Ask Allie: Styling a Statement Necklace

In the spirit of trying more things, I recently bought a “statement necklace,” the Poppy necklace from Banana Republic. The trouble is, I can't seem to make it go with anything! In general, I seem to have this issue with close to the neck statement necklaces. I have clothes in all colors and styles, but I have no idea what to do with these. Can you help? And provide some guidance in general about how to wear statement jewelry?

That’s a really pretty necklace, and one that will look nice year round. At 18” length, on most people it will lie right at the collar of a crewneck top, be high enough to show if you open a couple buttons of a shirt, and looks nice with scoop, v, and other decorative necklines. Here’s a couple ways to style this necklace, and I think these suggestions would work with most any statement necklace of this length.

how to style denim shirt statement necklace white skinny jeans
Shop this look:  Shirt | Jeans | Flats | Watch | Necklace

With this first look, I show how a statement necklace can be dressed down for the weekend. Such a necklace can really pull an outfit together. With wardrobe staples like a denim shirt and skinny jeans (doesn’t have to be white, the denim on denim look would also be a great choice), the necklace adds a touch of color and sparkle. Wear a couple buttons unbuttoned and the necklace peeking out from underneath. I chose suede flats in the same color as the necklace, but you could do a neutral color or even leopard and get the same effect. A bracelet or watch that picks up the metal of the necklace makes the statement necklace look more purposeful and adds a bit more shine and polish to the ensemble.

Another Idea:  Many like to wear their statement necklaces over a button-front shirt.  Button all the buttons, and clasp the necklace over, having the necklace peek out under the collar.  If the necklace is too short, a simple hair elastic looped over the ring part of the closure will give you length and hide under the collar.

what to wear day wedding print dress necklace
Shop this look: Dress | Pumps | Clutch | Necklace

This ensemble shows that a statement necklace can work quite nicely with a print. Envisioning a day wedding, I paired the necklace with a wrap dress. This would work with most any print that either incorporates a small bit of the statement necklace color, or something that is a contrast like this blue dress. I was originally envisioning an animal print dress, but think a color like blue, green, purple, or turquoise gives a beautiful contrast. With a busy dress and strong accessory, I kept the rest of the details simple – unadorned black leather pumps and bag.

Another Idea: If the dress is a wrap style, consider trying the necklace under the wrap, as you would with an unbuttoned shirt. Statement necklaces are great with maxi dresses, the look above would work with a dress of any length.

weekend style statement necklace dress denim jacket

With this look, I show how you can incorporate a current trend with statement necklaces, which is layering them with other necklaces. The Banana Republic necklace is 18” so I found two necklaces that can be longer (or the monogram one can be shorter if that is better for you). It’s the “more is more” look and it can be a lot of a statement, so I kept the rest of the look very simple and classic. Multiple necklaces is also a great look with a button-front shirt, if you feel comfortable opening it enough to show all the chains. With so many necklaces, you can keep the rest of your accessories simple; a couple delicate gold rings or a pair of gold aviators would be enough to finish the look.

Another Idea: This look also works for summer, just switch out the dress for a sleeveless version and the boots for metallic sandals!

how to style necklace statement work dress
Shop this look: Dress | Pumps | Bracelet | Ring | Necklace

This ensemble shows how a statement necklace can work for the office. With the neckline of the dress being similar height to the length of the necklace, it becomes less of a statement and more of an accent. The Banana Republic necklace has a few rings on the back to adjust the length, play with them to have it rest just above or just below the dress neckline. With such a necklace, you could have it be your sole accessory; I added a chain bracelet and gold ring for a bit more sparkle and fun.

Another Idea: A statement necklace can be worn over a button-front shirt, and it can also be worn over a turtleneck.  For the office, you can add interest to a simple cashmere or merino turtleneck and trousers or skirt in this manner.

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