One of the trickiest parts of planning an outfit and finding jewelry to match is figuring out what necklaces will look best with different necklines. Not to mention finding the right neckline for your body type and the kind of event you’ll be attending.
I might not be a wardrobe expert, I can’t give you a list of the 3 most flattering necklines for your body type. But, where I can help, is finding the right necklace and the right necklace length for every neckline.
Of course, I specialize in handmade jewelry, which means that I’m going to be focusing on the types of necklaces you can buy handmade. I’ll be including a wide range of styles, including some non-traditional styles, to make sure you know how to match even the most varied necklace collection to your outfits.
Here’s how to match necklines:
General Advice For Matching Necklaces To Your Neckline
Before we dive into the specific necklines I’m going to talk about today, let’s talk a little about some general rules for choosing the right necklace for any neckline. Remember, first and foremost, that your necklace should help elevate any outfit you pair it with. If the necklace makes your outfit look better, fancier, or more put together, you’re on the right track. If your necklace makes your outfit feel busy, crowded, or adds an unnecessary touch, you might want to trade out for a different necklace, or skip a necklace entirely.
For example, a grecian neckline, which almost acts as a built-in necklace already in the blouse or dress you’re wearing, might not need a necklace at all because the addition of a necklace might mean there’s too much going on.
Your necklace should never interrupt the flow of the existing neckline. So, if you like a lot of boat neck blouses, which have a very wide and shallow neckline that shows off your shoulders, but doesn’t show much of your chest, you might want to stick with a very short necklace, or choose a very long one that complements the existing oval of your neckline. You don’t want to choose a necklace that sits just below the neckline because that would interrupt the flow of the existing neckline.
The next bit is that the necklace should be at least as ornate as the blouse, shirt, or dress you’re pairing it with.
For example, a Queen Anne neckline almost creates a picture frame to surround your necklace. Garments made with this neckline feel ornate, regardless of what fabrics were actually used. That means that you want a relatively formal, nice, ornate necklace that will still elevate that neckline. If you don’t have a necklace that fits the bill, you might want to skip the necklace with that garment or you risk making your outfit look worse, not better.
Lastly, the color of the necklace, including the stones or pendant used and the chain, should always compliment the color of the rest of your outfit. If the colors clash or don’t work well combined with the color of your outfit you’ll run the risk of looking like you’re wearing jewelry for no reason other than to wear jewelry - even if it doesn’t look good.
Well chosen handmade jewelry should always match the outfit you’re wearing, and should look intentional and beautiful when paired together. All of the rules I’m about to tell you for matching a necklace to your neckline are secondary to this one.
If the necklace looks good with your outfit, even if it breaks every other rule of choosing the right necklace for your neckline, and wearing that piece of jewelry makes you happy, wear it.
What Necklaces Should You Wear With Each Neckline
There are a lot of different necklines out there, so I’ve opted to cover each type rather than all of the variations on each kind of neckline. These options should give you a good overview of what each neckline looks like, and what kinds of necklaces best compliment the neckline.
Remember, if you want to add a little more personality to your necklace choices, going with handmade jewelry or choosing a birthstone necklace to match your outfit can help make the whole look feel more unique to you.
V-neck tops are common, and they also happen to be some of the most versatile choices when it comes to pairing a necklace.
A v-neck is any neckline that looks more like a V than an oval or circle, but they can vary from being a shallow V that opens close to the base of your throat, to very deep v-necks that display most of your chest or even expose some of your navel before meeting near the belly button.
The critical thing here is to choose a necklace that either compliments the V shape, or that looks like the top of the V. So choker necklaces, or decorative collar necklaces both work, as do traditional pendant on-chain options.
The only trick is that, if you do wear a chain, it should be long enough to almost mirror the v on either side of the chain. So the deeper your neckline, the longer the matching necklace should be.
Take a look at my jewelry sizing guide for more information about necklace lengths and a reference for where each chain length will sit on most people’s neck and chest.
Crew Neckline/Jewel Neckline
Crew neck tees, blouses, and tunics are some of the most common tops out there. That means that you'll probably be matching your necklaces to a crew neck pretty frequently.
The good news is that crew necklines make finding a good necklace relatively easy.
Statement necklaces are a good option for workwear with this neckline, or for going out on the town. But a pendant necklace long enough to display over your top, with an attractive chain and pendant that will stand out from your top will work well, too. Alternatively, collars and choker necklaces that sit above the crew neckline can be attractive, edgy, or make the top look more formal, depending on the style of the necklace.
That means that the most common neckline also comes with one of the most variable set of necklace pairing options!
High necks can look much more reserved and formal, and are often included in formal office attire, but they can also look severe if you don’t lighten them with a necklace or other jewelry. Especially if you’re wearing a high neck blouse with a solid-color fabric, this is one look that almost cries out to be paired with a handmade necklace.
Fortunately, you can choose almost any chain length with this kind of neckline, as long as you wear the necklace over the blouse.
Both multi-stone and solitaire pendant necklaces look good with this style, so feel free to shake things up and wear different necklaces depending on your mood or the season. You can even layer multiple necklaces of different styles with this kind of neckline for a more daring or expressive look.
Boat Necks, also called Sabrina, necklines are a little harder to match with necklaces for a couple of reasons. These necklines tend to emphasize your shoulders, and it’s harder to find a necklace that won’t interrupt the flow of the neckline.
For a shallow boat neck you might be more limited to either a very long necklace that sits fairly wide on your shoulders, or a choker that will rest above your neckline.
Or, alternatively, skip the necklace entirely and choose a pair of eye-catching dangling earrings instead to help your neck look longer!
Queen Anne Neck
I’ve already mentioned this neckline partially because it’s so ornate that it really calls for a well-matched necklace.
For this kind of neckline you either want to skip the necklace, which I don’t recommend, or choose a necklace that will sit right in the middle of the neckline and look framed by the surrounding fabric.
Solitaire necklaces and multi stone necklaces both work, you just want to choose something that pops, and works well with the color of the top.
Personally, I love Lariat necklaces for this neckline because I can adjust the length to be exactly right, and the dramatic single strand of chain really makes the most of the drama and elegance that comes with this neckline.
This is another versatile neckline that can work with most necklace styles. The trick is choosing the right necklace length.
For instance, collar necklaces work well, often better than chokers, despite generally having similar designs.
If you want a necklace on a chain, the stone, pendant, or stones, should sit somewhere between half way and three quarters of the way from the top of your shoulder (where they meet your neck) and the edge of the neckline.
Follow this rule and you’ll be able to choose the perfect necklace for any square neckline of any depth.
Deep Scoop Neck
Deep scoop necklines actually follow basically the same rule as a square neckline, length is the most important factor here. You want a necklace that falls somewhere between ½ and ¾’s of he way between the top of your shoulders and the top of your neckline.
However, one big difference here is that the shape of the necklace will change how it looks and how the shirt looks on you. A pendant or solitaire stone necklace will emphasize how deep the neckline is, kind of like an arrow pointing down.
A wider necklace, like a multi stone or bar necklace, will instead make your shoulders look a little broader and your neck a little longer, without emphasizing the depth of the neckline or your chest quite as much.
Sweetheart necklines are another versatile option. These necklines will naturally emphasize your chest a little more, regardless of what necklace you wear, so you don’t need to think about shape as much as a deep scoop neckline.
That said, handmade necklaces of basically any style work, and you can layer more than one style with this neckline as well.
Just make sure there is at least an inch between the bottom of your necklace and the top of your neckline, and you should be good with this design. And don’t be afraid to pair multiple necklaces like a choker, a short chain necklace, and a medium chain necklace together, especially for a night on the town.
This is a neckline that’s perfect for experimentation and some daring.
Keyhole necklines are another neckline that is tricky to pair with necklaces because they’re already relatively formal elaborate necklines.
You either, with this style, want to wear a choker necklace or a necklace where the pendant sits perfectly in the keyhole cutout of the neckline, which can be worn over or under the top depending on your personal preference.
Here again, a Lariat necklace can be really useful because you can precisely choose the length of the chain to position the pendant in the perfect spot.
Cowl necklines are another tricky option, and an exaggerated cowl neckline probably doesn’t need its own necklace.
That said, if you have any long-chain necklaces that you can wear over your shirt and have the pendant show under the cowl, that can be a beautiful way to elevate outfits with this neckline.
Other Unique Necklines
There are necklaces for any neckline, but it can take some experimentation to find the right necklaces to pair with your wardrobe that match your style. Of course, the more variety you have in your jewelry collection the easier it will be to find the right necklaces in your collection.
That said, handmade jewelry can help you stand out from the crowd and can help make even the most standard look stand out from the crowd and look personalized to you.