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May 08, 2021 10 min read

The Ultimate Guide To Wearing A Statement Necklace

Statement necklaces are our passion. There is no piece of jewelry as beautiful as a necklace that has been lovingly handcrafted into a wearable piece of art. Something that makes you say "wow" every time you put it on.

Whether you have always loved statement necklaces or are just getting into wearing them, there is a style out there just perfect for you. It's all about finding the right one, made from the right materials, that compliments your existing wardrobe.

Continue reading to learn everything you need to about statement necklaces, including the history, styling tips and our favorite ways to wear them!

What Is A Statement Necklace?

While the term "statement necklace" is actually quite broad, it can be defined as a necklace that has visual impact, is often bold and intriguing, and can act as a stand alone piece of jewelry. Another way of defining a statement necklace would be that it is the opposite of a delicate necklace, such as a dainty chain or basic pendant.

The statement necklace category includes jewelry of varying sizes, ranging from a few strands up to incredibly large pieces. One of the many great things about statement necklaces is that they are not one size fits all. The wide array of styles, colours, and materials used provide the wearer with an unlimited number of possibilities. 

The true testament to statement jewelry is the artistry that goes into the designs. While delicate jewelry can be pretty, nothing compares to the visual intrigue of a statement necklace. When you can tell that hours went into designing and crafting the jewelry, that is truly what sets it apart from all the rest.

what is a statement necklace

The History Of Statement Necklaces

Statement necklaces and statement jewelry, in general, are hardly new to our time. Various styles have been seen in civilizations across the globe, dating back to some of our earliest relatives. 

The oldest known jewelry dates back by approximately 75,000 years! In a cave near the southern Cape shoreline in South Africa, a human drilled tiny holes into the shells of snails and strung them as beads, making the first known necklace. Roughly 35,000 years later in Africa, ostrich eggshell beads were created in Kenya, and 5,000 years after that, perforated teeth in Bulgaria and a string of sea shell beads from Turkey. These findings were significant, acting as the first examples of artistic creativity and symbolism in early day humans who were otherwise known only for stone tools and weapons.

Remains of a necklace made of fish bones was found in a cave in Monaco, dating back 25,000 years ago. During this time, the bones of fish and animals were often worn by hunters and prominent members of the tribe. The necklace is thought to perhaps have been a gift given to a loved on, something special as a token of affection. Bone was often used for jewelry due to its durability.

As we fast-forward to ancient Sumer, we begin to see precious metals, such as gold, and various gemstones incorporated into jewelry that was worn by both royalty and common people alike. Sumerians often imported raw materials from neighboring countries- gold and silver from mines in modern day Turkey and Iran, lapis lazulli from Afghanistan and carnelian from India. Sumerian jewelry makers are credited for the creation of specialized techniques including granulation and filigree. Statement jewelry was a significant part of Sumerian culture and the women often opted for bold headdresses, earrings and necklaces. 

Ancient Sumerian Jewelry

Ancient Egypt is renowned for the incredibly eye-catching jewelry that both men and women adorned themselves with. Ancient Egyptians were empowered by advanced technology, access to precious metals and a deep appreciation for the luxurious.  In addition to gold and other materials commonly found throughout Egypt, they commonly imported Lapis Lazuli, a semi-precious stone.

Ancient Egyptian Jewelry

The mass production of jewelry was started by ancient Roman craftsmen. Colored gemstones, glass, silver, gold and bronze were common elements found in Roman jewelry, and it was often use to depict social status. White gold and silver was popular among the wealthy, while bronze was preferred among the common people of the empire.

Ancient Roman Necklace

Jewelry Terms To Know

Throughout this article, we'll be referring to many of the materials that we and many other jewelers utilize in their creations. It's always important to understand what it is you are buying so you can evaluate if it is the right jewelry for you!

Sterling Silver

Often stamped with a 925 to signify its composition, sterling silver is composed of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper alloy. In comparison to pure silver, which is too soft to be used in jewelry, sterling silver is loved for its beauty and versatility.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is an iron and chromium alloy that is often used in jewelry. While some grades have additional metals, which can cause irritation, there are hypoallergenic options (which we use!).

Read more about the differences between sterling silver and stainless steel here.

Freshwater Pearls

Freshwater pearls, natural or cultured, are formed when a mollusk produces layers of nacre (pronounced NAY-kur) around some type of irritant inside its shell. In natural pearls, the irritant may be another organism from the water. In cultured pearls, a mother-of-pearl bead or a piece of tissue is inserted (by man) into the mollusk to start the process.

European Crystal Pearls

European crystal pearls are manmade, considered the highest quality imitation pearl and use a European crystal at the center. Other imitation pearls use a plastic or glass bead for the center.

Click here to read our buyer's guide to pearls for a detailed look at freshwater vs. European crystal pearls.

Freshwater and Swarovski Crystal Pearl Alexandra Necklace

Alexandra Necklace

European Crystal

European crystals are man-made gems manufactured in Austria. In 1892, Daniel European invented a machine for making precision-cut, beautiful, high quality lead glass crystals using quartz, sand, and minerals.

Gemstones

A gemstone (also called a gem, fine gem, jewel, precious stone, or semi-precious stone) is a piece of mineral crystal which, in cut and polished form, is used to make jewelry or other accessories. Gemstones include quartz, lapis, amethyst, topaz, onyx, beryl, moonstone and many others. 

Kara Necklace

How To Wear A Statement Necklace

We believe that statement necklaces are for absolutely everyone! Given the wide range of styles and options available, there's something special with your name on it. Gone are the days that we must abide by strict rules when it comes to how we dress. We believe in celebrating the stage of life we are in and wearing whatever feels good. In our case, that's a statement necklace!

If you're reading this and thinking to yourself that you are unsure of what your jewelry style even really is, we recommend you read our other article, "How To Find Your Jewelry Style", first before proceeding. It will help you whittle down your current wardrobe, understand what you're missing and what jewelry would be ideal for you. It's a fabulous read even if you're just looking to fine tune your style!

We have three universal tips when it comes down to how to wear a statement necklace and we think they are pretty easy to follow!

  1. Remember that there is no wrong way to wear a statement necklace

    But, what about all of those articles that tell you very specific ways to wear a statement necklace? Styling articles, including ours, are meant as a starting point and to help provide direction. For those who like clear cut examples of what they could wear with a particular piece of jewelry, styling articles are excellent. You can even check out our version of "How To Style A Statement Necklace" to see some of our other examples. When it comes down to it, there is no wrong way to wear a statement necklace if it makes you happy! Styling is such a personal thing and it is meant to be. How boring would it be if we all wore the same jewelry the same way? Dreadfully so! Instead, we invite you to wear your statement necklaces in whatever way you feel fabulous doing. THAT is the right way to wear a statement necklace.
  2. Exude confidence and own it

    Once you've decided how you are going to wear your statement necklace, own it! Don't feel shy about embracing your unique sense of style. Stand with your head held high, shoulders back and display that gorgeous piece of jewelry with unwavering pride. You deserve to feel absolutely incredible when you're wearing your statement necklace. It doesn't matter how anyone else is wearing it. All that matters is that you feel amazing. If you find yourself beaming with joy, dressing to impress only yourself and feel positively radiant, you may be experiencing many signs of aging that we discuss in "Five Signs of Aging According to Carolily". Spoiler alert, despite what the media would have us believe, there is no need to fight or reduce these signs of aging!
  3. Experiment with new styles

    We'll be the first to say that when we find a statement necklace that works for us, we wear it ALL the time. On every occasion, with every outfit imaginable, we just can't get enough. But, it can be a lot of fun to try out new styles, especially ones that you are initially skeptical of. When you open yourself up to the possibility of newness, you may find a different style of statement necklace that you love even more than the first. Can you imagine?! We have a tendency to get stuck in our comfort zone, but when we push the boundaries, that is when the most incredible moments happen. 

How to wear a statement necklace

Our Favorite Ways to Wear a Statement Necklace

Let's look at some examples of how to style specific statement necklaces, shall we?

How to Style the Abigail Necklace

Handcrafted from European crystal pearls, sterling silver accents, cubic zirconia, charms in pewter and polished stainless steel, and various silver and stainless steel chains, the Abigail is the kind of necklace that makes you say WOW when you put her on.

You deserve to feel spectacular every time you put a piece of jewelry on. Does your current collection do that for you? If not, maybe the Abigail is what you need in your life!

Not sure what to pair her with? This is how Donna styled the Abigail Necklace most recently!

  • An oatmeal knit sweater
  • White denim
  • A macramé belt
  • Her favorite silver watch
  • White lace up loafers
  • Simple silver hoops (special order through info@carolily.com, not currently available online)
  • The Abigail Bracelet

How to style the Abigail Necklace

How to style the Abigail Necklace

How to Style the Eliza Necklace

Handcrafted from lustrous European crystal pearls, richly textured polished stainless steel chain, sterling silver accents and a large, detachable pewter heart charm, the Eliza is as versatile as she is beautiful!

Not sure what to pair her with? We have a few suggestions!

  • A monochromatic linen outfit, like the gorgeous mustard ensemble from Jigsaw Clothing. Pair with snazzy sneakers from and a cute clutch from Strut Footwear.
  • A classic white blouse and jeans is one of the outfits we reach for most often. Toss on a little bomber jacket for evenings on the patio.
  • Pull out your favorite white t-shirt and add a level of sophistication by incorporating a neutral blazer or cardigan. Keep it casual by opting for a jean jacket instead.

However you choose to wear the Eliza, we cannot wait to see her on you! Pair with the Eliza Bracelet and Lisbeth Earrings for a more dramatic look.

How to style the Eliza Necklace

How to style the Eliza Necklace

How to style the Eliza

How to Style the Josette Necklace

One of our more dramatic pieces, the Josette Necklace is perfect when your outfit calls for just a touch of edginess. Featuring an acrylic and pewter rose pendant, faceted onyx, European crystal pearls, and sterling silver plated chain, the Josette is truly meant to wow!

Want to recreate Donna's look? Here are our style must haves!

  • Fabulous cropped black pants. Donna is wearing the Jess Pants from Textile Apparel, which can be found here.
  • A scoop neck shirt or bodysuit to showcase the Josette Necklace. Donna is wearing the Nicole Bodysuit from Textile Apparel, which can be found here.
  • Comfy and cute shoe, like these fabulous vintage Chanel Mary Janes found at Mine and Yours, a luxury resale boutique.
  • Motorcycle not required to pull off this effortlessly chic outfit!

Pair with the Josette Bracelet and Earrings for the perfect look.

How to style the Josette Necklace

Statement Necklace Styling Tips

For those who would like more generalized suggestions for how to wear a statement necklace, this section is for you. A friendly reminder that these are simply meant as guidelines and there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how to wear a statement necklace.

Our top five statement necklace styling tips:

  1. Consider the neckline of your top and how it will work with your necklace. V-neck, scoop neck, and button-down shirts are almost always easy to style.
  2. Choose a focal point. Are you going to be wearing earrings or do you want the necklace to be the stand out accessory?
  3. When it doubt, choose a solid colour. If the idea of combining prints and a statement necklace seems scary to you, don't! Stick with solid colours and you'll have a much simpler time creating outfits.
  4. Choose a necklace length that works best with your body. Some love long necklaces to elongate the body, and some like shorter so it brings a brightness to their face and chest. 
  5. Most importantly, wear what you love. You wear the necklace, the necklace doesn't wear you. Own it!

Statement necklace styling tips

Edwina Necklace

Where to Find More Styling Information

If reading this article has you all excited about wearing statement necklaces and you are looking for more information, there are a few places you can find it!

Statement Necklaces For All

Phew! That was a lot of information about statement necklaces to take it. How wonderful that you are embarking on this journey of self expression and utilizing jewelry as part of that journey. 

If you are feeling a little overwhelmed by the number of options, we invite you book a complimentary, virtual styling appointment with us. You will virtually meet with Danielle and/or Donna to discuss your needs, what you currently have in your closet and what it is you're looking for. It is a wonderful way to get more information on our current jewelry and ensure that you are selecting the perfect piece. 

By tuning in to your truest sense of self, evaluating your current wardrobe and stepping outside of your style comfort zone, you'll be able to wear statement necklaces in ways you never thought of before. 

Time To Shop

For those who only want the very best, shop our best selling statement necklaces here!

Shop best selling statement necklaces

Kim Necklace

 


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