How To Perfectly Layer Your Necklaces According To Jewelry Experts
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I received my first-ever necklace as a birthday gift when I was 13. It was half a heart, serrated down the middle, with “BE FRI” inscribed in silver. A present from my-then BFF; she wore the other half with the word “ST END.”
I’m not sure what ever happened to that necklace, but I likely wore it until I lost it, or it broke, swallowed by a pool drain or buried in the cushions of my parents’ couch. Ever since, though, I’ve always worn necklaces; my neck feels naked without them.
Not until recently did I decide to try the trend of layering my necklaces. I’ve always been drawn toward one minimal, simple chain, but then I started seeing photos of layered necklaces and fell in love with how effortless and elevated it could make a simple outfit appear.
Layered necklaces of varying lengths, styles, and jewels may seem overwhelming, but Brilliant Earth—a pioneer brand in ethical jewelry—makes it a bit easier with their helpful tips and gorgeous necklaces in varying lengths, metals, styles, and more. I decided to try out a few pieces from their collection and rely on their expertise to master my layers. But first, a bit about the brand.
“I started seeing photos of layered necklaces and fell in love with how effortless and elevated it could make a simple outfit appear.”
Brilliant Earth was founded in 2005 with a mission “to create a more transparent, sustainable, and compassionate jewelry industry.” Since opening its doors, the brand has become one of the first jewelry companies to provide traceability for its collections and go beyond industry benchmarks. For one, all gems are conflict-free and mined ethically and responsibly. Brilliant Earth also uses recycled gold and recycled diamonds. Oh, and the brand is Certified CarbonFree and gives back.
I opted for a few different pieces of various metals and lengths: The Wave Diamond Pendant ($250), The Vera Link Chain Necklace ($425), the Lola Paperclip Chain ($395), and a variety of other minimal chain necklaces to compliment the bolder pieces. All the jewelry was shipped from the San Francisco design studio and came in gorgeous, responsibly sourced wood boxes, complete with a magnet for safe and easy closure.
Now for the actual layering. According to the brand, you want to stick with two strands when layering what they call “a friend” for your foundational necklace. Try to match metals and styles for a unified look (or mix them for something more playful), and stick to one statement piece (like the wave diamond). If you choose to layer with a pendant, a gem, or a charm, this will be your focal point. Of course, you can always add more if you’d like—there are no hard rules when it comes to style—but starting with two necklaces and capping off with four max is generally the sweet spot.
“There are no hard rules when it comes to style—but starting with two necklaces and capping off with four max is generally the sweet spot.”
What about length, though? This is where I always feel like I struggle. “Necklace length is your key coordinator tying the layers together,” according to Brilliant Earth. It also prevents your chains from knotting or tying together—a problem I always have.
To help with this, the brand recommends at least two inches between your necklaces (check out the graphic below for reference). Start with your shortest chain, and then build from there. If you encounter tangles, you can unclasp the necklaces and dangle them to de-twist. Alternatively, a necklace detangler (a clasp made for separating multiple necklaces) is a valuable investment if you layer your necklaces often.
As for balancing style and thickness, don’t be afraid to play around! I always have to remind myself of this, and Brilliant Earth’s wave pendant encouraged me to wear something outside of my norm and experiment with bolder jewelry. I also loved seeing how the various chains made the wave diamond pendant really pop. I now think more often about accentuating my smaller birthstone and astrology charms in my own jewelry collection.
“Layering your delicate pieces with hefty ones is actually one of the best ways to avoid tangling,” notes Brilliant Earth. Various chains can change up the look and, again, because it’s worth repeating, there are no hard rules when adding jewelry to your outfit. Do what feels best for you, and experiment with the necklaces you already have in your jewelry box. When you feel like you’ve mastered the trend or are ready to invest in necklaces that elevate your style further, consider an investment piece from Brilliant Earth to layer with formal or everyday wear.
THIS STORY IS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OUR FRIENDS AT BRILLIANT EARTH