What is a Lariat Necklace and How Do You Wear It?

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Jewelry is worn to denote commitment, display wealth, complement an outfit, or enhance one’s beauty. Of the many types of jewelry out there, necklaces are very effective at bringing out the best features in clothes or on a person.  

You can also choose a particular type or design to match your outfit or to reflect your personal style. Nowadays, necklaces come in different styles, lengths, and designs which you could choose from. And when it comes to elegant and classic designs, you might want to consider the lariat necklace. 

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Key Features of the Lariat Necklace 

lariat necklace layered
Lariat necklace by Cufflink Ware. See it here. 

After initially rising to popularity in the 1920s as beaded pearl necklaces, the style has since become a classic piece, especially for women. The reason for this is its versatility, as it can be styled in different ways and, as such, can be made to suit different occasions or wardrobe choices. If you want to maximize your styling options for a lariat necklace, go for the longer chains, which are more versatile and are easier to layer or loop multiple times around the neck.  

Compared to other necklace styles, the lariat necklace is quite long, reaching below the chest or even down to the belly button. It is made of one continuous chain ranging from 32 to 40 inches long. This structure makes the necklace quite versatile as the length enables it to be worn in different ways. 

This necklace has a unique design because it does not have a clasp, which is quite uncommon in necklaces. Instead, the ends of the chain are meant to be crossed over, tied, looped, or knotted to secure it when worn, which is why this style is sometimes referred to as the Y necklace. The term lariat also originates from the Spanish phrase “le reata”, meaning “the lasso” or rope, which describes how the necklace loops loosely around the neck. 

cord lariat necklace
Lariat necklace made of cord. See it here.

For the delicate chain, metals like gold or silver are typically used, but other designs also use pearls, small gemstones, beads, crystals, or even glass as the primary material or as accents. Some Western-inspired styles use leather, cord, or faux leather instead. The ends of each chain are often styled with additional fringes, loops, knots, or even feathers for added effect.  

Reasons to Choose a Lariat Necklace 

minimalist lariat necklace
Minimalist lariat necklace by Emel Jewelry. See it here.

While there are many other necklace styles and designs to choose from, you should not miss out on having a lariat necklace in your collection. Here are the reasons why you should go get your own lariat necklace right now:  

1. It is versatile. 

On the days when you feel like wearing one, you don’t need to adjust your attire for the day because it can match practically any outfit. This is because its long length allows it to be worn in various ways, making it suitable for different occasions or moods, plus it can match both casual and formal wear. 

2. It is a practical choice. 

If you have a limited budget and can only afford a few pieces of jewelry for your collection, go for a lariat necklace. By styling it in various ways and matching it with distinctive wardrobe choices, it will feel like you are wearing a different set every day.  

3. It is fun to use. 

Aside from its eye-catching design, the lariat necklace lets you express your personality and creativity. Just thinking about the various ways you can style your outfit for the day with this versatile necklace is sure to stimulate your imagination.  

4. It is timeless. 

The minimalist structure of the lariat necklace makes it a classic piece that can survive any fashion or jewelry trend. With its delicate chain and ornaments made of gems, beads, or other materials, not only would you be able to use it for many years, but it may even be passed along to future generations as an heirloom piece. 

Different Ways to Wear the Lariat Necklace 

modern lariat necklace
Modern lariat necklace. See it here.

One of the key selling points of the lariat necklace is its versatility. While there are no hard and fast rules on how this piece should be worn, there are a few good ideas that you can play around with until you find the style that suits you best. Here are six styling options for the lariat necklace to get you started: 

1. Front knot 

A standard style for wearing the lariat necklace is the front knot, which suits a casual outing or a day in the office. This is created by draping both ends of the chain over your shoulders and merging them at the center of your chest through a loop or a knot. You can adjust the length of the necklace by drawing the knot looser or tighter, depending on your preference.  

2. Back knot 

The back knot is created the same way as the front knot, only reversed with the loop or Y shape placed at your back instead of the chest. This style is best for a backless dress or a top with low or open-back designs.  

3. Choker 

If you are in the mood for a choker style, simply loop the chain a few times around your neck before tying the ends together with a loop or knot. You can also create an asymmetrical effect by letting the ends droop slightly to the side rather than in front.  

4. Wrap-around 

Holding one end of the necklace in each hand, place the center of the chain at the back of your neck. Cross one end over to the opposite side, make one loop around your neck to create a choker effect, then let the edges dangle loosely at the side. You can repeat the loop to secure the necklace and prevent it from falling off while you move around.   

5. Layered 

The lariat necklace pairs well with other chains of the same color, creating a cohesive and uncluttered appeal. Simply wear the lariat necklace in a front knot, then top it with slightly thicker chains that are shorter and are worn closer to the neck. Aside from adding some drama to your outfit, it also adds dimension to your overall look. 

6. Scarf 

You can go for a more abstract or fun style by wearing your lariat necklace like a scarf. Just fold the chain in the middle with both ends running parallel to each other. While holding both ends of the folded chain, wrap it around your neck and insert one end over the loop to lock it in place.  

Wrapping Up 

The lariat necklace is a dainty and classic piece that is worth the investment. It is versatile and fun to use, so it is best to go for high-quality materials since you could use this jewelry for many years to come. Play around with the available styling options, or come up with your own – after all, one of the things that makes this necklace attractive is the way it can tickle your imagination.


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