Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: Three Essential Necklaces

Hi Belle,

I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, just a pair of gold stud earrings.  I’ve searched for necklaces that I like but I’m not really sure where to begin.  The only necklace I own is a pearl choker and I think you said once a long time ago that you don’t like pearls.  I could be wrong about that.  If you were starting from scratch, what would you buy?

Thank you for your help.  Your blog has been on my daily reads list since college.  -Alex

First off, let’s cover my feelings on pearl necklaces.  It’s not that I dislike the necklace itself, I don’t like how women in D.C. wear them with everything.  T-shirt?  Pearl necklace.  LBD?  Pearl necklace.  Business suit?  Pearl necklace.

Contrary to what your mother or grandmother told you, they do not go with everything.  Take this look, for example.  All the pearl choker is doing is messing up the neckline of a bold, modern dress and making the whole outfit look a bit matronly.

We all own a set of pearls, but we should wear them with intention.  Now that we’ve covered that topic, onto the necklaces.


Kenneth Cole Rectangle Pendant ($48, also in silver) // Nakamol Multi-Strand Necklace ($45) // Coordinates Collection Amazon Pendant ($190)

In my wardrobe, there are three necklace essentials: the long pendant, the short, statement choker, and the short pendant necklace.

The Long Pendant is perfect for every day.  My long pendant of choice is the Stella & Dot Rebel Pendant; I wear it almost every day.  Because the great thing about a long pendant is that it can be worn with almost any neckline from v-neck to turtleneck.  It’s also a great addition to a layered necklace look.

How long should a “long” necklace be?  At least 28″.

Other solid choices in the long necklace department include this VC Multi-Shape Necklace, this Louise et Cie Jasper Pendant, and this Gorjana Faye Necklace.  Prefer silver?  Try this Fontaine Layering Necklace or this Nadri Mandala pendant.  Or mix metals with this striking Panacea gold/silver necklace.

The Statement Necklace is my go-to choice for crewneck tops and dresses.  When I want to add a little color and texture, or breathe life into a slightly-boring basic, this is the necklace I reach for.

I love the mix of neutral colors in the Nakamol necklace above.  I also love the intricate shape and simple color palette of the Kew Collar.  This Hazel Statement Necklace has floral elements that are more sophisticated than girly.

Want color?  This Wild Lillies stone collar in deep teal is sublime.  I also love this Fornash necklace with purple beads.  Even this simple, black Core Pyramid necklace brings a bit of impact to the look.

The Short Pendant Necklaces in my wardrobe are all sentimental pieces.  I own two of these Coordinates Collection necklaces inscribed with the longitude and latitude or my favorite places.  They make great gifts.

If you want something a bit smaller, I adore this $10 necklace from Target with a rose-colored stone.  This Alexis Bittar Ms. Havisham necklace is perfect if you want something that’s more modern than pretty.  And horn pendants, like Baublebar’s Semelle pendant, are really popular right now.

Need silver?  These Grace short layering necklaces are very subtle and delicate.  I also like this Aria pendant necklace set that can be worn in several different ways.



  1. Bronwyn Rowe says:

    For the budget conscious or just trying out the pendant necklace, I highly recommend the Juniors BP Pendant Pendant for a S+D Dupe (on sale right now) Such a staple. Considering getting the silver as well as the gold!

    November 22, 2016/Reply
    • Jenn S. says:

      Thanks for this tip – I love the look of the Rebel pendant, but am a little nervous about spending $79 on a piece I’m not sure I’ll like on. I snagged one of those BP pendants, got it today, and really love it. Rebel here I come.

      November 29, 2016/Reply
  2. Sade says:

    What is the 28″ in proportion terms? I’m shorter than most and suspect that would just look silly on me. Thanks for the post, am trying to breathe life into an old wardrobe by jazzing up the accessories, so it’s nicely timed!

    November 23, 2016/Reply
  3. Bp says:

    What is a good necklace for a square or boat neckline?

    November 26, 2016/Reply
    • Mazzie says:

      Earrings. Seriously. Don’t wear a necklace with square or boat necklines.

      December 16, 2016/Reply