Necklaces are probably the most prominent piece of jewelry among all your accessories and for a reason. They draw attention to and compliment the best parts of any outfit and we will tell you how to accomplish this in All About Necklaces with thanks to Imogene Lamport from the Insideoutstyle blog.
If you know your personality style and the different types necklines and understand the balance point concept, you’ll come up with the right necklace every time and we’ll explain it all below.
Your Jewelry Personality Style
When you think about style, that’s about your personality, so if you’re more feminine you may prefer something with lots of beads or bling, for someone who is more relaxed and casual look for necklaces made from either natural materials (wood, stones, coral etc) or very plain simple designs.
If you’re dramatic you may find that you like your necklaces oversized and bold. Want to express your inner creativity? Look for pieces made by artists or even from unusual or recycled materials.
You can see that some of these pieces fall into more than one personality style and cross over styles (which is true for our personalities too). There are lots of options with necklaces, but if you find a piece you love, wear it.
Choose the Right Necklace for Your Neckline
Have you thought about what your necklaces is communicating and where it’s drawing attention on your body? Here are 5 Quick Tips for Choosing Necklaces in this video.
Where does the necklace sit? A choker will shorten your neck. A long pendant will draw attention to your stomach.
Consider the scale of the necklace. Do you want your necklace to be a feature or just a small addition to your outfit?
Do you want to make your bust look smaller? Look for larger scale necklaces which help to distract from your bust. You can choose a necklace made from many smaller pieces or one large one, depending on what you want to communicate and your own personal scale.
A larger piece is more bold and dramatic and will communicate that you are happy to be the centre of attention. A small piece that is delicate is more feminine, one that is plain is more relaxed and casual.
What’s the necklace made from? Sparkly necklaces are more formal and dressed up than a necklace made from wood or polished turquoise. Therefore something sparkly will look more formal. A necklace made from more simple materials will look more relaxed and approachable
Different necklines look better with certain necklace styles.
Turtle necks – best with longer necklaces
Crew necks – best with short necklaces such as necklace ‘collar’ or bib styles
Scoop necks – fill in the space with multiple strands of beads or larger scale pendants
Strapless – look great with chokers or short pendants, leaving your lovely decolletage bare
Square necks – look for pendants with an angular finish to harmonize with the angular neckline
Asymmetric necklines – look for necklaces that aren’t symmetrical, instead a necklace that has it’s own asymmetry can work, alternatively a long string of different sized and shaped beads can work well.
Halter necks – these create a narrow V neck – so look for a narrow pendant with a sharper end
V neck – ideally a necklace that matches the shape of the V – depending if it’s a wider or narrower V neck.
Collared shirt (button down) – there isn’t much space for anything too wide, so a choker style works if you have a long neck, if not a slimmer pendant that sits above the last open button.
Boat neck – a long string or two of beads is ideal for this neckline.
Cowl neck – this neckline is already detailed and has volume, so either a short and small pendant or a pair of feature earrings instead of a necklace.
Sweetheart – a curved necklace that has width that will balance the open decolletage of this neckline.
Finding Your Balance Points
Imogene says, “Often, when I’m with a client, they’ll tell me that they have some necklaces that they like, but never wear. When they bring them out to show me, we discover that they’re just not hanging in the right spot for them – and as soon as we put them on one of their ‘balance points ‘ they look fabulous. A small alteration with the length of the chain can make all the difference to the look of a necklace.”
So what is this ‘balance point’? It’s a concept divised by the amazing Carla Mathis which she discussed in her book The Triumph of Individual Style : A Guide to Dressing Your Body, Your Beauty, Your Self who discovered it when studying portrait art – it’s a set of measurements that create a look of ‘balance’ which we find attractive and appealing.
What is interesting, is that your balance points can help make a short neck look longer, and a long one look shorter.
Here’s a photo to help you understand.
So – in purple is the First Balance Point – to find yours, take a piece of string and visually measure the length of your face – forehead to chin, then take that same measurement from chin down to your chest – this is a great point to end tops, or start seeing skin if wearing a buttoned shirt (so you want the last button done up slightly lower than this point). Necklines look best within 1/2″ of this point – it doesn’t have to be exact. Or if you’re wearing a higher neckline, this is a nice place to have a piece of jewelry sit.
The in green is the Second Balance Point – to find yours, find the widest part of your face – for many people it’s across the width of the cheekbones – but for some it may be the forehead, and others it might be your chin. Draw an imaginary line across your face (like the green line that goes across my nose), and measure from this point to the chin, then from the shoulder line down – this is a great place to end tops or put a necklace.
The First Balance Point will make your neck look longer (if you wear your necklines ending at this point) if it’s shorter, or shorter if it’s longer.
The Second Balance Point stops you from looking choked by your necklines, and breaks up a long decollete.
I often wear jewelry that actually goes between both balance points – which is a good strategy if you are long through this proportion (not sure, check out this post on Body Proportions).
Use this measurement when working out where to button up a shirt to – just because they put buttons all the way up to the neck, doesn’t mean you have to use them! Ideally, use the First Balance Point as where you start to see the skin of your decolletage.
Finally, here’s a review on the type of necklace for the common necklines