How to Choose a Necklace to Work with a Pattern or Print


One of the other elements of choosing a necklace, along with the neckline, is creating harmony with the print or pattern or other design features of the garment it’s sitting next to.

From left to right, top to bottom:

Snakeskin cardigan with muliple piece coral necklace – two naturally occurring shapes, made of many small pieces to make a non-symmetrical shapes and patterns.

Soft chevron design top with necklace that creates a triangular shape.

Drape cardigan with fine line pattern works with multiple strand fine necklace.

Floral top with different floral necklace, though colours work in harmony.

A geometric pattern needs a geometric necklace, if you put something fiddly and swirly, next to squares or plaid, it won’t harmonise.

Paisley top in soft fabric with delicate cursive letter necklace in a colour that blends.  Notice how the curve of the letters works with the curve of the paisley.

Taking a queue from the colours in the multiple pattern tank, and the shape of the dominant pattern in the centre front, works with the turquoise star made from multiple small pieces.  Notice how the star pendant is not the same as the centre pattern, matchy matchy can look way too contrived.

Soft geometric inspired top works with the soft asymmetrical pendant with colour and shape harmonising with the pattern.

These are just a few ideas of the way you can choose necklaces to suit the pattern or print in your garment.

How do you choose what jewellery goes with your patterned garments?


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  • Actually I do have very few patterned or printed outfits. I like to wear only one or two outstanding ( preferably just one ) pieces of jewelry per occasion. If I have something floral, patterned, I will be satisfied by it. I dread the look of a X-mas tree. Once again, I like to leave my outfit just a bit unfinished, thus leaving the viewer a chance to fill up the rest in his/her imagination.

  • I so agree that a perfect match can look contrived and twee. Like metscan, I don't have a ton of patterns in my wardrobe, but when I do pick necklaces to wear with them, I go neutral – something silver instead of a contrasting color.

  • Oh Imogen, you know what I'm going to say: pearls go with everything! So does a chain with some weight to it. Don't like to match my jewelry to my clothes either.
    Though more like metscan, I admire my GFs who casually pile on an armload of bangles and look terrific.

  • I was actually still thinking about how you made choices look so easy in your necklace/neckline post and I find I have to fiddle around to find matches that please me…and now you're throwing in another element, ha.

    Pattern + types-of-necklace-with-neckline preferences usually leaves me feeling like I need more jewelry! I actually skew minimalist so I do a lot of trial-and-error til I feel balanced vs overwhelmed.

    I think your pairings are really useful examples, though.

    With a wide + deep scoop neckline I like round, so that means I usually go for soft shapes in the necklace that takes up a lot of skin space or a rounded pendant. Add liner "blended" stripes and I like tonal.

    With a wrap sweater (deep V) I like pendants…other necklaces seem to hog too much space. I have a bold, smaller-scale, repetitive spiky-patterned wrap that gets a color pulled out (I might contrast if I had something on hand that worked).

    With a deep + shallower scoop in a larger-scale, mixed-shape abstract print I'll do a larger tonal beads (grey "pearls") or a mix of tonal chunky + rounded beads. Or a contrasting pendant.

    Ok–How come it sounds normal to think about this stuff when it comes from you, and when it *I* write it it sounds like I never leave the house?!

  • Man, I am LOVING these necklace tutorials! And I just found your latest newsletter in my email and wish I could be there to sample your new color system. What's with the ocean in the way?

  • I love very wise and creative necklace and clothes matches. I have been looking for good necklaces since…years… Bought a few I dont wear… Couldn't understand how it worked.Then I saw a friend of mine one day who was wearing a necklace I would never had buy but suited her extraordinarily. I got something that day: It was perfectly related to the texture and colour of her hair, and had a stone the color of her skin (a rhodocrosita, a stone I always found unsignificant). The necklace itself was not that beautifull, but there it was, it became gorgeous because of the perfect fit. This is a kind of beauty I like! Here the choice is made more in terms of match than in term of contrast. Also it created a continuity, hair and necklace, sort of a collar around her face, the way maybe fur collar the same tone than your hair suits you so well. Since that day I am looking for dark gold, cooper jewelery…instead of silver, more related in colour to my skin and hair. I find skin colour jewelery ( natural wood etc…) can even lighten an outfit, creating more "skin" and "nude" zones.

  • Necklaces are perfect in completing your entire look. You need not wear tons of jewelry just to look chic. Even a layer of beaded necklaces can be the thing to make you look glam. check out for necklaces that are really fashionable.

  • Thanks for the tutorials with pictures Imogen! Pictures are always the best to explain patterns and styles. I’ve a shirt that is similar to the 3rd one from the right of the first picture.

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