A How to Guide to Layering Necklaces

Mar 27, 2023

Several years ago, layering necklaces became a hot trend.  I always meant to buy a set of necklaces to layer like a street style savant, but that’s not how it worked out.  The necklaces never paired well and always looked a little clumsy.  Until I learned the secret.

Mastering necklace layering requires an understanding of length and width.  This chart will teach you where each necklace length will reach on the average woman.  The key is to layer different lengths.

As for widths, the layered look has evolved over the past few years.  The current style is to pair necklaces of similar widths and weights.  It’s a slightly daintier, more modern look.  Here are a few styling suggestions.

Herringbone (sometimes called snake) chains are currently in vogue.  This thin herringbone chain from Missoma is a great piece.  Fine enough to last for years, mid-price so it won’t break the bank.  Pair it with Missoma’s malachite pendant for a dash of sophisticated color.

As you can see the chain is delicate width in 16-inches, so it just grazes the collarbone.  The pendant comes with a thin chain with a bit of added texture in an adjustable length that you can wear at 17- or 18-inches.

Need a more affordable chain?  Gorjana has a nice option for under-$100.  If you would prefer a more neutral pendant, try this enamel and stone one instead.

This pairing offers a slightly chunkier paperclip chain with a medium-width tennis necklace.  I really like the interplay between the relaxed, chunky chain and the sparkly, traditional tennis necklace.  The offset feels really unique and cool.

Again, the lengths here are closer together — 16-inch and 17-inch.  Want to keep them from tangling?  Try one of these necklace connectors.

If you’re looking for a different style of tennis necklace, this Kendra Scott option is a little more dramatic in a bezel setting.  It comes in white or yellow metal.  Looking for something lighter?  This Sterling Forever necklace alternates smaller stones for a more delicate look.

This look pairs the styles from both of the first images together in a way that feels totally fresh.  First, I chose a thin, refined Adina Eden tennis necklace in an adjustable 12- to 15-inch length.  If you need more length, grab a set of extenders.  Need a more affordable option?  Try Etsy.

Bring back in the thin chain from Gorjana or Missoma to balance the tennis necklace.  Then, lengthen the look with a traditional pendant.  It draws the eye down and gives a bit of balance in the 17-or 18-inch length.  I couldn’t find a teardrop pendant, so I went with this mini-tag necklace.

Putting this post together, I finally snapped up a couple of necklaces to get the layered look right.  If you have a favorite combination, leave it in the comments.

{this post contains affiliate inks that may generate commission for the author}

How To Wear It, Style

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  1. Cait says:

    My go-to layering combination is a shorter coin necklace with a pendant necklace. A lot of the coin chains (also called disc or sequin necklaces) are sold as chokers, but I wear mine just a little longer so it sits right above my collarbone. I pair it with any of several pendants on a 16″ thin chain.

  2. Kim says:

    Any tips for keeping the necklaces from tangling while you wear them?

  3. mxj says:

    This is my favorite kind of Capitol Hill Style post — “how to” plus some recommended products. Thank you from someone who wore uniforms to school for way too many years and has learned style guidance/”rules” from your blog!

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