Discover different types of necklaces based on look and length, and how to wear them for several occasions like a wedding ceremony, work, brunch, or party.
It is highly likely than before history even began being recorded, necklaces have been around and worn by the very first humans on Earth! Archaeologists have dug up and found numerous beads and stones that prove that they were used as different types of jewelry. It has been tested and proven that they’ve been around for at least a 100,000 years!
A necklace is that one thing that enhances the overall appearance in the blink of an eye, right after you put it on. You can wear different types of necklaces with varying attires for several occasions like a wedding ceremony, party, brunch , or even funerary purpose. Apart from this fact, there are people who wear it especially to showcase their wealth and social status.
Whenever the thought of an event comes up in a woman’s mind, the first thing that seems important after deciding the attire are the right accessories for completing the look. So today we wanted to talk about our favorite jewelry item – the necklace!
Necklaces, just like everything else, can be classified in different ways. Three of the best ways to classify them are by material (pearl, bead, seashell, etc.), look (layered, single, thin, thick, etc.) or by length (long, short, very short, choking!).
In this article, we’ll cover look and length only, since these necklaces can be made in any material. Note that the sizes mentioned are the average of the usual and can be made of varying lengths too.
Now let’s have a look at some of the most trending and classic types of necklaces…
Types of Necklaces
1. Princess Necklace: Greetings, Mademoiselle!
A necklace that sits on or slightly below the collarbone and sometimes even flows down to the décolletage is called a princess necklace. Never too long, it’s the perfect type to wear with most dresses, as the neckline doesn’t cover its beautiful design. It is the most regal design there is and arrives from historic times when royalties used to wear it.
It is adorned with gems and beads like glistening rhinestones, and is one of the most common and popular types of necklaces. Found in fanciful shapes, it usually has one central drop that is encrusted with a precious stone like diamond or ruby. These necklace types are the perfect fit for almost every occasion as they come in both light and heavy variants. As the name suggests, these are prized possessions best fit for a queen that you are!
- Length – 18”- 20”
- Placement – Sits below the collarbone
- Neckline – Plunging and strapless
2. Choker Necklace: Ooooh Sassy, and a li’l bit of Classy!
Made from a variety of materials like gold, velvet, and ribbon, choker necklaces are a type that has the shortest length out of all. These types of necklaces are of the size that is wrapped and clasped around and sits exactly on the neck and above the collarbone. They were common during the Victorian era, and are now back in trend.
Choker necklaces were widely embraced as they made a great statement on outfits with both low and high necklines. They are even available in layers of pearls or diamonds until the neck is completely filled! The biggest advantage of choosing a choker necklace is that no matter what the design or color may be, it always goes with everything you wear from oversized t-shirt to sweetheart neckline evening gown.
- Length – 14’-16”
- Placement – Sits either in the middle of the neck or slightly above the collarbone
- Neckline – Off-the-shoulder, one shoulder, scoop, and V-neck
3. Collar Necklace: The All in One!
As the name suggests, collar necklaces sit on the collarbone. While some may get it mixed up with a princess and choker necklace, don’t be confused. These necklaces are shorter than princess necklaces and longer than choker necklaces. They sit above or on the collarbone only.
The term collar was used to describe all necklaces in earlier times, and were traditionally made of one or more strands of pearls. Contemporary collar necklaces look similar to a collar on a shirt and are thick.
Collar necklaces can also give you a more casual look if you choose to pair up plain strands of gold and silver with it. Wearing a collar necklace gives you a look you are aiming for.
- Length – 12”-13”
- Placement – Sits above the collarbone
- Neckline – Off-the-shoulder, turtleneck, boat, and V-neck
4. Opera Necklace: Drama, Drama, Drama!
The opera necklace screams drama! These are versatile types of necklaces that are quite long and usually come in single or double strands. From pearls to beads, they are made with all kinds of metals and nearly anything you can think of.
This makes them a great addition to your jewelry box. And as the name Opera suggests, you can wear these necklaces to formal or extravagant events only, but as these necklaces are so attractive, who needs to follow the rules, huh?
- Length – 30’’ – 36’’
- Placement – Sits below the bust line or closer to the belly button
- Neckline – Deep, scoop, or turtleneck
5. Bib Necklace: Bib it Up!
Worried about accessorizing? Don’t worry, the bib necklace will have your back! Just like the name implies, a bib necklace is designed to cover you up in the same area that a bib does. This necklace type is shaped like a bib, has chunks of stones that dangle from the chain, and has a clasp to close. It is trending greatly right now.
In case you are tired of your winter scarf and still wish to decorate the front part of your blouse, then bib necklaces are your perfect partner. These types of necklaces are chunky and bold statement necklaces that are made of metals such as gold, silver, or mosaic pieces. You can even get them customized in different sizes and colors that you desire.
Bib necklaces can also be made out of crystals or different kinds of Hawaiian beads, so be prepared to be pleasantly surprised by what you find on a bib necklace shopping spree!
- Length – 12”-20”
- Placement – Sits right on or below the collarbone
- Neckline – Deep, off shoulder, or sweetheart
6. Thread Necklace: A Splash of Colors!
Expect a unique look with the thread necklace that is considered super stylish and is characterized by colorful threads tied together in knots at the neckline. Or sometimes, it uses thin strands of fabric in place of actual threads. This means that you won’t require eyelets or any other type of finding to clip the necklace together. It looks beautiful when paired up with large beads or oxidized silver pendants.
As it is found in multiple colors, it will give you a complete and stunning look with any color blouse you pair it up with, be it bright or neutral colored. You can either team it up with a blazer, a dress, a casual shirt, or a tunics. These are also ideal for days when you are clueless about how to style yourself right.
- Length – 13”-20”
- Placement – Sits below the collarbone
- Neckline – T-shirt, round, or boat
7. Lockets: Keep Your Loved Ones Close to Your Heart!
Wanna keep your loved one close to your heart? Like literally? A locket is your go-to! It is a type of necklace that consists of a specific chain and pendant. It not only consists of a small compartment-type pendant that holds a tiny picture or memento, but can also be a cool style statement. These pendants are passed down for generations and often hold personal and sentimental value.
During the Victorian era, lockets were quite popular and were often engraved with a loved one’s hair or small hand painted portraits. In today’s time, these can be inserted with digital or traditional photos or designed in different shapes and materials. Lockets often look best when paired up with a minimal length choker necklace.
Remember that blue diamond locket in Titanic? Yes!
- Length – 15” – 18”
- Placement – Sits below the collar or bust line
- Neckline – Scoop, v-neck, square or high neck
8. String: The Simple, yet Elegant!
The string necklace is a type of necklace that is brought together by conjoining multiple strings to one clasp point. It is sometimes stringed together with asymmetrical beads that add a dash of vibrancy to one’s overall look.
It splashes a riot of elements while styling it with different outfits and thus completing your look. You can wear these necklaces with on light hued attires to beach parties, casual catch ups, or brunches with friends. The necklaces are even more attractive when one chooses strings of various different colors.
It can be made of almost any type of material like beading wire, silk strings, linen cord strings, leather strings, beads, or even hemp. Some gems and beads are also added on the strings to make them look more appealing.
- Length – 12”-16”
- Placement – Sits on or below the collar
- Neckline – Off-the-shoulder, strapless, and scoop
9. Charm Necklace: Charm Them All!
Charm necklaces are dainty necklaces that are usually great for stylish chic outfits. These have one or many mini charms like metal stars, hearts, studs, and pendants strung on one or more chains. In terms of work wear, you can take advantage of its minimalist elegance.
It is easily paired up with other dainty jewelry such as a bracelet, simple stud earrings and a stack of delicate rings. Or you can layer chain necklaces together. For example, wear two charm necklaces at the same time or add another delicate choker necklace to your charm necklace. In addition, this versatile piece of jewelry could be styled with night out elegant looks.
- Length – 16” – 18”
- Placement – Sits on or below the collarbone
- Neckline – Deep neck, v-neck, turtleneck and scoop neck
10. Matinee Necklace: Time to Pull Up the Curtains!
The matinee necklace is for those who are planning to wear a gown. It is usually encrusted with beads and precious stones, making them an elegant, lady-like style. The matinee necklace’s length stands somewhere shorter than an opera necklace and longer than a princess necklace, hence it will serve well if one wishes to layer the two together.
The best part? As matinee necklaces are made out of so many different materials, you can wear them almost anywhere from wedding receptions to business dinners.
- Length – 22”-23”
- Placement – Sits between the collarbone and the center of the bust
- Neckline – Shirt collar, evening gowns, plunging, and high neck
11. Asymmetric Necklace: Beauty Lies in Asymmetry too!
Asymmetric necklaces are those that have either asymmetric and disjointed shapes or are made out of materials that vary on each side along their length. Because of their unexpected design, these types of necklaces are some of the coolest ones to try.
Asymmetric necklaces are mismatched, where one side may be a plain chain and the other beaded. Its slight off-pairings are what draws the attention towards itself and evokes a sense of individuality and intrigue.
Asymmetrical jewelry became even more popular in the late 2010s, and we saw celebs and models wear them on both runways and magazines. You can definitely achieve a style of unbalanced beauty with an asymmetric necklace.
- Length – 15” – 19”
- Placement – On the collarbone or bust
- Neckline – Scoop neck, strapless, off-the-shoulder, and shirt collar.
12. Y Necklace: The Chic Lariat
There are many fashion brands that have made the Y or the lariat necklace a statement now. In case you are unfamiliar with this type of necklace, it’s a long rope or chain that often doesn’t have a clasp. It comes down to join together at a point where usually there’s a pendant, beading or a knot, followed by an extending chain dangling down forming a Y shape.
Usually, the way to close the necklace is either by looping it, knotting it, or wrapping it around the neck forming a choker. This way it will be easily draped without coming apart. In addition, these types of necklaces are well-suited for work if made from gold or silver. You can also rock them at festivals or casually if they are made from faux suede.
- Length – 15” + 2” (extending chain)
- Placement – Usually between the collarbone and the bust
- Neckline – Turtleneck, shirt collar, and off-shoulder
13. Bar Necklace: Set the Bar!
The bar necklace is a delicate piece that comes with a thin chain and a bar shaped pendant (usually rectangular or coiled) attached to it. Bar necklaces can either be very casual, like dumbbell designs, or very dainty, like thin gold bars. Its delicate touch is well-suited in any setting and on any outfit. The bar necklace can be kept engraved, bejeweled, plain and sophisticated, or added with a pop of color.
Be it at a red carpet event or on a casual brunch, its modern style and versatility make it a timeless piece. For a chill look, you can pair a minimal bar necklace with a white tee and pair of denims. For an extravaganza, a beaded bar necklace will go well with a silhouette dress or evening gown!
- Length – 16” – 22”
- Placement – Usually on or below the collarbone, but may be longer
- Neckline – Turtleneck, collar, off-shoulder, and scoop neck
14. Multi-layered Necklace: Layers on Layers, How Many Layers?
Looking for something classy? No? Casual? Well, well, whatever it is, I’m sure a multi-layered necklace will fulfill the purpose. These are trendy necklaces with layers of different or similar chains and pendants.
Now, layered necklaces and layering are two different things. These necklaces come as a whole design and a single entity. In layered necklaces, you have two or three similar or different-looking necklaces attached together. Such types of necklaces save time like crazy! They give you a balanced look and don’t need to ponder upon choosing from your wide necklace collection.
While multi-layered necklaces come conjoined, you can DIY and layer necklaces yourself too. For instance, choose a couple of necklaces from your jewelry box like a charm, choker, or pearl necklace and wear them together. Simple!
- Length – 18” – 38”
- Placement – From the neck to the collarbone/bust/stomach (depending upon preference of length)
- Neckline – Turtleneck, scoop neck, and off-shoulder
15. Body Necklace: Dripped in Hotness!
A body necklace or body chain is a longer piece of jewelry that you can wear on the back, across the chest, and around the hips. It is a delicate metal statement piece designed to accessorize one’s body and usually any minimal outfit.
A body necklace can be made of any material and usually crisscrosses across the front of the body in many layers. It can be shaped like a the outline of a bra that you can wear over a shirt or blazer. Or it can be shaped like the strap of a cross body bag. Be it at a club, party, or evening engagements, these can make you look cool anytime, anywhere!
- Length – 14” – 22”
- Placement – From the neck to the chest or back
- Neckline – Deep and plunging necklines
16. Tangled Necklace: Untangle Your Style With a Bit of Tangle!
Tangled necklaces are knots or beadings strung and joined together to make it look tangled. It may either have a clasp closing or just be put on and off like a free-wear. These types of necklaces may be casual or formal and you can wear them in parties or glam events as a statement piece.
The tangled necklaces are either luxurious, when adorned with gold, silver or gemstones, or casual, consisting of beadings or stones of different colors. So pair this magnificent piece, or rather, pieces with an evening gown or a beach maxi dress to make use of it best!
- Length – 18”
- Placement – Sits below the collar or bust line
- Neckline – Deep neck, V neck, turtleneck and scoop neck
So which necklace is your favorite? Pick your favorite style amongst these different types of necklaces listed above! Try it out and do share the pictures with us by tagging us @shilpaahujadotcom on Instagram. You can also comment and share with us your thoughts on Twitter @shilpa1ahuja! 🙂
Prerna Sharma writes about the latest fashion, beauty and dressing. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Film, T.V. and Radio and did her Bachelors in English Honors. She also has a PG Diploma in Media and Public Relations from St. Xavier’s College.
Prior to working as a Fashion Journalism Intern at ShilpaAhuja.com, she started her career as a Travel Writer and Digital Marketer, where she wrote for different spheres like medical services, film review, information technology, and real estate. This experience fostered her awareness around travel and tourism, and creative writing, but her keen eye for trends made her transition into fashion writing.
Originally from Kolkata, Prerna loves staying up to date in current fashion and culture trends, be it movies, music, or social media. When she isn’t staring at a screen, you can find her spending way too much time writing poetry or trying out new outfits.
She can be found @i.am.prerna on Instagram.