Haute Historian: Collar Me Happy – The Bib Necklace

October 9, 2012 • Fashion Blog, Haute Historian, Magazine

If you haven’t already read about collar necklaces on Second City Style, we have had more than a few things to say about them, but simply put, we love ’um. They come in varying colors, styles and materials and make the perfect statement piece. They’re ideal for simple outfits, but once the necklace is donned, gone is the simplicity. They’re a trend that has held on for a number of seasons recently, but it’s definitely not the first time the collar or bib necklace has hit the fashion world.

Like most trends, the collar necklace seems to recycle and update itself every number of years. The 1940’s had its version and so did the 1920’s. But the original collar necklace, or pectoral as it was also called, came from the Egyptians and date back further than even Cleopatra herself. Today we tend to wear things because they look pretty and make us look good and, more than likely, Egyptians did the same. Because of the heat, Egyptians tended to wear simple, lightweight garments of pale-colored linen, so in order to show ones wealth and to add color they tended to wear jewelry made of flowers and shells and if they were very wealthy, stones, gems and gold. The rows of beads would be strung on varying lengths of string and hung in a semi-circle about the shoulders. But in addition to adding a bit of flair to their otherwise humble apparel, the gems or stones would hold some meaning and would be thought of as protection or a way to connect them to the earth, sky or water, depending on the material it was made from.

While the collar necklaces of today may not offer the protection or supernatural abilities the Egyptians placed on theirs, the modern pieces still come in varying styles and also come with varying price tags. While the necklaces may not be hot for much longer, know that it’s a trend that will resurface again and again, so go ahead and splurge!

1. Egyptian Collar Necklace of Hapiankhtifi (1981–1802 B.C.)

2. Faience Necklace (332-30 B.C

3. Claudette Colbert at Cleopatra in 1934

4. Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in 1964

5. Oscar de la Renta Swirl Bib Necklace, $525

6.  Oscar de la Renta Pearl-Detailed Branch Bib Necklace, $895

– Bonnie J Brown

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