How To Layer Necklaces
Layering jewelry can sometimes leave us feeling confused and exasperated. However, like most things, practice (and a little know-how) makes perfect.
I’d love to say that I have the power of knowing exactly which necklaces to layer together, but it has taken a bit of time, plus trial and error, to discover what does and doesn’t work. To make your life easier, I have compiled what I’ve learned into Ten Necklace Layering Guidelines so that you can be armed and ready to layer up.
1. Short & Long
You likely have a go-to long necklace that is a staple in your accessories collection. An easy way to amp up the ante is to add a delicate, shorter necklace. Choose a shorter style that doesn’t take away from the longer one- you don’t want the short necklace to be the focal point, so ensure that it is a lighter style. Keep it simple.
When it comes to wearing the short, dainty necklaces, you don't want to hide it under your top with a high neckline. Ensure the neckline is low enough so that the short necklace can lay flat and breathe.
Here we have the Leah Alexandra Naomi long Necklace, highlighted by the Lisbeth Marlowe Necklace.
2. Choose Similar Colours
No matter the varying lengths, a great way to mix and match, yet maintain a cohesive look, is to go with necklaces in similar colours. You could choose different tones of gold (or silver, or rose gold) chains, or as shown in the picture, we went with a necklace with Aquamarine beads paired with another necklace that features Green Patina charms. The shapes are not the same, nor are the chains, but having the same colour accents brings it all together.
This perfect pair is created by the Hailey Gerrits Armour Necklace (the longest length), and We Dream In Colour Wee Naija Necklace.
3. Pick Your Leading Lady
When you have one necklace that you love, no matter the length, make it your Leading Lady. Once you have your Lead cast, choose the Supporting Actors. The Leading Lady doesn’t necessarily have to be big and bold, but the Supporting Actors shouldn’t outshine Her and steal the spotlight. Go with lighter, more delicate necklaces that will showcase Her charm.
With this look we cast the Neely Phelan Ivory Horn Necklace as our Leading Lady, and to support Her we have the Gorjana Taner Dagger Necklace and the shorter Lisbeth Lave Necklace.
This works with any lengths of necklaces and any style of top, just remember not to distract from your Lead.
4. Short Stop
By layering short necklaces together you create a focal point that is both modern and classic. To create this look you will want to choose similar shapes. In these pictures, we layered two and three dainty necklaces that have a V type shape. If most of your necklaces are more rounded, go with that. Don’t feel trapped if you don’t have multiple “dainty” chain necklaces- our next Guideline shows layered chunkier necklaces.
This works with any type of top, but ensure that the neckline of the top is low enough to allow your short necklaces to breathe and lay flat. For added interest, try this look with a collared top.
Here we show the Leah Alexandra Gem Necklace in Moonstone (the shortest necklace in the trio), the Whitley James Arrowhead Necklace, and the Gorjana Taner V Necklace.
5. Create A Collar
As mentioned in Short Stop, layering chunkier necklaces can create a whole other look. When you choose a shorter, thicker, bolder necklace and layer it with others in a similar lengths, you create your own unique Collar-style necklace. This route gives your outfit an edgier, rock-and-roll look, and the chunkier, the better.
This look works great with any top or neckline. With those chunky chains, add edge to an otherwise plain crew neck sweater or tee.
Our collar was created using the Leah Alexandra Black Onyx Bar Necklace, Melanie Auld AFLA Multi Triangle Necklace, and the Lisbeth Willow Necklace in Moonstone.
6. Update Your Pearls
If you’re like me, you have a strand of pearls that has been sitting in the drawer waiting to be worn, but every time I put them on I suddenly feel…older. So I quickly take them off and store them away. Then it hit me- by pairing my classic pearls with a more modern necklace, it instantly gives my pearl strands an updated, youthful look!
When you choose what to layer with your pearls, make sure that the “weight” of it is equal to that of your pearl necklace. You don’t want the pearl necklace to be the whole look, you want it to be an equal partner to the other half. Think of it as a wonderful, happy marriage- two different necklaces that can come together and become one.
I partnered my classic pearl necklace with the Neely Phelan Vintage Tropez Mesh Pendant Necklace.
7. Stone Cutter
Bring in some natural elements with stones and/or crystals. Neither the colours nor shapes need to be the same, however try to keep some consistency with the chains (all gold, silver or rose gold). By using different stones and crystals your look will be youthful and creative, yet rooted in similarity.
Here we've got the Leah Alexandra Arrow Necklace in Aquamarine and Sapphire, with the longer Whitley Beate Necklace in faceted Moonstone.
8. Lariats & Tassels
When you wear a lariat necklace or a necklace with a tassel pendant, you draw the eye downward giving a longer, leaner look. When paired with a shorter necklace, these styles give your accessories a great end-point as they taper off and add length.
The first look is created by using the short Neely Phelan Druzy Bar Necklace on Pyrite Stone Chain with our Whitley Lizbeth Tassel Necklace.
For our second look, we have the Gorjana Taner V Necklace, combined with the Leah Alexandra Lariat Necklace in Rose Gold.
9. Cascading Lengths
One of the more difficult layering looks is to find necklaces in different lengths that all work together. A rule of thumb that will help you with this is to choose necklaces that have at least one similarity. In this picture, we have three necklaces that all contain silver. While the middle necklace isn’t a silver chain, the silver spikes lend to the unified look. Another element that works with this outfit is that the longer two necklaces have similar shapes in the spikes and the sea glass pendant. Sure, the shortest necklace is rounded, however the fact that it’s silver contributes to the overall unified look.
From shortest to longest, we have the Gorjana Taner Bar Necklace, We Dream In Colour Sofia Spike Necklace and the Dreamboat Lucy Retreat Necklace with white sea glass.
10. Use Multi-Layered Necklaces
The simplest of all routes – get a necklace that is already designed with layers. Layering necklaces has been so popular for so many years that Designers have been creating styles with combined multiple lengths. It couldn’t be easier than that! In this photo, I have only two necklaces on, but it appears as though I am wearing four. Whether you wear one multi-layered necklace, or put a couple together, the end result will be flawless.
This stunning combo features the Leah Alexandra Arrow Necklace in Aquamarine and Sapphire, along with the Gorjana Nina Layered Lariat Necklace.
These Necklace Layering Guidelines will give you the tools you need to create endless looks that can evolve with your style. Remember, these are just guidelines, feel free to stick to them, or use them as a starting point to come up with your own formulas. When it comes to fashion and style, anything goes and you breathe life into it when you make it your own.
Have questions or would like some additional tips and tricks? Send me an email and I’d be more than happy to help!
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How to wear Gold, Silver and Rose Gold
There are so many options out there when it comes to jewelry- Yellow Gold, Rose Gold and Silver are the classics. These days, Designers are coming out with more and more jewelry designs that include copper, brass, patina, and dark steel. With all these options, you may feel like you’ve gone to Applebee’s and open their ten page, double sided, size 9 font, menu. How do you decide on just one thing?!
Imagine this: Every winter for the last three years you have been looking for the perfect pair of boots. You know what you want, but just can’t find it. Finally, you find them and they are exactly what you had in mind! But wait! The buckle is gold and you only wear silver! What to do, what to do. Sound familiar? No need to fret over such small details.
Gone are the days of matching your shoes to your belt to your bag. In the early 2000’s I would never buy brown. I thought that if I bought brown shoes, then I would have to get a brown belt and a brown purse. Then where does it end? I would need a brown (not, God forbid, a black) jacket to wear with my brown shoes, belt and purse, and then I’d need brown shirts, brown eye-shadow…it goes on and on. However, mixing is the new matching. And the great news- it’s so much easier! From patterns, to colors, to metals- anything goes. Besides, I have never heard someone say “Wow! I love how she matched her boot buckles to her purse zipper!”
For now, let’s stick to the jewelry basics- Gold, Silver and Rose Gold.
Gold’s warm tones is extremely versatile, this lends to its more traditional and mature feel. Silver’s cool tones can vary- the darker silvers are more masculine and rugged, while the brighter tones are airy and feminine. Silver tends to be more modern and has a youthful feel. Rose Gold’s warm, blush tones is the more feminine and understated of the three. Becoming a major trend back in 2012, Rose Gold has now joined Gold and Silver to being made a classic.
I recently conducted a survey and found that the majority of women said that they wanted to, or have started to, incorporate Rose Gold into their wardrobe. For some of those women who said they wanted to start wearing Rose Gold, when what the hesitation was- “I don’t know where to start.”
How do I wear something new?
All metals are neutral and can be worn with anything. While some may “go” better with certain colors, or evoke a different feel, you really can do anything. For example, if you are wearing a navy blazer, the contrast of cool-toned silver feels crisp and fresh. While if you chose Gold, it would give off a more traditional, nautical aesthetic. On a different note, Rose Gold would soften the bold navy blazer and give it an airy, ladylike feel.
The easiest way to incorporate a new color of metal is to start small and mix it with what you feel comfortable in. Start with a simple earring or perhaps a bangle and layer it with your existing collection. Add a Rose Gold bracelet to your favorite silver or gold bangles. Even simpler, find a piece the already combines different colored metals- a long gold chain necklace with silver charms can then be layered or complimented with anything! Your Matchy-Matchy instincts may fight it at first and scream that it’s all wrong, but these small additions will add flair and instantly update any outfit.
Whether it’s Gold, Silver or Rose Gold, the important thing to remember is that you can do whatever you want. Stepping out of your comfort zone is always a positive and rewarding experience. If you’re more comfortable taking small steps, you can add something new and layer it with what you already have. Or, for those risk takers out there, get a new bold necklace or earring in a color you don’t already have and wear it with a different colored bangle. One step further- use a purse with a different colored zipper (gasp!).
Feeling inspired? Apostyle carries a great selection of Gold, Silver, and Rose Gold jewelry, plus dark steel, brass, copper, and patina. Introduce a new metal into your wardrobe with any of our midi-rings, earrings, necklaces or bracelets.
Need help? Send us an email with your questions and we will do everything we can to steer you in the right direction.
Have you seen a specific item we don't have by a Designer we currently represent? Or, is there a Designer you would love to see on Apostyle? Let us know! We are more than happy to do Special Orders, and are always on the hunt for amazing talent.