Neckmess vs. Neck-less: 2020 Necklace Trends

Pearl necklace styles for maximalists and minimalists

In an effort to keep your style current, you may observe the latest fashion trends and track what today's hottest influencers are wearing. However, no matter how hip you are to the cutting-edge fashion news, you may still struggle with the eternal question: "When it comes to jewelry, how much should I wear at once?"

With necklace styling, two different and opposing schools of thought seem to exist: while some believe more is more, others are certain that less is more. Some fashionistas are happy to dress themselves with as much sparkle as possible, but the minimalists are aligned with designer Coco Chanel, who famously once said, "Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off." Who's right, and what's on trend in 2020?

The truth is that both approaches to necklace styling are not only acceptable but also on trend this year. In a recent article for Who What Wear, writer Elinor Block says, "I have a theory that there are two distinctly opposite ways of dressing that are emerging—the maximalists and the minimalists." No matter who you are, you can create an on-trend necklace look that works for your lifestyle, aesthetic, and personality.

If you explore the hashtag "#neckmess" on Instagram, you'll see thousands of photos from fashion bloggers and jewelry brands showing their followers how to layer multiple necklaces in a tasteful way. Originally used by jewelry designer Jessica Kagan Cushman in 2016, the hashtag #neckmess has even been featured in The New York Times, which observed in 2019 that the layered necklace look had gone mainstream. According to another recent article from The Times UK, "The aptly named 'neckmess' is an artfully arranged, stacked, layered collection of pendants and chains, often dotted with charms and locks, and styled with a relaxed, thrown-together attitude (even if it has taken hours)." When it comes to the neckmess look, boldness, excess, and whimsy are key, and more is definitely better!

So how can you make a neckmess with one or more cultured pearl necklaces? Not only will you want to style your pearls with necklaces of different lengths, but you'll also want to set aside any fears you have about mixing metals and gemstones. Now's the chance to express yourself and have fun! Remember that this look is all about confidence and excess.

If you're one of those fashionistas who prefers a more minimalist approach to necklace styling, then you're in luck. Minimalism is trending in 2020, and it's anything but boring; while the silhouettes need to be simple, the color can be varied. Even though your minimalist perspective doesn't seem to be tied to any specific hashtag, we can still see many examples of the style on Instagram, with some fashionistas opting for dainty jewelry to pair with their crisp basics. To wear pearls in a minimalist way, try a single pearl necklace or even a cultured pearl necklace strand.

The opposing perspectives of maximalism and minimalism can live in harmony, and each person can choose exactly how she'd like to style her cultured pearl necklaces and other meaningful jewelry. We love the idea that there's no "right way" to style necklaces, and we can't wait to see all the ways that women decide to wear them.


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