Our Master Class on layering necklaces

Layering your necklaces has become a sure-fire way to effortlessly look instantly chic and on trend. Layering your necklaces gives you lots of flexibility with the choice as you can wear several pieces at once. You can mix and match pieces to give lots of different combinations. Plus, if you get a new necklace it can fit in with your existing jewellery collection.

Layering up different pieces of jewellery is a wonderful way to express your personal style; which is why there are no rules when it comes to layering up necklaces. However, we've put together our favourite tips on tricks on how best to layer necklaces and elevate your style to the next level.

Chains

A single plain chain with no pendant can look a little plain, particularly for women, but this means that chain necklaces are the best jewellery to get stacking with as they are the most flexible to mix and match with each other. Many might think that a chain is a one choice item, but you can choose similar chains in different metal colours or alternatively, you could keep all the metal colours the same and then mix the style of the chain.

If you want to get creative with your chain types then you could choose to layer a few chains that have similar link shapes such as a belcher chain and a trace chain. Both the trace and belcher chain styles have similar circular links. A belcher chain has perfect circles for the links and a trace chain has circular links too but they are ever so slightly oval shaped.

    Belcher Chain Necklace

Our other favourite layered necklace combination is the anchor, cable and marina chain. We love the way these three chains feature really similar patterns in the links but offer a point of difference between each style. As you might have guessed anchor and marina chains have a very similar link shape; which are oval interlocking links with a bar in the middle of the link. This combination could look slightly more masculine so opting for thinner and delicate chains is a clever way to make this look more feminine.

Cable Chain Necklace   Marina Chain Necklace

Our other favourite combination of similar chains to layer a trace or cable chain with a diamond cut version of the same chain style. Diamond cut chains are unique as the links have been cut so they are faceted with an edge. The faceted edge makes them slightly more reflective and perfect to layer with other chains of the same style. Try layering two trace chains with a diamond cut trace chain. Make sure the diamond one is the 2nd or 3rd chain in your necklace ensemble or try adding a pendant to the diamond cut chain to make it really stand out.

Plain Cable Trace Chain Necklace   Diamond Cut Cable Trace Chain Necklace

If you want to wear some similar style chains you can play with scale by choosing the same style of chains but mixing different link thickness or even different lengths of links. We love the idea of mixing a rope chain with a loose rope chain. The link patterns will be the same but as the knit and tightness of the links is different you can create a really chic look and pulled together look.

Diamond Cut Rope Chain Necklace   Loose Rope Chain Necklace

It's also worth considering if you want to wear your chains with a pendant or as stand-alone necklaces. The most popular chain styles to pair with a pendant are curb and trace but if you're looking to wear a chain that is a statement piece in itself then we'd recommend a Spiga or box chain as these are more architectural and unusual in shape. At The Chain Hut, we have over 18 different styles of chains.

Lengths and Necklines

Playing with different lengths of necklaces is a creative and clever way to mix up your chains and create lots of different combinations. Doing this can create a stunning synergy with your other jewellery.

The first thing we'd recommend is to consider the neckline of your dress or top when choosing the length of your chains. If you're wearing a high neck roll neck jumper then layers of long necklaces will stand out rather than shorter necklaces.

On the other hand, if you're wearing a Bardot neckline then layering a few a shorter choker chain will look more sophisticated than long chains. A good length for shorter necklaces is 14 - 16 inches. These should sit respectively above and on your collarbone.

Remember that it's best to leave at least an inch difference in length between each necklace so that your layers don't get tangled. At The Chain Hut, we have chain lengths ranging from 14 inches to 30 inches.

How many should you stack?

How many necklaces to stack is really up to you! If you're just starting to explore then starting with a simple pairing of two necklaces is the best way to start. Pick two that have two complimentary pendants or layer three similar chains in different lengths to keep your look more pared back. As we mentioned earlier a 16-inch necklace is the best place to start as this should sit on your collarbone. Then decide whether you want your other layers to rest above or below this necklace.

If you're ready to start layering more than two necklaces then take the time to experiment with your jewellery to see where each necklace sits relative to your others.

Three layered necklaces is the ideal number for a layered look without wearing too many and still keeping your jewellery practical for everyday wear. A good combination is to wear a 16 inch necklace, followed by two longer styles that are 20" and 24 inches.

If you want to layer four different necklaces we think that layering three shorter pieces that are 14", 16" and 18 inches with a much longer 22 inch length necklace is the secret to success every time.

If you want a more dramatic look then layering five necklaces is the ideal maximum that's still practical to wear.

As you start to layer more necklaces we would recommend not wearing as many pendants. Two pendants with three chains will look simple but still very chic. However, if you're wearing five necklaces then wearing five pendants might look a little fussy and less put together.

It's also worth thinking about whether you wear two similar shaped pendants such as two coin pendants. Or you could try mixing up the shapes by wearing cute symbols mixed with bar or name necklaces. Regardless of the shape of the pendants, a smaller pendant should be worn on the shortest necklace in your layered stack and the larger pendants should be worn on the longer layers. Super long necklaces that are over 30 inches long look great with a cluster of pendants as well.

Mixing metals

Mixing metals has become much more popular, especially with the rise in popularity of other coloured metals such as rose gold or black rhodium. If you're a confident accessorizer then try mixing two different metals such as yellow and rose gold for a more classic combination. If you're thinking of something more contemporary then silver or white gold layered with rose gold is an unusually cool combination.

If you like the idea of layering your necklaces in a more minimalist way then definitely keep your necklaces all the same colour of metal; this goes for all the jewellery you're wearing at once as well. If you're a real perfectionist then consider keeping all of the karat colours the same too. This is especially the case with yellow gold as 9ct gold has a very different colour and tone to 24ct gold.

Occasion

Layering shorter necklaces are best for that perfect conference to cocktail day and night. Shorter layers are less likely to draw too much attention and can still look professional without looking too formal or "try hard". Layering a couple of shorter necklaces always looks especially chic when paired with hoops earrings.

If you're dressing for a more glitzy occasion then mixing thicker chains or chunky pieces can make a bolder look. As longer chains are slightly less practical than shorter necklaces they are best worn to parties and events. If you're wearing a few layers or chunkier necklaces then it's best to keep your earrings and bracelets more simple, such as simple stud earrings and a simple bangle bracelet, and let all your necklaces hold all the attention. 

Add some colour

Adding a pop of colour is a great way to add depth and texture to your jewellery. By adding a coloured gemstone or a delicate pendant is one of our favourite ways to do this. Especially if you have a few necklace pendants that can swap between different chains.

If you want to add a completely different layer to a chain necklace then we would recommend mixing a feminine chain with a pearl strand. The pearls will add a completely different texture and contrasting shape to the chain necklace and gives a pretty feminine look to your necklace layers.

It's easy to take for granted the style of chain that you wear especially if you are buying a necklace based on another feature such as the pendant. However, there are so many ways to mix and match your necklaces such as chain thickness, length and link shape.

With these tips and tricks, you'll have something to think about the next time you open your jewellery box. Have fun trying different combinations and lengths to see what your favourite styles are.