Ask Alison: How Can I Keep My Necklace Clasp From Sliding Down In Front?

There's good news and bad news in the war on wayward necklace clasps.

Dear Alison,

I love your columns and use your advice almost every day, so thank you very much! This year for Christmas, I asked for and received your recommended leather punch, 24-pack of different colored Sharpies and Dryel On The Go instant stain remover pen. Now I'm ready to solve my clothing problems like a boss!

My "Ask Alison" question is: Do you know of a solution to necklace clasps that constantly scoot down to where the pendant is? I've been wondering for years.



Maggie now owns my three most-used wardrobe kit items. (You can see all the tools in my costume design kit right here.) I just this morning colored in a funky spot on my favorite dress with a hot pink Sharpie and punched an extra hole in my belt so I could wear it at my natural waist for a change.

I also recently recommended the Dryel stain pen to a pal of mine who got makeup all over her brand new cream-colored cashmere sweater and was devastated. (Of course it worked like a charm.) Everyone always thinks I'm so clever, when it's really my tools that are doing all the work! Having some clever wardrobe gadgets on hand makes all the difference when your clothes aren't cooperating.

I'm sure you know what Maggie is referring to with her necklace clasp question, as there isn't one person reading who this hasn't happened to:

While it's not a life-or-death situation, it is annoying -- and it's actually a REALLY big deal for me at work, as wardrobe continuity demands that an actor's wardrobe (jewelry included!) look exactly the same from shot to shot.

A wayward clasp scooting itself down in the middle of a take and then randomly popping back up where it belongs, out of sight, is a dead giveaway that takes the viewer out of the moment when watching. We shoot tiny bits of each scene completely out of order over the course of a week. If I've done my job right, when it all gets edited together, the viewer is none the wiser.

The bummer answer to Maggie's question is that there really isn't a foolproof solution to this problem. The reason it happens in the first place is because the clasp is too heavy for the chain/pendant combination, so the weight drags it down toward the lighter pendant.

The current trend of tiny, micro charm necklaces that hang on a chain that likely weighs twice what the charm does exacerbates the problem tenfold. The only teensy-tiny necklaces I've come across that don't do it are made by Dogeared. They've somehow found the perfect weight balance to avoid this minor annoyance.

If the necklace in question is real gold or silver or has great sentimental value, it may be worth it to either have the clasp replaced or string the pendant on a heavier weight chain. But for costume jewelry that's not worth the expense, I've had really good luck at work using this $10.00 necklace clasp extender to distribute the weight of the clasp more evenly down the chain. It greatly helps (but doesn't completely eradicate) the problem.

These clever necklace extender chains come in either silver or gold, don't tarnish or turn green, and have the added benefit of allowing you to adjust the length you wear your necklace at.

Do you have burning, unanswered wardrobe questions? Are they keeping you up at night? Send 'em my way, and I'll answer as many as possible -- or let you know when all hope is indeed lost.

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