The Art Of Layering Necklaces

The key is not to take it too seriously

Layering of any kind is intimidating—to me, at least. I’m a Capricorn and minimalism is our thing, but recently, I’ve found myself intrigued by the art of piling on necklaces.

I call it an art because it takes a certain skill set to navigate a jewelry box, pick out pendants and chokers and chains that somehow go together, put them on, and make it look effortless. It's like your décolletage is the canvas and necklaces are the paint. When done correctly, you get a pretty chic masterpiece. To be clear: Layering necklaces is not something that was introduced in 2018. People have been doing it for forever, but as of late, it’s become so much of a “thing” that it’s hard to not take notice. And notice I have, specifically singer Dua Lipa’s personal neck party. It’s cool, simple enough, and comprised mostly of pieces from jewelry brand Shami.

Founder Kelly Shami, a layering enthusiast herself, says that her pieces can be worn how the wearer pleases, “however layering can help speak to your current mood.” She credits the recent popularity in necklace experimentation to social media. “We live in a photo-taking society, so it is only natural for everyone to show off their neck, ear, and arm looks,” she says. “As much as I love to detach from social media, it plays a huge part for style enthusiasts to show what they got.”

We picked Shami’s brain for some tips on how to create a neck narrative of your own. Read what she had to say, ahead.

Start Out Simple

Layering by length is the easiest way to approach a neck party for beginners. Start with your shortest chain (a choker maybe) and add necklaces that are gradually longer than the last. Throw in different textures or weights if you’re feeling feisty.

Shami also says she created different pendant sets specifically so people can add them to necklaces. Wear just one or as many as you want. It’s like a modern version of your middle school charm bracelet and is a simple way to ease your way into layering.

Mix Metals

Then, graduate to mixing up different metals. Who says silver and gold don’t go together? Not Shami who notes that, lately, she’s been big on mixing silver and white gold. “I mix metals for specific statement pieces or outfits if I feel inclined to,” she says. “For example, if you have a two-tone watch, you can either wear gold, silver, or both.”

Make It Personal

You don’t have to completely revamp your jewelry collection to take part in this perma-trend. Adding pieces you already own is a great way to help your party stand out. “I always suggest keeping and caring for handed-down pieces from a family member or friend,” she says. “You never know when things could come back in style.”

Don’t Overthink It

The first rule of necklace layering is that there are no rules to necklace layering. Wear as many as you want, wear one; wear two one day, wear five the next. Keep it simple with plain metal or add some baubles and color. Do whatever your heart wants. “Find what makes you feel good, whether it is a specific metal or comfortable, light pieces,” suggests Shami. When in doubt, do what we do and just stalk Dua Lipa’s Instagram. 

Avoid Detangling Stress 

With piling on a bunch of necklaces, there inevitably comes a bunch of tangling. For this, Shami suggests unlocking the necklaces and trying to untangle the thicker chains first. If they’re really knotted, she advises using the point of a safety pint to loosen any stubborn knots, especially for thinner, more delicate chains.