The layering necklace trend is known as “neckmess” and when its perfected, layered necklaces and pendants can upgrade any look. Once you get the hang of it, they can draw more attention to your jewelry than your outfit.
“Layering is quite personal. Always start with the first piece you want to wear and build from there,” jewelry company founder Beth Bugdaycay told British Vogue. “To keep things simple, think in terms of three: three different lengths, three different links, three different weights. What’s really interesting is how much variation there can be between them. A super fine cable chain gives you very different look to a chunky curb or slinky snake chain, but they can all work together.”
Make your necklaces even more personal by adding a new medallion or charm whenever you’re celebrating a special occasion, whether it’s a birthday, marriage or a new job. You can add charms that have a special sentimental meaning, like your children’s initials or the date of your graduation. Bugdaycay said, “The trick is to make your chain unique to you, so it becomes a talisman that you can wear every day.”
Also don’t be afraid to mix medals when it comes to your pendants.
“Yellow gold is all the rage right now but you can mix in blackened, rose or white gold and silver too – either in the same necklace or in your layers,” Bugdaycay said, adding that chains featuring “hard stones like malachite and onyx” are “great for adding color and contrast to your look. You can get the same effect by mixing in beaded or pearl necklaces – just make sure they don’t risk being scratched by your chain.”
Jewelry company founder Rachel Gindi told InStyle that everyone has a certain necklace length that’s the most flattering for them. So first try out a few different lengths and see which one works best for you, and then build and layer up from there. Gindi said, “[You can] keep it 2 inches apart for something more subtle, or go super long with the second length for a dramatic look. Any way you go, having that foundation is always the start.”
“When layering three necklaces, you want the attention to go to the top necklace and the bottom necklace,” Gindi also noted, adding that the middle necklace should be something clean and simple. “If you choose to include only one pendant, go for the bottom. I personally love doubling instead of tripling because I like to give people the chance to focus on each piece individually.”
If you’re interested in incorporating some color when layering necklaces, in order to “keep things from looking too busy,” Gindi suggested that “it will make any stones seem more expensive if there is only one. Less is more here.”
InStyle magazine also gave advice on how to play around with different shapes when layering: “Pay attention to how the shapes work together. Layering a pendant with a chain necklace is an easy way to get around that. Make the chain more of a choker with the pendant hanging down long or keep the pendant up high with a more bold chain around. This is a great way to freshen up a pendant or chain you’ve been wearing for years.”
Layered necklaces can immediately make any look more fancy or formal.
If you’re wearing a crewneck or V-neck, Gindi suggested mixing chains with pendants. She added, “I love a choker paired with an extra-long chain or lariat necklace for a formal event.”