Want to know which style and length of necklace you should wear with different tops and necklines? Our complete Necklace and Necklines guide takes out the guesswork.
Necklaces and Necklines
"What necklace do I wear with this top?"
Picture this : It’s early in the morning and you’re getting ready to head out for the day. Hair is done, make up is done, clothes are on, and you look in the mirror and determine that you need a necklace. You put one on but it doesn’t look quite right (but you’re not entirely sure why). So, you try another. It’s not right either. Having somewhere to be, you grab ol’ faithful (you know the one- the default necklace that you always wear), or you’ve given up entirely, and head out the door. Throughout the day, you look at yourself in the mirror or catch your reflection in a window, glance at your necklace choice (or lack thereof) and wish you’d picked something different…but what?!
I have compiled some guidelines to show which styles and lengths of necklaces look best with different necklines. It’s important to remember that these guidelines are a great starting point and a way to take the guessing game out of the morning ritual. I have also included our Necklace Length Guide which will give you a good idea of where different necklace lengths typically fall (what is a 20” necklace, anyways?).
Once you have figured out what works best with your outfits, play around a bit with different looks and/or layering. There aren’t any rules, and if there are, I tend to live by the old adage that rules are meant to be broken. Now, more than ever, people are doing what they want with fashion and allowing their own creativity to shine. But for some of us, we like to have a bit of knowledge to base our creativity on.
Here you will find a breakdown of every neckline and suggested necklace styles and lengths, as well as a chart for quick reference. Feel free to save and print the chart, make notes on it, and keep it in your drawer to assist you each morning.
This style of neckline can vary from hitting the base of the neck to just below the collar bone. For higher crewneck tops you can try a chunky bib or collar style necklace. For the slightly lower cut crewnecks, opt for a short necklace (approximately 16”) that hits just above the neckline. If you want to elongate your torso, try pairing the short dainty necklace with a longer length that hits just above the bust.
Scoop necklines are perfect for showcasing shorter necklaces (18”-20”, depending on the neckline). There are a number of necklace styles that compliment this neckline, so the options are limitless. You could choose a chunky or statement/bold style, lariat, large pendant, delicate (either one, or layer many)… You have a lot of space to fill with a scoop neckline, so utilize it (think of it as a blank canvas).
Similar to Scoop necklines, V necklines give you a great opportunity to feature your necklace(s). This style of neck can come in different heights and widths as well, but the trick is to match the shape of the V. You can choose short lengths layered with longer lengths, lariat style, or delicate or chunky. Because of the V shape, I recommend harmonizing it with angular/geometric shapes as well (ie. A triangle pendant, spikes, etc).
This style of neckline doesn’t allow for shorter necklace lengths. Go with one or two lightweight (dainty) long necklaces (32” or longer). As another option, go with long, attention grabbing earring and bracelets instead of a necklace.
The variety of square necklines is vast. Some are high, low, very pronounced, less obvious… You possibly own a square-neck top and not even realize it (I didn’t think I owned any until yesterday, when I realized I have 6!). A square neck is in itself an edgier, bolder style, so choose a necklace that works with those lines: angular, geometric, chunky or bold. In terms of a length, choose one that hits above the top so that it can lay flat and not compete.
Fall and winter are coming, and so is the return of the Turtleneck. Steer away from short necklaces which can “cut up” the look of the top. If you really feel that a necklace is necessary, go for one or two lightweight long (32” or longer) styles. Preferably, opt out of a necklace altogether and go for an earring and bracelet stack instead.
Halter tops can either go to the very base of your neck, or very low, exposing some décolletage. This type of neckline creates a V shape, so choose a necklace/pendant that has a narrow shape and follows the lines of the top. If the halter allows space for a necklace to lay flat on your skin, a perfect necklace style would be a lariat. Halters naturally bring attention upwards towards your face, choosing to forego a necklace and wearing a long dangle earring would compliment this style of top or dress perfectly.
Strapless tops and dresses a meant to show off your décolletage – don’t mess with a good thing by covering it up with a big chunky necklace. If you feel too bare, a short, dainty style necklace would highlight the area without competing with it. Again, a nice long and/or bold earring would work great.
BUTTON-UP / COLLAR
There are two ways to wear this- a modern take on the button-up top is to have every button secured right to the top and wearing a bold, chunky style necklace on top of the shirt with the collar folded over.
The other, more traditional way is to leave the top one or two buttons undone. With this look, choose a shorter length that allows the base of the necklace to rest above the top button. A lightweight, dainty necklace (or necklaces) is classic and feminine, while a chunkier style gives a cool, youthful vibe.
BLAZER / JACKET
The length of necklace will depend on what type of style of top you wear under your blazer. Ensure that the necklace you wear is able to lay flat (hits either right above the neckline of the top, or no longer than the bust). You can play around with different styles, but I would caution against large pendants that will be hidden under the jacket.
Hopefully this comprehensive guide has taken out some of the guesswork of which necklace goes with which neckline, and gives you the foundation to start making your own “rules”.
If I missed a neckline, or you have questions, don’t hesitate to comment on this post or send me an email.
Below is a chart that shows each neckline and the corresponding necklace styles.
Below the chart, you will find our Necklace Length Guide.