Layered necklaces fall into the category of fashion that looks cool without trying too hard, but getting the layered look right takes more effort than it seems. It’s like that great-fitting pair of worn-in jeans or the vintage leather moto jacket that you may have spent years searching for.
Both are worth the time. Especially since piling on jewelry can also make for an interesting conversation starter. The more pieces you have, the more stories you can tell.
Instead of choosing just one necklace, you can layer, say, your grandmother’s locket with the pendant you bought for yourself after landing your first job. Jewelry can be sentimental and emotional, and each piece can represent a different chapter of your life.
Layering necklaces gives off that effortless effect, yet perfecting it is an art form to perfect.
Which pieces work together and which don’t? And just how do keep layered necklaces from tangling?
After playing around in our jewelry box, we’ve put together tips on how to wear layered necklaces and make them your own.
CORRELATE WITH YOUR OUTFIT
Before you start your necklace stack, think about how it will work with your outfit. Are you going somewhere casual or fancy? This may impact the style of your clothes and the necklaces you choose. Next, consider the neckline of your top. The stack you wear for a crew neck top may be different than the one you’ll wear for a V-neck. The key is to line up the necklaces so that it doesn’t hit exactly where the start of your top falls (to prevent the necklace from slipping underneath the shirt).
Also, consider the pattern and color of your outfit. Layered necklaces tend to look best on solid tops instead of busy printed tops and graphic tees. You want your jewelry to complement—not compete—with your overall look.
As for earrings, going for smaller designs may be best to shift the attention towards your layered necklace stack. Of course, this is more of a style choice but choosing one main focal point can elevate your look. For this post, I put together a necklace stack worn with a white crew neck T-shirt and a pair of Super Mini Fortune Cookie Huggie Earrings.
ADD UNEXPECTED ELEMENTS
The first rule on how to stack necklaces? Keep it interesting! What makes the layered look appealing is getting the right combination. Because honestly, it would be pretty boring to have a bunch of the same necklaces repeated one after another.
Try adding on necklaces with different shaped charms like ovals, rectangles, and hearts. You can even wear several chains without charms in between to make it more compelling overall.
When it comes to metals, however, it may be best to stick to one (pick gold, silver, or rose gold). Since there’s already so much going on with the layers and charms, one metal makes it easier on the eyes.
Wondering how to layer gold necklaces without looking like you accessorized in the dark? In addition to wearing one metal color, the necklaces should have some sort of similar theme. Again, this is a style preference, but I wouldn’t pair a vintage-inspired gold necklace with a wood beaded pendant or a diamond choker. The goal? Keep it cohesive.
STRATEGICALLY SPACE THE PIECES OUT
The biggest challenge for layering necklaces is finding the right spot in between each piece. Ideally, you want them at different lengths as it looks more proportionate and reduces tangling.
The simplest way to start your stack is by putting on the shortest necklace first then adjusting the following pieces to fall about an inch apart (could be more or less depending on your necklaces).
In my opinion, three to four necklaces should do the trick. Any less and it wouldn’t look complete, and any more may look overdone.
For example: Here, I style four Fortune & Frame necklaces:
DON’T AIM FOR PERFECTION
Lastly, the most important tip on how to stack chains: have fun with it! To make it your own, choose meaningful jewelry for you, and don’t be afraid to try on different stacks. Finding the right combo may take a few rounds of jewelry dress-up to get there.
For those who have a hard time making decisions, layering jewelry may just be for you. There’s no limit to the creative freedom you can have when adding on pieces. As long as you feel like yourself with the look, you know you’ve done it right.
Like any good story, layering necklaces shouldn’t be perfect—and that’s the beauty of it.
Looking for more jewelry posts? Check out…