10 ways to 1920s style: part 7, the long necklace

Think of 1920s evening styles and you’re sure to think of the long necklace. This part of the look is easy to get for yourself. You should be able to find a long string of beads secondhand or on the High Street, or you can make your own. Just make sure the beads are a reasonable size or they’ll look like seed-bead hippie necklaces – wrong era! With an opera-length string of pearls you do run the risk of looking like a pastiche of the famous portrait of Louise Brooks… but if you’ve got to remind people of anyone, it may as well be one of the most beautiful women of the century, eh?

The long string of beads draws the eye up and down, adding to the impression of length, slenderness and straightness of torso that was the 1920s ideal. It helps reinforce the overall silhouette created by the flat chest and dropped waist. If you’d rather stop the eye a little higher, say if you’re very petite and want to add the illusion of height, try tying a knot in your necklace. Alternatively, a lavaliere (a necklace where a pendant is fixed to a chain, and usually has trailing elements) is also authentic and has the length but stops the eye higher than a long rope of beads.

If long necklaces aren’t your thing – they do have an annoying habit of swinging into things with an almighty clatter, or getting caught on door handles and suchlike –long earrings and cuff bracelets or rows of thick bangles, in the style of Nancy Cunard, were also popular styles for jewellery in the evenings in the 1920s.


  1. Love them, there are gorgeous ones, but somehow, they look best on flatchested women. Or what's the trick with wearing them?

  2. I find investing in a sturdy long chain, and using pendants of either deco or pre-deco style is a useful nod to this without the pearls.


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