Necklace Styling 101: Wearing Necklaces for Different Necklines
May 24, 20218 min read
With so many necklace styles, designs, and lengths to choose
from, it can be hard to know which looks best. Simple, staple
necklaces are wardrobe essentials, but they should never be worn
as a cop-out to avoid choosing a necklace. When you find yourself
wearing the same necklace day after day, you may be stuck in a
styling rut. We’re here to help you out of the rut---because
styling your necklace shouldn’t be a hassle. The most important
rule: follow your neckline. Your neckline creates an outline to
help you decide which necklace to pair with your outfit. We’ll
show you how to wear necklaces for different necklines and give
you additional tips on how to wear different
necklace styles to help make your selection simple.
How to wear necklaces for different necklines
When choosing a necklace to match your neckline, you should
consider a few questions along the way. What do you want your necklace to do for you? A necklace
is never merely decorative--it guides the expression of your
style. Decide if you want your necklace to steal the show or
shine the spotlight on you or your outfit. Do you want it to
highlight your best features, emphasize your outfit, or make a
statement all its own? Where do you want to create a focal point?
Necklace length is important. Remember that eyes will
naturally fall where your necklace falls. Consider what you may
or may not want people to notice when choosing a
necklace. What’s the shape of your neckline? If you’re confused
about whether or not your necklace looks good or are unsure about
why it doesn’t look quite right, your neckline is the first
factor to consider. The length, width, and shape of your neckline
should guide your decision. Here are a few guidelines to follow:
Match the shape of your necklace to the shape of your
If your neckline is low, don’t go lower with a necklace.
Don’t add a statement necklace to a busy neckline.
Don’t leave too much empty space between your necklace and
Use your necklace shape to narrow a wide neckline but not to
widen a narrow neckline.
What necklaces to wear with what neckline
Necklace for a V neck
A v-neck narrows and elongates and so should the necklace you
wear with it. Choose a necklace that creates a smaller V and
falls neatly inside your V neckline. Don’t wear a necklace wider
or longer than a V neck, or your necklace will rival your
Black and Gold Avalon Wrap Necklace
Necklace for a round neckline
If you’re wearing a round neckline, like a crew neck or scoop
neck, make sure your necklace is also a round shape. Don’t choose
a V-shaped necklace or one with a pointed pendant.
Necklace for a crew neck
A crew neck shortens the neck and gives the illusion of a fuller
chest. This neckline looks good with a short or long necklace, so
your decision depends on whether you want to create a full chest
with a long necklace or avoid it with a short one. You can also
use a necklace to create a collar on a crew neck. Riviere-style
necklaces add the perfect sparkly collar.
Necklace for a scoop neck
A scoop neck emphasizes the collarbone. If you want your
collarbone to be more pronounced, choose a short, round necklace.
Long necklaces also look great with this style of neckline. But
if you’re wearing a low scoop neck, your necklace should not hang
lower than the neckline. Otherwise, you’ll create a distracting
amount of empty space above the neckline. A scoop neck provides a
great setting for a statement piece, like a fringe or bib
Multi-Strand Labradorite Necklace with Sterling Silver
Necklace for a high neckline
High necklines, like a halter necks or turtlenecks, create an
upside-down V that narrows your shoulders and lengthens your
torso. Select a long necklace that does not compete with a high
collar. Rope or lariat necklaces are a great choice.
Necklace for a halter neckline
Halter tops show off the shoulders and make them look slimmer, so
choose a V-shaped necklace that also elongates your shape.
Necklace for a turtleneck
With a turtleneck, choose a necklace that draws the eye downward
and away from the neck to avoid overcrowding it. This neckline
looks great with layered necklaces and long pendants.
Black Onyx Druzy Pendant on Black Spinel
Necklace for a sweetheart neckline
Choose a necklace that adds to and enhances the curves of the
sweetheart neckline. A necklace with sharp angles will cause a
blunt and confusing disruption. A mid-length necklace looks best
since it leads the eye right to the heart of the
Black and Gold Keum-Boo Diamond Disk Necklace
Necklace for a square neckline
A square neckline contrasts the natural curves of the body and
creates a more angular look, so your necklace should also have
edges. Square or rectangular pendants suit this neckline
Long Triple-Strand Bead Necklace
Necklace for one shoulder dress or blouse
If your neckline falls off the shoulder, go bolder. One-shoulder
dresses leave space for a statement necklace. The same rule
applies to strapless dresses. Both necklines leave empty space
that can be filled with a stunning statement necklace. It’s a
good idea to keep your necklace collar length with a one-shoulder
neckline so you don’t create two focal points (the necklace and
the shoulder) that distract from one another.
5-Stick Rose-Cut Sapphire Necklace with Tourmaline
A cowl neck draws attention to itself, and your necklace
shouldn’t compete with it for attention. Choose a necklace that
lies above the cowl neckline, not on top of it. A short and
simple pendant will look nice and clean. But if your cowl neck is
large or high, you may want to opt for earrings instead of a
necklace. If this neckline is soft and subtle, choose a simple
Gold Ringlets on Woven Chain
Necklace for a collared shirt
The collar and the buttons down the center of a collared shirt
already embellish the shirt like accessories, so it can be
challenging to find the right necklace. A simple necklace is a
safe and elegant choice, but a statement necklace can also work
if it fits within the opening of the collar or sticks out from
beneath the collar.
Black and Gold Simple Avalon Necklace
How to wear a necklace
Keep it neat. Make sure the styles are congruent so your
necklace blends with the rest of your outfit. If you choose a
statement necklace, make sure it complements your style and
fits your neckline.
Keep it simple with busy tops. Wear simple and long
necklaces when your outfit has a lot going on to prevent a
Don’t distract from your face. Your necklace should
accent your face shape and enhance your features, not add
length to an oval-shaped face or shorten a round face.
Find your focus. Don’t wear statement earrings with a
statement necklace--that includes even simple layered
necklaces. Bold earrings need a subtle necklace; even a small
pendant may be distracting. Bold necklaces call for simple
How to wear long necklaces
Don’t wear long necklaces with crop tops. It looks best when
a necklace falls somewhere above the bottom of the shirt. Choker
or collar necklaces look great.
Don’t add too much length. You don’t want to over-elongate to
the point of sagging. Picture a long dress with a low scoop neck
and a rope necklace--the look is disproportionately heavy on the
Layer or wrap long necklaces for versatility. Long necklaces
are multi-purpose pieces that can be shortened, lengthened,
layered, or even wrapped around the wrist like a bracelet for
How to layer necklaces like a pro
Layering necklaces is simpler than you may think. The number of
layers you wear is limitless. Wearing multiple pieces of jewelry
at one time looks beautiful and is sure to attract compliments if
styled tastefully. Here are a few options for layering
Stacked layers, one right on top of another, add color,
texture, and flair to shorter necklaces.
Slightly longer layers with similar chains give a
reflective or shadow effect. Try wearing two collar-length
necklaces but choose one a fourth of an inch longer.
Long layers create depth and make a statement. You can
tier each layer at a different level for symmetry or tier a few
with some stacked in between for extra dimension.
Layers with no embellishments give a dainty and more
formal or more a minimalist look. You can play with different
widths and links to vary your look. But it’s usually best to
stick with one color.
Layers with embellishments can have a single pendant,
multiple small beads or charms, multiple larger pendants, or an
assortment of embellishments. When you have pendants with
different colors, you can also vary the color of the chains
Vary the textures. Chains with linking or beading of
different sizes or shapes are less likely to tangle.
Spread out the lengths. A choker with a lariat, for example,
would have too wide a distance between the layers to
How to wear pendants
Decide how many pendants you want to wear.
Choose your pendant length. Long pendant necklaces add
weight, so they're great for adding shape to flowy shirts or
chunky sweaters. Short pendants can create a central focal point
on a round necklace and look great with a V-neck or collared
Decide how you want to stack them. Two different pendants can
lie side-by-side, either on the same chain or two different
chains. If you tier the layers, place the heaviest pendant on the
bottom for balance.
Make sure your pendants complement each other. They don’t
have to be the same shape, color, or style, but all three should
balance each other well.
How to wear a necklace with a T-shirt
Graphic T-shirts usually require short necklaces since
they don’t overlap with the print. Choose simple gold chains,
chokers, or short statement pieces.
White T-shirts provide a backdrop for bold
statements--either layers or colorful bib necklaces.
Flowy T-shirts often need long pendants or multiple
layers to add shape
Tanks can be dressed up with a choker or collar necklace
that retains and refines the top’s playfulness.
When not to wear a necklace
Adding a necklace to any of these three styles also adds chaos
and clutter to your look.
With a high, thick, or ruffled neck
With statement earrings
With necklines embellished with bling or bows
There are always exceptions to styling rules, and when it comes
to your style, you know best. Since you’ve learned the rules to
necklace styling, you can break them tastefully. Now that you
know how to pair necklaces with different outfits, you can put
your knowledge into practice with current necklace trends.
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