Making a Statement Without Saying a Word

64 Arts
Collar-style Necklace Trio of Statement Necklaces Lion Collar Necklace

Actions speak louder than words, it’s true, but our very presence can speak volumes and a stand-out necklace can say to the world that you’re as large and in charge as your accessories.

I’ve been watching a lot of Bones via Netflix, lately–it’s great to have on in the background while I’m drawing–and Dr. Temperance Brennan (or, rather, the show’s stylist) loves big, ornate, vaguely-tribal or ethnic necklaces. These sorts of statement pieces are making a comeback in everyday women’s fashion, too, made of all sorts of materials and designs.

When we wear these sorts of necklaces, though, it takes some forethought to keep our statement clear and our visual “words” unjumbled.

How to Wear a Statement Necklace

1. Let a single signature piece rule the day.

Faux Lariat Necklace in Purple and SilverBack when I was in high school the “fashion” (and I use the term loosely) was to wear several necklaces, big dangly earrings and rings on as many fingers as possible. I’m quite happy to have grown out of that stage and into one that knows when to whisper and when to shout.

By wearing a single statement piece–be it earrings, necklace, bracelet or ring–you allow that piece to stand out and be noticed.

2. Complement or contrast, but don’t argue.

You’ve got two ways to go when wearing a piece of very vocal neck-ware: you can complement the colors of your clothes or contrast them but it’s easiest if you keep busy patterns away from a bold necklace. If you’re matching a necklace to the pattern of your skirt (I’ve designed a couple specifically for that purpose), keep your shirt a sold color that coordinates with both and creates a bit of “white space” (even if the shirt is black, orange or any color other than white).

3. Match your necklace to your neckline.

Repurposed Belt as NecklaceGoing back to Bones, the very literal doctor always pairs her large-and-in-charge necklaces with either an open neckline or a tank and blazer combo. The necklaces are framed by these clothing choices and rest against bare skin–but it’s not the only way to go.

Another way to pair a neckline with a necklace, especially useful in winter, is to wear a solid turtleneck or other high-collar shirt as a backdrop for your jewelry. If you go with a button-down shirt, make sure the necklace completely clears the collar edges and that the buttons are covered by a placket (not only can they take away from the style of the necklace, they can pose a catching hazzard for the more fiddly styles).

Celtic Horse Etched Slide NecklaceFinally, by lengthening a standout necklace to below the bust-line (you can extend many styles with ribbon or additional chain purchased from the craft-store and attached to the existing clasps) eliminates any neckline confusion and adds a bohemian flair to the ensemble.

So, now that you know how to wear them, learn how to make one with the Etched Slide Necklace tutorial I put up over the weekend and let me know if you give them a try!

From Rings to Ropes

64 Arts

Not only did they differentiate between ear ornaments and necklaces, they didn’t even put the two one after the other. As much as I like going in order, it makes more sense (to me, at least) to go straight into the rest of the jewelry world and skip slightly ahead to…


The 19th Art: Jewelry

These are of two kinds: necklaces ornamented with jewels or ornaments worn around the hips, used mostly for the theater.

Well, I think there’s a whole lot more to jewelry than necklaces and hip belts–more than two types of necklaces even!

First there’s length: do you want to wear a snug, choker-style or one that drapes just to that delicate hollow at the base of your throat. There’s also longer lengths and what will look best depends on your own size plus the neckline of the shirt or dress you’re wearing.

Next is style: chain links or beaded (or both)? single-stranded or multi? focal bead or pendant (or neither)? There are everyday necklaces that go with everything, artsy necklaces you wear when you want to be noticed or make a statement and the fancy stuff that comes out on special occasions.

And then there’s the details like colors and materials and all sorts of other things that determine whether this necklace goes with that outfit or your mood.

I’ve got a few projects to show you over the next couple of weeks (including a hip-belt! they’re not just for the theater!) but if you just can’t wait, check out these articles I wrote during my eHow days:

How to Do Viking Chain Knitting: this method of weaving chain makes impressive necklaces and gives you something to do with all those leftover allen wrenches from your last IKEA purchase.

How to Crochet with Wire and Beads: shows you the basics of forming beaded crochet bracelets and a bonus earring pattern that I designed by accident but love to wear.

How to Bead on a Loom: you might find the loom in the kids’ crafts section of the store, but there are some amazing bracelets, necklaces and more than can be made with it that are far from child’s play.