The Essential Guide to Jewelry Layering

The Essential Guide to Jewelry Layering

Jewelry layering is a popular trend and will likely continue to be. There’s no better way to express your personal style – and no quicker way to a cluttered, overdone look. There has been a lot written about this subject but it tends to be very cookie cutter and not very useful. The good news is, with our short list of simple pointers and guides, we’ll give you everything you need to know to create your perfect layered look. #layerednecklaces

Before you get started with creating your layered look, ask yourself a few questions.

  1. What is your primary style? We all LOVE to keep our look fresh but, at the end of the day, you always carry a personal style. Knowing your preferred look is essential for a successful layered look. Do you favor a more classic or bohemian or edgy style? Based on your overall style profile, your approach to layering will differ. 
  2. Are you layering for an everyday look, or for a special occasion? Layering can be subtle or eye catching, depending on the choices you make. An everyday stack might be as simple as coordinating across earrings, necklace, bracelet, and ring, or adding a pendant necklace to your normal short chain, whereas a special occasion might call for a layered look centered on a statement necklace.
  3. Are you someone who wears the same jewelry every day or do you like to change up your look? We actually recommend that you change your jewelry up frequently if you want to up your stylishness. Part of the fun of layering is getting to try new pieces, and new combinations of and additions to your favorites.
  4. What is your color profile? Some of us prefer only gold to accentuate warm skin tones; others have skin that makes white precious metals like silver and platinum pop in the best possible way. Gemstones and other enhancers are another way to add color to an otherwise flat color palette.

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can begin to think about layering your jewelry in a way that works for you, your style and how you like to present yourself. 

Understanding Jewelry Layering

Jewelry layering is a popular trend in fashion and accessorizing. The technique involves stacking or layering different types of necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings to achieve a uniquely fashionable combination.

Here are some tips to help you master the art of jewelry layering:

  • Understand your taste. Knowing your fashion preferences will help you determine the overall style you’re looking to achieve and ensure you wind up with a cohesive look. Think of your clothing and your jewelry as making one singular statement – all the elements should work together.
  • Start with a focal point. Selecting a single item to serve as the centerpiece of your layered look will help you select the best possible supporting pieces so that you wind up with an outfit that looks as good as our jewelry makes you feel. The focal piece could be a gemstone necklace, a bold pendant, or bejeweled earrings. What type of piece you select will set the tone for the rest of your layers, and you’ll be able to build the layers around the focal point to draw attention to it. 
  • Your personal style will impact your choices – if you prefer Bohemian chic, you might opt for a bright pop of color or untraditional materials, while a minimalist might prefer the armored look of a wide cuff bracelet as a statement. 

    • Don’t be afraid of color. If your outfits tend toward the monochromatic, a pop of color can be a great choice. If your outfit is already bright and colorful, a more subtle approach to your jewelry will probably work best.
    • Mix, match and vary lengths. Deploying different necklace lengths can create depth and visual variety within your ensemble. Combine chokers, short necklaces, medium-length pieces, and long pendants to achieve a layered effect. You can use chains of different lengths or include extenders to adjust the length as desired. Experiment with different combinations until you find a balance that suits your style.
    • Consider different styles. Mixing different styles can create a unique and eclectic layered look. You can combine vintage and modern elements, mix delicate and chunky pieces, or power clash by incorporating a bold statement piece into an otherwise monochromatic outfit. Don't be afraid to experiment with different aesthetics to achieve a personalized and creative design.

    photo credit: Getty Images

    • Vary textures and shapes. Jewelry pieces with different textures and shapes add dimension to your layers. Mixing delicate chains with chunky links, smooth beads with textured charms, or geometric shapes with organic elements lend variety and can make any combination seem more like a deep expression of your personal style in addition to making your layers visually engaging.
    • Mix your metals (if you like). We’re well past the point where mixing metals was considered a serious fashion faux pas. Done well, mixing metal tones is a fun and easy way to stylish contrast. Combining ‘warm’ metals like yellow gold and rose gold with ‘cool’ metals like white gold and sterling silver can add visual interest so long as the pieces complement each other in other ways. If you like to wear different metals, consider a “bridge” piece that incorporates more than one metal tone.
    • Balance your overall look. Layering allows for creativity, but it’s always possible to have too much of a good thing. Distribute the visual weight of your jewelry evenly across your layers to avoid overwhelming your outfit. If you're wearing multiple necklaces, for example, opt for a thinner and simpler style for some layers to offset chunkier or more intricate pieces.

    If you’re heavily layering bracelets, for example, keep the focus there and wear only minimal or subtle pieces elsewhere. If balance is your primary goal, keep your layers to only two pieces in any one area so you can distribute the visual weight across your entire ensemble.

    • Don’t ignore the rest of your outfit. Unless you’re very body positive, you probably aren’t wearing your jewelry sans threads. When you’re putting together a layered jewelry ensemble, you should consider the neckline and style of your outfit. 

    A V-shaped neckline might be perfect for showcasing layered necklaces or a dramatic pendant, but an outfit with an off-the-shoulder top will benefit more from stacked bracelets or a statement ring. Combining huggies, studs, and hoop earrings can be great with an up do but might get lost otherwise. Make sure that your jewelry compliments your outfit without overpowering it. 

    • Have fun!!! Jewelry is a pure accessory for most of us, which means we don’t need to worry as much about function as compared to how a bracelet makes us feel, or how much we enjoy that new necklace with our favorite top. To get the best results, be confident and unafraid to experiment! Jewelry layering is a personal expression of style, so don't be afraid to experiment and trust your instincts. The process of jewelry layering should be all about having fun and expressing your creativity. You should feel free to play with different combinations, try new styles, and embrace your individuality. 

    The beauty of jewelry layering is that it's completely customizable and hugely personal. Part of the fun of jewelry stacking is creating unique looks that are entirely your own.

    Essential pieces for layering

    When it comes to jewelry layering, there are several essential pieces that can help you achieve a stylish and sophisticated look. Here are some key elements to consider:

    Necklaces: Layering necklaces of different lengths and styles is a popular trend. Start with a choker or a short necklace as a base and add longer chains or delicate pendants in varying lengths. Mixing different textures and materials, such as gold, silver, pearls, or gemstones, can add visual interest.

    Keep layered necklaces to no more than three pieces. With necklaces, think about width and length and make sure that none of your pieces overpower the others, or get tangled together because their length is too similar.

    Rings: Stacking rings on multiple fingers is another way to achieve a trendy layered look. You can mix different types of rings, such as thin bands, midi rings, gemstone rings, or statement rings. Experiment with different combinations and sizes to create a personalized style.

    Earrings: Layering earrings can add depth and dimension to your overall look. Try mixing studs, hoops, huggies, or drop earrings. You can opt for different sizes or even mismatched pairs for a more playful effect.

    Bracelets and Bangles: Layering bracelets and bangles can create an eclectic look. Mixing and matching thin and thick chains, charm bracelets, cuffs, and beaded bracelets all are possible, so long as you consider the same rule of three that applies for earrings, necklaces, and rings – anything more can look cluttered and overdone.

    Anklets: Layering anklets can give your legs a stylish touch. Combine delicate chains with charms, beads, or even shells to create a bohemian vibe. 

    Personalized and Meaningful Pieces: Adding personalized or meaningful jewelry pieces can make your layered look more unique. Incorporate items such as initial pendants, birthstone jewelry, or pieces with symbolic charms or motifs that hold special significance to you.

    How to Layer Jewelry Like A Pro:

    • Layering your jewelry is great but don’t give yourself too much of a good thing. Heavily layering all of your jewelry can lead to a cluttered look. That’s why we instead suggest you choose one area to focus on – ears, neckline, or wrists and hands, and limit your heavy stacking to no more than two areas.

    • Like goes with like…with exceptions. Minimalist pieces look best with other minimalist pieces… but a pop of color can elevate an otherwise drab ensemble to elegance. Likewise, layering chunkier pieces may not be practical for your outfit…but combining a chunky bracelet with a more delicate bangle while also wearing a chunky ring or necklace can bring both cohesion and depth to your look.

    • Chunkier pieces can work best on their own. It’s easy to overpower an outfit. A simple black dress with a chunky statement necklace is a great look. Adding a more delicate choker might just be ‘putting a hat on a hat’. Instead, lean into the minimalism of the look by keeping your neckline uncluttered and stack a couple of delicate bracelets, or a matching bracelet and ring to vertically balance your outfit. 
    • A matched set can create a great foundation. Layering that includes matching pieces makes it easy to create a cohesive look. Whether your matching gemstones, metal tones, or chain styles, a matched set gives your outfit an easy and natural rest position around which you can experiment to your heart’s content.

    • Pay Attention to Proportions: Ensure that the layers complement each other in terms of size and proportion. Balancing smaller elements against larger ones creates harmony and avoids visually overwhelming your look. This also helps you to call attention to specific areas – for instance by combining an elegant earring stack with an updo, or a choker and statement necklace enhancer with a V-neckline dress.
    • Utilize connectors, jump rings, and clasps. The right enhancer can elevate a minimalist necklace into a statement piece but you want to join the layers together securely. These findings provide functionality and can add an extra decorative touch to the design.

    • Create Visual Flow: Arrange the layers in a way that creates a visual flow all the way through your ensemble. This can be achieved by varying the lengths, shapes, and textures of the components. Consider the placement of each layer to ensure a balanced and visually pleasing composition.
    • Consider Neckline and Body Type: Keep in mind the neckline of the garment or the body type of the wearer when creating layered necklaces. Certain necklines may require shorter or longer layers to complement the overall look.
    • Experiment, Experiment, Experiment! Different layering techniques such as cascading, stacking, or nesting elements will provide varied looks and allow you to highlight different pieces from your collection depending on the event, your outfit, or just the mood you’re in. Play with asymmetry, highlight your best attributes, or embody understated elegance depending on the style you want to achieve.
    • Personalize and Customize: Jewelry layering is an opportunity for personalization. Incorporate meaningful charms, initials, or birthstones to create a unique and sentimental piece.

    These tips will help you create a layered look that reflects your unique personal style, works with the outfit you’re wearing, and is balanced in color, texture and weight. Stocking your jewelry wardrobe with flexible pieces that are stylish, chic, and meaningful to you will make layering a fun part of crafting your look. Remember, creating jewelry layers is an art form, and there are no strict rules. Feel free to experiment, trust your creativity, and let your personal style shine through your designs.

    The key to successful jewelry layering is to experiment and find combinations that complement each other and reflect your personal style. Don't be afraid to mix different metals, textures, and styles to create a layered look that is truly your own.

    Ready to find the perfect piece to layer into your look? Shop our full collection here.

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