How to Wear Necklaces for 2019

I’ve been asked many times for more guidance to wearing necklaces and accessorizing, so I finally got around to writing this post. I hope it’s helpful!

how to wear necklaces for 2019

Part of the knack of accessorizing is finding your personal style and then rocking it with confidence. I basically adhere to the “less is more” approach to accessorizing, so I rarely will overdo it when it comes to accessories. Some may find it plain, but I’m always more drawn to subtle pieces, and if in doubt, I’ll do without.

Of course, trends come and go, and they definitely influence how we accessorize, but it’s important to weigh each trend against your personal style and adapt them to work for you.

That said, accessories are a great place to take a fashion risk. A necklace is a relatively small investment, so go ahead and try on something that you may feel is a bit out of your comfort zone. You never know, you may like it!

As far as current trends go, layering delicates is taking the place of chunky statement necklaces, and a lot of times I notice women foregoing a necklace altogether in favor of a more minimalist style.

Also, with chunky sweaters and big turtlenecks being popular right now, sometimes you don’t need for a necklace at all. That will change a bit as spring and summer fashions take over, but anyway, let’s get to some examples.

Necklace Styling Tips

1. First determine if your top needs a necklace at all, and where you want the focal point of your outfit to be.

For example, is the top half of your outfit plain, so it needs a larger necklace to be the hero piece? Or do you just want a small, subtle necklace to fill in a deep neckline? Or do you have a neckline with ruffles or other embellishment that precludes you from wearing a necklace at all?

If the necklace is going to be your hero piece, you will choose that first and select the rest of your accessories to compliment it. But if you know you want to wear statement earrings or a top that is busy, the necklace will be chosen last so that it supports the rest of the outfit without competing with it.

2. Keep it simple if your outfit is busy, and conversely, a bold necklace can be a great addition to a basic outfit.

This leopard top is busy, so I didn’t wear a necklace and opted for larger earrings instead.

If I did put a necklace with this, I think a shorter, chunky necklace would look best. Anything delicate wouldn’t show up against the leopard, and a bib necklace compliments a crew neck best. These don’t look best on me, so I went without. (See more of this look.)

Another good example of a busy look is this outfit with the fair isle sweater.

A necklace would compete with the pattern on the yoke, and in this case, I even kept my earrings simple with small studs so they wouldn’t interfere with the high turtleneck.

On the other hand, this grey crewneck sweater is plain, so it needs something.

I layered two necklaces to create some more visual weight and also to help elongate the upper body. Pardon the frizzy hair; it was raining! (See more.)

This pink ruffle neck sweater is a situation in which a necklace is optional, in my opinion.

I did wear one, but I didn’t really need it because there’s a lot going on with the ruffle neck and blouson sleeves and the overall ribbed texture. That said, it is has a high neck and a plain front, so the necklace doesn’t compete too much, and I always feel like a long pendant helps to visually elongate my short upper body.

Keep in mind, there is no right and wrong here, and at the end of the day, your accessory choices need to best match your personal style, but hopefully these examples are helpful.

3. Select a necklace that compliments the neckline of your top.

A v-neck top looks great with a shorter pendant (16″ or 18″) because it imitates the v-shape and fills the neckline.

I wear this gold star necklace a lot with v-neck tops. It looks great with hoop earrings or something else that is delicate but on the larger side. Sometimes I wear it with my big pearl studs too.

This outfit is another good example. The pendant is just big enough to fill the neckline, and as an added bonus, it is a mix of gold and silver tone metals so it works no matter which metal is in your other accessories.

A more modern look is to layer a few necklaces with a v-neckline. 

I love necklaces that come in 3 or 4 layers that come apart so you can change up the look. One of my favorites is this Lucky Brand layered necklace, but it has finally sold out. I’ve had it for years. This one is similar. (See more of this look.)

This picture is old, but I love this layered necklace on a plain white v-neck tee. (See more of this look.)

Here’s another v-neck with a layered pendant. I like how this necklace is a little longer and doesn’t really fill the neckline but adds a little something to the busy blouse. And yes, I realize I’m contradicting #2 with this look, but again, there are no hard and fast rules here. (See more.)

Here’s a shorter layered look in a v-neck. I love this Gorjana 3-disc necklace for filling a v-neckline but keeping the look delicate. (See more of this look and also see this necklace in action here.)

Crewnecks and rounded necklines look good with short, chunky necklaces. This is a rare occasion when I actually wore a bib necklace; usually I don’t care for them on me with my larger chest, but I thought this dress needed it. (See more of this look.)

Crewnecks also look good with long pendants. This double pearl pendant is delicate and goes well with dressier looks. (See more of this look.)

I also like a long station necklace with crewneck tops. Again, they’re elongating, and you get bonus points for a layered look. (See more.)

Here’s another example with the same necklace. (See more.)

Turtlenecks look good with longer pendants or station necklaces. This long double circle pendant looks great on turtlenecks. (See more.)

I also wear this circle pendant a lot with turtlenecks.

And here’s that layered station necklace again. I really wish it hadn’t sold out! It’s so good. (See more.)

Sometimes it’s best to forego a necklace altogether. This top has a high, gathered neckline, so I didn’t wear a necklace and opted for big statement earrings. It was also a dressy holiday outfit, so I went for the bling. (See more of this look.)

In this look, this sweater has a lot of detail in the knit, plus the high neck is split in the back. A necklace would interfere with the neck and compete with the pattern in the sweater. (See more of this look.)

And sometimes I even forego a necklace in open neck tops. You know how in art, they say you need some white space, a place for your eye to rest? I think the same can be said for outfits. Sometimes I just like the simplicity of no necklace.

This summer look is a good example, and as you can see, I went with larger earrings and a layered bracelet look.

And for this holiday look, the blouse is busy, so I went with larger statement earrings and a cuff bracelet and left the chest area open.

Off-the-shoulder tops are perfect palettes for choker necklaces, but I usually just go without and opt for bigger earrings.

I also rarely wear a necklace with cowl neck tops. Some women do, but personally I feel that look is dated. (See more of this look.)

4. Tips on pairing earrings and necklaces…

Generally you want to choose one to be the hero piece and the other to support the hero piece. In this case, the necklace is the hero piece, and I wore pearl studs as the supporting earrings. With the ruffle cuffs on the dress, I didn’t feel it needed a bracelet, so I went without.

Sometimes I wear two delicates together, but I never wear two statement pieces together. It’s hard to find good examples where you can see the earrings — especially when they’re more delicate, but I often wear this delicate layered pearl necklace with pearl stud earrings. (See more.)

One of my best accessorizing tips is to find a pairing that works well together, and wear them together a lot. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel every time you get dressed unless you have fun doing that. I prefer to find a few good pairings and stick with what works. Sometimes I will purchase a pair of earrings specifically to go with a necklace I wear a lot — and vica versa.

For example, I purchased these large silver hoops and this silver disc necklace together, and I almost always wear them together. The pendant is large and shiny so I like how these tubular hoops have a little more visual weight than a thinner hoop, and they compliment the necklace without competing with it. (See more of this look.)

Another pairing I wear together a lot is this delicate beaded necklace with these hammered silver circle drop earrings. They’re both delicate, and they both have a similar hammered silver finish, so they really work well together.

Also, this is an example of two pieces that are more equal in visual weight — both delicates, and pair well together. There’s no hero piece here.

When in doubt, I wear diamond studs or pearl studs with whatever necklace I’m wearing. Thin hoops are also a good staple piece to have in whatever metal you usually wear because they go with a lot of different necklaces.

Also, it’s a good idea to have some casual jewelry pieces and some dressier pieces so you can match the formality of your accessories to the outfit and occasion you’re dressing for. As far as how many of each, it really depends on your lifestyle and what you wear the most.

5. Matchy-matchy is out.

It is more modern to choose jewelry pieces that coordinate with each other, not a matching set. It’s also fine to mix high end and low end pieces. Sometimes I wear genuine pearl earrings with a $15 Kohl’s necklace, and I often wear my D Yurman pieces with fashion jewelry.

Putting jewelry together is fun, but it can be challenging, especially when trends are in flux. I hope these tips are helpful!

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36 Responses

  1. I used to be a maximalist when it came to accessories (the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree…or I could say I blame my mother..ha ha), but this summer was different. I basically gave up necklaces and went with statement earrings instead. And it’s a fun change.
    I really liked the statement necklace with your velvet top….it looks so festive!!

  2. Awesome post. I have been looking for a statement necklace for a long time, but just can’t find one that I like. I do find, that like you, I tend to wear the same pieces over and over. Next on the shopping list – layered necklace! Thanks Jo-Lynne!

  3. This was a great post and, for me, very timely,because i was just thinking about this topic. So you gave me some great insite that I am going to use. It did trigger one other question that I had… Do you have any guidance between when you choose silver tones or gold tones… and do you mix?

    1. I have some of both, and I also have some mixed metal pieces that really make life easier! I do try to keep it in mind and stick to one metal unless I have a piece that mixes metals, and then I will mix the rest of what I’m wearing. I prefer the metal on my bag to match my jewelry if possible, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

  4. This was a great post Jo-Lynne!  While I like how layered necklaces look, they bug the stew out of me because they get tangled so easily.  When I am in doubt about whether or not to wear a necklace, I usually decide against wearing one.  As you stated, my style goes with the  less is more thinking.  Here in GA we are being blessed with the third spring like day, so I will be spending time on the front porch, soaking in some vitamin D.  Have a fabulous day!

  5. I just put a layered necklace on my list. I’m going to try to be more mindful of what I buy this year. Here we are in January and I still have sweaters hanging up that I have not worn. So for 2019, I promise (myself) to buy only what I need. Oh, this is going to be so hard! 
    This post was very helpful. Pinning for future reference. 

  6. Thanks for this post.. I needed it as sometimes I do wonder what I should be choosing. I think I’ve been lacking when wearing the crew necks lol. I did buy gold and silver layered necklaces for my v necks after seeing you style some:) they’re great. I usually opt for nothing with my turtlenecks or a long pendant. I agree with keeping it simple. Sometimes I just like a big earring and always my watch… I’m a little lazy on the necklaces… Should we still be wearing bracelets on the same arm as our watche?

    1. I never got into that trend, but I still see a lot of women wearing them that way. I always felt more balanced wearing the watch on one arm and my bracelet(s) on the other. 🙂

  7. Thank you for the ideas. Love getting inspiration from your blog! Can you also do a post about bracelets and watches? Trends, classics, how to wear with other jewelry and different sleeves? While I never forget earrings, I’m often at a loss about what to put on my wrists or forget altogether.

  8. I love this post. I agree about keeping it simple. I know people who look like they have on every piece of jewelry they own. Esp on their arms. I tend to keep it simple also. Great ideas. Thanks for the post on necklaces. Very informative.

  9. Thank you, Jo Lynn! What a helpful post! I love jewelry, but I have been struggling lately and this couldn’t have come at a better time. 😉 I share your taste with ‘less is more’ so I love the pieces you shared. This will help so much going forward.

  10. Such a great post, loving all the necklaces you are showing. Lucky for me I was able to pick up the layered necklace by Lucky Brand last month (or so) for 40% off. Love it! Will be keeping an eye on some others you’ve shared on your blog.

  11. Thanks for this great post. Love seeing how the various necklace styles complete the outfit. My question is in relation to your comment about necklaces with cowl-necked sweaters/tunics looking dated. Would you be referring to the longer pendants that were popular in 2017/18? Are these necklaces dated now? Or did you mean wearing just any necklace with the cowl necks looks dated? Thanks!

    1. Yeah, I think the long pendant below the cowl neck has a dated look to it — but that is purely my opinion. And honestly, I never loved the look, but again, that is the plain Jane in me talking. 🙂 Occasionally, if the cowl neck has a deep neckline and shows a bit of skin, I will wear a short, delicate pendant or 16″ station necklace.

      1. I was afraid that was what you were referring to 🙁 I have a long pendant that I really love. I think for the rest of this winter season I’ll keep wearing it and then “retire” it with the hope that the look comes around again. Thanks.

  12. A suggestion: could you mark this post in your menu? Maybe a new heading of Jewlery? This is definitely one worth referencing again and again.
    I’m also wondering about belts. I haven’t been reading your blog for too terribly long, but I’ve never seen you wear one or mention them. Is there a reason for that? I sometimes read that hourglass shapes should wear belts, but then others say they should not. My body shape is somewhat similar to yours and so I’m wondering your take on belts?

  13. Wow! There was so much good info in this post! I struggle with what necklace to wear a lot so this was extremely helpful to me.
    I took your advice from a previous post and wear pearl studs a lot now. They are basically my favorite earrings now. Diamond studs are on my wish list…
    Looking forward to the Facebook live tomorrow. Maybe you could answer a necklace question for me? What is the best length for a long necklace? Sometimes I put one on and it seems too short and outdated,

  14. LOVE this post! I really enjoy your blog because you explain what goes into making great outfits. Seeing pictures is helpful, but without instructions I can’t replicate them with my own items. Thank you!

  15. This is really helpful with so many great examples! What I need to remember most is that I don’t always need a necklace. I have a few statement earrings that I never wear because I don’t have necklaces that work with them. i needed permission to forego a necklace so thank you!!

  16. Great Post. I agree with all you said and showed.  I’m a less is more person too.  I get lazy with necklaces but always have earrings on.  I rarely wear bracelets…..don’t have many, but always wear my watch.  I like a delicate bracelet on the same arm as my watch.  Looking forward to your LIVE coming up again. I have to watch it on Wed. as don’t have facebook, but I always enjoy it.  Could you answer my question of……”Are tunic sweaters still in with skinny jeans?”  I have ones I really like and are still cute and in good condition, but see so many short/wide sweaters out. I don’t like the wide at all.  

  17. Loved this post! I especially love that all your most worn pieces are together in one spot for easy shopping and reference.
    I totally agree about Lucky Brand’s layered necklaces. They are the only ones I’ve tried that don’t me make nuts.

  18. Thank you for sharing the necklace guide I am packing for a trip and was wondering what kind of jewelry to wear with my tops. Now I can shop my supply

  19. It seems like a likely follow-up to these jewelry posts might be ideas and samples of jewelry bags for traveling. I just received one by Ellis James for Christmas and just love it! My daughter gave it to me and said, “When I saw you using straws to keep your necklaces from tangling in your suitcase, I knew what you needed for Christmas!” Haha!

  20. Hi Jo-Lynne! I love this post, thank you. I shy away from layered necklaces because they frequently get tangled up and that drives me crazy. Do you have any tips on how to prevent that?

  21. I googled the type of article I wanted to find, and there you were.  We happen to have very similar styles— so your examples were just the right approach for me.  
    Thank you!  

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