Layering necklaces is one of the most popular jewellery trends that has been around for years now, from the runway to the high-street. When it comes to layering, there’s no right or wrong way to do it but there are a few tips and tricks to know so you can find your own signature style and elevate your style to the next level. Whether you’re new to layering necklaces or want to mix it up, we’ve put together a guide to help you get started with layering, including a run down on necklace lengths and a few of our favourite ways to style them.
Understanding necklace lengths
While layering necklaces can mean a multitude of things, like metals and chain type, the way to start off your layers is by picking different lengths of necklaces. Before we kick off how to start layering, it’s a good idea to understand all the different necklace lengths that you can experiment with.
Starting with the shortest length, we have the collar. Collar necklaces are around 13-15 inches and is worn tightly around and close to the neck, typically high up. It can often be mistaken with the choker which is the next shortest. It measures around 15-17 inches and sits tightly at the base of the neck. Next is the princess necklace which is 17-19 inches, sits on the collarbone and is the most popular necklace type. As we start to get longer, there’s the matinee necklace which is 20-24 inches and sits between the collarbone and the chest. The opera necklace is 28-36 inches and is one of the longer necklaces out there and sits on or below the chest. Finally, the rope is the longest necklace type at 36-42 inches and sits at the centre of the bust down to the stomach.
Length is extremely important you start layering necklaces. If you layer necklaces that are all the same length, you can get them all tangled, or they’ll sit over the top of each other, and you won’t be able to appreciate them. We’ll get into how many necklaces you should layer below, but you should typically go for a mix of short, medium, and long necklace. Try a choker with a princess and a matinee for a classic look where they necklaces are slightly closer together, or you can choose a collar, princess and opera or rope necklace to get more space in between the layers. Of course, this depends on what you’re wearing and the type of neckline you have – more on this below.
Tips & tricks to start layering necklaces
What’s your number?
Like we said above, it’s a good idea to pick the number of necklaces you want to layer before you jump into lengths and style. While too much is never enough, we recommend that you start with 3-4 necklaces for your first stack. Odd numbers are the most effective and versatile, plus you to have more of a focal point to draw attention to.
Pick your colours / metals
Colours and metals fall under style which we’ll get to next. But a handy way to narrow down your options is by picking colours and metals. Start by choosing your favourite metal and you can start building your layers, like yellow gold, sterling silver or rose gold. If you want to keep it simple, you can stick with necklaces that are all the same colours or material, or you can mix and match for a textured contrasting look. Sticking with this theme, you can steer away from traditional metals and go for something completely different like rope, beads, pearls and more.
Choose your style
Now that you’ve picked the number of necklaces you want, you can start looking into the exciting things like what type or style you want to wear. While there are no mistakes in jewellery, there are some necklace types that go together and some that shouldn’t, and this is really just to avoid too much clutter. For example, let’s go for a choker, princess, and matinee style. Choose a choker that’s all about the chain, like a curb chain where the links sit very closely together to create a fun texture. For the princess, choose a necklace that is going to be your centre. This means you can go OTT like a necklace that features multiple gems or dangling charms. Finally, for the matinee pick a pendant necklace that features a colourful centre, like a birthstone or go for simple like a bar or initial.
Our favourite layering styles
If you’re a layering beginner, you might not feel so confident yet to go away and make your own. We’ve got you covered with some of our favourite ways to layer necklaces, including beads, body jewellery and chains.
Chains on chains
Chains are some of the best necklaces to use in layering. A chain is always involved in layering because you can use it as a neutral necklace alongside jazzier pieces. But now is the time for the chain to shine. Mix up different chain lengths and types to create a more intriguing layering combination. Choose chains that have links tightly together like a snake or trace chain and layer it with wider links like a figaro or curb chain. You can also mix up the different metals – no matter what the myths say, gold and silver look amazing together, especially in chain form.
While pendants are typically the main or centre piece of a layering combination, if you get your lengths right you can wear multiple pendants without too much distraction or clutter. Try incorporating colourful birthstone pendants alongside simpler pendants like discs, bars, or initials. This is a good way to balance out too many pendants. Alternatively, you can go in the opposite direction and choose an abundance of colour and icons, like beads, stars, smiley faces and more.
Already made layers
Finally, you can always cheat and pick an overly long necklace and wrap it around the neck multiple times to create layers. This is great if you’re quite low maintenance and don’t want the fuss or hassle of necklaces getting tangled with each other or if you can’t be bothered to put multiple necklaces on all the time!
Browse our full collection of necklaces and start playing with layers.