5 Necklace Styles You Should Know About

Model wearing layers of pearl necklaces.

A good necklace fashionably glams up the right outfit without doing too much aesthetically. The right necklace speaks for itself and the outfit.

However, if you wear the same necklaces without variation while showing off your wardrobe, you are telling everyone that you don’t understand necklace fashion.

There are many necklace styles you can take advantage of.

Here are five necklace styles you should know about.

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Classic Pearl Necklace

Pearls are not just objects for your grandmother to clutch in frustration as you espouse modern ideals that conflict with old generational thinking. The pearl is often characterized as an outdated, prudish, and matronly fashion style because it is an ancient gem.

Did you know that the pearl is basically a defense mechanism for the mollusk? When foreign substances or unfinished food gets stuck in the shell, the mollusk will treat it as an invader like how the human body’s immune system treats an infection.

The mollusk will gradually begin coating the invading substance with conchiolin and aragonite, which are the materials its own shell comprises. And then, the mollusk will secrete a material called nacre in between the layers of conchiolin and aragonite to create a high-luster and shiny pearl finish. And this process can take as long as three years to accomplish.

Ancient Japanese cultures mythologized pearls as the tears of gods and mythical creatures. They were crushed and used as medicine. In the Dark Ages, pearls were kept in homes for good luck.

In American culture, pearls become infamous in the fashion culture of the early 1920s. This is the era that you probably think about when pearls—that, or when your old-fashioned mother and aunties were wearing them for church.

But pearls are elegant, chic, and very classy. They are regally fashionable, command attention when you walk into a room, and there are many modern ways you can wear pearls.

A choker pearl necklace is fashionably casual. Your favorite T-shirt, jeans, and casual wear pair well with a pearl choker.

Or overlap several pearl necklaces of varying lengths. A choker and princess pearl necklace are 16” and 18” in length, respectively. 

The matinee pearl necklace is 22” to 24” in length. And the opera pearl necklace is 30” to 32” inches in length.

Or wear a pearl necklace that scales up the pearl sizes from small to oversized.

And don’t forget to vary the color of the pearl as well.

Charm Necklaces

Model wearing two charm necklaces.

The first ancient charm bracelet artifacts discovered by archeologists date back to 400 B.C.E. or over 5,500 years ago. 

Ancient humans wore charm braces to ward off bad luck and evil spirits or make themselves good luck magnets.

The charm bracelet may be the fashion precursor to the military dog tag I.D. necklace or bracelet. Ancient humans may have worn charm bracelets to identify their family lineage or alliance with a ruler, religion, or political party.

Queen Victoria, who ruled England in the late 19th century, is probably the modern originator of the charm bracelet and charm necklace as a fashion statement. The Queen wore them openly and gave them as customized gifts to family and friends. She created a fashion style that is still enjoyed today.

Your imagination is the only limitation for how to wear a charm necklace.

First of all, how you customize the charm or pendant on your necklace is up to you. You can design a symbol to wear. Or you can wear your family crest or design one if you don’t have one.

If you are a shorter person, wear your charm necklace above your collarbone like a choker. And if you are taller, wear the charm necklace below your collar bone, so people pay attention to the necklace and not your height.

If you layer your charm necklaces, try not to wear more than two, so your neckline does not look too showy. And make sure the charms are minimalist.

Coin Necklaces

Charm necklaces are personable, customized, subjective, and a little mysterious. Someone else may not even realize that you are wearing a charm necklace or its own personal meaning to you.

Or they may just assume a meaning behind charm aesthetic that has a more profound emphasis on you than just fashion. Charm necklaces are attention grabbers, but they may or may not be conversation starters depending on how you wear them.

You won’t get away with such ambiguity when it comes to coin necklaces. You can see a coin necklace from across the room. Coin necklaces aesthetically elevate formal wear and add fashion gravitas to well-accessorized casual wear.

In the 1600s, coin necklaces adorned with symbols were given as gifts to attract good luck and fortune to the wearer. WW1 and WW2 soldiers wore coin necklaces as “love tokens.” The coin necklace may have been engraved with messages from and images of a girlfriend, fiancé, wife, mother, or other loved ones. 

The love token gave them the courage to fight and survive to go home.

Many coin tokens are just coins or round talismans that were repurposed as necklaces for good luck or fashion. You could wear a coin necklace bearing the image of a saint, historical figure, or a symbol that suits your personality.

Layer up to two coin necklaces of varying lengths with bead necklaces to create a visually dramatic look. A solo coin necklace paired with a favorite sweater, shirt, or formal top elevates the look.

Choker Necklaces

Model wearing a diamond choker with a pendant necklace.

Chokers are not a necklace style that should stay banished in the 1990s.

Just don’t take the name “choker” too literally. Your choker necklace should not be too tight or chafing your skin. Your neck skin bulging out from above and under the choker defeats the entire fashion purpose of wearing one.

Pair your choker with a necklace of longer length for visual fashion dynamism.

Instead of attaching a necklace or pendant to the choker, let the choker speak for itself.

Wear chokers made of varying materials, like precious metal chains, velvet, pearls, etc. And keep your choker thin; otherwise, it may look like a wide collar covering your neck.

Don’t pair your choker with ultra-extravagant earrings – keep the fashion focus on your choker.

Lavalier Necklaces

Lavalier necklaces are “Y-shaped” string necklaces. Other lavalier necklaces feature ornate, floral, and artistically crafted pendants.

Lavalier necklaces were popularized by English royalty in the 19th century. 

In the early 20th century, radio announcers sometimes wore a brand of microphones around the neck called “Lavalier,” which was then adapted to the fashion necklaces.

Lavalier necklaces are perfect for sundresses, open collar blouses, and formal wear. Wear a lavalier when you want to make a sophisticated fashion statement.

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