Trend Watch: On the Neckline—A Fresh Take on Jewelry Placement

Statement necklaces are an important fashion trend, popular in all manner of styles and materials and in every conceivable length. There truly is something for everyone. Beyond the necklace designs themselves, however, what’s creatively interesting and important to notice is the manner in which some of these necklaces are being worn.


Necklaces are once again being worn not only above a neckline to fill in the space, typically at about the midpoint between the chin and the neckline, or below a neckline to add interest to a bodice, but also at the neckline itself. There are a couple of variations on this style.


The first variation is the classic look seen back in the 1950’s, where the necklace lies just inside a jewel neckline. In case you don’t know what a jewel neckline is – and what a great name! – this is essentially a crewneck style – the high, round neckline you’d typically see on a tee shirt – but on a blouse or other garment with a more refined look and a finished upper edge. Once again, it’s trendsetting Dolce & Gabbana who show us this look in a current ad. Notice how the necklace lines the inside of the top edge of the garment. 



This first variation also works well with a U-shaped neckline, which is a bit deeper but not wider than a jewel neckline. In addition, if the necklace is itself shaped to conform to the wearer’s neck, this look may also work with a scoop neckline, which is both deeper and wider than a jewel neckline.



To gauge the importance of this trend, note that the First Lady, Michelle Obama, wears this style in her first official White House portrait. Notice how the double strand of pearls lies right up against the top edge of her dress. Also note that the strands rest immediately next to each other without space in between. Unlike a choker-length necklace that encircles the neck closely, this style is easier to wear and is also more flattering for most women, since the necklace is not narrower than the widest part of the wearer’s face.


The second variation is the necklace that actually sits on top of the neckline of a garment. You can see an example of this in the photo of Mandy Moore on the cover of the April 2009 issue of Marie Claire in a necklace by Banana Republic. Here the design of her top is very simple so the complex design of the necklace easily dominates. This variation works best where the necklace is substantial enough to remain in place without risk of slipping under the garment it is meant to adorn.



With either of the variations, the trick of this look is getting the length of the necklace exactly right. Necklaces with extenders accommodate this challenge, but for other necklaces, adjustment by a jeweler is required. Be aware that your fashion-savvy customers may be looking for a necklace effect that hasn’t been much seen in decades.

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