Knowing what your options are is one of the most important things you need to do when it comes to purchasing the best kinds of jewelry for your jewelry collection, and for the most part, this means knowing what the different types of necklaces are and what styles of necklaces best represent your style, and who you are.
Bearing in mind that the best necklace is your most elegant piece of jewelry that would transform your wardrobe or your collection and completing your look, but also adding that very much needed accentuation, this article takes you through all you need to know about the different kinds of necklaces for ladies.
As the most seductive and exciting part of your outfit, knowledge of what to choose from and even how to style it could be exactly what you have been missing.
So, let’s get right into it!
Different Types Of Necklaces For Ladies
There are different types of necklaces, as you will see below, but the most important thing for you to note is that the main differentiating feature for these necklaces is the fact that the necklaces come in different lengths, which determine the type of necklace.
As you already know, necklaces come in different sizes that expose you to a greater variety which you can choose from
The designs of the necklaces are also an important element that guides the types of necklaces available.
Below are the main types of necklaces for ladies.
1.Festoon Necklace (12”-16”)
The festoon necklace is a classic necklace style that dates back several centuries. The name Festoons is said to have its roots from Greece and it means a wreath or the garland of woven leaves, flowers, or even branches.
The necklace design is a reflection of its design in that it is made of up threads of chain along with several other elements that are all interwoven to create a draping necklace. This type of necklace is most often accented with pearls, gemstones, along with the best of precious metals.
While the origin of the festoon can be traced back to the ancient days, the Festoon remains a staple necklace design in most of the contemporary wardrobe styles for everyday wear.
In most cases, you can easily tell the Festoon necklace by its draping elements, as well as the fact that this necklace design was featured heavily in the Victorian and the Art Nouveau eras.
2.Lavaliere Necklace (14”-19”)
A necklace design that came to be from the beginning of the 20th century, this is a necklace type that you will love if you are looking for something unique, dainty, and stylish.
The lavaliere necklace features a slender chain consisting of a small pendant and decorative stones/ elements that hang down from the sleek chain, leaving you with the most feminine necklace style for your wardrobe.
This necklace design is also characterized by its petite chain that often allows for the easy connection of the chain to an even bigger focal piece. So, if you are looking for the most feminine, Bohemian, and light fashion piece, this necklace would be the perfect option for you.
And regarding its length, you may even like the lavaliere necklace more because of its length that allows it to sit comfortably below the collarbone and at a princess’s length.
3.The Single-Strand Pendant Necklace (30”-36”)
This necklace features a chain made of either silver or gold, plus a single focal element/ piece for the pendant. Its design is, therefore, one of the most popular necklace designs for ladies, and the best part is that it often is the most versatile piece in everyone’s wardrobe.
The best part about the single-strand pendant necklace is that the necklace comes with pendants in different styles for you to choose from, and in some cases, you may find that the necklace allows you to easily interchange the pendants to something that matches your outfit and mood even better.
In such cases, the pendant can be a small charm, some form of precious gem, or any other decorative element.
This customization means that this necklace style often makes the best gift. The pendant could be personalized with initials as well, while you also get the option of choosing a pendant that matches your birthstone.
All you need to do is to ensure that the pendant/ elements of the pendant do not have an overpowering effect on your outfit.
The beaded necklaces are not a new necklace design as they have been around for decades, from ancient times.
Archeological and historical discoveries of significance show that the beaded necklaces were rather popular during ancient times and were worn by the Egyptian Pharaohs.
Today, the necklaces are available in more intricate designs, and they are made of various materials, but they remain as stylish as ever.
The common materials used for the beaded necklaces include glass beads, crystal beads, coral beads, clay beads, as well as the crocheted seed beads.
Not sure how to accessorize with your beaded necklace? Well, the most classic of the beaded necklace designs like the pearl or the graduated necklaces that are quite popular today can be paired easily with casual dresses, t-shirts, as well as a sweater and jeans.
5.Lariat Necklaces (32”-34”)
If you like long elegant necklaces that go down your chest to maybe your tummy area, you probably have one or more lariat necklaces at home. The lariat necklaces refer to the necklace designs that boast a longer length than the opera necklaces, and these are often around 30cm long. They are also known as the Y-necklaces or rope necklaces.
What you need to know about the lariat necklace is that this accessory boasts a unique design, in comparison to the rest of the necklace designs on the market, and the biggest difference between this necklace and other types of long necklaces has to be the fact that the lariat necklace doesn’t have a clasp, with the chain forms or the beads forming a rather long rope that could pull through the rounded finder or even tie it.
Because of the length of this necklace, it sits right below your belly button, but the option of tying it around or wrapping the rope necklace around the throat a few times means that it could also be worn as a choker or a layered necklace look with the choker and the longer bit hanging around your chest.
4.Charm Necklace (24”)
The charm necklace, as the name suggests, looks a lot like the traditional charm bracelet, and you can say that the only difference between the two is the fact that the charm necklace is longer.
Though not a popular choice for everyone, the charm necklace is not just popular as a fashion accessory but also as a collectible; the general feel around this necklace is the fact that this accessory is casual and fun.
You may like the charm necklace because the charms for the necklace are often pieces that are relevant and meaningful to you. And with the popularity of the charms in recent years, all thanks to the trend precedents set by Pandora and other companies.
You may also like the charm necklaces because you have the option to mix up different styles. You could, for example, opt for the vintage-style charm necklaces if you like the feel of the old jewelry pieces.
7.Collar/ Choker Necklace (12”-16”)
We’ve mentioned the choker necklace above, but what you need to know about this style of necklace, besides the fact that it is one of the trendiest styles of necklaces today, is that the choker necklace is an accessory that you have to be careful around when accessorizing.
What you may not know is that the choker necklace styles have been quite popular since the Middle Ages. And as the name suggests, the choker necklace design means that this accessory sits around your neck snugly. It comes in different designs, but the most common design of the necklace is the collar-like piece that looks more or less like the Cleopatra-inspired choker necklace design. The name and design of this necklace notwithstanding, it is interesting to note that the necklace can be adjusted easily, all thanks to the fastenings that are incorporated into the necklace.
The chokers are also often customized to specific lengths, and they could be made of single material types or different materials with small varying elements. Essentially, this necklace style sits quite high on your neck, but sometimes it sits right below your collarbone. The differences in where the choker necklaces sit means that the choker necklaces designed to sit on the collar are longer, and they are more comfortable since they dangle with much more freedom.
In the search for the trendiest and the most fashionable chokers, you will notice that some of these pendants feature pendants that dangle from the center – this is inspired by the amber pendant designs that have become rather popular over the years.
The most common styles of choker necklaces are the pieces made of gold, velvet, and ribbons. These were very common during the Victorian Era, but they’ve recently come back to the modern fashion scene, taking over runways, and now everyone (into the style) is looking for the best of choker necklaces. That said, it’s worth noting that the choker necklace trend is one of the trends that seems to consistently go in and out of fashion.
If you are not sure how to pair your outfit with the choker necklace, we recommend wearing the choker necklace with outfits with low necklines because this allows the choker to make a great statement. And if you are feeling a bit extra, you’d want to layer some choker necklaces made of different materials – again; this works best with a dress or top with a very low neckline.
8.Bib Necklace (12”-19”)
The bib necklace is perhaps one of the boldest necklace styles you could try out. The bib necklace features a number of chains layered together with a large (single) element that covers your entire breastbone.
There have been some recent variations to this necklace type, though, and you may find that some of the bib necklaces on the market today are a lot more dainty and not as bold as the past versions. Even so, they all maintain the same bib style.
The dainty variations are mostly high-end pieces, and though they are not really new on the fashion scene, their rarity is fuelled by the fact that these necklaces tend to be more expensive, and most people cannot afford them.
That said, the bib necklace style is a great style for you if you are going for a statement piece that leaves a great impression, the occasion notwithstanding. The bib necklaces are generally the best statement accessories, and they are great when paired with a formal wardrobe.
This necklace is rather underrated, especially when you think of just how well the shoulder necklace is able to capture the feminine look.
The shoulder necklace is commonly worn to galas and weddings, among other formal occasions, and it is the boldest accessory you could add to your wardrobe.
10.Princess Necklaces (17”- 19”)
This is an 18-inch necklace that stands out because of its length and style. Although it is longer than your traditional choker, it is shorter than the matinee necklace.
That said, the length of the princess necklace is what is considered the standard and the most flattering necklace length.
You can add a pendant or any other focal piece to your princess necklace, allowing it to hang just below the collarbone.
It could have some shining rhinestones or with just one drop point for the slender shapes, but the necklace always oozes class and elegance.
Therefore, it’s an ideal wear for formal events, and can be paired with V-necks or blazers easily.
11.Riviere Necklaces (14”-16”)
This necklace is made of a single or double row of precious gemstones, with most of the Riviere necklace designs made using semi-precious gemstones as well.
Generally, the stones get smaller as the necklace elongates, albeit as they reach towards the back. The length of the necklace is similar to that of the collar or princess necklace.
In most cases, the links for the Riviere necklace sit close to each other, meaning that the joints are often invisible, leaving you with the illusion of gradual streams of gemstones connected, which also draws attention to the stones rather than the necklace’s overall design.
The features of this type of necklace make it ideal for special and formal events/ occasions.
12.Locket Necklace (18”)
This is a traditional pendant-style necklace that is often a family heirloom that is passed down to generations.
It features a locket that often holds a memento or a picture – generally a sentimental and personal piece.
This necklace style was quite popular in the Victorian Era, and they featured engravings and the lock of hair of a loved one in the locket.
They feature different kinds and lengths of chains, but most are princess-length.
This is the evolved version of lavalier and dates back to early in the 19th century, specifically the Edwardian Era.
The focus piece can be symmetrical or asymmetrical, and they connect to the center pendant that is long. Most negligee necklaces are long.
14.Altered Art Necklace (18”)
This necklace style was the most popular style in 2018, and if you missed out on it or didn’t know the name of the necklace style, these were the necklaces that were made of a wide variety of materials, including vintage lockets charms and faux pearls.
This style falls in the costume jewelry category, comprising of different features coming together, forming a single artful necklace that is the perfect accessory for your casual wear, from t-shirts and jeans to sweaters and casual dresses.
This is a long necklace with a pendant at the end/ bottom – Sautoir is a fancy french term that describes this, and most of these necklaces have single or multiple-length necklaces with dangling or dotted thread that sometimes have decorative links.
The ends tend to have pendants or tassels, and the chain part is often made of a different material. It can be up to 90cm long.
Other types of necklaces include:
- Torque (14”-16”)
- Chain necklace (17”-19”)
- Rope (36”)
- Statement (16”-19”)
- Opera (30”-36”)
- Graduated (17”-19”)
- Twisted (14”-19”)
- Matinee (22”-23”)
- Plastron (17”-23”)
- Multi-strand necklaces (12”-16”)
- Thread Necklace (14”-20”)
And there you have it – the top 15 types of necklaces that you can wear on different occasions. Read more related topics here or here!
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.