Trend Watch: Statement Necklaces—The Weight of the Matter

With all the emphasis on statement necklaces this season, there’s an issue that literally can be a bit of a pain in the neck. I’m talking about the weight of a necklace or necklaces, especially when piled on in artistic abandon. Perhaps that’s a slight overstatement, but clearly, some of the most stylish jewelry, pardon the pun, is not to be taken or worn lightly.


The July 2008 issue of In Style magazine features a representative sample of statement necklaces, from princess length, to a bib, to something resembling a full breast plate. In Style urges its readers to “keep the dress simple” when wearing these “walnut-size stones, windshield-wide sprays and enough gilded rope to tow in a tug.” I would add that earrings and all other jewelry needs to play a minor supporting role when there is so much emphasis on the torso.


One potential issue with long, heavy strands of beads or chains is the swinging effect. These necklaces have a tendency to bounce and swing when the wearer walks, and this effect is most pronounced on a more voluptuous figure. This can be quite annoying to the wearer.


Long necklaces designed with flat backs that lie flush against the torso will pose less of an issue with exaggerated swinging movement. However, having the customer try on these necklaces to make certain that they lie comfortably and correctly over her chest is imperative. Where the necklace hits and how well it conforms to the customer’s figure can make all the difference between a successful look and a statement necklace that loses its impact.

  [Cate Blanchett at the 2008 Academy Awards]

If the necklace is intended to have a gentle rounded shape, it looks just plain wrong squeezed together in the valley between a woman’s breasts, although we’ve seen this effect occur, for example, on a necklace or faux necklace worn by actress Cate Blanchett at the 2008 Academy Awards. A better choice for a curvy woman would be a design like that of the necklace seen on Michelle Monaghan in the photo above.        


Necklaces like that worn by Joy Bryant in the photo above draw the eye downward and away from the face. This type of design may emphasize any drooping in the features of the customer’s face, so be sure she has the opportunity to evaluate this look in a full-length mirror. If the eye is focused lower than your customer prefers, it’s a simple matter of substituting necklaces that keep the attention up closer to the customer’s face. The number of fabulous options in short, chunky necklace styles this season is off the scale.

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