Necklaces are the most elegant pieces of jewelry any woman can have in her collection. The everlasting and timeless favorite of not only the red carpet but every special moment of your life, the necklace is capable of not only completing your looks but adding to it as well. It is considered to be the most exciting and seductive part of any outfit and you often tend to plan your outfits around them. With such a wide array of designs and variations available you often get confused when trying to decide what necklace to pick.
There’s a question that often looms in your mind about the type of necklace you would want to pick for a particular occasion and at times it drives you annoyed to find the perfect design! Isn’t it?
To make this difficult task a little easier for you, we have put together this article to inspire you about necklaces, their meaning and journey through the ages and with the post popular necklace trends of 2021. So let’s get started without any further ado!
Definition and Symbolic Meanings
A necklace is simply defined as a form of jewelry that is worn around the neck. It is most commonly crafted in metals with flexible chains, gemstones, pearls or other materials like beads, threads, etc. The lengths of necklaces vary in various designs and specific types, for example a short choker or a layered neckpiece. Some sit on your neck just above the collarbone while some hang freely down to your waist.
Just like the other pieces of jewelry, the necklace has also been an important piece for decoration of the body, but it also speaks a lot for the person wearing it. Necklaces are a valued material across many cultures as they symbolize wealth, power, affiliation, resources, prestige, skill, etc. They are also considered as elements of identity and position in many tribes. The materials used to make necklaces like the metal, glass beads or gemstones in them provide a deep insight and help us to understand the cultural and artistic practices of other cultures and different time periods of history.
In ancient times, necklaces made of local organic materials such as shells, teeth or bones of animals, beads, and wood were adopted in early cultures around the world. Necklaces made of precious materials, such as those made of Mediterranean red corals which were found in a Neolithic burial in the Alps date back to 4200-3400 B.C.E. Amongst other early types of necklaces include the torq or torque made of twisted metal, and the lunula, a flat crescent shaped and engraved variation of torque were popular among the ancient Celts. They were also found in the diggings of Bronze Age Ireland and Scotland and belonged to 1800-1500 B.C.E.
Style And Trends Throughout Different Ages
Necklaces were generally made to display appropriate decorative and stylistic features that were popular through each period and it varied from region to region. Each period also had some influences and revivals of styles, such as the classical Greek and Roman necklaces or Egyptians beaded collars that were prevalent. During the Middle Ages, jewelry turned to become a more integral element of the dressing style and brooches were replaced by necklaces as the primary form of jewelry during the late Gothic and early Renaissance periods. Necklaces studded with extravagant gemstones and heavy gold designs with pendants became the symbol of wealth and social status during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and continued to be popular through the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.
The necklace trends in early European and American societies, was mostly followed as a part of the necklines in fashionable dresses. In other words, as the necklines were lowered, the more elaborate and extravagant necklaces were seen. But this does not mean that necklaces were not worn when the necklines were higher, for example, a carcanet is a type of wide, bejeweled or enameled gold link necklace that looks like a collar. It was heavily worn by men in the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries as a symbol of their status. The carcanet was a design that encircled the base of a man’s neck and was worn under their elaborate lace ruff collars. It was also worn with multiple gold chains wrapped around the neck or kept hanging over the shoulders or down the front of the bodices and doublets.
The necklace became a central piece of jewelry in the 18th century, a matching set was a must for every woman belonging to the upper class. These sets included brooch, earrings, bracelets, pendant, and a tiara. These necklace sets were meant to be worn as an evening wear with lowered bodice necklines, while the daywear consisted of higher necklines and were paired with the brooch or pendants instead. This concept of matching set has lasted till this date with slighter modifications.
Necklaces in the late 20th century were styled according to both the fashion and popular culture trends, but they also meet the various needs for women’s dress based on their occasion, preference and the levels of fashionability and affordability of the pieces.
The Different Lengths and Styles
Fast forward to the 21st century, there are many designs that are available in the market. According to a survey, the number of people who brought fine jewelry has topped 30 million in the US. Although a lot of people are new to jewelry and especially when it comes to necklaces it becomes more tricky. Understanding the different designs and styles can help you stay ahead of the ever changing trends and slay the fashion game.
To inspire you with the best type of necklace designs we have compiled a list that will help you to choose from.
Let’s get started.
- Charm Necklace
A charm necklace is actually very similar in design and style to a traditional charm bracelet. Charm necklaces are very much popular not only as mere fashion accessories but also as collectible gifts.
The general feeling and look sported by a charm necklace is that of fun, casual setting and style. Charm designs are like pieces that are relevant to you as a person which is why they are often deemed as personal style. They have become extremely popular in recent years and are also a great choice for gifts for loved ones as they showcase love and care.
If you want to spice up your looks with mixing and matching, go for a charm necklace and then layer it with plain link necklaces for a super stylish and chic look.
- Alphabet Necklaces
Alphabet necklaces are generally similar in design and style to the pendant necklaces. Alphabet necklaces are usually purchased and worn by people as a personal token or a piece that carries a sentimental value.
Many people buy them to represent the initials of their own names or their partners or children or someone who is really close to them. They have always been very popular and can be seen on celebrities like Kim Kardashian to the common man.
Alphabet necklaces work as pieces that reflect your own personal style just like the pendants do. They are also considered as great gift items.
- Locket/Pendant Necklace
A locket or a pendant is considered to be one of the oldest styles of necklace. Lockets are often passed down from generation to generation as an heirloom.
The pendant or locket necklaces come in a variety of designs and patterns, you can always find something that represents your personal style and also holds a sentimental value.
Pendants and lockets were especially popular during the Victorian era, and you can find many vintage inspired designs with engravings and gemstones. Pendant necklaces come in different chain sizes. They can either sit between your collarbones or on your chest depending on the length. You can mix and match a pendant necklace with a longer chain for a multi layered necklace design.
- Birthstone Necklace
Birthstone necklaces have amassed a huge popularity in recent years. Birthstone necklaces are generally necklaces which feature a gemstone assigned to every month, for example, Peridot necklace for the month of August, or Amethyst necklace for the month of February.
They are a chic way to represent your favourite gemstones and are also considered a great gift for people who are gemstone lovers. They come in a variety of designs and styles, as often the gemstone is framed within a certain motif or is suspended freely from the chain.
- Minimalistic Necklaces
Minimalistic designs have taken the jewelry industry by storm. They are the most wanted type of fine jewelry because of their light weight, stunning designs which are suitable for everyday wear and great looking.
They complement your style without overwhelming your ensembles and add a hint of sparkle to your looks. Wear them solo or mix and match them, they are gonna look great either way.