Beads have been around for centuries, our ancestors used seeds, bones and shells strung together to wear around their necks.
In today's blog, I have decided to look at some of the different styles of bead necklaces available both costume and fine necklaces.
The most simple beaded necklace can be made by threading beads onto a string type of material to produce a necklace that is long enough to slip over your neck. Once the beads are long enough the ends are tied together so no clasps are used.
These were popular in the 1920s with flapper revolution. Women wore their hair and skirts short for the first time and layered bead necklaces around their necks. Again in the 1960s, long beads came very much to the front of fashion for hippies. With their love beads, multicoloured clothing and jewellery to match - flower power very evident.
These long necklaces can be made from many materials, pearls, faux pearls, bakelite, celluloid, plastic, seeds, gemstones and wood to name but a few.
Today long necklaces can be wrapped around your neck once or twice to create a layered effect. Several different colours can be worn. Try a long black bead necklace with a faux pearl bead necklace. It looks great with a plain t-shirt and an overshirt worn as a jacket.
Long necklaces can also double as bracelets. Wrap one several time around your wrist for that fashionable layered look.
A single string of beads with a clasp fitted is I think the next type of necklace for popularity. My pearl necklace is probably the one that I use the most for the day and going out in the evening. The clasps can be plain or ornate. Vintage necklaces with an ornate clasp were often better made and more expensive when new. Designed to wear with a hairstyle that left the back of your neck bare, so the clasp was clearly visible. Audrey Hepburn was a classic beauty with her black dress, long black gloves and a beaded necklace with an ornate clasp. Very stylish in the 1930s and 1940s when everyone went to the cinema and the Hollywood stars were copied
The clasp need not be at the back of the neck. Today such a necklace can be worn with the clasp around the front in any position.
Multi-layered bead necklaces have been fashionable for centuries. Even in this issue of December's Vogue UK, there is a multilayered bead necklace by Chanel. The clasp has been replaced by a bow, quite easy to copy at home - if the ££££ price tag is a bit too much. Just attach a bow available from haberdasheries to a long slip over bead necklace or to a plain clasp on a shorter layered necklace. Coordinate the bow to match the necklace.