Necklaces have been ever-present in history. Of course, they weren’t always as glamorous as they are now. But they were an important part of a person’s dress code. They symbolized wealth and prestige, and only people within a certain social class wore them.
Fast forward to the 18th century and the necklace is now predominantly a feminine fashion item. Women would wear it with other matching jewellery pieces like pendants, earrings, and bracelets. Once in a while, it wasn’t strange to see someone wear a necklace with a matching tiara.
It’s the 21st century and necklaces are still popular. They are still predominantly female fashion items, but once in a while, a man rocks them too. Necklaces have also evolved. They no longer consist just of organic materials strung together with a string. They now come in different sizes and look best when worn in certain ways. Let us now take a look at the different types of necklaces worn for Jewelry.
Types Of Necklaces
Let’s start with the shortest necklace style. The choker is meant to fit right around your neck and is 12-13 inches long.
They are usually made of pearls, gems, and beads but they can also be strands of gold or silver. Collar necklaces are very versatile and can be worn for casual or formal events.
Chokers are necklaces worn close to the neck. They are typically 14-16 inches and come in different styles.
Your neckline is an important factor to consider when you are deciding what necklace to wear, but a choker goes well with all necklines. Chokers are great for any event and because they come in different styles, they are great for every occasion. So whether you are going for a casual dinner date or a business meeting, clasp that choker around your neck for that extra effect.
A princess necklace is defined by style or length. The term princess implies royalty and that is what this necklace looks like. A princess necklace is typically 18 inches long and is said to be the most flattering necklace length.
The necklace is usually encrusted with stones and usually has a central drop or focal piece that lands just below the collarbone.
The princess necklace is perfect for formal attire and is a great piece if you want to stun at work.
Matinees are longer than princess necklaces but are shorter than opera pieces. They are about 22 inches and will typically fall somewhere close to the centre of your bust.
Matinees are great for lawyering and work best with turtlenecks or clothes with high necklines. They don’t work so well with clothes that have a low neckline because they draw attention to the bust.
Opera necklaces offer versatility that most other neckpieces don’t. They are long, up to 30 inches, and can go as far as touching your belly button. Most opera-length necklaces tend to land below the bust though.
Because of its length, this necklace works with most necklines. Like the Matinee, it is also great for layering. Step out in that Vneck gown wearing a choker and an opera piece and the crowd will turn in your direction.
Lariats are probably the longest of all necklace types. They can be as long as 34 inches and are also referred to as a Y-necklace or rope.
There are a few things that are unique to the Lariat necklace. It does not have a clasp so the chains are either tied like a rope or drawn through a finding.
Also, the length of the Lariat gives it great versatility. Do you want to convert your lariat to a choker or a collar necklace? Just wrap the Lariat around your neck a few times. And because there is no clasp, you can adjust the Lariat to any length you want.
Now that we have looked at the different types of necklaces, let’s look at the different styles that were birthed from them. These styles have been around for a while with many of them having century-old histories.
Bibs are fanciful necklaces usually bedecked with pearls, gemstones, and beads. They are typically princess or collar-length and are very fanciful.
Bibs have been around for a while and were even worn by ancient royalty. Pair a bib statement piece with your formal wear.
Graduated necklaces are one of the most common ways to wear beads. The beads vary in size with the large beads in the centre, each bead getting smaller as you get closer to the clasp.
You have probably seen graduated pearl necklaces but these styles of necklaces can be seen with coral, turquoise, and bakelite pieces.
A favourite during the Victorian era, festoons are draping necklaces that are designed with precious metals and stones.
The main chain in this neckpiece is usually choker length, while the rest of the necklace falls on your collarbone. Festoons work best with formal wear that expose the shoulder,
The pendant necklace is very popular and versatile. These necklaces come with pendants that usually dangle off the chain or string of beads. They are loved because they add a personal touch. Pendant necklaces come in different styles. The two most popular styles are lavalieres and lockets.
Lockets were once referred to as the perfect gifts. They are pendants with compartments to hold a picture or a toke. They can be stylish but are mostly sentimental. Lockets are usually best with princess, choker, and opera necklaces.
The Lavaliere is more exotic than the locket. It is a dainty chain strung to a large focal pendant. This pendant is also embellished. They are usually princess-length and add a certain glamour to light feminine fashion.
Just like the name, the multi-strand consists of multiple chains of beads or pearls held together by a single clasp. They come in collar or choker length and are meant to lay flat on your neck.
Negligees are long necklaces that are symbolised by their asymmetrical pendants. This design consists of a pendant that has two other asymmetrical pieces attached to it.
Weirdly it does not have any connection with the negligee nightgown.
The sautoir is an ornamental necklace with a statement pendant. The pendant could be a tassel or fringe, and the necklaces were typically opera length. Sautoirs are so versatile that their usage goes beyond the neck. You can wear them as bracelets or headpieces even.
Much like the graduated necklace, a riviere consists of single or double rows of gemstones that get smaller as they go towards the clasp. This necklace comes in any length between collar and princess.
Every day, a new style of necklace pops up but they will typically fall under one of the types we have mentioned here. Of course, there are always distinctions between the different styles but these are mainly based on the length of the necklace or the material used.
The different styles add a certain spice to your outfit and the perfect necklace gives you a confidence boost. Think about your personal style and your outfit when choosing a necklace, and you will find that perfect neckpiece.
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