Necklaces are having a moment. While retailers churn out endless “statement necklace” options, fashion magazines are busy doling out instructions on how to layer pendants and chains artfully. But even if you stick to simpler jewelry options, these guidelines for pairing common necklines with complementary necklaces will help you create a look that feels chic and polished.


Eliminate competition
Crew necklines hit high on the neck, which means they will visually fight with chokers and short strands. In order to create a harmonious look, select a necklace style that doesn’t compete with your neckline. A large bib-style necklace that hits below the collarbone but above the bust line will work, though crew necklines often look best when paired with extra-long strand necklaces that reach the belt line. A longer necklace draws the eye up and down your figure, and poses no risk of competing with the high neckline.


Create mirrored shapes
V-shaped necklines are among the most popular, because they are considered almost universally flattering. However, choosing a choker or short strand necklace counteracts the face-framing and bust-flattering properties of this shape by cutting off the V at its very top. A general rule for pairing necklaces and necklines is to utilize mirrored shapes. With a V-shaped opening, select a V-shaped necklace. Triangular bib necklaces fill the space and mirror the neckline, but pendants worn on chains also will work beautifully. Make sure there is one-half inch to one inch of space between where your necklace ends and neckline begins.


Fill the space
Scoop necklines are graceful and sophisticated, but can cause some styling challenges. Opting for a pendant or other V-shaped necklace fails to mirror the neckline’s shape and also fails to fill the available space. A multi-strand necklace follows the curve of a scoop neckline, and also does a stellar job of filling the visible collarbone area. If a multi-strand option is unavailable, reach for a chunky single strand that will fill some space while creating harmony with the scoop.


Book: “Already Pretty: Learning to Love Your Body by Learning to Dress It Well”