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by Jesus Zabala - 7 min read

How to Wear Necklaces

The art of accessorizing goes beyond merely choosing a necklace or a pair of earrings you like. Knowing how to wear necklaces requires a keen understanding of personal style and is intertwined with aspects such as type of neckline, body shape, and more. 

Necklace styling involves a list of nuances that can make it confusing. This article will reveal the intricacies of wearing a necklace and unravel how to navigate the selection process.

Wearing Necklace

How to Wear Necklaces 

Ever wondered why a necklace might look extremely appealing in a photo or on a shelf but is far from flattering when you put it on? The truth is, not every type of necklace will complement your appearance, and some will likely bring out all the features you're trying to shadow. This is why learning how to wear necklaces becomes essential. 

In reality, several considerations should come into play when styling a necklace. Neckline compatibility, type of necklace, and length are among the most important factors in this process, as they help define the overall look. 

Read through the section below and find out how each can help you choose a necklace that makes the right fit. 

Neckline Compatibility

The two main factors that will shape your decision on how to wear a given necklace include the type of neckline and the type of necklace. These factors are directly impacted by the type of event you are attending. 

This is a complicated relationship as the outfit dictates the necklace you can wear, but the necklace you choose also depends on personal style and taste. This is why figuring out how to wear necklaces can sometimes be confusing. 

To offer more clarity surrounding the selection process, we will discuss different considerations for styling necklaces. 

Occasion and outfit

The occasion will define the outfit you wear. Each outfit top comes with a different type of neckline. Some necklines fit well into both more casual outfits, while others are predominantly used for more elegant occasions. 

Below, we will discuss some of the most popular necklines and their accompanying necklace styles. 


The V-neck style can be found in casual outfits and more sophisticated wear. There are many variations of the V-neck, varying in depth and sharpness. This is why when pairing a necklace with a V-neck, we recommend mimicking its shape. 

Depending on the type of V-neck, you may wear a multilayer necklace to decorate a simple dress or put on a strand of pearls for a more sophisticated look. When wearing a pendant necklace with this neckline, ensure the pendant hangs at least two inches above the V point. 

When attending an evening event, adding a Y-drop necklace with a crystal can offer a unique charm of elegance. Overall, this is a versatile neckline suitable for a range of events, leaving plenty of space for experimenting. 


You can wear a turtleneck for a night out at the Opera and also include it as a standard piece within your everyday wear. The styling and the necklace type you will wear differ based on the occasion. For example, a longer necklace (between 24 to 27 inches) makes an excellent choice for formal events. 

We recommend choosing a necklace with some ornate decorations for a more interesting look. A medium-length pearl necklace can also be a suitable accessory for formal events. 

If you want to style a necklace with a turtleneck for casual wear, it is best to go for a collar necklace with a pendant or similar centerpiece. If you want to add an element of boldness to the outfit, you can also combine a turtleneck with a chunky chain necklace like the Big Chain Link Necklace. 

Button-down collar 

The button-down collar is another diverse neckline dominant in business and casual wear. For this type of neckline, a simple and classic necklace choice would be a delicate pendant necklace. Opt for a shorter length that rests just above the collar so it doesn’t compete with the buttons. A dainty chain with a small pendant or charm can add a touch of elegance without overpowering the collar.

A loose button-down collar can also be a good fit for a dainty pendant necklace such as the Venus Pendant. This layered look can be the perfect way to decorate a plain outfit without overdominating it. 


A strapless top is mostly reserved for ceremonial events. This look reveals much skin and leaves much open space for decoration. However, covering this space with long, thick necklaces is a bad idea. Instead, we recommend wearing pieces such as a drop or lariat necklace to highlight the elegance of your evening wear. You can include a dainty or a black choker to achieve a more attractive look.


The square neckline features what we like to call a boxy appearance. When combining a necklace with this neckline, the aim is to soften its appearance. This is usually done by using an angular, asymmetrical necklace. 

More popular necklace types, like square pendants, don't go well with this neckline. Long necklaces that extend beyond the neckline should also be avoided.

Necklace lengths and styles

Necklace lengths and styles


Being one of the shortest neck lengths, the choker offers plenty of versatility and room for experiments. Chokers usually measure between 14 to 16 inches and reside just above the collarbone on the base of the neck. They are worn both for daytime and nighttime occasions and are arguably the safest option when wearing an asymmetrical neckline.

Since chokers are made from different materials, from metal to ribbons and plastic, they fit well into a plethora of styles. For instance a pearl choker can add a touch of sophistication to a crew neckline and also be used to accent the neck and collar bones in a boat neckline. Chokers are also paired with longer necklaces when wearing a V-neck top or a dress.

Princess length 

Princess-length necklaces typically measure 17 to 18 inches; these pieces usually rest neatly over the collarbone. Often referred to as the standard necklace length, these necklaces are suited for a range of different attires.

They fit well into open-shoulder designs, strapless tops, and dresses, creating a balance that complements various body types. While mainly used in elegant looks, the princess length also makes a good choice for bulkier statement pieces. 

Matinee length 

Matinee necklaces belong to the group of longer necklace types. They measure 20 to 24 inches and usually fall no more than two to four inches below the collarbone. While this length can be found in casual and business attire, it is also popular in plunging dresses and bridal gowns. 

It's worth noting that matinee necklaces are made to be worn over clothing, and this is why many designs make wonderful statement pieces. Methane-length necklaces are also used in layering and often feature a multi-strand design. 

Opera length

The average length of opera-length necklaces is around 30 inches, but some designs may reach up to 36 inches. These are designed with more formal events in mind and are meant to be worn with high necklines and eveningwear. 

Opera-length necklaces hang below the bust, and some designs can be wrapped around to achieve a layering effect. 

Rope length 

The rope or lariat necklace length usually measures between 36 to 51 inches. These extra-long necklaces can be wrapped around several times to achieve a layered look or knotted when worn independently. 

They are usually combined with pendants to achieve the desired effect. Typically, rope-length necklaces are used to add an element of glamor to the outfit.

Other considerations

Body proportions

It's worth remembering that the eyes of others will naturally fall where the necklace ends. If you're uncomfortable with people looking at your chest, pairing a necklace with a V-shape might not be a good idea. However, there are some general guidelines worth keeping in mind on how to wear necklaces. 

For instance, shorter, bulkier women should avoid wearing longer necklaces as the length will not fall properly, and the effect will likely be displeasing. Each body type works with different jewelry styles, as a given style emphasizes certain body features. 

Women with a pear silhouette usually wear more striking jewelry to divert the gaze from their faces. This body type works best with shorter necklace sizes, such as chokers. 

The hourglass body type also works well with shorter necklaces that sit above the collarbone, as this helps create balance. Placing the accent on the upper body area creates a more natural look and detracts from the attention that normally goes to the hips.

For more athletic, straight-shaped body types, we recommend slightly longer princess necklaces or necklaces just below the collarbone. This draws attention to the upper body and creates the illusion of curves. 

Face shape 

While the necklace you choose should flatter your body proportions, it should also match your face shape. A necklace may alter the appearance of the face and earrings equally help highlight the most prominent facial features. 

For instance, we see women with an oval face shape as the luckiest out of the bunch, as this group may wear almost any type of necklace without worry. However, women with round faces should avoid chokers and shorter necklace types as these styles make their faces appear even rounder. 

Shorter necklaces generally work best for individuals with longer face shapes because they broaden their complexion. Nevertheless, a shorter necklace as a choker can also be a great choice for someone with a heart-shaped face, as it can balance the narrow chin by making the face look wider. 

Face shape


The choice of necklace plays a crucial role in shaping and complementing an outfit. However, it calls for a thoughtful selection as the necklace must harmonize with the neckline, face shape, and body proportions to create a visually pleasing effect. 

Mastering how to wear necklaces also lies in understanding how to combine them with the outfit and the occasion, considering the personal taste. 

Factors such as the type of neckline and necklace length are key and can either make or break an outfit. This means that whether you opt for a long opera necklace or a choker will largely depend on the type of top you plan on wearing and the event you attend. 

Still, keep in mind that while our general recommendations serve as a guide there is always room for experiments and exploration of your personal style.

Jesús  is the founder and designer of JewelryLab. He is the Head of Design and also oversees production, quality control, and precious metal sourcing.