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Layering Part 2: Distinctive, Comfortable, Creative

I last wrote to you about layering your jewelry and promised you some concrete advice. Just to remind you, I told you that:

“We want to be distinctive, comfortable, and creative. We want our style to be easy and a la mode without being too crazy. We want it to last till we are sick of it and we mostly prefer quality with some junk thrown in for good measure."

Layered Gemstone Necklaces

What works: Joie de vivre

If you like light necklaces and pendants, then wear three or four at a time. Shown here is a client who owns many of my colored gem pieces.

She’s gotten attached to the peach sapphire pendants and wore them every day during the pandemic. I don’t think she takes them off. When she picked up the Montana sapphire Cascade necklace, she just “had” to wear it. I know this could be confusing for some of us, but I have lots of clients who just wear what resonates as part of their style or their “gear.” The group of pieces around her neck are all gold and fine sapphires. They do coordinate because they either contrast or pick up colors scattered throughout the other necklaces.

This wear-it-all-together idea works really well when we combine pearls and chains, beads with small pendants, or two different ropes of pearls. Shown here is a 50” strand of akoya pearls with an antique, French gold chain.


These two necklaces can be wrapped to different lengths and their contrast lusters complement one another. If you don’t have some very long chains or pearls in your collection, give me a call. It’s a fun, hot look.

What works: Old and New

Here you see like pieces of differing lengths. This works because they are related in weight and scale, yet different enough in texture or color to make a statement.


Wrists, too: Wide, narrow, different, similar… it’s all good!

In the bracelet photo, I’m layering a hammered pure silver cuff, a 22KT curb chain, and a teeny accent chain that I never take off. Clearly, this combo works because of the contrasting metal color, the textural subtleties, and varying widths.

So, to sum up, a few tips: When layering, vary the textures so that each piece stands out but together, they are having a dialogue. This works really well when chains are all one color of metal, or related in feeling, or are the same style but different colors.

Create relationships through color, texture, and style. If one piece is pearl, use a pearl somewhere else in the collection. Or, if one piece is diamond, use one other piece that has something white or shiny in it to relate back to the diamond.

Think about scale and coordinate a variety of scales if you are using a large necklace or bracelet as the starting point.

Or, wear what you want and be happy. There are really no rules.

Hugs from the studio,