Why wear one necklace when you can wear two, three or four? Layering chains and pendants is a way to express yourself, to make a nuanced statement, and an excuse to wear all the jewellery.
You will have seen the trend – different styles, contrasting metals, textures and chain lengths, variations in weight – all over the catwalks and editorials, but this is a trend that has zipped straight to the street.
And no wonder – layers are an easy way of making a statement with jewellery that isn’t necessarily ‘statement’, and you probably don’t even need to go out and buy anything to build yourself a whole new look or ten.
There are no rules, this is a time to find your own style. Perhaps you’ll layer and layer gold chains. Pair chunky necklaces with a delicate choker. Wear multiple coins until you look like you’ve just emerged from a dive into a treasure chest. Go minimal and stick to simple chains, or pile on pendants. It’s all about mixing and matching and building your own look.
Lengths are key; look at proportions and choose your necklaces accordingly. Try three or more chains that sit at different points; your neck, your collarbone, and lower.
Need a little guidance to start you off? Kat Collings, Editor of Who What Wear has developed five standardised formulas to nail the look. “Editor confession: Layering necklaces totally throws me for a loop. I find it to be one of the hardest fashion skills to master, so in a somewhat self-motivated move, I decided to demystify the art once and for all. If you struggle with the skill as well, scroll to check out a breakdown of the components of five well-executed layered looks and everything you need to replicate your favourite combination. After reading this, you'll never again question how to layer necklaces; instead, you'll have a strong jewellery game every time.”
Kat’s golden combinations
14” + 18” dainty necklace
2 x 20” coin necklaces
14” choker + 16” dainty necklace + 24” charm
14” choker + 16” small chain necklace + 24” pendant
16” dainty + 18” large chain + 20” charm
We have tried out these formulas and guess what? They work. Here are some links to Arlette Gold necklaces that fit the bill, lengthwise – you just have to pick your favourites!
Wilthings Collectables do this beautifully, in both gold and silver. Wear their Choker or Coin necklaces with Sweet As Honey, Magic, Matisse or Pebble or with A Weathered Penny's Hera Interlock Necklace.
2 x 20” Coin necklaces
Again Wildthings Collectables nail it with their Magic and Sweet As Honey necklaces. But you don't have to stick to coins - try it with any of Wildthing's 20" chains - Sweet As Honey, Magic and Matisse all work with the Pebble.
14” choker + 16” dainty/small + 24” charm/pendant
Try Sarah Cavender's 15" snake chain, Rachel Jackson's Mini Sun Goddess and Shlomit Ofir's Long Coin necklace. Switch the Snake for Wildthing's Collectables Choker and add A Weathered Penny's Hera Interlock and Willow Necklaces.
And here are some examples of our freestyle layering – no formulas required:
Switch it up with Wildthings Collectables Coin, Ottomans Hand's Sun and Shlomit Ofir's Long Coin Necklaces; or with Wildthing's Collectables Choker, Rachel Jackson's Mini Sun Goddess and Electric Goddess Statement Sun Necklace (which at 30" is a bit longer).
Mix up Sarah Cavender's snake and double twist necklaces - pieces that are made for layering.
Shop How We Layer for more.