Layering long and short necklaces continues to be one of the hottest jewelry trends for women, and won't be disappearing anytime soon. I get asked how to do it constantly, and while there's really no right or wrong way to layer (it's an expression of your individual style, after all!), doing it with impact requires a combo of skill, style and a bit of gut feeling. This all comes with practice, but luckily there's some simple rules that can help you get started!
If that's sounding a bit scary or vague, there's great news; I GOT YA, BOO! I live, eat and breathe jewelry, and I've compiled 4 easy ways (with visuals, hello!) to help you layer necklaces like a pro jewelry stylist.
NUMBER ONE: Biggest on the bottom
When you're layering up your long and short pieces together the set will be much more impactful if the longest necklace is the largest necklace. Keep the biggest on the bottom, and you'll create visual weight and a sense of grounding to the set. The eye will travel from the top of the stack to the bottom and then back up to your gorgeous face, where all the attention should be anyway! This applies when stacking up shorter necklaces too.
In the example below, the brass chevron and opalite necklace is definitely the largest. If you can imagine reversing it and having that one up at the neck with the smaller pieces below, you can see how the whole thing instantly loses focus and impact. Also pictured: opalite long pendant necklace.
NUMBER TWO: Keep stones and metal the same
To help make layering work really well, try to keep the colour of the stones similar and stick with the same metals (gold with gold, black gunmetal with gunmetal, etc).
I know what you're going to say: I LOVE GOLD AND SILVER TOGETHER! That is not to say you can't mix it up if you want to (remember that layering is all about expressing your personal style), and if that means mixing silver and gold (which I love, btw!), then please do! In general, though, if you're a layering newbie, keeping items in the same colour ways reaaalllllyyyy helps create a cohesive yet oh-I-just-threw-this-casual-boho-chic-look-together-it-was-nothing kind of vibe.
In the example below, both necklaces are 14k gold-fill with brass accents, made of turquoise howlite and blue lapis, and create a cohesive yet unique summer-y layered necklace look.
Plus, notice how the largest necklace is the longest and at the bottom? And now when you look back at example #1, do you see that the stones and metals are cohesive? Thought so! You're getting it already!
Pictured: Turquoise howlite bar necklace, turquoise howlite slice + brass inlay horn necklace (coming soon).
NUMBER THREE: Layer shorter necklaces in a triangle.
This is my fave rule because it's really so easy. When you're layering multiple shorter necklaces, keep the shape of a triangle in mind. It really just means you're layering from smallest to largest, and you can see right away how good it looks in the example below showing my rough diamond necklace paired with the paua shell crescent moon necklace and a 14k gold-fill hammered crescent moon.
This stack still works if you remove any of the elements as it still has that small-to-large flow and mimics a triangle shape. It's ultra flattering and works on every single body I've ever seen it on! Definitely give this one a try!
Check out the second pic for a more visual representation of the triangle shape, then think for a second about the other ways this set works really well....we've got consistency with the gold tones, the widest pendant at the bottom, and the rough diamond is so neutral it goes perfectly with the colourful paua shell. Easy peesy!
NUMBER FOUR: Keep pendant shapes similar on shorter stacks
Our eyes loooove repetition, and there's a reason for it! Our ancient brains are hardwired for nature, and mama nature is the queen of repetition (think about flower petals, fern leaves, honeycombs, zebra stripes, etc). The same applies to items we find visually pleasing in our every day lives; most often we unconsciously prefer repetition over randomness.
Of course there's always exceptions to every rule, but it super helps to keep pendant shapes similar when creating a great layered stack of shorter necklaces! In the example below my small druzy triangle necklace sits perfectly above a 14k gold-fill hammered chevron, creating a totally unique look that's pretty do-able, right?!
We've also made use of the previous advice and kept the metal the same, the widest pendant at the bottom, and we've got the triangle shape covered too!
Now that you're basically a jewelry stylist slash layering expert, you're going to find it SO EASY to layer up your own pieces. Start with something you love; a particular long or short pendant in gemstone or metal, then work upwards or downwards and layer, layer, layer. There is really no way you're going to do it wrong because it's unique to you, and hopefully these four jewelry layering tips will help you if needed!! Happy stacking!! xo
Bonus points: tell me in the comments below why this stack of my 14k gold-fill small hammered bar and large hammered bar (coming soon!) works so well!