For Your Staff:Selling Jewelry By Body Type
Take a woman's age and body type into account when helping her find
the right necklace
by Calla Gold
Something just didn't look right in the photograph of my good friend.
Everything was in focus, her smile was wonderful, but something was wrong.
Her necklace threw me off it didn't frame her face correctly.
Choosing the right chain or necklace isn't hard. Several factors steer
this decision, including age, body shape and body composition.
Gauge by Age
Generally speaking, a woman's age plays a distinct role in determining the
length of the necklace she should choose. Younger women with youthful skin
should wear necklaces closer to the throat to show off their smooth skin.
The gauge or thickness of the necklace should be narrow. Smaller pearls
show best on youthful necklines. Pendants and charms should be on the small
side too. Younger women who wear bigger, wider and flashier necklaces can
look like they're trying to play "dress up" with their mother's
Older women will want longer chains and necklaces to draw attention away
from the neck and any apparent imperfections. Eighteen to 24 inches is a
good general length. Gemstones or pendants should be two or more inches
below the neckline. The longer necklace "elongates" the neck and
frames the hair and face, creating an overall pleasing look. These women
can wear bigger and wider chains and necklaces. Pearls and beads should
be in excess of 7mm. Keeping size proportional, charms and pendants should
be larger too.
After considering age, overall body composition, especially of the neck
and the face, is important in choosing the right necklace. Most of the time,
I follow these guidelines:
- Short neck: Wear chains starting two inches below the collarbone.
- Heavy or thick neck: Wear larger chains and necklaces, especially graduated
and 18 inches and longer.
- Long thin neck: Have this customer try a triple strand of pearls, with
the shortest strand hugging the base of the throat. The pearls should taper
up with the curve of the throat. Avoid V-shaped chains. Softer, rounder
necklaces are good, such as an 8mm-10mm omega.
- Bony neck: Medium to large necklaces. Avoid the base of the neck, the
necklace should fall at least one inch below the collarbone.
- Soft, contoured, fleshy neck: Show this customer a "hard"
necklace. Segmented is good, and it should be close to the base of the
neck. Try making a statement with an angular pendant.
- Wide-based neck: Use flexible chains that drape well. Be sure the center
is at least one inch below the collar bone. This customer is a good candidate
for a longer chain. A 24-30-in. necklace helps negate the wideness at the
base of her neck. A graduated necklace very thin around the side
of the neck and much larger below the collarbone will add visual
One More Thing
If you take these factors into account when showing necklaces, your chances
for a sale will increase. You should be able to explain to a customer why
she looks good with one length of necklace and not another. While a customer
is admiring the necklace in a mirror, point out how it creates a pleasing
symmetry that perfectly frames her face.
Caution: Please don't etch these rules in
stone. Remain flexible. Bold, confident attitudes enable some women to wear
necklaces that don't fit the usual recommendations. Similarly, if a customer
is dead-set on getting something you think is dead wrong, don't put up a
fight. If buying the piece makes her happy, help her be satisfied with the
| Long Thin Neck
Short, rounder necklaces are ideal for long, thin necks. V-shaped necklaces
or chains with pendants will hang awkwardly and visually lengthen an already
Women with short necks should wear chains and necklaces at least two inches
below the collarbone. Chokers accentuate the shortness.
Heavy, Thick Neck
Elongate a heavy or thick neck with larger chains and necklaces. Graduated
styles visually slim the neck, while shorter styles draw attention to a
For bony necks, avoid styles that hug the base of the neck. Avoid hard or
sculpted styles that sit uncomfortably on the bones at the base of the throat.|
Calla Gold owns a retail business bearing her name in Santa Barbara,
Illustrations by Lori Harmon
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.