How to: Layer Your Necklaces 

Words by Megan Greaney

How to: Layer your Necklaces

Layered jewellery is a major trend in accessories; from stacking rings and layering necklaces to styling earrings in multiple piercings. Layering your necklaces is an easy way to adopt the trend and make it your own – with no piercings required. 

If layering two or more necklaces strikes you as over-the-top, don’t worry; you can style a look that’s as fine and subtle or as bold and statement-making as you like, depending on your choice of necklaces.  

If you’re trying out the layered look for the first time, or if you’re just after some styling inspiration, read our step-by-step guide below for creating your perfect layered necklace look.

Necklace Layering
Pendants

Step 1 – Start with your shortest chain  

Start with a fine, everyday necklace style. You probably have a chain that you wear every day, so this is a natural piece to start your necklace layers with. If you’re just beginning to build your jewellery wardrobe, a timeless chain (in yellow, white, or rose gold, or sterling silver – whichever is your style) will be the perfect foundational style to build your collection around. Putting on your shortest chain first will also make it easy to style your necklace layers, simply by adding a slightly longer chain for each layer.  

We’ve started this look with our 45cm solid cable chain. This chain is perfect for layering, with its classic design that can be mixed and matched with additional styles.

Step 2 - Add a chain with a different length and texture 

Now it’s time to layer! Begin by adding a second chain necklace in a different style to your first one. Mixing your textures will create interest and depth.  

For this look, we’ve layered our 50cm paperclip chain over the cable chain. With its unique, rectangular-link design, it offers subtle contrast to the first layer. However, you could layer any type of chain here that you prefer – read our guide to the different chain types for help to choose the perfect contrasting styles. 

A key tip, aside from mixing your chain textures, is to ensure your necklaces are different lengths. This will create a fashionable tiered look and ensure that each of your necklace styles can be seen.  

Step 3 – Add a pendant

When it comes to layering necklaces, three is the magic number to create an on-trend, statement stack that still feels suitable for everyday wear. And the perfect third layer for your necklace stack is a pendant. A pendant will pull your third chain into a ‘V’ shape for a stunning contrast to your top layers, and create a centrepiece for your necklace look. Wear your pendant on your longest chain so that it can clearly shine through beneath your necklace layers.  

When choosing a pendant, this is the perfect time to add a little personalisation to your look. Consider an initial necklace, with your own initials or those of a loved one; a zodiac necklace; or a symbolic style from our exclusive Collectables range. For this look, we’ve chosen the Evil Eye motif pendant from our Collectables range, which is believed to symbolise protection, worn on our mirror cable chain.  

Step 4 - Mix it up  

If you want to make more of a statement, or change up your look for a special occasion or just because, you can add extra texture, shine, and colour to your necklace layers. 

Add a heavier chain in a new texture, or swap it out with one of your usual layers. Other options include layering an additional pendant necklace; or, you could thread a second pendant onto the same chain as your first. This is a great option for experimenting with colour, such as the blue topaz pendant we have used in this look, or additional sparkle with diamonds, to create a unique and contemporary layered look. 

How can I layer my necklaces perfectly every time? 

Adjustable-length chain

There are a few simple guidelines to help you nail your layered necklace look every time; whether you stack the same few essential pieces each day, or prefer to mix it up with a wide range of styles in your jewellery wardrobe: 

- Mix your chain types and textures, but stick to the same metal colour (for instance, all yellow gold or all sterling silver) for an interesting yet polished look.  

- If you’d like to try mixing your metals, stick to the magic number of three layers – with two pieces in one colour (such as yellow gold), and one in a different colour (we love the contrast of white gold or silver). Wear your single colour as your middle layer to keep it chic and considered.  

- Try to ensure each necklace is a slightly different length, so that every layer can be clearly seen. An adjustable-length chain or necklace will be your hero when it comes to layering! 

- You can mix up the weights of your necklace layers, but make sure your pieces aren’t drastically different in size.  

The most important part of any jewellery look is that it should express your personal style, and create a look that you love to wear! Choose your chain types and pendant styles to create layers that feel like you.  

Shop the Style Guide:

Want to add to, or start building your necklace collection ready to layer? Shop necklaces and pendants online > 

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Words by Megan Greaney

Megan has been a writer for over 10 years, and has been writing content at Michael Hill for over two years where she has gained an extensive knowledge of jewellery – from styling and craftsmanship to materials and stones. With a background that also includes fashion, and studies of Journalism and Anthropology, she is perceptive of the emotions and cultural contexts linked to what we wear.

Last updated 22nd October, 2021