I discovered the Australian brand Erstwilder back in 2014 and have been slowly adding pieces to my costume jewelry collection ever since. Their pieces were on the steep end for me as a student and are still on the expensive side for me to justify purchasing, but they bring me a lot of joy and I wear them frequently, so every now and then I get one as a treat.

A casual outfit featuring a bold raspberry pink 1940s dress and modern blue sandals

I missed out on a lot of really good designs by being late to the party (I’m looking at you, entire Egyptology-themed collection) and I missed out on some more good ones by not having the spending money on hand when they were released. I was poking around online a few weeks ago and managed to find one of the “brooches that got away”, a little pink seahorse resting on a piece of blue coral.

Erstwilder seahorse brooch in pink and blue resin

It’s a perfect match for one of my other modern wish list items that I’ve managed to find in recent weeks, so I was very pleased that I was able to track it down.

Bold magenta 1940s dress featuring an embroidered waistband

I had pin curls in and wanted to make the most of my opportunity to look at least somewhat presentable, so I opted for this bright raspberry-hued 1940s rayon crepe dress. I normally wear it a little more “dressed up” with hat and gloves, but it works pretty well “dressed down” too, I think.

A modernized 1940s look featuring a true vintage '40s dress with embroidered puff sleeves, vintage lucite earrings, modern glasses, and an Erstwilder novelty brooch in the shape of a seahorse

By the way, I had a heck of a time with the color balance in these photos… it turns out that a blue wall and a pink dress make for some very interesting white balance problems.

A bold magenta 1940s dress with embroidered puff sleeves paired with a blue and pink seahorse brooch

Pink confetti lucite earrings perfectly match the Erstwilder seahorse brooch against a hot pink vintage dress

A modernized 1940s look featuring a true vintage '40s dress with embroidered puff sleeves, vintage lucite earrings, modern glasses, and an Erstwilder novelty brooch in the shape of a seahorse

A casual outfit featuring a bold raspberry pink 1940s dress and modern blue sandals

  • Pink confetti lucite clip earrings: Antiques shop in Wisconsin
  • Erstwilder seahorse brooch: by way of AuBijou Boutique
  • Raspberry pink 1940s dress: Oona’s Experienced Clothing
  • Blue strappy sandals: Crocs “Huaraches” mini-wedges