Accessories, Gifts

How to Choose the Perfect Necklace for Your Girlfriend

by Clean Origin
July 1, 2021
A woman smiling in a solitaire diamond necklace

There are many things to consider when shopping for a necklace for your girlfriend, but don’t panic! We at Clean Origin are here to help guide you through the process. This way, you find something you both will love, with none of the stress.

What Length Should Your Girlfriend’s Necklace Be?

There are quite a few jewelry lengths available, and to avoid confusion while shopping we’ve provided a quick overview of them. 

  • Collar: About 14-16 inches, this piece rests against the neck or just above the collarbone.
  • Choker: About 16 inches, this piece will sit high on the neck or on the collarbone.
  • Princess: About 18 inches, this piece will sit below the collarbone.
  • Matinee: About 22 inches, this piece will sit above or at the center of the bust.
  • Opera: About 30 inches, this piece will sit just below the bust or near the belly button.
  • Lariat: About 34 inches, this piece will sit at or below the belly button, but can be adjusted.

What Style Should Your Girlfriend’s Necklace Be?

There are so many necklace styles available, it may be overwhelming. We have put a quick cheat sheet below to help you understand what they look like, what length they are best as, and who they would look good on. 

Different Styles of Necklace

Bib

  • Usually, a wide triangular or circular portion extends from the neck at collar or princess length. These are usually formal statement pieces in contemporary times, though they have historic origins around the world.

Festoon

  • Best known for its popularity in the Victorian era with Art Nouveau lovers, Festoon pieces have dramatic draping elements that rest on the collarbone. They fit like a choker or collar and pair best with low necklines and off-the-shoulder tops. These are also a fairly formal style. 

Graduated

  • These necklaces are beaded, with the size of each bead increasing towards the middle and decreasing towards the bail. This is a common style for pearl necklaces.

Lavaliere

  • Large pendants are the focal piece of these delicate necklaces. Thin chains connect the focal point, and smaller elements may dangle from the pendant. They are usually princess length and match various light, feminine fashions such as bohemian style clothing. 

Locket

  • Lockets, known for their small compartment-style pendants, look best on an opera-style chain but are often on a princess-length chain. They are great paired with other necklaces for layering!

Multi-Strand

  • These necklaces have multiple strands connected to one enclosure so that they can look like multiple layered necklaces or just several strands of beads sitting together. These are often in collar or choker length to avoid the strands tangling.

Negligee

  • A 19th-century fan favorite, these necklaces feature a pendant with two asymmetrical drop elements hanging from it and come in various lengths.

Pendant

  • Any necklace where the piece’s focal point dangles on the chain as a separate item is a pendant necklace. These are popular due to their personal nature, and many prefer diamond solitaires for their versatility when buying a pendant piece.

Rivière

  • One or two rows of precious stones or semiprecious stones is what sets these pieces apart from the rest. They are usually collar or princess length and decrease in size as they approach the back. 

Sautoir

  • These are incredibly long necklaces with a pendant, like a tassel or fringe, which can be worn several ways. They are great for their versatile nature because they can be a headpiece, a bracelet, a long necklace, or a short one depending on styling.

How Do You Find A Necklace That Suits Your Girlfriend?

Different lengths, pendant placements, chain types, and stone sizes are just a few ways to differentiate different styles of necklaces.

Now that you have considered the different types and lengths of necklaces remember that certain types of necklaces suit certain women more than others.

For example, women who are 5’4″ or below tend to look best in 16 to 20-inch necklace lengths as longer necklaces tend to overwhelm a smaller frame.

Women who are between the height of 5’4″ to 5’7″ don’t deal with the same limitations from their height. They can generally wear necklaces of most any length.

Women who are taller than 5’7″ can also wear any length necklace, but longer pieces can suit their frame particularly well.

Find the Perfect Lenght Necklace

Appropriate length can be determined by your girlfriend’s height, but it can also be determined by her personal fashion style. Does she wear a lot of V-neck tops? Definitely get a V-neck necklace!

Matching the shape of the neckline is a great way to accentuate an outfit rather than having the necklace clash. Is she big on low-cut or strapless tops? Go for a princess-length piece or a choker! This will show off her neck and shoulders best, without messing with the neckline created by her top.

The added plus is that a princess or choker necklace for your girlfriend will be most visible with these types of outfits, meaning your gift will get plenty of attention.

Turtleneck and high crew-neck pieces tend to pair best with opera-length necklaces, which can be left as a single strand or doubled up for added drama. 

What Occasion Are You Giving Your Girlfriend A Necklace For?

Depending on the occasion, you’ll have a very different budget. Anniversaries, proposals, birthdays, and other such events may need a higher price point. If you want your girlfriend to wear the gift upon receiving it, consider where you might be headed and what she will wear to that event.

A sweet surprise to accompany a nice dinner out may not need to be an ultra-formal piece, but it definitely shouldn’t be incredibly casual either. Finding a piece that matches the formality of your event, and your expected price point is the key here.

Gifts that say you care can be casual, everyday pieces that she’ll love too! The most expensive or most formal piece is not always the answer.

Should You Go Bold For A Necklace For Your Girlfriend?

Many people are daunted by the metrics of price point, style, and level of formality and assume that going big is the best option. Unfortunately, more formal pieces may be hard to match and wear day-to-day.

Giving your girlfriend a necklace that she’ll enjoy the most is the goal, so unless your girlfriend is big on statement-style jewelry take care to refine your search.

Classic pieces often make great gifts because of their wearability, so that she can cherish your gift more often. Big events or certain style preferences can definitely override advice, but when searching “necklace for girlfriend” keep a critical eye on the necklace itself rather than the price tag. Sometimes a gorgeous solitaire necklace is better than a canary diamond.

Should You Try A Trend When Buying A Necklace For Your Girlfriend?

If you’re overwhelmed by all of the metrics of choice when picking a necklace for your girlfriend, consider tapping into a trend. A quick search of your go-to jewelry site or a perusal of their new arrivals should help you stick with something current and fun.

Trends are a risk that can absolutely pay off, especially if you’re willing to do a bit of research. A quick look at what you see other women wear on the street, or some internet searching will help you find some ideas.

If you’re nervous about trend surfing, try to find a jewelry company you like and stick with them. 

What Necklaces Does Your Girlfriend Already Wear?

Before you purchase, keep an eye out for what your girlfriend likes to wear every day. Her clothing style may inform the style of necklace you pick, but you can also see what she likes to wear in terms of jewelry length or style based on her current style.

This way, you can also avoid buying something she already has! While having a few similar necklace options is not the end of the world, if you want your gift to stand out you may want to take similarities from her everyday wear rather than copy an exact piece. 

Pay Attention!

If you notice that she doesn’t have a necklace for a particular outfit, take note! That is a gap in her closet that you can absolutely fill with your neck purchase.

It is key to respect her privacy in your search, don’t tip her off to your gift by getting caught going through her jewelry. The best way to manage privacy in your search is to listen to her when she talks about her jewelry, peek at her jewelry options when she’s out of the house, or pay attention to what she enjoys wearing so you get a piece that best compliments her style. 

If she wears a lot of silver or gold in particular, it may be best to stick with her existing color palette. New jewelry is best enjoyed when it is easily matched to older pieces. You can match existing necklaces, or try to find something in a similar style that is significantly different from what she owns now so that it fills a wardrobe gap.

Consider the Versatility of the Necklace for Your Girlfriend

While considering what her closet already looks like, and trying to respect her privacy, of course, you should also consider how versatile the piece you are purchasing is.

A sterling silver piece can be worn more often, and in lots of weather conditions without worrying about tarnishing or damage compared to a costume jewelry piece or a pure gold option. Thin chains may look gorgeous, but if they are too long they can get caught on everything and eventually snap during the everyday hustle and bustle.

Making sure your piece is versatile in terms of durability as well as style is a great way to find a winning gift. The best necklaces are easily worn in the privacy of one’s home as well as out to dinner or an event.

Pendant pieces can be a great way to ensure versatility. Just make sure that the piece isn’t a formal statement necklace when the occasion does not call for such a thing. 

When Should I Buy a Necklace for My Girlfriend?

Don’t buy your gift the day of! All these tips require time and forethought in order to be put into practice. If you know an event is coming up, or that you will want to give your girlfriend a necklace sometime in the future, keep an eye out for hints about what she likes.

It may be a few months until her birthday, but if she tries on a necklace or mentions a style she wants but doesn’t buy it, pick it up early! Little things like her looking to update her everyday cross necklace, or mentioning that she likes another woman’s diamond set are the hints you should be on the hunt on for. You can collect those hints early, rather than praying she’ll drop them closer to the date. 

Shop Early, Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute

If you pick up a piece early and she begins to shop for it herself, don’t be shy about discouraging her. Dissuade her from the purchase in gentle ways, even by hinting that a necklace is coming her way soon so that you can take credit for getting her exactly what she wanted.

If you are looking at necklaces even a few weeks before the event, you have a much better chance of finding what you want, and getting the personal touches that you want to be added. A popular touch is gift wrapping, whether you have the store wrap it or you purchase a velvet box for your necklace to be presented in.

A great tip is to purchase the matching earrings, bracelet, or ring to the necklace you choose so that you have a great gift for next time. That way you can give her a necklace just because you love her, and earrings for her birthday that complete the set. 

Buy Versatile and Ethical Necklaces

As already mentioned, versatile pieces in terms of durability are a great choice. Buying pieces that are well made, with durable, precious materials will mean an overall better gift.

At Clean Origin, we produce necklaces that have gorgeous diamonds without the price tag by cutting out unethical labor practices. You can give your girlfriend a gift that is made with love for the earth, and the people who live on it with the comfort of knowing that it is also a quality piece of jewelry.

Sustainable and ethical business practices are an important part of buying well, because you don’t want to purchase pieces that damage the environment at a steep price, nor do you want to skimp with fragile costume jewelry.

When you buy well, you are buying a piece that will last your girlfriend a lifetime without any consumer guilt. No need to worry about whether your purchase came at a greater cost when you opt for lab-grown diamond jewelry. 

We Can Help

At Clean Origin, we want you to be able to focus on something beautiful, rather than adding another thing to worry about into the complicated process of purchasing a necklace for your girlfriend. A great start for a simple, classic necklace that is widely versatile, made with quality materials, and will match a variety of styles is our ½ct Solitaire Pendant. If you want to find something that matches your girlfriend in terms of beauty, and you want to make sure you don’t miss the mark, you can never go wrong with a solitaire piece in gold or white gold.