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High neck, cutout, cold shoulder, off-the-shoulder, v-neck, scoop … the neckline style list goes on, and the sheer number of different blouse necklines can be dizzying. As fashion becomes more and more playful, many women are left pondering their jewelry collections wondering exactly what to pair with what. Can I wear a necklace with a high neckline? Is the choker trend really back in style? Do I need to empty my collection and start over? These are just a few of the questions we’ve had during our seemingly endless necklace versus neckline crisis. In fact, if you’re anything like us, you might even breeze right on past the necklaces, put on a pair of studs, and call it a day. But since necklaces deserve some limelight too, we turned to the artisanal jewelry experts at Judith Bright to help us uncover the mysteries surrounding necklaces and necklines. With their guidance, you’ll see just how powerful a great necklace can be no matter the style of top.

Judith Bright’s airy storefront in Virginia-Highland is filled with delicate and statement baubles alike.

Judith Bright’s airy storefront in Atlanta’s Virginia-Highland neighborhood is filled with delicate and statement baubles alike.

Elevate a casual tee by layering chokers.

Okay, we know you might be bucking this trend and exclaiming, “I can’t believe ’90s fashion is back!” However, we’re here to tell you that the sloppy chokers of the ’90s are gone, and the elegant metal chokers of today have replaced them. Layering different necklace lengths allows you to dip your toes in the trend without feeling like you’re plunging in headfirst. With a cut-out, v-neck t-shirt like this blush one, you might be tempted to skip necklaces all together. However, Judith Bright Brand Manager Aja Wing says to embrace the space and fill it with a lariat piece as shown. “It adds a peek-a-boo of interest, and the lariat can drop down into the v and be the center focal point.”

Brand Manager Aja Wing says to embrace the space of the v and mirror the cut-out t-shirt’s neckline by adding chokers. Blush pink burnout tee, $58, available at Dakota J’s.

Brand Manager Aja Wing says to embrace the space of the v and mirror the cut-out t-shirt’s neckline by adding chokers. Judith Bright’s pieces like the Bar choker and the Kat choker are adjustable, which means you can wear them as a choker for one look, but lengthen the chain a little for a completely different style later. Find this blush pink burnout tee for $58 at Dakota J’s.

Wearing a high neckline or halter? Don’t skip the necklace.

While it might seem counterintuitive to wear a necklace with a high neckline, Aja says to add one anyway. Wearing a necklace that draws the eye further into your center is an additional way of appearing long and slender when sporting a halter or other high neckline. High necklines are also incredibly flattering for busty women. Another bonus feature? Aja points out, “With a cold shoulder, it might feel like your shoulders are broad and draw the eye there, so the heavy centerpiece is slimming and ties everything together.” The verdict? Don’t be afraid to wear a statement piece with a bold, high neckline or cold-shoulder top.

Wearing a necklace that draws the eye further into your center is an additional way of appearing long and slender when sporting a halter or other high neckline. Palm print high neck cold-shoulder, $49, available at Dakota J’s.

“The Dominique pendant leads the eye in and has a thin chain, so it’s not a heavy piece, but it has a nice weight to it,” says Aja. “The pendant also draws the eye down and balances it out, especially with the frill neckline.” Find this palm print high-neck cold-shoulder for $49 at Dakota J’s.

Use an off-the-shoulder top as a blank slate for delicate, romantic pieces.

With exposed shoulders, the eye goes directly to the blank space between them. Instead of reaching for a larger statement necklace, play-up the delicate nature of this style with small, romantic pieces. Dainty metal chains filled with classic stones like pearls are beautiful for date night. And rose gold pairs well with silver and platinum tones, allowing you to mix and match your wedding set or other fine jewelry pieces with trendier ones. Aja suggests choosing a necklace that hits right at or just below your collarbone when wearing an off-the-shoulder top. “The Uno necklace is a sweet piece with an off-the-shoulder neckline. It’s romantic. If you don’t wear a lot of jewelry but want something stylish, a double-layered necklace is a good option without having to stack multiple pieces.”

lay-up the delicate nature of off-the-shoulder styles with small romantic necklaces. Black ruffle off-the-shoulder crop, $48, available at Dakota J’s.

Play-up the delicate nature of off-the-shoulder styles with small romantic necklaces. Judith Bright’s rose gold double chain Uno necklace looks lovely with black and gives you an opportunity to experiment with the rose gold trend. Find this black ruffle off-the-shoulder crop for $48 at Dakota J’s.

Pair a choker with a necklace with slightly more interest.

“Since it’s such an open top, you need something to center it,” Aja explains, of selecting a necklace to wear with an off-the-shoulder top. Additionally, with an open top like this and a delicate necklace, you can still pair statement earrings with the look without being overwhelming.

Cold shoulders are blank slates that allow you to add layers of simple necklaces along with statement earrings.

Cold shoulders are blank slates that allow you to add layers of simple necklaces along with statement earrings. Aja  suggests pairing the Black Spinel Cleo Swing necklace with Judith Bright’s gemstone fringe earrings, which just brush the shoulder.

Use a v-neck to embrace your inner flower child, and add a little boho bead elegance.

A v-neck allows you an opportunity to have fun with your necklaces and really showcase your style. Think of it as a canvas. Shown here, reetha seeds are the answer for a casual yet sophisticated look. The smooth black beads come from Nepal and are strung on different colored thread. They are long and can be worn knotted (as seen here), long, doubled or even tripled. Knotting the strand and adding a gold double layering chain was a great solution for the deep v of this bell-sleeved bodysuit.

Judith Bright’s double layering chain grounds the v-neck of this velvet bodysuit. Floral bodysuit, $58, available at Dakota J’s.

Judith Bright’s double layering chain grounds the v-neck of this velvet bodysuit. “The Reetha necklace is a heavier piece, but it’s very long and open, so the double layering chain grounds the space of the v,” says Aja. Find the floral bodysuit for $58 at Dakota J’s.

Double up on simple beaded pieces.

Bell sleeves and flowy tops are definitely getting some attention this fall. If you have your own bell sleeve top, try doubling a simple beaded necklace with it. “Adding texture to the deep v of the neckline brings everything together,” Aja explains. Versatile necklaces like these, that can be worn in different styles or even as a bracelet, are great investment pieces that carry you beyond just one season or one style. We’re sure you have something similar in your collection, and if not, you know where to find one.

Try doubling a simple beaded necklace with your bell-sleeved tops for balance.

Try doubling a simple beaded necklace with your bell-sleeved tops for balance. We like Judith Bright’s Sandalwood necklace for this look. “It’s a little more casual, and the Sandalwood gives the top an earthy, organic feel,” says Aja.

Special thanks to Aja and her team at Judith Bright for their advice (and their modeling skills). All of the tops seen here are currently available at Atlanta’s Dakota J’s Boutique. Did you see a style you can’t live without? Give them a call at (404) 870-0690 and make it yours.

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