Layering necklaces is one of my favorite ways to add dimension and visual interest to a simple outfit. Today I’m sharing a few of my tips for how to layer necklaces, and some favorite combinations.
Layering necklaces or other types of jewelry is a great way to add impact and one or more focal points to an outfit. I’ve received a few requests for tips on selecting and combining necklaces, so thought I’d put together some ideas starting with two new (to me) necklaces from recent French Kande “stack up” collections (both gifted). The first one is from the most recent “Tissé” collection, and the second from the De la Mer stackup.
Pearls with vintage medallion (c/o)
(I selected the “Mercier” medallion)
Long-time readers may know that I’ve been a BIG fan of French Kande jewelry for many years now. One of the things I love most is the feminine-with-an-edge aesthetic. I’m charmed by the vintage French medallions (which Kande has collected at various French flea markets) that are at the heart of the brand. And I love that you can build a collection over time, that older pieces will coordinate nicely with newer ones.
Both of these new necklaces look great worn on their own, but can also be a great starting point for a layered look. With just two other necklaces already in my collection, I was able to create a few different looks.
How to layer necklaces
This “Y” necklace from the earlier “Os” collection is a nice choice for a casual look. The metal is the same in both (brass), but other than that, the necklaces are different enough to not look too matchy.
For a slightly more dressed up look, here I’ve doubled a long pearl strand with brass “Cuvée” pendants. This could also work to fill in a v-neck, or if you’re wearing a blazer that buttons at the waist.
With a collared top, you could also wear the shorter necklace underneath the collar, with the longer one in front. This works well with longer jackets or blazers, and creates a nice vertical line.
I like the mix of the different shapes of pearls here. Again, they’re similar, but not matchy. The short necklace has both silver and brass metal colors, so you could go either way with the metal in the second necklace.
You can also pair necklaces with different pearl or stone/bead colors, though I think it works best when you stick with warm + warm or cool + cool.
And if you don’t like wearing longer necklaces, these two look fantastic worn together!
More tips for layering necklaces & other jewelry
Whether your accessorizing style is minimal or Iris Apfel-esque, here are a few tips to help your jewelry look pulled-together.
Think similar, but different
You want to have one or two elements that tie the pieces together, whether it’s metal tone, texture, aesthetic (minimal sleek vs. Bohemian beads & feathers, for example), materials, shapes, or color. But then you can vary the other elements.
- I like to keep the visual weight of pieces relatively close (very delicate pieces will usually get lost when paired with chunky ones). But wearing all pieces of the same visual weight can be boring, so vary it slightly.
- If you’re wearing multiple pendants, vary the shape.
- Start with pieces you wear most and feel most comfortable in, then add from there.
- Think about how many focal points you want in an outfit. When I’m layering necklaces, for example, I don’t add statement earrings or a lot of different bracelets. But it’s about what feels right for you.
- Play around with proportions until you find what lengths of necklaces work best for you. The types of clothing items you wear most will also determine your best jewelry styles.
- Don’t save your “best” pieces for “someday.” WEAR your favorites. (Pearls especially, benefit from contact with the oils in your skin!)
- Get yourself a jewelry polishing cloth (gold | silver). It’s much easier on some stones and oxidized finishes than chemical cleaners.
Very helpful post! Do you have a link for your bracelet?
Hi Barb, thanks, and yes here it is: https://bit.ly/3U3ZEaV
Great jewellery ideas and loving the new French bob on you , really suits your style .
Thanks very much, Lyn!
Love the necklaces!!! Gorgeous pieces. I have a question about the 1st necklace…. Is it heavy around your neck. ?
Thanks, Donna! I don’t find it heavy, and have worn for hours with no discomfort.
I have always admired your jewelry choices and tried to emulate them. Thanks for this post. BTW I love your hair.
Thanks very much, Susan!
I am a winter and only wear silver. Does she have any in that?
Yes! Almost all of the pieces are also available in a silver finish.
You look as gorgeous as I’ve ever seen you in respect to the colors you are wearing, the jewelry selection, your hair. The camel with the red!! And then that gorgeous chocolate brown silk blouse – that is a knock out! The jewelry is just spot on. Although a bit over my budget, the ideas can be implemented at any price point and I am appreciative for the great tips!
Thanks very much, Denise!
Susan, the haircut is gorgeous!
Thanks, Lee Ann!
Love your new haircut! And thank you for these tips on layering jewelry. I enjoy your content.
This is indeed a very cute hairdo!
Your new haircut is lovely. I think it’s perfect.
Good tips, Susan. Love your new haircut and the brown Frame shirt–it’s such an interesting twist on a classic style.
The jewellery is nice but it’s the new do that’s really exciting. The cut and colour is fabulous on you. Never better. Brava.
Thanks for the great ideas! I especially love the brass Lourdes necklace with pearls. I do have a tiny difference of opinion – I think it looks more modern to mix a heavier piece with a few more delicate necklaces. There aren’t any real rules…. wear what you love!
Hi Susan – I’ve been following you for several years! You were the impetus for me buying a couple French Kande necklaces. I love them, but they’ve become quite tarnished ( almost black ).Do you use silver polish on your necklaces? I can’t seem to get them clean. How do you store yours? Btw, I also love your haircut! I let my hair go silver. too, furing covid. Definitely see the need for different clothing and makeup colors!
Hi Jami, thanks very much! I recommend the jewelry polishing cloths I’ve linked to at the bottom of the post. They will clean and remove tarnish without removing the oxidized effect that makes the pieces unique. When not in regular rotation, store the pieces in the black jewelry bags.
You look fab Susan, your hair is great , that longer fringe really suits you! Jewellery is good too, I particularly like the y-shaped necklace.
What is that lipstick you’re wearing, I want one!!
Hi Julia, thanks! It’s Chanel Rouge Coco, in color #416 “Coco.” https://bit.ly/3TOz05Z
Your hair and the jewelry look great Susan!
Love the haircut, but it is so hard to find anyone who will do that cut. I have taken your photo along three times, said “shaggy pixie and bed-head,” but each time and they gave me a short (very short) precision cut bob anyway. As if I had shown them a picture of Dorothy Hamill and said: “This is what I want, but make it a few inches shorter. “) I know I’m in trouble when they shave my neck (“Oh, it’s just a little.”) I’m running out of salons in my area. What are the magic words?
That new bob is awesome ! Your best style ever!
I agree with Florida Lyn in that I can”t get the cut even when I show the hairdresser the pictures from October 2020. What is a good name for this cut? I think it is a vertical cut but must have a professional name…I really like your hair cut, 2020 and 2022…..Help!
Hi Esther, thanks! This is a French bob, with some layers.
I completely agree with Florida Lyn and Esther about hairdressers who do their own thing and ignore your request — either because they don’t know what they’re doing or they don’t know how to do what you ask. I recently broke up with my hairdresser after she ignored/refused my request. Life is too short! But now there’s the struggle to find a new hairdresser — it’s worse than a divorce, LOL.
Gorgeous colors in today’s post — you are a walking advertisement for the power of wearing the right colors.
Great post Susan! I wear a lot of long pendant necklaces because I wear high neck tops for sun protection and this gives a better line. But I’ve always struggled with collared shirts and necklaces so I will try your idea, you look so stylish!
This isn’t about jewelry but your red sweater. I went to the Uniqlo site and like the red sweater but it’s hard to tell if it veers cool or warm. As a winter it’s often hard to differentiate reds and greens online. Any advice at figuring out colors online?
Yes, determining colors online can really be confounding. Some retailers add filters to all of their images which skews everything. And even if they don’t, getting colors to reflect accurately in photos is sometimes difficult. I don’t have any foolproof methods, and sometimes I’ve had to return items because the color wasn’t as shown on the website. On my monitor, that Uniqlo sweater looks like a cooler red.
Great post. Some good suggestions for combining necklaces which can be tricky.