17 Best Dainty Necklaces for Everyday Wear

Agmes, The Last Line, Amazon

I firmly believe in the power of a delicate necklace – a gold chain with a single floating diamond, a baroque pearl pendant set in silver – to transform an outfit. And I’m not the only one who thinks so: When I polled jewelry designers for their favorite everyday necklaces, many experts said their favorite styles were of the lightweight, minimalist variety.

What’s behind the call? Delicate necklaces can be stronger than they first appear, it all depends on how you wear them. While a solitaire diamond solitaire or a slinky silver chain deserves a moment of glory with a plunging neckline, each is even better mixed with other necklaces. “I think one of the best things about dainty pieces is that they lend themselves so well to layering,” Shelley Sanders, co-founder of The last linerecount BAZAAR.com. She advises playing with proportions or trying a necklace that combines several chains into one. “I also like to pair simple layered necklaces in graduations,” she says.

Whether you’re drawn to Catbird’s braided chains or Mateo’s diamond-encrusted pendants, your outfit will thank you for experimenting with different lengths and combinations. “I truly believe that jewelry should be a creative experience that can indulge your playful side,” Marisa Hordern, CEO and Creative Director of Missoma, said. Her current look, for example, mixes a letter choker with a serpentine chain necklace and a longer pendant.

Below, shop 17 delicate styles designed for everyday layering.

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The original gift

Diamond Initial Necklace

Send a love letter or treat yourself to one. This diamond initial necklace puts a personalized stamp on any outfit, whether layered with other necklaces or worn alone.

sculptural silver

Mini Calla Pendant

Off-the-shoulder necklines and unbuttoned oxford shirts both call this sterling silver pendant. The charm is small, but its folded design immediately catches the eye.

Designer Select

Your Way Three Row Necklace

One of Sanders favorite designs, this necklace achieves a delicate layered look in one piece. Each chain is braided differently for maximum contrast and shine. To make it really personal, add a enamel or diamond charm one chain or all three. Or, you can add another level to the look with a floating diamond choker.

The chain reaction

Greco Lasso Necklace

Lariat necklaces, or Y necklaces, can still feel dainty with a thin chain and charmless teardrop detail. This minimalist style, in a chain with extra sparkle, is one of Catbird’s bestsellers.

The investment coin

Serti Sur Vide Chain necklace in 18K white gold and diamonds

A delicate necklace that raises the bar, from shimmering white gold to floating pearl diamond.

The modern heritage

14-karat gold, diamond and pearl necklace

Mateo creates fine jewelry to wear now and pass on later. The pearl and diamond cluster on this chain necklace has a vintage touch that we love.

The touch of color

14Kt Yellow Gold Heart Necklace

Delicate necklaces are not all paved with premium diamonds and pearls. Alison Lou infuses her smaller creations with the same sense of playfulness as her famous Jelly hoop earrings. This heart necklace has the same charm as BFF pieces from our childhood, but it’s made for adulthood in luxurious enamel and gold.

The lonely stone

Marquise Diamond Necklace

Floating diamonds can get lost in a tangle of other necklaces, so this stunner deserves front and center placement.

The personalized choice

Zodiac Charm Necklace with Diamond

Here is a delicate necklace designed to become the favorite piece of all astrology enthusiasts. The charm of each sign is rendered in a sparkling design with a small ethically sourced diamond accent.

Necklace of natural cowries

Bring this delicate necklace on summer Fridays. Coated in gold vermeil, this seashell charm can go from town to beach and back again.

Diamond Solitaire Necklace

It doesn’t get much more classic or more beautiful than a simple diamond solitaire.

The logo choker

Kira 18-karat gold-plated and cultured pearl necklace

Break out minimalist logo chokers with a fusion of gold logo designs and tiny cultured pearls. The mixed materials will give your stack of necklaces a welcome texture.

The best wand

El Mar Wand Emerald Pendant Necklace

A delicate bar necklace punches above its weight with a shimmering emerald wand at its center.

The New Arrival

cabo pendant

Silent Opus debuted this month with a line of customizable necklaces, rings and earrings. Our eyes immediately fell on this charm with an open back that catches the light nicely. (Note: you will need to order your pendant chain separately.)

The selection of experts

Say Hey Charm Choker Necklace

Hordern calls this cheeky necklace her current favorite for drawing attention to her jewelry. Usually she will wear it on a basic chain, like this asymmetrical necklace, and add a pendant for length. Overall, “this look is perfect for this time of year, paired with a lower neckline to really show off the jewelry,” she says.


Everyone needs a great chain link in their arsenal. Sarah Chloe makes stellar go-tos that will stay in your rotation for years to come.

pearly beauty

Eye Mini Gigi multi-stone necklace in 18 carat gold

Gigi Clozeau’s jewelry is steeped in the vibrant colors and laid-back sensibility of her upbringing in the south of France. Example: this choker mixing resin, emerald pearls and diamond accents for a striking effect.

Editor’s Favorite

Bold Pearl Pendant Necklace

This baroque pearl pendant is the staple of my daily necklace stack. I wear it under charm necklaces and pearl necklaces, and on its own in equal measure. I’m most drawn to the sheen of the chain and the rough edges of the pearl: each freshwater pearl has slight variations, so each necklace is one of a kind.

The sustainable battery

Paved Vertical Bar Diamond Pendant

A chain with five lab-stacked diamonds gives your necklace an eco-friendly sparkle. With an 18 inch chain, this longer pendant works best with plunging necklines.

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