Creating A Literary Character Look: Becky Sharp

Have you ever thought about what your favorite literary characters would wear for their jewelry looks? We are taking a look at some classic characters and putting together some looks using the characters as inspiration. There could be a seemingly endless number of posts inspired by fictional characters. It’s a fun thought exercise and we would love to see some that you put together too!

Some literary characters have been made into TV and films and so we have seen what they might wear. That doesn’t mean that your vision of the character is any less valid, that is the magic in reading! Some characters go through major life shifts within the pages of one novel and thusly their looks would naturally evolve during their story as well.


One of my favorite classic novels is Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery. It unfolds the life journey of Miss Becky Sharp as she rides a roller coaster of social successes and pitfalls. Becky fancies herself pretty fabulous at all times though and always wants to keep the appearance of being more than she is, more wealthy, more cultured, more desirable in general. Her looks help to further those ends.

If I were to envision Becky Sharp in today’s world, it would look something like this:

dress and accessories


Becky would be inclined to wear something that shows off her shape, but is not ultra-modern. A classic silhouette would be best because they are in fashion for a long time, even if one’s purse is running on empty. I think that in the current day, Becky would lean toward bright colors and florals to evoke images of youth, springtime beauty. She wore jewel tones in some film versions and darker colors, but that was not reflective of current day. Some of the colors that she was depicted in were rich tones found in more exotic fabrics and dyes. Her clothing remained a part of her manipulations.


A ring from a suitor is an important part of Becky’s attire at any age. This literary spitfire used the attention of men to keep herself rising the social ladder. A beautiful James Allen diamond ring with a halo that will make it appear even larger would fit the bill!

Diamond ring

A diamond tennis necklace (like this stunning example from Whiteflash) is a display of diamonds that will always be en vogue. Getting as much use out of a gorgeous piece while maintaining fashionability would be very appealing to our fictional darling. 

Diamond Tennis Bracelet

Earrings that are similarly able to be used again and again while having some shape so that they draw the eye to her face would be a favorite. These Simon G. Earrings from Whiteflash are beautiful and would be perfect!

Simon G. Diamond Earrings from Whiteflash


Becky Sharp looking in the mirror

Cute shoes, great sunglasses, and a fascinator to keep all eyes on her would round out the look. Literature has a lot of sassy heroines, and Becky is not considered a heroine by everyone to be sure. Ambitious, manipulative, cunning, witty, and a bit sneaky are all more accurate for Miss Sharp. She is a well-developed character that works hard to grab her fate by the reins and take control of her future. 

Becky Shaw and Rawdon Crawley
Becky Sharp and Rawdon Crawley

Olivia Cooke and Reese Witherspoon have both played interpretations of Becky Sharp.


“The star of Vanity Fair ought to be the most repugnant character in literature, yet I adored her from the glorious moment she tosses her dictionary – a leaving gift – out of the carriage window as she exits Miss Pinkerton’s Academy for Young Ladies. Becky Sharp is everything a Regency woman ought not to be: ruthless, ambitious, driven by money. Her surname is no coincidence.” From The Telegraph UK.

A painting of Becky Sharp

“This painting of the heroine Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery, was purchased directly from Norman Rockwell by his longtime friend and patron J. Willard Loos. Rockwell wrote in a letter to Mr. Loos on February 26, 1969 the following: “You are the most generous patron any artist ever had. That includes all the de Medicis, and all the great patrons of history”. Provenance Ex. J. Willard Loos collection. The young model for Becky Sharp became Mrs. Jane Fitzpatrick upon her marriage to Jack Fitzpatrick who later became state senator of Massachusetts and owner of The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge.” Taken from Live Auctioneers.


We would love to hear about some of your favorite characters, and how you think they would be styled. Go take a look at the PS Jewelry Search, and find pieces that feel like those characters to you. We would LOVE to see what you come up with!

What do you think of my interpretation of Becky’s style in 2022? Looking forward to discussing it in the comments!

Written by Kayti Kawachi

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