July 15th, 2014

The Long and Short of It

I gave a talk this week about necklaces and necklines.  It’s a typical question we get here at DC Style Factory: Go long? Go choker? Go statement?

The easiest necklaces to wear with just about any neckline is a longer one. The length of the necklace clears any v, scoop, drape or boat neckline. Whether you decide to go longer or shorter, you don’t want your necklace bumping up against your neckline. So either select one that is about an ½ an inch to an inch above your neckline or one that drops under your neckline at least several inches.

Longer necklaces, much like v-neck tops, lengthen your neckline, which in general is more flattering. Chokers shorten your neckline, which sometimes can sometimes be a more challenging style to wear. If you are petite, pay attention to how long the long necklace goes. Right below the bustline is good – grazing your bellybutton is too long.

Here is quick, easy guide for selecting which necklaces go best with which neckline.


Vneck  top

Wear with…


Smaller drop/pendant necklace that flows into v of the top


Longer non-pendant necklace that clears the v of the top and flows with the draping.

Pass on…

Wearing with a choker, which shortens your neckline and counteracts to the lengthening effect of the v shape.


Wear with…

 A statement necklace that mimics the curved shape of the neckline covers expose neck/chest surface area.

Pass on…

A choker that will leave too much empty surface area and not cover enough neck/chest area.


Boatneck Top

Wear with…

A longer necklace,  which draws attention up and down, and balances the high, horizontal neckline.

Pass on…

A choker/collar necklace that will bump up against with the neckline.

A statement necklace higher up on the neck that will grab and pull at the horizontal neckline.


Collared Buttondown Shirt

Wear with…

A statement necklace under the collar for a “brooch” effect.


A statement under the shirt with some color peaking out.

Pass on…

A long necklace that will compete with the verticle button placket on the shirt.



Wear with…

A longer necklace that lengthens your neckline since the high neckline of the crewneck top shortens it.

A statement necklace that “creates” a new, longer neckline. Select a statement necklace that covers the top of the crewneck.

Pass on…

A collar necklace; it just further shortens your neckline.



Wear with…

-  A shorter statement necklace that leaves about 1/2 an inch of space between the necklace and the neckline.

- A longer necklace that clears the neckline.

- The two together as pictured!

Another fun option is to wear with a collar necklace.

There are a multitude of other necklines and variations on necklines, but just remember, you simply want the necklace you choose to make sense with the neckline of the top. If you are fussing with it too much or it just doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. But selecting the right necklace can really make a difference in adding polish, personality and finish to your look. Happy accessorizing!

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