Spend a Little. Make a Lot of a Statement.

I was talking with a friend the other day about how when she wears anything strapless in the summer, she feels a little “naked” up top. But if it’s hot enough out to wear a strapless jumpsuit or dress on its own, it’s also too hot to cover it up with a little jacket. Which is where a “statement” piece of jewelry comes in. An over-sized, attention-grabbing necklace can make you feel like you have something to deter anyone from looking at your (perceived) nakedness and gives your outfit a fun focal point. However, now this comes with its own set of issues…namely, anything too “heavy” or dark or solid is going to look (and feel) inappropriate in the summertime. There’s nothing worse than having your chest all sticky underneath a statement necklace meant to be worn in cooler temperatures. So, I have found you five options that are big and bold and eye-catching, but also lightweight and delicate at the same time. They are also all UNDER $20 because unless you buy real gold or sterling silver, everything is going to tarnish by the end of the season (from sweat, saltwater, etc). So better to buy something seriously affordable, and if it gets ruined…well, you can replace it next summer with something on-trend then. Sound good? Here they are…

This first one, the Cutout Hexagon Necklace from Forever 21 (a hidden gem for fun, really inexpensive costume jewelry) is what I based this whole search on. It is pretty huge, but because it’s just the outline of the descending-in-size links, it’s also beautifully lightweight and really fashion-forward and chic. It works with anything from a strapless formal maxi gown to cut-off shorts and a white tank top. Oh, and did I mention that is $7.90? Yeah, it is. You’re welcome.

Remember Claire’s where we all got our ears pierced as little girls? Well, they happen to have some really fun jewelry for grown-ups too. And if you liked the hexagon one before this but want something that either isn’t just gold or is a little more intricate and feminine, check out the Mixed Metal Wire Floral Statement Necklace from Claire’s. It is artsy and girly and works gorgeously with all your other gold or silver pieces. It even has little crystals in the center of each flower, lending the perfect amount of sparkle. This one is $16.99 but Claire’s has crazy sales all the time, and right now it’s buy-two-get-two-free!

If you want to go way less sweet and more architectural or rocker-y, the Lajen Fringe Necklace from Aldo is the one you want. It’s still a big statement maker and the gold fringe still lightweight enough to work all summer long. But it’s also less girly and much more downtown-cool. And at $12, you just can’t go wrong. I’d personally like to see this with a great tan and a charcoal grey strapless tube dress.

More trend-driven in your choices? Anything with gold discs and anything with colored acetate are two of the biggest trends in jewelry right now. And this Half Moon Statement Necklace from Kohl’s fits both requirements. The pink acetate and gold discs are such a lovely combination and super flattering for just about every skintone. Pair it with wide gold hoops to compliment the shapes in the necklace…and rejoice over the fact that it’s currently on sale for all of $7.80!

I love when a layering game is really strong, and even better when it’s done for you! This super pretty grouping of delicately beaded, boho-chic chains is just delicious. The Multi-strand Statement Necklace from Old Navy screams summer and easy-breezy dressing. Its pink, turquoise and white tiny beads on varied gold links will look beautiful on a bare chest, and the whole piece offers just the right amount of earthy bling. This one clocks in at a whopping $14.99 (kidding…$14.99 is ridiculous for something this cute!).

So while technically you are still naked from the neckline of your strapless dress up, you won’t feel like it. You’ll feel like everyone is looking at the right thing, and to top it off, your bank account will thank you (and me).

~ Alison.

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