The perfect tousled hair, the rips in your designer jeans, necklace layering – it’s true that looking effortless takes work. While we can’t help with your hair or the trousers, our necklace layering style guide has all the steps to creating a flawless layered look. No matter if you want to stack on the chains like a ‘90s rapper or keep it sleek and minimal, following these tips will ensure a cohesive and stylish look every time.
Layering all starts with your foundation – that is, your outfit. A v-neck shirt isn’t the best base for layering because of the strong cut of the neckline. A crewneck, round-neck t-shirt or a shirt with the top buttons undone is the ideal bedrock to lay your accessories on. These necklines don’t compete for attention and allow all the focus to be on the jewellery.
The trick to achieving the perfect layered look is to start with the centrepiece accessory. This could be a pendant, chain or colourful bead necklace. It’s the star of the show and will dictate the direction your layering takes.
A centrepiece doesn’t mean a statement piece of jewellery. Layering is about creating depth, a statement necklace is designed to stand on its own.
Your focal necklace should be of medium size or thickness, or smaller. It should be the most interesting item you add to the look but never overpowering.
Now that you have a starting point, it’s time to begin layering.
Take a look at your centrepiece: what colours does it incorporate? What metal is it made out of? Is its surface polished or matte?
To create a cohesive look, all these elements – colour, finish, texture, material and metal – should be, if not the same, at least similar throughout your layers.
This doesn’t mean they have to match exactly. Bring in complementary elements that harmonise with the centrepiece. Here are some examples:
If the centrepiece is a medium-thickness gold chain, pair it with a thinner gold chain.
If your centrepiece is a cross pendant on a silver chain, bring in another silver chain with a different link pattern.
If your centrepiece is a multi-coloured beaded necklace with muted tones, incorporate a metal chain with a similar hue to the beads.
There is an eternal struggle of necklace layering that has plagued man since the dawn of time: tangles.
Avoid this by selecting necklaces of different lengths. Not only will this save you from picking them apart at the end of the day or night, but it also adds depth to your layering.
There are different ways you can approach length when layering. You could create a ladder effect with multiple layers of various lengths. You could use length to draw the eye or you could work with the natural lines of your face shape. Hint: smaller face shapes look best with necklaces closer to their jawline, whereas longer features benefit from dangling chains.
Two men who are known for their layering finesse are Lenny Kravitz and Harry Styles.
Kravitz at the 2022 Grammys wore an assortment of silver chains against a chainmail shirt that had a deep chest opening. The necklaces pulled the eye down so that the focus was on the outfit. The longer chains complemented its neckline as well as Kravtiz's long face shape. All these factors ensured that, even with an over-the-top outfit and multiple accessories, he didn’t look overpowered.
In contrast, Harry Styles prefers chokers in his layering. This keeps the focus near his face and works in harmony with his smaller shape. His style consists of beaded or pearl necklaces tight to his throat with a slighter longer pendant for balance. Sometimes he goes for multiple short necklaces but even then, they have a small amount of distance between them.
The brilliant thing about necklace layering is that, when it’s done using the steps above, you always come across as effortlessly stylish.
But the great thing about breaking these rules is that you look like a fashion maverick, daring to be different.
Mixing metals, blending textures and finding new combinations shouldn’t be feared. See this style guide as just that, a guide. Tateossian accessories encourage self-expression and experimentation. Whether you’re choosing layered or statement pieces, our range of luxury necklaces for men is the start of finding your unique style.