How to Layer Necklaces Like an Expert

Top stylists offer advice on how to master the natural diamond layered necklaces trend.

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Marquise cut and pave diamonds set within gold layered necklaces from Sara Weintstock
Sara Weinstock

When it comes to one of the hottest jewelry trends, one is never enough. Wearing layered necklaces (also known as a neckmess) is a stylish way to mix and match natural diamond jewelry, from sleek rivière diamond chokers to playful charms, to create a personal style statement.

“Layered necklaces are a hot trend right now because they allow people to tell a story through their jewelry,” says celebrity stylist Cristina Ehrlich, whose high-profile clients include Margot Robbie and Penelope Cruz. “A necklace with charms is a representation of personal items curated over time and it is very unique to your own story.” It’s not just the diamond necklaces you choose, observes Ehrlich, but it’s also how you layer them that defines your individuality—whether your signature style includes dainty layers or a few big, bold statement necklaces.

Multicolored round cut diamonds extended from gold layered necklaces from Jenna Blake
Jenna Blake
Natural diamond layered necklaces worn by California designer Jennifer Meyer in a casually elegant style
California designer Jennifer Meyer wears layers of natural diamond necklaces in a casually elegant style.
Lozenge cut, marquise cut, and pave diamonds set within gold layered necklaces and chokers from Jenna Blake
Lana Jewelry

Tips for the Best Neckmess

Artfully arranged, stacked or thrown together in a neckmess, the layered necklace trend is a versatile way to wear natural diamond jewelry. If you want a relaxed style, layer a fringe diamond necklace with diamond beads and a big heart pendant necklace over a T-shirt and jeans. If the occasion calls for glamour, a diamond line choker paired with pavé diamond chains of varying lengths makes a statement. The possibilities are limitless.

However, the messy look isn’t for everyone, says Los Angeles-based designer Jenna Grosfeld of Jenna Blake Jewelry. “I love mixing textures, patterns, colors and shapes in one look, but some people prefer a more understated style with sleek layered chains and diamond accents.” She first started wearing the layered look a few years ago because she couldn’t pick just one favorite necklace to put on.

“My philosophy has always been to wear what you love, and the rest will come together.”

Blake starts building a layered necklace look by asking her clients to choose a focal point, which is usually the first piece that catches their eyes. It might be a pavé diamond crescent moon pendant or a diamond chain, and from there, they curate a collection. “I’m teaching my clients to appreciate the process of curating and collecting jewelry,” says Grosfeld. Currently, she says, women are seeking necklaces and charms with meaning, such as hearts, moons and stars.

Cristina Ehrlich advises limiting your layered look to just two to four necklaces, and varying the lengths based on your outfit and neckline so that they remain visible and don’t overlap. “Mixing chains with pendant necklaces is a dynamic combination,” she says. Among her favorite designers creating diamond pieces for layered looks are Melinda Maria, Jennifer Zeuner, Zoe Chicco, Jewelry by Olivia K and Jenny Bird.

Emerald gemstone and pave diamonds set within gold layered necklaces from Anita Ko
Anita Ko
Pave diamonds set within layered gold and silver pendant necklaces featuring western inspired rope ties from Marla Aaron
Marla Aaron

Round cut diamonds set within gold layered necklaces featuring diamond encrusted pendants from Jade trau
Jade Trau
Marquise cut and pave diamond set within silver layered necklaces from Shay Jewelry
Shay Jewelry

“Choose a unifying theme,” suggests Rachel Garrahan, British Vogue’s Jewelry and Watch director, “such as all diamond pieces, and you can mix both necklace styles and lengths, and vintage and contemporary pieces.”

Some of the best style inspiration for the layered necklace trend can be found on Instagram where designers and brands, including Anita Ko, Messika, Marco Bicego and Tiffany & Co., feature layers of every variety, from sleek paperclip link necklaces with diamond accents to fluid snake chains and thick curb link necklaces covered in diamonds. Many are topped off with long pendant necklaces featuring statement charms and amulets. Whatever your style, the layered necklace look is a perfect way to express your individuality.

For more Fall 2020 natural diamond jewelry trends, click here.