What is a Lariat Necklace?

Dana Hinders
Dana Hinders
Dana Hinders
Dana Hinders
Woman posing
Woman posing

If you're looking for unique way to jazz up your wardrobe, consider purchasing a lariat necklace. The traditional style consists of a long chain that can be wrapped around your neck two or more times. The chain can be knotted or tied in several different ways. This versatility makes the lariat necklace a wonderful addition to a woman's wardrobe, since it accommodates almost any type of neckline.

Lariat necklaces can be made from many different materials, including glass or wooden beads and chains made from various metals. Flower or leaf charms are commonly added to the end of the necklace, but other types of designs are available as well. If you can't find a necklace that fits your needs, consider asking a local craftsperson to design something special just for you.

The first decision to make when wearing a lariat necklace is whether you'd prefer a long dangle or a short dangle. A long dangle is elegant and sophisticated, making it the perfect accessory to wear with a formal gown. In comparison, a short dangle provides a slightly more casual look that is better suited for wearing to the office with a button up blouse or a v-neck sweater.

A lariat necklace can be knotted using several different techniques. If the material is not too stiff, try knotting it with a quick knot as if you were beginning to tie your shoes. If the necklace has a loop on one end, a slip knot will work well to secure the piece. It is also quite popular to try tying a lariat necklace with either an overhand knot in the front or an overhand knot in the back.

One of the most creative ways to wear a lariat necklace is as a belt. Simply drape it around your waist and tie a knot approximately one inch from your hipbone. This is an excellent way to add interest to a basic black dress when you're getting ready for a night on the town.

If the idea of a necklace that requires you to tie it together seems like too much work, there is another option to consider. The modern variation of the traditional lariat features the hanging tassel in the front, but has a clasp in the back. This doesn't allow for as many customization options, but it does make the necklace a bit more secure. Choosing to wear this style of lariat necklace may be helpful if you are used to wearing chokers or short chains with a clasp.

Dana Hinders
Dana Hinders

Dana holds a B.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of Iowa. She has loved being part of the wiseGEEK team ever since discovering the joys of freelance writing after her son was born. Dana also hones her writing skills by contributing articles to various blogs, as well as creating sales copy and content for e-courses.

Dana Hinders
Dana Hinders

Dana holds a B.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of Iowa. She has loved being part of the wiseGEEK team ever since discovering the joys of freelance writing after her son was born. Dana also hones her writing skills by contributing articles to various blogs, as well as creating sales copy and content for e-courses.

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Discussion Comments


Since I cut my long hair short, I have been relying on accessories a lot more. Now that the hair is out of the way, people can see my earrings and necklaces much better, so they have to be cute.

I recently bought three lariat necklaces to accent my wardrobe. One is a delicate silver chain with a filigree leaf at one end and another leaf that passes through it and dangles. I love the delicate look of it.

The second one is similar to the first, except it has silver orchids instead of leaves. Several blooms clump together to form the charms.

The third one is a red, brown, and purple necklace on a crocheted string. It is made of glass beads, jasper beads, and wooden beads, and it is 54 inches long. It has loops all throughout the design, so I can adjust it to pretty much any length I choose.


I have a lariat necklace made of black obsidian beads. They are very shiny, and I can wear this either out at night or on an important day at the office.

I loop the necklace around my neck three times for that beautiful draping effect. I have several black dresses that look stunning with this necklace. It also looks nice with my red and white blouse.

The cool thing about the lariat necklace is that it can be worn different ways. Sometimes, I loop it only twice and tie it in a knot for a short dangle. Other times, my outfit may require a very long necklace, so I will not loop it at all, and I will tie it for a long dangle.


I love wearing long lariat necklaces with long sheath dresses. I feel relaxed yet decorated in this style.

One of my favorite combinations is an orange sunset Hawaiian dress with a marbled brown wooden lariat necklace. The dress has an orange background that fades to red and the silhouette of palm trees across the bottom half. It looks like a photograph. The necklace has swirls of various shades of brown in the beads.

Since the necklace is extremely long, I wrap it around my neck twice before tying it in a knot near the middle of my chest. The rest of it dangles down nearly to my belly button.


I got an absolutely beautiful lariat necklace for my birthday from my boyfriend. It is so delicate and elegant.

The chain is about 20 inches long, and it is plated in white gold. One side of the chain that falls on the chest has open leaves at the end, and the other side of the chain passes through one of these leaves, dropping down a few more inches and ending in a turquoise teardrop.

I can adjust the length of the necklace by pulling the teardrop through the leaf. The back of it closes in a lobster clasp. It is my favorite piece of jewelry.


@speechie - I felt the same way - you can almost see a queen from hundreds of years ago with a dazzling large diamond lariat with a ruby right at the center of it with more diamonds falling from it.

The best guess I have that they are from a different time period was a lariat necklace I saw once called a "love knot" lariat necklace and it is supposed to date back to the eighteenth century.

Whether they are in style or not I will be sporting the lariat necklace with my v-necks and button up dress shirts. I feel they can add such a touch of classic beauty to a solid colored v-neck or dress shirt!


@runner101 - I have not seen many lariat necklaces in many of the trendier stores I like to shop in, but I love them as well so I have found that if I go with a timeless material such as pearls, I can usually find a lariat with these materials on the internet and in some of the larger jewelry stores.

But I always feel like if you wait long enough the style will come back around and you will find Lariat necklaces easily! Just as flare jeans are coming back around after skinny jeans had the scene for quite a few years.

Lariat necklaces have always seemed like they came from a different time period; are they actually an antiquated style made modern?


I love the lariat necklaces. I first found them back when the TV show Friends was popular and I had noticed the character played by Jennifer Aniston (Rachel). I called them "Y" necklaces because of the shape.

With having a curvaceous figure I had read wearing bold statement necklaces are a great to accessorize my figure (I think maybe it was supposed to draw the eye from my hips to notice my entire figure). I liked the tip because it gave me an excuse to accessorize even more, but I have not had much luck finding lariat necklaces. Are they out of style?

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