SIGNATURE STYLE: My Necklace Constitution…

I always look forward to collaborating on style with Cindy Hattersley Design and this month we are talking necklaces! One of our favourite things to wear… and collect 😉 we both love a statement, have had pieces for years and use them to define our signature style.

In my wardrobe, I wear three types of necklaces, the long dangly kind, a structured bib style and my signature jewels (heirloom pieces, that have been inherited). These are in a mix of materials such as wood, stone and metal, all neutral in tone and interestingly, I own very few in colour 🤔 The first falls from around the neck usually finishing with a pendant mid body, just above my bellybutton. While I adore this for it’s casual relaxed look, it also helps reshape my proportions. When worn on a dress, this not only draws attention to the smallest part of my frame (my waist), it also happens to elongate my legs by finishing just above my long waist. My bibs also aid in redefining my proportions. This necklace ties around the neck like a collar and tends to cover quite a significant area of my chest. Being big (on my frame), they help balance out my larger bottom half and because they are quite statement, draw the eye up to my smaller top half and away from my larger lower. Who’d have thought an accessory can have such an effect? But that’s not the reason why I wear them, I wear them because: 1) they are what I am attracted to, 2) they feel right on me …and (like my signature jewels- which do nothing to alter my proportions), 3) I love them 😊

When I wear which style can be determined by the weather. On warmer days I favour longer looser necklaces as my clothes are often less structured and suited to this style. I also don’t want anything too heavy around my neck, strangling me in the heat! On cooler days, it’s the opposite. A chunky bib necklace can make quite the statement over a crew or v neck. Because of this, all my necklaces get worn, I never tire of them, and they constantly change up my outfits. Last year, during lockdown, I started styling on IGTV and used all of them far too liberally! In fact, I admit, on occasion, for the sake of entertainment, I probably went a bit too far 😳. Wearing more than a few at a time, I experiment with the Iris “more is more and less is a bore” approach. But after taking a good hard look at where I want to take my style, it became quite obvious, that (on me) this bordered on costumery. And while I love the drama of this style on others, it isn’t really me. So, to counteract the overstyled look, I’ve come up with my own necklace constitution 😂 a few simple guidelines that I can follow to ensure my overall look appears more stylish:

  1. Consider the neckline of the clothing and choose a complimentary necklace shape/length. (I usually wear turtle, crew, and v necks, or small collars so this makes my three necklace types easy to wear).
  2. Pay attention to the pattern and print of the clothing. (If it is large in scale and busy- the focus will usually be on the clothes, so there is often no need for a necklace. If it is plain, it will probably benefit from a lovely one). THIS IS A RULE I CONSIDER BUT OFTEN BREAK ON A PRINTED MAXI DRESS.
  3. When making a statement with a bib necklace, it should sit by itself. (I rarely go for a matching set of necklace and earrings – so I will choose a smaller complimentary earring, allowing the necklace to shine).
  4. Whether it long or short, one is good, two necklaces are company, but three is usually a crowd (I have a small frame so this makes sense).
  5. Steer clear of chokers. (On my short neck they do just that- choke me).
  6. When adding a waist belt (other than self tie), consider a fine necklace or no neckpiece option. (On me, no necklace and larger earrings are a much better look)- note hip belts are a whole other story!
  7. Avoid matching. Coordinate instead. Mix your metals and materials to create an eclectic look. (This is my challenge, as I love a bit of matchy-matchy 😉).
  8. Be aware of your overall appearance, making sure that what’s on your wrist (watch and bangle/bracelet) and sunglasses don’t over style the look!
  9. Feel free to experiment and break the constitution rules as you see fit 😂

This is a great guide I found online for which style of necklace works with which neckline. It’s rather traditional, but if you choose accordingly and then follow points 2-9 above, I think it makes sense.

So how does this translate in my own wardrobe? A picture tells a thousand words.., so follow left to right…On a dress without a belt (or a self tied one) I will usually wear long beads or a bib (which means on a dress with a statement belt, I usually go without). I wear small collars or none, so this allows for a bib-collar necklace to be placed over the top, a long dangly necklace to fall down over the placket, or an inherited signature necklace to shine with an unbuttoned look. If I wear a V neck, I may fill the space with a similar shaped bib, or again, cover it entirely. If you’d like to see more ideas, please watch my latest IGTV on “Collections – the bib style necklace” 😊

But what about with jeans and pants? I go back to my guidelines. If the blouse I choose is tucked and there is no belt I may wear one or two. Like in the image below. If I had added a belt, I would have gone with my small signature jewel. Below right is a bib style necklace I picked up on EBay, worn with a tucked white tee, my fave linen pants and a second hand utility jacket (from my daughter’s wardrobe). If I wore the top untucked and loose over the pants, I’d probably wear a longer dangly necklace. You get the idea. And I do too! In fact, that is why these looks and the way I wear them have become a part of my signature style… 😉

Now, why not read about what necklaces Cindy likes to wear (and her signature style), by pressing here.

Sarah xx


  1. Susan Sabo · February 20, 2021

    I love your long pendant necklace with the cross! I’m curious if you made this yourself? I love the chunky look of it. Would please share the dimensions of the cross?

  2. LA CONTESSA · February 20, 2021

    Thought your drawing of necklines was very helpful!
    IRIS and I are two BIRDS OF A FEATHER……….HOW I would LOVE to get into HER CLOSET!
    Todays instagram post I am wearing her yellow JACKET!!!
    How old is your daughter?Does she borrow from YOU or YOU borrow from her MORE?
    That would would be a wonderful POST MOTHER/DAUGHTER DRESSING!
    Cindy has a daughter TOO!

  3. sarahlondonstyle · February 20, 2021

    Why thank you! Actually, I didn’t. I purchased this from a girlfriends business over 10 years ago. I have a grey wooden one too. Unfortunately she doesn’t have the business anymore. The cross dimensions are tricky but here goes:
    The vertical panel is 8cm L x 1.5cm W, the horizontal panel is 5cm L 2cm W. The horizontal panel sits across at 1.5cm from the top of vertical one. Hope that helps.

  4. sarahlondonstyle · February 20, 2021

    Oooh… I love Iris too! She is truly inspiring 🙏🏻 And being so tiny, it’s surprising how so many necklaces suit her. Perhaps it’s the glasses that balance out the necklaces 🤔 I have 2 daughters. 21 and 18. Both fashionistas and experienced You Tubers! Our styles are very different. They are young, hip, sustainable op shoppers. Hipsters I call them ! They adore anything vintage. Very retro cool 😎 one has Purple hair and Miley as her Muse ( she wants to be an actress) the other is still at school ( and wants to study sustainable fashion next year) so can’t colour it other than the silver blonde she currently has 🤣 … and both make their own stuff too. So that’s a commonality now.. although to their horror, I see so much of what I was like in them at their age. Now I’m going to check out your jacket.. xx

  5. cynthiahattersley · February 20, 2021

    Hi Sarah
    Okay finally I can comment! LOVED this post so many great takeaways. You have such great style. It is so fun doing this with you even though we are continents apart. I figured out the issue. Thanks to Elizabeth aka the Contessa. I think the only people that are able to comment are those that are receiving your emails. Anyone from my blog that came to yours could read it but not comment. I am not sure how to handle that but maybe next month send me your permalink and we can try that. They love reading and would love to comment!

  6. sarahlondonstyle · February 20, 2021

    I’m so sorry about that Cindy. I’m not sure what to do either. I’ll try and look into it. I’m a little technology challenged, but will ask those who aren’t. And yes, it is so much fun and such a blast doing this with you too!

  7. Susan Sabo · February 21, 2021

    Hi Sarah. Thanks for information about your beautiful cross pendant.
    Regards Susan

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