Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Necklace

Remember our post on choosing the right earrings for your face shape? The same ideas apply to the one piece of jewelry almost every woman is likely to wear – the versatile necklace. Whether casual or formal, there’s no end to the different styles available, and the choice can be mind-boggling. Considering the length, shape and texture of your necklace can be a key to finding your best look.

Types of Necklaces

Neck jewelry comes in several categories based on length:

Necklace sizes

  • Collar – 12″ to 13″ Snugs against your neck; usually in several strands
  • Choker – 14″ to 16″ Rests at or around the collarbone
  • Princess – 17″ to 19″ The most popular (and versatile) length
  • Matinee – 20″ to 25″ Worn by themselves, they are chic and professional
  • Opera – 26″ to 36″ Long and classy, these strands make a clear fashion statement
  • Some necklaces (such as pearls) are available in rope length. These are very formal and elegant.

Image: Ispirada Jewelry Blog: How to Choose a Necklace Size

Choosing for your face shape

As a rule, you’ll want to wear neck jewelry that brings balance to your features, and avoid necklaces that mimic the same shape as your face.

Celebrity Necklaces

See how the length and shape of the necklace balances the face? Round/short face = longer necklace; angular features = small, delicate styles.

  • Angelina JolieRound face – Go long! Opt for almost any style that goes below the collarbone. Play around with pendants and fun shapes like boxes or long, dangling pieces.

    Avoid: Chokers, short strand pearls or beads

  • Square face – Round it off! Offset strong lines and an angular jaw with large round/oval pendants or pearls. You also look fabulous in long layered or t-shaped pieces.

    Avoid: Chokers, square chains, angles/corners.

  • Long face – Think short and delicate: classic pearls, fancy chains, and round gemstone pendants.

    Avoid: Long chains, anything that draws your face “down.”Jessica Alba

  • Heart face – If you have a wide forehead and cheeks, add width to the lower part of your face. After all, you’ll want to draw more attention to your cute chin! Try short necklaces like chokers, and those with large central stones or beads.

    Avoid: T-shaped and tapered necklaces.

  • Oval face – Go bold! Experiment with v-shapes, chokers and opera necklaces. You look best in mixed Katherine Heigllarge beads or geometric shapes.

    Avoid: You don’t need to play down or accent any particular feature but once again, you do want to avoid mirroring your face shape to create a distracting effect. Over-long chains can distract from the perfect balance of your face shape.

Choosing for your figure

  • Petites – pass up short, rounded necklaces, wide chokers, and collars in favor of longer styles that balance your proportions well.

  • Tall figures look great in pearls, big beads, and necklaces that are wider than they are vertical.

  • Matinee and opera necklaces are ideal for plus-sized and full-figured women. Delicate, flowing styles are most flattering on you.

Women with short necks look great in longer pieces. Tiered or layered necklaces add visual interest for women with long or slim necks. Wide or heavy neck? Avoid small chains and chokers and go for large styles that stand out. Angular and geometric pieces balance fleshy necklines well.

Natalie Portman winterChoosing for your color

Don’t forget to pay attention to your natural coloring! Women with cool colors (e.g. ivory or blue skin undertones) look best in silver, platinum, and white gold. When choosing gemstones, you should look for bright and clear colors, like classic jewel tones.

Warm-toned individuals (e.g. olive skin, red hair) look great in earth tones: shimmering golds, coppers, coral and turquoise.

A note on style

Women with smooth, youthful skin are fine wearing close-fitting necklaces. Older women can keep a poised, balanced look by adding elegant pieces with length and bulk that will not draw attention to skin imperfections.

If you have very delicate features, don’t overdo it with your jewelry – avoid flashy or bulky styles. Remember, sometimes less is more!

Read more:
Becoming Gorgeous: The Best Jewelry for Your Face Shape

Choosing the Best Type of Earrings