We’ve all had that moment of wanting our jewelry to bibbidi-bobbidi-boo us into our favorite characters. Maybe it was Elle Woods’ iconic Return to Tiffany tag or Elena Gilbert’s vervain locket. Necklaces might be an especially prevalent option, but they aren’t the only ones—all sorts of pendants, bracelets, brooches, and more can help you emulate your fictional role model. Of course, that choice says quite a bit about who you are, by extension. Whatever style of necklace or other jewelry you pick out—and whatever sort of character it imitates—will give the people around you a glimpse into who you are and how you see yourself.
Someone opting for a choker is undeniably working towards the sort of nonchalant power you’d see in The Craft. Something about a simple choker can instantly boost your confidence—not that anyone would ever know you’d need such a boost. Unlike the similar style of a collar, which indicates a sort of ownership or subjugation, a choker reclaims its wearer’s autonomy, offering a self-assurance that no onlooker can miss.
Gemstones, particularly of the chunky variety, are sure to conjure up images of bohemian free spirits, turning to the healing properties of crystals to manifest the outcomes they desire. With pop culture icons like Grace & Frankie’s eponymous Frankie Bergstein, whose eclectic silhouettes are nothing short of evocative and invoke the power of gemstone necklaces, it’s hard to deny the statement they make.
Diamonds are more than just a girl’s best friend—they’re a status symbol that’s dripping in luxury. Pretty Woman Vivian’s reaction to Edward’s borrowed opulence is genuine. How could you not feel like a queen with a crown of diamonds resting along your collarbone? Of course, other jewels can have a similar effect, especially if they’re some sort of precious stone. And yet, there’s something special about a diamond necklace that you simply won’t find in other offerings.
From a single strand to a conglomerate, pearl necklaces are the epitome of high society. Consider, for instance, Audrey Hepburn’s iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s ensemble. What would that opening scene be without Holly’s lavish pearls? Of course, the associations of this gem can go in a distinctively classy direction—it’s no surprise that the phrase “pearl clutching” is so widely used. And yet, it should come as no surprise that this is yet another look that’s easily reclaimed, as evidenced by this café society socialite’s use. Holly’s pearls offer her an elegance that helps her keep getting $50 for the powder room, even when we as the audience know there’s a frightened country girl beneath those strands.
A statement necklace undeniably turns heads, shouting out a bit of its wearer’s personality without a word. More often than not, this sort of whimsical necklace will show off the way this person sees themself, and how they choose to recognize that in a pendant necklace or other jewel. In other cases, like Rose DeWitt Bukater’s emblematic le coeur de la mer, the statement is less about the wearer and more about their situation in life. A gift from her antagonistic fiance, Cal, Rose’s heart of the ocean is worth more than Jack Dawson could even fathom. Yet, it represents not Rose herself but the upper class, above deck world in which she’s been struggling to stay afloat.
With all this in mind, one truth remains certain: however a certain style of jewelry is most often interpreted, that meaning can be reclaimed and utterly turned on its head. Wearing elegant pearls as a call girl or dripping in the Heart of the Ocean while liaising with an artist from steerage takes the symbolism of these pieces and creates a whole new narrative, making sure that each of these styles can ultimately be worn by anyone.