Jewelry has been worn since ancient times and was made to adorn the human body. Apart from rings and earrings, some of the earliest necklaces were made of stones or natural shells, which were later replaced by fashioned beads found in prehistoric gravesites. They are worn for various reasons and sometimes used as symbols of status and wealth. Made of precious stones and metals, they have different styles from chokers to several wraps around the neck.
Necklaces are wardrobe essentials, and people wear them to express their style as well as their interests and beliefs. Look below to learn more about the unspoken beauty of necklaces and the different styles.
Apart from being exquisite pieces of jewelry worn as decorations, they’re also used as a way of communication expressing wealth, prestige, beliefs, elements of identity, and so on. For example, many people wear necklaces with a cross or a miraculous medal to express their devotion and love for God. Others might wear pendants such as a Scorpio necklace to express their love for their zodiac sign, or that they simply like scorpions.
Jewelry is ambiguous, and people interpret it the way it suits them best, so there are no rules. Also, the durability of necklaces made of various materials such as metal, gemstones, and glass beads, provides an opportunity to understand and appreciate the artistry, aesthetics, and practices of other cultures. From collar necklaces and chokers to more traditional styles and lengths.
Necklaces were made to display decorative and stylistic features through different periods and regions. The design possibilities of necklaces as well as pendants are limitless but a few common styles seem to be truly timeless and appear in trends repeatedly.
Collar and choker
A collar is a broad piece of jewelry that rests close to the neck. This type of necklace was popularized during the 16th century for both women and men. This type of necklace would look great on a long neck, and when worn as a casual look. It also works beautifully when worn with open-neck outfits such as V-necks, scoop necks, boat necks, and off the shoulder.
A choker is a flexible, single, or multi-strand necklace, which is a bit longer than a choker. They’ve been around for thousands of years and were favored as jewelry pieces in the earliest civilizations such as Sumerians and Ancient Egyptians. Note that it’s best to avoid this type of necklace if you have a round face but it would look great on a heart-shaped or rectangular face.
Princess length and rope
Princess-length necklaces are 18-20 inches (45-50cm) long, hanging right below the hollow of the throat. This makes them versatile and can be worn with a variety of outfits, that’s why it’s such a popular choice for many. Keep in mind that when choosing a necklace length it’s best to consider your height. If you like wearing pearls, then the princess length is the most popular and historically common. Princess length necklaces go well with high and crew necklines, and also a plunging neckline.
On the other hand, rope necklaces vary depending on how they’re worn. Longer than opera size necklaces, and are usually intended to be wrapped around the neck more than once. It can be paired with business attire as well as an evening gown. These types of long necklaces are a great option if you like vintage as they’re a stylish spin on the 1920s flapper girl look, especially if it is a string of pearls.
Matinee and Opera
Matinee necklaces are usually 22-23 inches (56-58cm) long, and sit between the collarbone and the bust. They go well with different outfits but are especially good with casual and business attire. This length looks good over collared shirts and higher necklines. It elongates the neck perfectly, and if you add an interesting pendant, it will make it even more flattering.
The opera necklace falls on the bust or several inches below, and it’s usually between 30-35 inches (75-90cm) long. It might look great if paired with a high neckline or an evening outfit. As it works great on high necklines it can be worn over turtle necks and boat necks. You can wear it as a large single strand or wrapped around your neck twice to create a stylish two-strand choker style necklace.
Necklaces are so versatile that you can find many more styles that occurred throughout history including sautoir, lariat, torc, and others. They’re important jewelry pieces for both women and men. From chains to strings of beads like pearls and gemstones, vintage jewelry, or any other natural material. Whether worn to symbolize something meaningful or just for fashion, there’s no doubt they’re the perfect accessory.