Less Than Optimal Necklace Stylings

Pictured in the pages of the August 2011 issue of InStyle magazine are two actresses who are
admired for their style savvy but who miss the mark this time with necklaces
that are poorly suited to their long, romantic print dresses.

Actress Rachel Bilson (who I featured in my
last post
) wears a V-neck, delicate print dress with a metal necklace
and a white clutch. The photo identifies the sources of her ensemble as Derek
Lam and eBay, although it is not clear which source is responsible for which

The necklace Bilson wears is bottom-heavy, loaded with
design motifs clustered at the lower edge of the necklace. Those elements add
width and emphasize the rounded shape of the necklace. The length of the
necklace is excellent for her, as it falls at approximately her first balance
point (an image consulting concept I discuss in Jewelry Savvy),
essentially one visible face-length measured down below her chin. The scale of the necklace is
flattering to her features, and the design seems to have been chosen as an edgy
counterpoint to the sweetness of the floral print dress.  

However, the emphatically rounded shape of the necklace
clashes with the deep V neckline of the dress. The effect is that
neither the dress nor the necklace is set off to best effect. A pendant or
Y-shape necklace that falls completely within the neckline would have been a better
choice; a dress with a rounded neckline would have
been a better choice for that particular necklace.  

Actress Sarah Jessica Parker (who made an appearance
in my blog
on Aug. 9
) is shown in an Elie Saab dress of vivid mixed prints, wearing ornately embellished Fred Leighton necklace and earrings. While I admire Parker for taking chances with her style, the
necklace interferes with the neckline of the dress and adds more chaos to the
already riotous prints of her dress. The length and style of the necklace suit
her well. Perhaps there is so much going on with the prints of the dress that
adding another layer of complexity proves the point that, in certain cases, too
much is just enough.

Her earrings are another matter entirely. The design of the
earrings relates well to the prints used in the dress and are a more
interesting choice than a simple metal design. The earring design also draws
attention to Parker’s arresting eyes. Incidentally,
Parker’s black-rimmed eyes are reminiscent of the black-edged bursts of color
on her dress, a superb styling detail.

Well-chosen jewelry can add immeasurably to the visual
effect of an ensemble.

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