Woman wearing a pendant

Necklaces and pendants are probably the most commonly worn piece of jewellery. But, picking the right type of necklace can be tricky. In order to understand what to buy, it really helps to understand a little about the principles behind wearing a necklace.

Her neck was like canvas… tough and scratchy.

Ok, probably not the best simile, but it really helps if you start to think of jewellery in terms of photography or painting. One of the important principles with most jewellery is that it’s either colourful or sparkly. Both of these elements are great at catching and drawing the eye to the location of the jewellery.

If you consider a woman’s body from chest to chin as the canvas you are working with, you can use clothing and jewellery to help guide the eye to where you want it to go. As most necklaces are worn directly on the skin, the area uncovered is most commonly considered the canvas area, although it is quite common to see certain types of jewellery worn over clothing.

Where to wear it?

The easiest way to frame a necklace or pendant is to wear it so it hangs in the centre of the canvas area. This draws the eye to the centre of the canvas area and makes the focus the necklace it’s self.

Wearing a necklace that sits around the collar bone or wraps around the neck in a choker style draws the eye up towards the face and focuses attention on the neck. This can look great if the wearer has a long or slender neck.

The opposite extreme is to wear the necklace so it sits just above the start of the cleavage, drawing the eye to the breasts. This can create a stunning impression in the right outfit.

Standard Lengths

Chain sizes normally come in intervals of 2” in length, with each interval sitting one inch further down the chest. The standard sizes for chains are 16” for a pendant you want to sit around the collar bone, 18” to sit below the collar bone and 20” to sit above the cleavage.

Of course you will still need to adjust the length to match the diameter of your neck. As a general rule, a thicker neck will need to be one size up and a thinner neck will need to move one size down.

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