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Article: How To Layer Necklaces: The Ultimate Guide

gold square pendant layered with 3mm gold rope chain

How To Layer Necklaces: The Ultimate Guide

Many people struggle to find ways of layering necklaces in a stylish and cohesive way. For some, this can be an exhaustive and frustrating process, especially if necklaces get tangled during the process. 

Learning how to layer necklaces will save you countless hours and ensure you look stylish whilst wearing your jewellery. 

In this blog post, we cover how to layer necklaces. We go over necklace length, layers, chain type, outfit consideration, tangling and statement pieces. 

Necklace Length

3mm silver Figaro chain and rope chain layered

3mm Stainless Steel Silver Figaro chain And 3mm Silver Rope Chain 20 Inch

When layering, you’ll want to choose necklaces of varying lengths. This is so that you can create the layered effect and ensure all your necklaces are visible and not blocked by each other. 

To do this start with a foundation necklace, this is the shortest necklace and the one closest to your neck. How short a necklace is will depend on an individual neck diameter and will vary from person to person. A good starting point for females is anywhere between 16-18 inches. For males anywhere between 18-20 inches is ideal. 

Now that you’ve set the foundations, it’s time to layer. For the next layer, you’ll want to have a chain that is at least 2 inches longer. As mentioned before this ensures you can see the different necklaces. Most necklaces come in industry-standard lengths that go up by two inches anyways so all you need to do is get a size up!

You’ll want to repeat this process when layering up to three or even four necklaces together. 

You don’t always have to layer different necklaces lengths together. If you have thinner necklaces, layering the same lengths creates the illusion of wearing a thicker chain or necklace. One look we like is layering two necklaces of the same length followed by a longer necklace. 

Now you may be asking, what if I don’t have necklaces that are different in length? Luckily there are a couple of workarounds to this. 

One way is to extend your necklaces using a necklace extender. These can add anywhere from 1-3 inches extra to a necklace saving you time and money buying another chain. 

Another method of creating various necklace lengths is to join necklaces together. Do this by unclasping the two necklaces you want to layer and joining them together. Then wrap them around your neck and join them at both ends like a normal necklace. The benefit of this technique is that you can shorten one of the necklaces by pulling it down one of the necklaces. This method also ensures your chains remain untangled whilst layering. 

Not sure what necklace length to layer? check out our chain length guide.

Number Of Chains

different types of chains

One of the most common questions surrounding how to layer necklaces is how many chains to layer at a time. This will depend on personal preference.

For those starting out, layering two necklaces won't push you out of your comfort zone too much. At the same time, this will keep your jewellery looking simple but still create a statement. 

For those more experienced with layering, play around with layering three necklaces. 

Feeling brave? Why not try layer four necklaces at the same time? This is a lot less common, quite difficult to pull off and will depend on your outfit and the occasion. If your outfit is more simple and utilises plain colours this works well. If your outfit is full of prints and patterns, stay away from this as it creates an overwhelming look. For smarter outfits, you'll want to keep the number of chains to around 2-3 to keep it looking mature and smart. 

Necklace Types And Styles

gold katana pendant and 3mm gold Figaro chain

Gold Katana Necklace  And Gold 18k 3mm Figaro Necklace

Another way to play around with layering necklaces is to mix up different chain types and styles. 

A simple way to do this is to mix up the type of necklace you layer. From chains, chokers, bibs, collars, lockets and pendant necklaces, the possibilities are endless. Mix and match different styles to find a look that is personal to you!

Another way of mixing necklace styles is to use varying weights and thicknesses. Mixing both chunky and delicate necklaces creates a dynamic look that maximises style. For a more cohesive look, match necklace thicknesses when layering. 

The final way to layer different necklaces is to mix metals and colours. Layer on necklaces of different metals like gold and silver to create a statement. Mixing metals was once considered a fashion don't, but is starting to become popular in 2023. When done with intent, mixing metals creates a unique look. 

Learn more about the different types of necklaces you can layer by reading our blog post on the different styles of chain necklaces you should know about.

Styling Based On Outfit

3mm herringbone chain and rope chain in gold layered

3mm Gold Herringbone Necklace And 18ct Gold Rope Chain

Another important aspect to consider when deciding on how to layer necklaces is the type of outfit you plan on wearing your necklaces with. 

For formal outfits, you’ll want to keep layering to two chains to keep that smart feel. You'll want to opt for layering thinner necklaces together to keep it simple. We also recommend matching necklace materials to create a cohesive and classy look. 

For informal or casual outfits, feel free to experiment with layering. Simplistic casual outfits are perfect for layering more necklaces to dress them up. One of the benefits of styling with a casual outfit is that you can take more risks when layering. Play around with thickness, colour, chain type and length to find something you'll love! For this, we recommend layering three chains at the most. 


Adding Statement Pieces

gold Anubis pendant and 3mm Figaro chain gold layered

Gold Anubis Necklace and Gold 3mm Figaro chain 

A statement piece is any piece of jewellery worn for the sole purpose of being the main focus point. Adding a statement piece to your necklace layering is like adding the cherry on top for styling. 

One statement piece that looks great with necklaces is a pendant. The first way to do this is to add a pendant necklace over your layered necklaces. If you feel you have too many necklaces layered on already then attach a pendant bail to the necklace. When layering a pendant and necklace, having the pendant hang lower down is a best practice. Learn more about pendants by reading our blog post which covers everything you need to know about pendants.

Adding statement pieces can be as simple as layering on a thicker chain. A tip for this is to ensure your thicker chain is the shortest necklace when layering. This is because most people's gaze falls on the chain closest to the neck when they first look at you. 


Avoiding Tangling

gold icarus pendant and Figaro chain

Gold Icarus Necklace And 3mm Gold Cuban Link

This wouldn’t be a complete guide on how to layer necklaces without talking about tangling. Here are some tips to avoid tangling when layering. 

  • Choose necklaces that are varying in length
  • Wear chunkier chains and necklaces 
  • Before layering ensure your necklaces don’t already have any tangles.
  • When layering necklaces of different thicknesses, start with the thinner chain and then the chunky chain. The chunkier chain will keep the thinner chain weighed down and as a result, reduce tangling. 
  • Buy a necklace separator. 

For more information, read our blog on how to layer necklaces without tangling.

If you find yourself with tangled necklaces, here are some things you can do:

  • Lay your necklaces on a flat surface and use a needle or finger to undo the knots. 
  • Hang your necklace from one side and let gravity unravel the knots. 

If these don’t work, then don’t worry we’ve got you covered! Have a read of our blog which goes through 4 easy ways to untangle a chain necklace


We hope this gives you a better understanding of the best way to layer necklaces. We covered necklace length, layers, chain type, outfit considerations, tangling and statement pieces. 

Now that you know how to layer necklaces, you’ll have no problems putting together an outfit and stacking necklaces together in a stylish way! 

Layering is a great way to express personality and identity. There is no right or wrong way to layering and is a matter of individual preference!

Want to learn more about chain necklaces including what they are, the different types and how to wear them? check out our ultimate guide to chain necklaces

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