A few years ago now, I had the privilege of attending a blogging conference with around 699 other people. Not only was it a fabulous few days of learning and meeting awesome people but I also got to frock up a little too. I found myself sharing tips n tricks around styling with friends here and there, and the one that got lots of hi fives was necklaces.
I’m known to wear or necklace or 3 but for some women it can be a daunting accessory to choose. I mean some are so large or blingy and then there’s the length or colour to consider, ay carumba…so much to consider. I know, sometimes it can be easier to just walk out the door without one, right?
Trust me, a necklace is one of the easiest ways to create depth, life or contrast to your outfit and it’s also pretty handy for creating new necklines. Perfect!
Sometimes we fall in love with a piece of clothing and it ticks ‘almost’ all the boxes…if the neckline isn’t quite right you can easily ‘bring in’ a neckline or ‘lengthen’ a neckline using a necklace…I know, cool huh 🙂
A necklace can subtly alter the appearance of an outfit neckline, if your tee has a neckline too wide for you (but you love it anyway) then add a necklace that sits inside the scoop to draw the eye in. Personally I do this ‘all the time’, alternatively you can create the illusion of a lower neckline by adding a statement necklace that sits just lower than the ‘actual’ neckline or try adding a longer pendant style to create a deeper ‘V’…clever right? ?
But how do you know which length of necklace is right for you? How do you choose the perfect necklace for you? There’s no hard and fast ‘rules’ but I have a few tips that might guide you to the perfect necklace for you. Firstly what are the traditional lengths?
Choker length is 40cm
Princess length normally falls ‘at’ the collarbone and can vary in size from 45 cm-48 cm.
Matinee length is 50 cm, which usually extends just a touch below the collarbone.
Another great tip is to measure your neck size. Neck size is the most important number you will need to know when determining which necklace length works best for you especially if you are ordering online. A necklace will fall lower on a person with a thin neck and sit higher on a person with a thicker neck. makes sense right?
When deciding on a ‘minimum’ chain length just add 5-10cm to your neck measurement, this will make sure your necklace isn’t too tight. This tip works well with finer signature necklaces like a banner necklace (like my #curvy one – click the link to see how you can make your own signature banner) or a sentimental pendant. The exception is if you ‘actually’ want a choker style, if that’s the case then stick with your true neck measurement.
If you’re purchasing something that can’t be customised then choose the ‘second’ size up from your neck size as your minimum necklace size. So if you measure 42 cm your minimum chain length should be 50 cm instead of 45 cm.
My gold tip when purchasing a necklace is ‘if in doubt have it end at the top of your ribcage’…its the smallest part of your trunk so will draw attention to your ‘sweet’ spot…kinda like a belt emphasising a waist.
Your necklace has a way of making your face appear wider, narrower, longer, or shorter…smoke ‘n mirrors. This can be a great thing if you know how to use it to your advantage.
Women with round faces might like to experiment a little with short necklaces, they can tend be challenging as some make the face appear even rounder. Again, it’s personal and depends on what you’re wearing.
I have a round face and wear short necklaces a lot but mostly when I have a wider more open neckline with more skin showing. Otherwise I prefer a longer pendant that creates a deep ‘v’.
Tassels , fringing, charms and ruffles can all add volume and bulk, so if you’re bigger busted be careful when choosing these styles. When a necklace lands on ‘the girls’ it can bounce around a bit, kinda dancing on your boobs and can add bulk or even hang from the breasts, instead aim to choose your necklace to sit ‘just above’ or ‘just below’.
I carry weight in my tummy, it’s round and at times sits out just under my breasts so I’m careful when wearing longer necklaces not to have them sit on my round tum. I don’t need to draw any more attention there.
If you have an oval face then you’re in luck, oval face likes any shape necklace.
A heart shaped face loves lower choker style necklaces because they soften the sharp angle of your chin. Winning!
An oblong face likes high choker necklaces because they reduce the length of the face.
If you are vertically challenged a long necklace can add visual length (smoke ‘n mirrors), and if you’re tall and thin, a choker might be the best option. I love layered finer necklaces on tall thin women too, think 3 or 4 at varying lengths.
Print tops like plainer necklaces, but of course you can print clash if that’s your thing. I prefer not to go ‘matchy matchy’ instead adding complementary colour to plainer colour tops…red/black, tan/blue/ cream/pink…you get the picture.
Sometimes I will top ‘n tail (match) my necklace with my shoe or hair colour to help bring my outfit together.
It’s crazy isn’t it the impact a necklace can have on an outfit!
Because I’m a total lover of necklaces I ‘invest’ in quality pieces that will last, some I’ve had for years. My favourites are Mimco and we’re lucky these days we have outlet stores which can make them more affordable. Don’t feel like you have to jump into a pricey piece though, cut your teeth and find your style on budget friendly pieces and then start collecting.
Great budget pieces can be found at stores like…
Taking Shape (be sure to check out their gorgeous önline exclusive range as well!)
For something a little more special in silver, metals, gold or rose gold try…
For something a little more unique or arty try…
…and of course don’t forget little independent boutiques which often stock amazing unique pieces.
Next time you are trying on clothes add a necklace or two and see the difference they really can make…oh, and have FUN with it.
Til next time,
*some of these links are affiliate which means if you click to buy you pay no more but I get a small commission xx
Updated June 2018