chelsea black tank and Ellie Vail necklaces

The How To Layer Necklaces Formula

Last week I had an Instagram post about THE BEST top to wear under a jacket or sweater, but the layered necklaces I had in the photo seemed to get all the attention and love. And that got me to thinking about how when I meet with my private styling clients, a question that comes up often is HOW TO LAYER NECKLACES.  So, let’s address this wardrobe HOW TO this week.

While there is a formula, so to speak, know that rules are made to be broken. And if you have a way you like to layer your necklaces, that works for you, then go for it! You, do you.

Fill Up The Space

A lot of times there is the need to layer necklaces because there is visual space in the outfit that needs to be filled. Do you know that saying “what’s the most beautiful accessory a woman can wear.? Her smile…” that’s what it’s all about – bringing attention to a person’s face. And wearing necklaces, or scarves helps frame a face and therefore bring attention there.

Layered necklaces give the same umph as a statement necklace, but with a lighter, more casual vibe. But, unlike a statement necklace, it’s not a one and done. Meaning you can’t just throw the necklace on and go. The layered look seems more effortless, but in fact, takes more effort to make it look right. Ironic, huh??

MADEWELL Coin Layered Necklace, Main, color, VINTAGE GOLD

Easy Rules for Layering Necklaces

1. I like to start with 2-4 necklaces.  More than that can start to look messy and get all tangled up.

2. Layer the different lengths. The key is to have gaps between chains. And to have equal amounts of space between the gaps – so the space is “filled”.

3. Mix and match chain styles. Layer the delicate necklaces with chunky chains. The juxtaposition keeps it interesting.

4. Pick one focal point- a coin or pendant necklace is a good place to start. Then add a choker or large link chain. Or add a beaded necklace that can even be doubled and then count as 2 necklaces.

5. It’s easier to stick with the same metals – like gold OR silver. Mixing metals totally works too, but can be harder to get right. Using a chain that has 2 metals can make it easier to “marry” the metals.

6. To inject some fun, start with metal pieces, like a gold chain and add in some colored beads or pearls for a pop of color and interest.

7. If you have a bigger bust keep the layers above the “girls”. Or, if you want to add a longer layer, make sure THAT necklace has a heavier pendant to weigh it down, create a definition and avoid “uniboob” syndrome.

Some of my Favorite Layering Necklaces

For Super Easy Layering Try These Sets

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Outfit details: Necklace// Necklace // Top // Glasses


Photo: Becky Cornell 

Post Updated 3/3/21


Cleveland-based personal stylist and fashion blogger.

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