Elevating your wardrobe or switching up your style can be as easy as reevaluating your accessories. The first step is to take inventory of the pieces you have and think about how you currently wear them. Next, you'll want to consider the trends — what's hot, what's not, and what styling techniques always seem to come back around. For example, if you have a collection of chains and stranded pendants you'd normally wear one at a time, learning how to layer necklaces might be the key to updating your look.
The stacking necklaces trend, which is still going strong in 2021, begs the question: Why wear one when you can wear multiple? Still, chains-on-chains assemblage isn't always as effortless as it seems. These types of accessories seem to tangle together just sitting in a jewelry box, let alone swinging around a neck all day long. So what's the secret to making them stay in place, and to look as perfectly layered as they do on Gigi Hadid and Rihanna?
We reached out to Rachel Gindi, founder of Oradina jewelry, to give us her best tips.
Everyone has a certain necklace length that's most flattering, so it's important to test a few lengths and see which one works best for you, Gindi tells InStyle. Once you have that base, think of it as the foundation on which you can layer up.
"[You can] keep it 2 inches apart for something more subtle, or go super long with the second length for a dramatic look," Gindi says. "Any way you go, having that foundation is always the start."
Even though the act of layering literally encourages you to add on to your look, the golden rule still applies.
"Remember, we're going for that 'cool girl who just threw these two together without even thinking about it' look," Gindi says. "You'll want to stick to no more than 3 here. Anything more than that might be overdoing it."
"When layering three necklaces, you want the attention to go to the top necklace and the bottom necklace," Gindi says, adding that the middle necklace should be something clean and simple. "If you choose to include only one pendant, go for the bottom. I personally love doubling instead of tripling because I like to give people the chance to focus on each piece individually."
If you've gone for a neutral or strictly monochromatic look with your clothing, adding a vibrant pendant necklace or chain can serve as the pop of color you're missing. As for where in the stack said color should lie, Gindi suggests focusing on the shorter chain because it's the closest to your face, and therefore can highlight some of your features.
Also, you might want to incorporate just a hint of color when layering necklaces, in order to "keep things from looking too busy," she suggests. "It will also make any stones seem more expensive if there is only one. Less is more here."
When layering pendants with different shapes, pay attention to how the shapes work together. Layering a pendant with a chain necklace is an easy way to get around that. Make the chain more of a choker with the pendant hanging down long or keep the pendant up high with a more bold chain around. This is a great way to freshen up a pendant or chain you've been wearing for years.
Layered necklaces can upgrade an otherwise 'lazy' look. For example, if you're lounging in sweats, Gindi tells InStyle that pulling a few necklaces together with a clean pair of studs is the perfect combination to take your comfy attire up a notch.
For a crewneck or V-neck, she suggests mixing chains with pendants to draw more attention to your jewelry than your outfit, while a crisp pullover calls for doubling elegant chains.
"I love a choker paired with an extra-long chain or lariat necklace for a formal event," Gindi says. According to her, the key is to go with something dainty, that way your jewels won't "overpower your outfit."