There are necklaces suited for any occasion. Whether it’s a sentimental keepsake or a show-stopping piece for a memorable event, a necklace is the perfect accessory that has long been admired for its versatility and beauty.
There are many styles of necklace, but as a rule: the length will define the necklace design. Below is a guide to help find the perfect piece.
Choker necklaces fit around the neck. They can be found in an array of designs, however, because of their positon on the body, they are often broader. They may be constructed from fabric or a flat, flexible metal mesh that accommodates the neck’s natural movements and provides comfort for the wearer. A statement piece that can be worn to elegant or formal events, chokers are often cast in precious metal and inlayed with precious gemstones, diamonds or pearls for a dazzling finish.
An extremely popular necklace for women, a collar sits at the base of the neck, just above the collarbone. Unlike a choker, a collar may be a simple, delicate gold chain, or it can be a highly ornate piece consisting of intricate designs, metalwork, and precious stones that hang down. Because of their length and positon on the body, collar necklaces often feature opulent designs; the secure base is also an excellent way to showcase large precious stones and diamonds to their full effect. It is a popular style of bridal necklace, and is always appropriate for special events and formal occasions.
The princess is the most popular length for women’s necklaces. For pendant jewelry, such as gemstones, lockets or name necklaces, it is considered ideal since it hangs just over the collarbone, showcasing the main feature without providing too much movement. It’s also versatile, complementing both short and longer necks.
This length of necklace falls below the collarbone but always above the cleavage. For this reason, it is normally worn without a pendant, as this will cause it to drop further. The matinee length is extremely popular as a simple chain made from silver, gold or platinum, but can also be made opulent with smaller gemstones or pearls that make it ideal for eveningwear.
The length of opera necklaces can vary: when worn they may fall several inches below the bust. Because of this variation, opera necklaces are generally suited to all body types. Much like matinee necklaces, opera length necklaces are well suited to simple chains of precious metal, strings of gemstones or pearls.
Rope is the longest length of necklace. It is an elegant style that can extend down to the waist. If preferred, rope necklaces can be doubled up or even knotted. Due to their length, rope necklaces tend to be minimal, highly-finished designs, often crafted from precious metal—though they quickly become heavy if the chain is too thick. A popular material for rope necklaces are pearl strands which are doubled around at the choker or collar length.
At the opposite end of the spectrum to the choker is the lariat. This is a long necklace worn doubled, tripled or knotted, and sometimes consists of a single chain that hangs. It is an opulent style and, much like the choker, the lariat is always a statement piece. When in gold or a precious white metal, the lariat drapes down the neckline, making it the ideal way to accessorize eveningwear for a dramatic yet elegant finish.
When choosing a necklace, it’s important to consider the type of closure. There are many different types; below are the essential clasps and closures found on necklaces.
The spring clasp is one of the most common types of closure for necklace jewelry. As the name implies, it works using a simple spring system that is relatively secure. One drawback is that depending on the size it can be difficult to open, especially when very small. A subtle closure that blends seamlessly with any necklace, it is an understated but functional option.
Like the spring clasp, the lobster clasp is a self-closing style that works using a small lever. It is easier to use and sturdier than the spring clasp, it can often rotate, making it less likely that the necklace will tangle. However, while secure and easy to use, lobster clasps are often a larger and less subtle option.
This style is predominantly found on chokers and collars, especially those with multiple stands. It is made of a tube and bar for attaching the many chains that then lock together.
This type of closure is made of a bar in the shape of a ‘T’ and usually a circle. The bar is maneuvered through the circle and then holds the necklace together. In many cases, this type of closure may be worn at the front to form part of the necklace design. Although it works on any style, it is better suited to a heavier piece so the weight will secure it.
Barrel clasps are composed of two pieces that screw together to form a barrel shape. It is one of the most secure options, and because it is a hidden closure it blends well with whatever piece of necklace jewelry it’s on.