Stacking 101: Your Complete Guide to Layering Jewelry

Coco Chanel once said “before leaving the house, a lady should always look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” Sorry, Coco, but today, the rules have changed. This season, think “more is more” instead. Rings, bracelets, and necklaces… nothing is off limits for stacking potential.

Anyone can develop their own style with jewelry layering, but a few guidelines can help keep you at the top of the stacking totem pole. From your most recent purchase to your grandma’s heirloom necklace, old and new finds alike can come together for a fresh look.

Bracelets

Create an eye-catching arm candy look by playing with color and texture. To guarantee a winning arrangement, a large piece creates a focal point for the eye, while smaller pieces of jewelry provide support to the center of attention. Etsy has some gorgeous stacking bracelets we love that won’t break the bank and that make the cut for the supporting arm candy role. For stacking, the more the merrier, just make sure to switch up the size of each accessory, optimizing the cool factor of the bracelets and adding intrigue to the statement. Delicate and dainty details are perfect for this, and are a big hit this season.

All the different bracelet styles  out there make finding the right match easier than ever. Bangles tend to be the easiest style to layer, because their loose fit allows room for other bracelets to follow. Cuffs, similar to bangles, usually come in metal or leather and are wrapped around the wrist. Tennis bracelets are appropriately named – it’s all in the wrist – and are in-line bracelets with linked beads or gems (a great way to create some texture into the stack). Beaded bracelets are most common and provide an easy way to add volume to the layering trend, and simple, delicate bracelets can be the supporting act that go along with any other bracelet type.

Try wearing more bracelets on one arm than the other to avoid looking cluttered. No matter the jewelry types, always consider sticking to one area or else it might seem like you’re playing dress up.

Choosing metal and leather jewelry creates a more formal statement than thread or rope bracelets, which tend to steer the look to the casual side. Silver and gold hues also add to a fancier vibe, while a more informal style is created by throwing in turquoise or coral accents.

Rings

To make a positive look, create a negative space. Adorable, tiny rings now adorn the fingers of the fashion-forward, but stacking looks the best with one finger left mostly bare. A triangle placement (see image below) for the rings creates a balanced structure on the hand and doesn’t overwhelm the eye. But if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, the sky’s the limit – stack as you see fit.

Sometimes it’s difficult to find a midi ring that can be worn without the fear that it’s going to slip right off. When trying out midi rings, be sure to flex the fingers – try texting or tying your shoes and see if the rings feel comfortable.

Hand chains combine rings and bracelets together into one hip, happy medium, so if it’s hard to decide which type of jewelry to stack, a bracelet-ring combo is a unique solution.

Necklaces

In necklace layering, delicate chains allow space to pile on the jewels without creating a clunky or cluttered appearance. Gold necklaces are classic and go well with most outfits, along with gemstones.

Size matters when it comes to necklaces. Pay attention to the length in inches of the necklace, and don’t layer them too closely or you could end up with a tangled mess. Try for at least one inch apart for each necklace. Chains are clustered within two inches each of each other with a longer necklace hanging lower down the neck allows for an asymmetrical appearance that opens up space. Don’t be afraid to play with color. Matching some hues while offsetting them with neutral tones like brown and beige makes for a good balance.

Earrings

If you’re iffy about the layering trend, get your feet -er, ears – wet with more subtle layering using your ears as the canvas. Those not willing to take the plunge and get pierced are in luck, because many ear cuffs don’t require any piercings at all. These bendy cuffs can snap right on the ear for a painless fashion statement that anyone can get on board with.

Tuck away your strands to show off your decked-out lobes, or hide them behind your hair so the accessories peek out occasionally and add an understated element of surprise.

Mixing ear cuffs with earrings layers the design, and earrings that come in every shape and size allow you to experiment with your look. For the brave souls, having multiple piercings makes layering a cinch. Hoops, studs, and dangling earrings can all work together to create an edgy layered jewelry statement.