Most of us have probably heard the famous Coco Chanel saying: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” While that advice may apply to that extra hair clip or scarf you threw on at the last minute, I’d argue that the designer wasn’t thinking about necklaces when she spouted that piece of style wisdom. When it comes to accessories, a necklace is almost always an essential piece—hence why the best jewelry brands all include necklaces in their collections.
Of course, your necklace of choice will vary depending on your style and needs. Maybe you’re in the market for a chunky chain necklace to hit on one of the biggest fall 2023 jewelry trends. Or maybe you need a dazzling choker to go with your date night LBD. Whatever kind of necklace you’re on the hunt for, we’ve got you covered. Ahead we’ve rounded up the most stunning pendants, chains, lariats, and more to make sure your neck always has at least a little bling for any occasion you may have on your radar. And don’t worry—we’ve included pieces for every budget, as some of the best necklaces for women come from incredibly affordable jewelry brands.
Best Charm and Pendant Necklaces
For all the country girls out there, this quirky necklace is a cute way to show off your loyalty. It features an 18'' gold-filled chain with an adorable gold-plated cowboy boot pendant. This piece makes me want to yell "yee-haw," in the best way possible.
Silent Opus creates the kind of keepsake jewelry you'll want to wear every day. Each piece is customizable (this necklace in particular has over 21 design customizations) and is made from sustainable recycled gold. With the insane amount of design options, this necklace makes the perfect gift for your best friend, or to treat yourself with.
You'll never feel drab with a rainbow wrapped around your neck. This adorable necklace has a cubic zirconia charm in just about every color, so it will always go with anything you have on. Pair it with an already colorful outfit or use it to spruce up a monochrome look.
At this point, initial pendant necklaces are a must-have in your jewelry rotation. This pick from Black-owned brand BCHARI is filled with 14-K gold and is dainty enough to go with all of your other pendants and chains. One reviewer raved, "I had been on the hunt for an initial necklace that wasn’t too flashy and an initial that wasn’t a large size. This was the best winner ever!"
This heart-shaped necklace will instantly give you the punk rocker vibes that are coming back in style. If you needed another reason to love this necklace, the edgy style queen herself Kourtney Kardashian is a fan. Pro tip: The heart doubles as a to-go perfume holder.
Best Chain Necklaces
Everyone needs a simple gold chain that they can rely on for everyday wear and this Mejuri piece is that chain. Made from gold vermeil, this chain will give you the look and feel of solid gold, but at a fraction of the price. Layer it with your favorite pendants or wear it solo for a simple way to elevate your look.
For when a dainty chain isn't the vibe, go a bit bolder with this thick gold chain by Laura Lombardi. The New York-based jewelry line is known for their gold jewelry pieces that are classic, yet updated. This necklace will add a little edginess to your usual layered set.
Paperclip chains have been trending hard for the last few seasons, so this piece will be essential in your jewelry rotation. This chain necklaces features hook enclosures, meaning you can style it shorter, longer, or even as a lariat chain, depending on your mood.
"This dazzling yet understated piece by AAPI brand Kate and Mimi is sure to stun, no matter the occasion. Its daintiness and adjustable length also ensures that it will match with any outfit, which is right in line with the brand's mission to create versatile pieces that can be worn in a variety of ways." – GU
When layering necklaces, a chunky chain is a necessity, whether it be a paperclip link version or this flat chain. The Hills It-girl Kristin Cavallari created her jewelry line Uncommon James with versatility and affordability in mind, and it shows with this piece. This under-$100 necklace looks just as stunning on its own or coupled with a dainty chain and pendant.
Best Choker Necklaces
With the resurgence of Y2K and '90s fashion trends, it was only a matter of time before chokers became the jewelry trend for fall 2023. Instead of the simple black chokers of the past, the fashion crowd is favoring edgier, statement-making pieces like this Justine Clenquet choker.
Isabel Marant may be known for her clothing but this choker makes a strong case for her jewelry collection. With sparkling crystals wrapped around your neck, you're sure to feel like a million bucks.
As I mentioned, edgy is the way to go when it comes to chokers, and this Sapir Bachar piece ticks that box. The jewelry brand is known for taking classic pieces and giving them a modern twist.
This isn't your grandma's pearl necklace. This choker from Chan Luu features a strand of freshwater pearls and a gorgeous bezel-set labradorite. In case you didn't know, labradorite is a gemstone known to protect against negativity in the world. Who knew crystals could look so chic?
This necklace by SHYMI hits on three different jewelry trends at once. Half of the necklace is a paperclip chain while the other half is a tennis necklace, all on a trendy choker. With the elongated links and shimmering cubic zirconia, this choker can easily take you from day to night.
Best Layered Necklaces
Layered necklaces and sets could not make accessorizing any easier, which is why I love them! This set designed by influencer Lucy Williams for Missoma is exactly how I like to layer my necklaces—a long pendant paired with a shorter chain. I could easily see myself wearing this set with everything in my closet.
Words cannot describe how much I am in love with the mixed metals necklace sets from Miami-based jewelry brand Artizan Joyeria but I'll do my best. Their sets take all of the work out of layering so you can look chic with zero effort involved. Plus, you can get several different looks out of the set by wearing each necklace on its own or stacked together.
I consider myself a gold jewelry fan, but sometimes the metal doesn't cut it with my color palette. When I want to go edgy, I typically turn to silver jewelry, and this multi-strand necklace fits the bill. I love the silver-paved links and how it's a complete look in one necklace.
This layered necklace gives you two jewelry looks in one—the length is short enough to look like a choker and features a large pearl charm pendant. Personally, I would let this necklace steal the show and wear it with an all-black 'fit.
Roxanne Assoulin makes the kind of beaded jewelry that I wish I could've had as a kid. Her colorful designs like this necklace set spark joy like no other. In between rainbow beads are gold-colored bits to make this set a bit more elevated than the beaded necklaces from your childhood.
Best Lariat Necklaces
Sometimes simpler is better, and that calls for a lariat necklace like this one from By Adina Eden. I can imagine this Tennis Lariat Necklace as the perfect accessory to go with all of my deep v-necks tops and dresses.
Can you tell I have a thing for heart-shaped charms? This piece has not just one, but two heart-shaped stone pendants to adorn your neck with. The large turquoise pendant would pop beautifully against a white sundress or top.
Founded by two best friends, Épifenē has a gorgeous collection of statement pieces to elevate your gold jewelry. This particular lariat necklace was inspired by the founders' vision of the word "glimma," which means gleam or shimmer in Swedish. With cubic zirconia pendants and a gold-plated flat chain, this necklace looks way more expensive than it is.
For those with an eye for luxury jewelry, David Yurman is likely already a favorite brand. The designer creates timeless, yet contemporary pieces all inspired by New York City. This lariat features a signature sterling silver box chain along with an 18K gold X-charm. The chain is also completely adjustable so you can change it up depending on your 'fit.
Sure, you can wear a basic pearl necklace, but why would you when something this fun exists? NYC-based brand Joey Baby (opens in new tab) is known for its playful freshwater pearl jewelry at an affordable price. This Y-shaped necklace with pearls, colorful beads, and a glimmering heart charm is sure to brighten up your day no matter the season.
Brooke Knappenberger is the Editorial Fellow at Marie Claire, where she writes across the board from fashion and beauty to books and celebrities. As a pop culture junkie, Brooke obsessively consumes and writes about the latest movie releases, streaming TV shows, and celebrity scandals. She has over three years of experience writing on fashion, beauty, and entertainment and her work has appeared on Looper, NickiSwift, The Sun US, and Vox Magazine of Columbia, Missouri. Brooke obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism with an emphasis on Magazine Editing and has a minor in Textile and Apparel Management.
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