When there’s so much of a good thing out there, more is more. Instead of choosing one favorite necklace at a time, lean into a layered moment and show off a few faves at once.
To make it work—and to avoid dealing with a tangled mess—playing with lengths is a great place to start. When each chain is the right length, it gives each necklace breathing room to shine (literally) on its own, while also building a cohesive overall look.
Create your first layer with a small pendant necklace on a delicate cable chain from Pamela Love like this one, or this one from EF Collection—they both lay close to the neck and serve as a flawless foundation for the full final product.
Starting close to the neck with a 16- or 18-inch chain and moving out in 2-inch increments is the key to creating a covetable clutter-free cascade. Depending on the neckline you’re working with, you could go as long as 24 inches to complement a plunging neckline or add elevated interest to a higher crew-neck backdrop.
Another way to tame the tangle is by mixing chain materials and styles, like box, beaded, foxtail, rope, and tried and true dainty chains. Material mixing minimizes the chance of two chains getting too cozy in the least-cute kind of way.
Melissa Joy Manning’s bone chain necklace, narrow oval handmade necklace, oval crossbar chain, and other creations are the perfect place to start if you’re looking to add some variety on the chain front. The Gild’s herringbone necklace also adds fresh texture and timelessness while making a bold gold statement.
Mixing chains serves more than the purpose of tidiness—it also adds some personality to your look. You can also personalize your layers by moving away from all-metal and adding some color. We love the versatility of charms that can be swapped out, piled on, or removed completely.
As you craft your layers, make the design truly yours by working in your birthstone—or that of anyone you want to keep close: kids, siblings, parents, friends, your SO, or your 4-legged love. This layer-ready beauty from Ariel Gordon Jewelry is just the ticket, and you can choose any chain length from 16-22 inches depending on how you want to wear it.
Your personality can also shine through in the pieces themselves. Once you've nailed down the selection of chain lengths, you can build the layered look around a chosen centerpiece, rather than starting at the neck. If you have a pearl necklace collecting dust or a vintage pendant you want to bring into the 21st century, using pieces like those as the starting point for a curated collection is a masterful way of breathing new life into seemingly ancient relics.
So now that you’re standing there with an envy-inspiring combination of necklaces adorning your neck, adding clothes might be a good next step. You’ve already done the hard work, so now you just need to make those layered chains pop based on what the day has in store.
A crew neck t-shirt with a denim or leather jacket close at hand will have people in awe of your effortless chicness. Similarly, the masterfully executed cozy-sweater with dainty jewelry elevates chilly-weather outfits without making you break a sweat—unless of course the heat is blasting (been there!)
Experimentation is the best policy. If you start with minimalist delicate chains in a simplistic stack and can’t get enough of the sleekness, there’s no reason to mess with a good thing. If you want to spice it up, the routes are limitless and the confidence you bring to the final product will make any combination appear effortless—even if it wasn’t.
If you’ve got them, flaunt them. If you don’t (yet), find them here.