From Classic to Contemporary: A Journey Through Necklace Styles

Necklaces are beloved pieces of jewelry that have been adorning men's and women's necks for centuries. It is a quintessential jewelry piece holding a special place in the fashion and self-expression world. Here is an article about necklace styles.

Necklaces are beloved pieces of jewelry that have been adorning men’s and women’s necks for centuries. It is a quintessential jewelry piece holding a special place in the fashion and self-expression world. However, this timeless accessory has undergone a remarkable transformation over the years: from classic and traditional to bold and contemporary. Such an evolution is a testament to the ever-changing fashion landscape and diversification of personal taste. Let’s delve into this fascinating journey to understand this evolution.

The Classic Era of necklaces

In ancient times, necklaces weren’t just decorative pieces but a symbol of status, spirituality, and style. These were made using bones, stones, and shells and adorned with other religious and symbolic motifs.

Some of the popular necklace styles of the classic era were:

  • String of pearls: An iconic necklace style of the classic era that has adorned the necks of royalty and nobility for centuries. It was cherished for its timeless elegance.
  • Cameo necklace: Another classic style was the miniature works of art (intricately carved images of precious stones), often framed in gold or silver. These were worn as pendants to showcase portraits of loved ones in scenes from mythology.

The Romantic Revival

The 19th century, popularly known as the Romantic Era, marked a significant turning point in the evolution of necklace styles. The era saw a resurgence of interest in jewelry, as more interest was emphasized in emotions and personal expression during this romantic era. Necklaces were no longer just a symbol of status but an expression of love and self-expression.

This era gave rise to sentimental necklaces featuring lockets with keepsakes or portraits of loved ones.

Art Nouveau and the Birth of Modernism

During the late 19th and 20th centuries, the Art Nouveau Movement, particularly, greatly impacted jewelry designs. Art Nouveau embraced natural forms and organic shapes like flowing lines, floral motifs, and intricate craftsmanship. A popular jeweler named Rene Lalique is popular for his innovative designs, combining gemstones with materials such as enamel, horn, and glass.

During this era, sautoir necklaces were gaining popularity. These long, tassel-adorned chains made a significant shift towards flowing, relaxed forms of necklaces rather than rigid and structured pieces from the past.

The Roaring Twenties and Art Deco

During 1920, when the world entered the Jazz Age, the necklace styles witnessed a dramatic evolution. The shift was made to geometric patterns using materials like onyx, diamonds, emeralds, symmetrical designs, and bold color contrasts following the Art Deco.

Flapper Necklaces, which were long pearl necklaces, were symbolized as liberal and fashionable necklace styles.

Mid-century modern and beyond

The 20th century was progressing, and so were the necklace styles. During the mid-century modern period, minimalist and abstract designs with simple and clean lines rose. Other materials like aluminum and silver became popular due to their lightweight and futuristic appearance.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the pop culture and counter-culture movements again influenced necklace styles. Different necklace pieces, including peace sign pendants and beaded necklaces, were some of the popular picks to showcase rebellion and love as expressions of individuality.

The contemporary necklace styles

Finally, when necklace styles enter the contemporary fashion world, everything from traditional to modern creations and a wide range of options are available for self-expression. One can witness the revival of classic, vintage-inspired necklaces like chokers and pendants. Materials that were popular in ancient times, like gold and pearls, have made a comeback more innovative.

Designers are experimenting with unconventional materials like recycled plastics, metals, and gems to design bold and contemporary necklace pieces. The trend truly reflects the growing awareness towards a sustainable approach to creating an eco-friendly and unique necklace piece.

Additionally, designers have developed a high-quality, affordable alternative to solid gold jewelry- Gold Vermeil Necklaces. It is the highest quality type of gold tone jewelry after solid gold, gaining immense popularity today.

Contemporary necklace styles have given more freedom to customize a jewelry piece. Now, individuals can get their tailor-made necklace pieces from several renowned jewelry brands and artisans, reflecting their personalities and unique stories. Necklace pieces with engraved names, dates, or special messages are the popular trend to make a statement.

Necklace layering is another popular trend. Individuals mix and match necklaces, lengths, styles, and materials to achieve a more eclectic and personalized look. Such an approach encourages creativity and self-expression among women.

Another trend that has gained momentum recently is the smart necklaces. The technology has influenced designers to develop smart necklaces that can be paired with smartphones. This necklace is a combination of style and practicality.


Necklace styles have dramatically evolved from classic to contemporary, reflecting the ever-changing fashion, culture, and personal expression. From spiritual necklaces of ancient times to romantic pieces of the Victorian era and geometric styles of Art Deco to eclectic and bold styles of the present generation, necklace styles have come a long way. And as the world continues to evolve, so will the quintessential jewelry piece ‘necklace.’

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