Pendant necklaces are ‘as old as the way to Methusalem’ is an old Dutch expression when someone wants to explain that some item or trend is very very old. And the use of pendants is very old, as old as the Stone Age, as far as we know. Archeologists discovered pendants in old graves and they state that people wore ‘Pendants make you more beautiful and powerful!’
The pendant necklace is derived from the habit to wear amulets or talismans on a string around the neck. The idea was that those amulets could chase the evil spirits away. But also the shamans wore pendants or amulets on a string to show everybody that they had the wisdom and therefore power. Don’t fuss around with them or the amulet/pendant would make you being punished.
In the period that someone invented a chain, where you can hang something on, like a pendant, the pendant necklaces became in fashion. From the grave finds we know that the ancient Egyptians, people from Mesopotamia (country between the Eufraat and the Tigris), the Greeks, and the Romans liked to wear charms or small pendants around their necks. They thought it would protect them from evil. A great example is the eye of Horus, which was popular in Egypt.
Pendants through the ages
The pendants in the Stone Age were made of shells, bones, feathers, and stones. Ages later the Egyptian Pharaohs wore pendants in the shape of the gods, like Horus (eye or falcon), Atom (snake), or the sacred scarab. In Egypt, these kinds of pendants were the symbol of power and to show the people that the Pharoah was the god on earth, sent by the god in heaven.
Also, the kings/emperors of Greece and Rome used the pendant for those reasons. In the Middle Ages, the meaning and the look of the pendant changed a bit. In those days the most important jewelry was religion-based. The pendants were holders of relics, adorned with precious stones. And the common shape was a cross. The pendants and their necklaces were a statement of someone’s wealth and status.
The pendants in ‘modern times’
Starting from the 16th century the importance of the pendant changed again; it became a decoration rather than a religious object. Although many pendants were very rich with gemstones and precious metals decorated crosses.
In the early 17th century (before 1630) pendants were not that popular. Wearing a ‘molensteenkraag’ or a ‘millstone collar’ was in fashion, and that item did not leave much room for a pendant. Those collars were made of 10 to 15 meters of lace, pleaded together into a collar. The Spanish people brought this fashion to the Netherlands and a collar like that gave a lot of status.
Pendants and pendant necklaces never were completely out of style, but as a rule, you might say that wearing pendants or not followed the fashion of the clothing of the ladies. When the collars lowered, the pendants were popular and if the fashion dictated high collars, you did not see that many pendants anymore.
The popularity of the pendant went up and down over time and this year the pendant is ‘up’. On the fashion shows and in the collection of jewelry designers you see a lot of pendants on long necklaces. Sometimes the pendant is somewhere below the middle of a model.
Now you know where the pendant comes from it is time to look at the use of the pendant with your outfit. I want to give you some tips so that you know how to wear a necklace with a pendant and how to look beautiful with one.
- A long necklace with a pendant makes you look longer. The pendant points down and makes a kind of vertical line from your body. When you are small by all means wear as many pendants as you like and fancy. But when you are a tall lady, be careful with this trendy piece of jewelry. When you absolutely want to wear a necklace with a pendant and you are tall, choose a choker with a pendant or a somewhat shorter necklace. Otherwise, you look even taller than you already are.
- Don’t wear a necklace with a pendant when you have a large bosom (or wear the pendant on a choker, to get the views to your neck instead of lower down). When you do the result is that the pendant hangs under your bosom in the free space. And that doesn’t look great. It accentuates the large bosom and maybe that is not what you want. Avoid that the pendant slips into your cleavage. Everybody will look at your bosom to see where the pendant got stuck (OK, may be exaggerated, but still)
Ladies with small bosoms look gorgeous with a long necklace and pendant, especially when they are smaller. Ladies with a large bosom better were a choker with a pendant (when they want to be one), and then the shorter the pendant the better. That is when you have a long neck, otherwise, you look choked with a choker.
The conclusion is that smaller ladies with small bosoms will look stunning with a longer necklace and pendant. The ladies with other features should be careful wearing them. To be more precise: when you have a larger bosom and you want to wear a pendant or a pendant necklace, make sure that the chain or the necklace is somewhat shorter.
Pendants are beautiful when attached to a necklace. But do you know when you can wear a pendant necklace best and what a pendant necklace does for your ‘look’. FlorenceJewelshop published a small e-book with all the information and tips you need to look awesome with a necklace or a pendant necklace. It is free of charge! Just let me know where I can send it to.
Hug Florence from FlorenceJewelshop.