Every woman should have a basic necklace wardrobe. Much like the basics in your clothing wardrobe, a well edited collection of necklaces will offer a go-to in every situation.
The addition of a necklace can take an ordinary outfit into extraordinary territory. It can make a plain top look brilliant. Long necklaces elongate the body. Shorter ones bring attention to your face. They can introduce a summer element into a still-wintery wardrobe. They offer pops of colour and fun. They are quick-change artists when you need to dress up or down. They don’t take a leap of faith to wear. And they needn’t cost a lot. What’s not to like?
This is my basic necklace wardrobe
The long beads
I love strings of long beads to add length to the body and a boho vibe to an outfit. They add interest to plain outfits and balance to maxi dresses. They offer a way to dress-down a fabulous long dress and make it more casual. It’s also a really easy way to bring colour into an outfit. Long beads work well with most necklines, but look particularly lovely when echoing a v-neck. AND if you get very long ones that have a closure, you can even wear them as a belt.
The pendant is also a long-line necklace, but with one statement piece acting as an anchor. I find it particularly useful when wearing a long top with tights. For those tops with a lot of volume, the weight of the pendant adds shape to your outfit.
The statement collar
This has to be my favourite. An ornate necklace is the easiest way to take an a so-so outfit to something special. Against plain black it offers a conversation piece. When you team it with colour, it elevates the outfit. It works best against a round neckline so that that it looks like the collar may be part of the garment.
The fine chains
There is something undeniably feminine about a few layers of fine chains. I personally prefer silver (so does my bank account). A combination of lengths will give you plenty of options to play with. I like more subtle jewellery when wearing print or several layers or when I need to look a little more “corporate”.
You can’t go far wrong with pearls. They always look classic. I personally like mine with jeans and a casual t-shirt as I prefer the more laid-back juxtaposition. Long pearls, wrapped around the neck, look amazing peeking out of collared neckline, with just one or two buttons undone. I prefer to balance pearls with a little bit of edge. It’s also worth investing in the real ones (at least one strand).
This is a fashion trend right now and you might not want to revisit the elasticated, tattoo-esque chokers of the nineties. But you can get one at any given chain store at the moment if you do. The other day I bumped into the lovely Lily from The Stylish Teacher. She simply tied a thin leather ribbon around her neck and looked amazing. It’s a particularly lovely look combined with the current off the shoulder trend.
The right necklace for the right neckline
There are plenty of great Pinterest ideas for how you can successfully team necklaces with necklines – check out my board. However, I would always recommend just playing around with your jewellery and your clothes and seeing what works for you — after all style rules are meant to be broken.
Where to buy?
There are plenty of great places to buy inexpensive jewellery. My chain store favourites are Adorne, Collette and Lovisa. If I’m a little more flush, Mimco has amazing stuff (and you can often score a bargain online). Clothing chain stores will often have a jewellery rack and they are worth investigating. And then of course, there are amazing finds on Etsy, at markets and in op-shops. Or, you can always DIY. Fimo is fun to play with, beads are easily accessible and you can always buy pieces from the cheaper stores and then mix and match them together. This is an amazing post on DIY necklaces. It only takes a pair of jewellery pliers, a few slip rings and a little time.