Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | March 3, 2011

Forget Mardi Gras – How to Layer Necklaces the Right Way

Honestly, I love layered necklaces as much as I love layered bracelets. I know that many of you are looking at me like, “Come on, Viviana, you don’t think I know how to layer my necklaces?” Apparently, not too many women out there do. If you want to do this right, below are some things to consider before layering your necklaces. But if you want to look like you brought the Mardi Gras party to SoCal, or wherever you may be, by all means keep layering your necklaces like only you can do.

Why do people love these beads so much? El mucho el tacky-io

Neckline
The neckline falls under two extremes. Either non-existent to “hello, girls” (albeit not too much cleavage). Or as they are technically known, crew or v-necks work best with layered necklaces. Crew necks (especially the dresses) look great short and chunky layered necklaces. And since the v- and scoop necks tend to flatter my Pam Anderson look-a-like sisters better, so do the longer layered necklaces.

Body Shape
Layering necklaces is all about creating illusions. For instance, if you have a smaller bust you can use  short, chunky necklaces.  Bigger bust? You probably don’t want to add more volume to the upper body. Instead use longer necklaces to elongate your body. It adds interest, and gives you the illusion of looking thinner because of it draws the eye vertically. And since broad shoulders can be a hallmark of my curvy gals’ figures, layered short and chunky necklaces will do nothing for you. It’s the same reason that the more voluptuous ladies should avoid chokers – your shoulders will look broader, bosoms even more bountiful (thus making you look disproportionate if you are an apple shape) and wider since nothing is drawing the eye up and down; I don’t know about you, ladies, but I don’t think any of that is bueno.

Length
Take a risk and experiment with varying lengths. Asymmetrical lengths look great and unique. But if you feel like channeling your Bree Van de Kamp, layers of the same length can work too; although, these just definitely not be as clunky and chunky. If you’re going for a more simple look, then follow the K.I.S.S. mantra.  Remember Coco Chanel’s adage of add jewelry and take off a piece before walking out the door.

Clothing
In general, solid colors and simple tops work easily for layering. Unless you’ve a knack for blending the unexpected, avoid patterned tops and coats-they can pose a challenge. Collared shirts can look great with layered necklaces and give your work-look a great edge. Or a great monochromatic dress topped off with another (complimenting) monochromatic cardigan. Yes, I love flowy cardigans, paired with your outfit of choice, and layered necklaces.

Mixology
It’s not only for your clothes. It’s great to see high-end and more budget friendly items paired in unique and compelling ways. You look cool and chic effortlessly. Don’t be afraid to mix either. Different and even contrasting necklaces can complement each other in unexpected ways. While patterns on clothing might be a challenge to make work with layered looks, different patterns, designs and/or themes on your necklaces can add interesting texture..

Benefit
You may be wondering why you should even layer your necklaces. There is nothing wrong with a simple strand of pearl’s or a delicate chain with a diamond drop– I love them too. But layering necklaces gives us the opportunity to make our unique statement pieces, without breaking the bank. One of my favorite designers and inspirations, Claudia Endler, has a unique jewelry deigning philosophy. She believes that jewelry is another form of self-expression, and I believe it too. Here is your opportunity to leverage jewelry to make a statement piece.

Inspiration
Use  May Yeung, Charles Krypell, Alex Carol, and Lanvin designs as guides. Even Lindsay Lohan had to have her hands on Pratima Sethi‘s long necklace designs. Maybe Lindsay was a little too inspired though; uhm, you do not need to steal necklaces, ladies.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/spring-street-design-group-multi-bead-necklace/3149044?origin=category&resultback=2705

Wonderful designs that can get you started

Trick
Loop around long necklace twice for the best of both worlds. You can now adjust one strand to be shorter than the other. Any woman – short, tall, thin, zaftig, broad shoulders, breasts the size of mountains or valleys – can pull this look off and you get so much more on your investment in necklaces when you can have multiple looks with them.

After all that Mardi Gras excitement I’ll have to think about how I’ll tone it down for Lent, mmmm…I’m sure I’ll find some fashion inspiration to tie to Lent.  Austere Northern European design anyone?  Say hello to minimalism?

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