Neckwear for the Preppy Set

So it seems that several of you readers are headed to the annual Foxfield Races in Charlottesville, VA — hope to see some fellow fashion magpies flitting about our plot!  One of you contacted me asking for a “bold, white necklace” recommendation for this fresh mixed-print, tribal-chic Trina Turk dress:

(Love it!  If I have one recommendation for those shopping for a last-minute horse race dress?  Go for the sort of structure you see in this Trina Turk.  Fashion at these events leans toward the “tailored-tidy-put-together” — you will feel out of place with a drapey dress, no matter how artful the folds.)

My first thought was to look for a lucite or glass bead necklace instead.  Because the print is so fantastically wild, you may want to minimize the attention-grabbiness of your accessories.  I saw a beautiful ribbon necklace with large (about 1″ in length), teardrop-shaped glass beads at J. Crew this past Saturday, but discovered that it’s already sold out at  I did find it on this eBay posting, although it may take too long for the auction to end and you to receive it.  (The one I saw was at the Chevy Chase branch — you might want to call them up and see if they can ship it for you?!)  It was similar to this inexpensive ($30) Aqua brand necklace, available at Bloomingdales:

Ann Taylor Loft has a similar style for around the same price — see it here.  A number of different jewelry designers bought into the lucite rejuvenation this year (it originally became popular in the 1940s-1960s; the material was first developed in 1937), most notably Lee Angel, Alexis Bittar, Kenneth Jay Lane, and even Kate Spade.  If you like the look and are willing to go a bit bolder with it, this big beaded necklace by Kate Spade (available at Lord & Taylor for $75) might be the way to go:

I like it more than the super-bold, label-lustworthy (her stuff is hot right now), and unfortunately expensive Alexis Bittar version.  If you’re iffy about it, I’d lean towards glass bead where possible over lucite, as the latter has the tendency to look tacky if it’s not done tastefully…and it’s hard to tell online.

If you’re loving the Palm Beach look and still want to go white (I dig it!), check out this relatively pricey but style-punch-packing faceted stone necklace by Kate Spade, available at Nordstrom:

It’s extremely versatile — I like the idea of wearing it with a strapless dress as much as I do underneath a collared shirt or wrap dress at work.  Alternately, pair it with a simple thin-strapped tank and a black or cream blazer with the sleeves rolled up — super chic.

Amrita Singh also has a number of daring faux-gem styles available in “White Jade” — check out her website for ideas (see pages 3-5 of her necklace collection in particular) like this one (“The Pachac Necklace,” $150):

For a slightly more understated version, consider the Kendra Scott variation ($145, Max & Chloe):

I’m really digging this recessionista find from Dillard’s (shhh, we won’t say anything) — a spring-y white floral necklace:

I have a feeling this necklace would be just the right length for your dress — you want it to be longer than a choker but certainly not overlapping with or touching the neckline of the dress.  It should sit right on the collarbone.  I also think it would look pretty with some of the blush-toned items from my earlier post or, alternately, some of the Past(el) Perfect pieces.

You’ll note that I didn’t include Trina Turk’s geometric-style white necklace (featured on her website).  I can’t speak to this exact piece, but I’ve been generally disappointed with the quality of her other jewelry, so I’d steer clear of it unless you can pick it up and assess it for yourself.

Hope this helps!  Keep the questions coming…



P.S.  This Lilly Pulitzer clutch would look beyond precious with your dress:


  1. I know the magpie who will be wearing that dress! Hope to see you at the races!

    P.S. Love your blog 🙂

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