Layered necklaces are all the range - but you don’t need to fork out a fortune to rock this style on your own terms. In fact, if you’ve already got a robust jewelry and necklace collection, you can actually create your own layered necklace and turn some of your existing pieces into a unique, standout look. After all, why spend time and money repairing a broken necklace when you could turn it into something completely new and innovative?
So, how to stack necklaces and create your very own custom layered look? Let’s dive in.
Best Way to Layer Necklaces: 3 Steps
When it comes to creating a layered pendant necklace, you need three simple staple elements: a starting point, depth, and a standout piece, aka your pendant. Here’s our easy and winning formula:
Start with a Choker
First of all, you need to set a foundation for the rest of your necklaces, and a choker is the ideal way to do this. Think of the choker as your canvas – it should be subtle (so it doesn’t overshadow the pendant) but it should still be striking. You’ll ideally want to opt for a sleek, minimalistic choker that sits comfortably around your neck, and if you want to create the right balance, try to make it slightly bold without being overpowering; think slightly chunky gold or a beaded piece. Getting the first layer right is crucial; it frames your neckline and also sets the tone for the rest of the necklaces and chains to follow.
Add Depth with Chains
After establishing your base with a choker, it's time to infuse depth and texture into your ensemble, which is where chains come in handy. You don’t need to limit yourself here when it comes to how many you use; that said, 1 or 2 is your best bet if you’re looking to create something simple and elegant. You’ll want to also make sure that none of the chains overlap, which can create a messy and unrefined final look - but we’ll talk more about understanding length going forward.
Finish with a Pendant
To complete your layered necklace, a pendant is ideally the best way to go. Your pendant should be the most statement-making part of the ensemble - think a larger, unique pendant that dangles gracefully, whether it be a selection of Swarovski pendants or a singular ornamental crystal. Make sure to hang it on the longest chain so it elegantly sits over the other layers, while still having enough room of its own to stand out as the centerpiece of the overall look. Technically, you could add pendants to other layers, but understanding how to layer pendant necklaces is slightly more complicated; you’ll need progressively larger pendants in the same style and metal for a cohesive final look.
Tips and Tricks for Layering Necklaces
Don't Mix Metals
Once you’ve mastered the three steps above, you still need to make sure you’re creating a cohesive look, especially if you’re trying to pass off your necklace as something shop-bought. This means sticking to one metal type for a cohesive, polished aesthetic; mixing metals can often lead to a cluttered appearance, and detract from the elegance of your final look. You should also think about the color of your pendant and how well it matches with your chosen metals - you should also make sure to check that the pendant itself doesn’t feature any other metal detailing that might detract from the uniformity of the piece.
Plan Your Outfit
If you’re layering necklaces for a specific outfit, you’ll also want to consider your outfit as the backdrop, and adjust your layering accordingly. For example, the neckline of your top or dress is going to play a pivotal role in how your necklaces will lay and be displayed: a V-neck might call for shorter, more subtle layers, while a scoop neck or plunging neckline gives you more wiggle room for longer, more dramatic pieces.
As we mentioned earlier, layering also means understanding how to layer chain necklaces to avoid overlapping, and this means understanding the importance of stacking varying lengths. In short, each necklace should have its own space to shine without tangling or overlapping too much, which is why you want to start with shorter lengths like chokers, then gradually increase the length with each additional layer. This creates an elongated effect, drawing the eye down and adding harmony and depth to the final result.
How Can I Prevent Layered Necklaces from Tangling?
Tangling can be a common issue with layered necklaces, but it’s easily preventable. To prevent this, make sure you’re following our steps above and choosing necklaces of varying lengths and weights; note that heavier chains tend to stay in place better, while lighter pieces are more prone to moving around.
You’ll also want to space out the clasps as much as possible; try to have them sit at different positions around your neck, and where possible, avoid wearing your hair down if you’re working with lots of different clasps. You can also invest in necklace separators; these handy tools clip onto your chains and keep each strand separate.