cuckoo clock is amazing! XxxX http://thesecondhandrose.blogspot.co.uk

    Reply

  • […] since I got a cuckoo clock necklace from Classic Hardware, I’ve been obsessed with them. One day, this obsession took me on a […]

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