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How to Layer Necklaces

Layering takes one necklace from simple to ensemble. It’s basically a declaration of being a bold, stylish person. One, it implies you have the expert eye to know what works together, and two, you have the sense of occasion to take things up a notch. But an effortless layered look depends on your necklace types and placement. Make the most of your jewelry with our necklace layering tips.

Why We Love Layered Necklaces

Elevate Every Outfit

A necklace stack makes your outfit seem more put-together and intentional by multiplying the zhush effect of jewelry. Because even if your pieces aren’t flashy, the fact of wearing them means you took your appearance into account. So add the cohesive vision it takes to layer multiple necklaces? Suddenly your airport outfit or gas station attire becomes thoughtful and balanced.

Flaunt Your Personality

Layering jewelry instantly adds vibes because the pieces speak to each other. You’re also able to showcase more pieces more often and flaunt your full range of taste. Layering allows you to flex your creativity with endless combinations, which is why stacking necklaces is a major jewelry trend.


Multiple necklaces are immediately more dynamic. Layering can make simple pieces more lively and attractive. It can also bring out the best of a statement necklace, with the other layers creating a frame, essentially Voguing your centerpiece.

How to Layer Necklaces

1. Stick to Two Strands

All you need to layer is a friend for your foundational necklace. Think in opposite lengths, like a chunky choker and a pendant chain, and unify them with the same style, color, or metal. The shorter of the two goes first.

2. Showcase a Treasured Pendant

A focal point punctuates a layered look. It’s as easy as pairing a medallion necklace with a shorter chain. But your pendant could be personal, such as an engraved necklace or birthstone, making the layers more of a conversation starter.

3. Layer With Length in Mind

Necklace length is your key coordinator tying the layers together (and what prevents them from literally tying together). Typically, 2” is a safe, stylish distance between each necklace. For reference, picture a 14″ resting on the neck, while 33″ will fall below the chest. Technically there’s a standard men’s chain length necklace for comfort, but length is a matter of style preference.

4. Balance Necklace Style & Thickness

Necklace styles won’t stick together through thick and thin, and that’s the point. Layering your delicate pieces with hefty ones is actually one of the best ways to avoid tangling. And there’s no shortage of chains to choose from: cables, braids, beads, mesh. So even if “chunky” doesn’t sound like your style, it can have a “broad” definition. You can vary shapes and sizes within any range.

How do you stack necklaces without tangling?

Switching up the weight, texture, and material of your layered necklaces can help avoid entanglements. For example, a band necklace won’t dance with a chain necklace, and dainty pieces will stay put under heavier ones. Basically, necklaces of a feather tangle together (nothing against feather necklaces).

But you don’t have to overthink your jewelry. If you’re someone discouraged from layering pieces because you’re haunted by hours of undoing knots, invest in a necklace detangler. It’s a clasp made for separating multiple necklaces.

What to Do if your Necklaces Get Tangled

It takes two to tangle, after all. Hopefully, it will be as quick and convenient as unclasping your necklaces and dangling them to de-twist. But it depends how your necklaces lay together. Read on for layering tips.

Necklace Layering Tips

Layered Necklace FAQs

How do you make layered necklaces look good?

The easiest way to layer is to match metals and stick to one statement piece as your lowest or center layer. For example, a diamond or pearl necklace shouldn’t compete with other layers for attention (unless you want them to).

How do you layer necklaces together?

Start with your shortest necklace, then build. Keep the focus on the top or bottom necklace.

How do you wear two necklaces at once?

Use neckline to determine your necklace type and use necklace length to determine your drape and shape.

How do you choose necklaces?

If your goal is understated, opt for subtle accent necklaces, like paperclips and bars. For that dazzling cascade, shoot for dimension; a long, tasseled lariat always draws the eye.

How many necklaces should you layer?

About 2-4 at a time is standard — avoid the look of Joey wearing Chandler’s clothes. For example, some necklaces, such as a festoon, already have a tiered appearance, so all it needs is a shorter chain for its mate.

Final Thoughts

Investing in a wide assortment of necklaces with varied lengths, colors, and types can ensure you have plenty of options to mix and match. It gives you the flexibility (and flair) to keep your looks fresh, experiment with styles, and find pairings unique to you. You’ll have layers suitable for every outfit, mood, and occasion. Shop all necklaces at Brilliant Earth so that every necklace in your stack is guaranteed to be ethically sourced.

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