How to Layer Necklaces to Match Any Style

What adorns the neck and creates a delicate and elegant presentation more than a layering of necklaces? If done right, a few necklaces together can bring more simplicity than just one. It does have to be right, though. We’ll show you how to choose the correct necklaces, how to layer them, and even how to keep them from those dreaded tangles. 

Which Necklaces Work Best for Layering

Layering is an art, which you’ll already know if you ever tried it haphazardly. To have the tools to produce the look you want, gather a few styles of the following: 

  • A couple of dainty chokers or short necklaces
  • Slightly longer (mid-length) pendants
  • A couple of longer necklaces, like a locket or long pendants

When choosing these pieces, consider these points:

  • Mix up the textures just as you do the lengths. A dainty chain with a chunkier chain or a small link with a larger link can look amazing together. 
  • You may even get away with mixing metals - gold necklaces with silver necklaces.  

Related: Jewelry Every Woman Should Own in 2021  

Six Rules for Layering

Now you’ve got a selection of necklaces to work with, here are the rules for layering

  1. When it comes to layering, three is the magic number! You can make it work with two or even four, but three is the sweet spot. 
  2. Mix things up with the following lengths:

Choker: 14” - 16”

Princess: 18”

Matinee: 20” - 24”

Opera: 30”

Ropes & Lariats: 35” or longer

  1. Add a bit of color to your layers to enhance your outfit. Enameled necklaces are jewels covered in powder-coated paint and can add a splash of color to your ensemble. The shortest necklace is a good place for color, as it’s closest to your face. 
  2. If you want an even more elongated look, let your longest necklace be a lariat necklace. This will lengthen the look of your torso and neck
  3. Keep the metals unified to create a cohesive look.
  4. It’s okay to experiment with shapes. Consider how the shapes of your pendants work together. An excellent way to get around that is to wear a chain choker, a necklace with a simple pendant second, and a more dramatic pendant for the third. 

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Can You Layer Different Metals?

What used to be considered a major fashion faux pas can now make a bold statement. Two-toned jewelry or wearing necklaces of different metals like yellow gold and silver is on-trend right now. Perhaps a braided chain of two or three colors of metals could be used to unify an ensemble of the same individual colors.   

Related: 10 Jewelry Trends to Watch in 2021

8 Ways to Layer

Consider the following to arrive at a fairly reliable recipe for producing the look you want:

  1. Don’t try too hard at this. Layering necklaces isn’t rocket science - you can get this simple, elegant look without too much stress. 
  2. Choose your focal point. The highest or lowest necklaces are good choices for a focal point, though many stylists would recommend the middle necklace. Keep the necklaces about 2” apart for a subtle look, but for something dramatic - consider an extra-long necklace for the second or third. Mainly, just think of where you’re comfortable drawing people’s attention. 
  3. Mix it up. Consider using varying weights and textures, cable, rope, snake, bead, silver, etc. Not only does this look amazing, but it will also keep the chains from becoming tangled.
  4. Wear the perfect V-neck top to enhance the appearance of your layering. Dark-colored fabrics will accentuate the glow of your gold and silver.
  5. Make your ensemble your own. Create a statement with a personalized or signature pendant. 
  6. You don’t have to restrict your tops to open V-necks when you want to layer your necklaces. They can look just as fantastic layered on a warm, relaxed knit sweater
  7. Let your jewelry upscale your outfit. On those relaxed days, your super casual outfit can become the backdrop for your gorgeous layered necklaces as the eye is drawn away from your clothes to your jewelry. 
  8. Less is more when going formal. When you want your elegant outfit to get the attention, go minimal with the layered necklaces. A chain choker with an extra-long chain or lariat necklace will enhance your look without drawing attention away from it.  

How to Keep Them From Tangling

Most people who haven’t tried layering are generally put off by the prospect of a tangled mess instead of an elegant flow. Is it possible to stack your necklaces without experiencing the dreaded tangle? Yes. Here are a few tips for keeping your layered necklaces from becoming tangled with each other.

  • Vary the lengths. This one is obvious, but necklaces of varying lengths will tend not to tangle.
  • Add weight. Using different weight chains and pendants will help prevent tangling, and heavier pieces are easier to keep apart.
  • Vary the thicknesses. Chains that are the same weight will be inclined to tangle, so use at least one thick necklace.
  • Mix up the materials. A combination of pearls, chains, and leather can be formidable in appearance and won’t tangle.
  • Order matters. Put on the thinnest or lightest chain or necklace first to avoid getting caught on top of the thicker, heavier ones. 
  • Keep it tight. Tight necklaces tend not to get tangled. Try wearing a wrap-around choker. 
  • Link them up. Link two necklaces together by using the clasp from one into the links of the other. Once they’re linked, they won’t roll over one another and become tangled.
  • Use a necklace extender. These will add length to any necklace, as well as prevent tangles. You can link it through all of the clasps of the necklaces you’re wearing.
  • Use a slider clasp. This exciting item will enable you to attach all of your necklaces to the same clasp. This allows them the space they need not to get tangled, and it can also be used for bracelets  

Related: Dainty Necklaces: 20 Styles You Will Always Wear  

The Last Word on Layering

Layering your necklaces allows you to wear more of your beautiful pieces at one time and somehow can have a more minimalist appearance than just one necklace alone. Follow the few simple guidelines above and achieve the look you’ll love. 

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