I’ve noticed a switch in the sort of jewelry that’s catching my eye lately. Chunky statement pieces aren’t gone completely but are definitely losing some ground to delicate jewelry you can layer and wear on the daily. The idea of picking things that call to you, throwing them on, and going certainly sounds easy enough, but a devoted dresser starts to realize there are some questions that beg answering. What lengths are best to combine? How do you keep pieces from hopelessly, frustratingly tangling? And is it really OK to wear your jewelry from shower to gym to bed?
Sydney Evan Gold and Diamond Initial Necklace, $595, sydneyevan.com and Diamond and Lightning Bolt Necklace, $495, sydneyevan.com
Rule #1: Keep the most delicate pieces closest to the neck
“Layering necklaces looks the most balanced when you wear tiny delicate pieces close to the neck on shorter chains, and stagger your chain lengths for additional necklaces. The larger pendants tend to work best on longer chain lengths,” Rosanne Karmes, founder and designer of Sydney Evan (with celeb fans like Kerry Washington, Emma Stone, and Zoe Saldana), told me.
Rule #2: All types of bracelets go together
Don’t think you have to wear skinny chains with skinny chains, bangles with bangles. “I love to play with different silhouettes and styles to create a more dimensional and interesting look. Combining charm bracelets with cuffs gives a stack more personality,” Dana Gordon of Dana Rebecca explained (you’ve seen her creations on names like Taylor Swift and Miranda Kerr).
Rule #3: Mix metals fearlessly
Days of thinking gold and silver needed to be kept far, far away from each other are basically done. Karmes said she loves the look and suggests playing with either yellow or rose gold alongside black rhodium.
Dana Rebecca Allison Joy Sapphire Necklace, $715, danarebeccadesigns.com and Rose-Gold Long Diamond Bar Necklace, $990, danarebeccadesigns.com
Rule #4: Keep bold color at a minimum
“A pretty pop of color” adds lightness and fun to a layered look, Gordon said, but you want to be wary of overwhelming the finished vibe. Play it safe by picking one signature piece in a bolder hue and keeping the rest as neutral stones or metal chains and charms.
Rule #5: Avoid tangles before they even happen
“Every once in a while, find the charm on a necklace and center it, making sure the clasp is in the back,” said Karmes. “That usually does the trick!” If you’re past the precautionary stage, copy Gordon’s tactic and go at the offending chain with tweezers.
Rule #6: Remove pieces before sleeping and working out
Part of this is personal preference: If keeping your everyday stuff on everywhere feels right, go for it (I routinely sleep in earrings and two skinny gold bracelets and have never had a problem). “Personally, I always recommend removing jewelry for sleeping, exercising, swimming, and showering,” said Karmes. “They can become tarnished or dirty when exposed to the elements, and I prefer not to accelerate the process. One of the first things I do when I get home is remove jewelry and store it in a safe place until the next morning when I’m ready to chose the treasures for the next day.” If taking it all off seems exhausting, consider removing just necklaces since they’re most likely to tangle and break.