How to Accessorize by Neckline Type

Avoid fashion disasters by choosing necklaces based on your neckline.

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Necklaces are the perfect way to accessorize an outfit. Whether they are dainty and delicate or chunky and bold, they can add the perfect amount of sparkle, glam or bling to your wardrobe. But pairing a necklace with a top requires more than just matching colors. Wearing the wrong style of necklace with your top’s neckline quickly takes a fashion-forward moment into the fashion danger zone.

Scoop or Rounded

Scoop and rounded necklines are quite easy to accessorize. In fact, the fashion rule is almost as easy as “just add bling and shine.” This neckline’s versatility allows you to pair it with necklaces of nearly any style or length. If the neckline falls high on the chest, you’ll want to avoid a choker. And if the neckline scoops pretty low, you’ll want to avoid those long chains with dangling pendants. Other than that, feel free to bling away.


Although the V-neck neckline flatters most body types, it’s difficult to accessorize. Your necklace should imitate the “V” shape; otherwise it just looks like you’re trying too hard. Stick with a medium-length necklace with an 18- or 20-inch chain that has a small pendant dangling at the end. Stay away from chokers or long chains.


The "bateau," or boatneck, shirt style has a neckline that resembles a canoe. The edges of the neckline tend to sit relatively high on the chest and back, but the corners of the neckline extend to the tips of the shoulders. This neckline follows the curve of the collarbones and allows a playful glimpse of the shoulders. If you want to wear a chunkier necklace, choose a longer length to balance the soft look of the neckline. But if you have a simple, delicate chain, it can be worn close to the throat.


The halter neckline wraps around the back of the neck, leaving the back completely bare. Some styles of halter tops are quite revealing in the chest area, while other styles cover the entire chest. Either way, accessorizing a halter neckline is a bit tricky. It’s difficult to find the perfect length and style of necklace; most styles just distract from the neckline. Consider skipping the neck chains altogether. Instead, opt for a flashy pair of dangly earrings and a bold statement ring.


The strapless neckline crosses the body just underneath the arms. Although it usually runs straight across the chest, it may also have a sweetheart cut. Since this neckline reveals so much skin, choose a necklace that makes a statement. Skip those dainty chains and delicate strands. Instead, opt for a bold necklace of nearly any length and style. Just avoid necklace lengths that fall just at the strapless shirt’s edge; they only end up crowding your bare chest.

Cowl Neck

A cowl neckline has so much going on near the decolletage that it’s nearly impossible to accessorize accordingly. With so many folds of fabric crowding your chest, you’re almost better off leaving your upper body unaccessorized. Instead, bring the bling to your wrists or fingers.


The most modest of all the necklines, turtlenecks cover the chest and neck entirely. As such, they leave a rather difficult canvas to accessorize. Skip the chokers and short chains when you’re wearing a turtleneck. Instead, pair the top with long strands of at least 30 inches. If you’re wearing just one strand, make sure it has a pendant dangling on the end. If you’re wearing multiple strands, the pendant is optional.

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