It started with bracelets and bangles. For several seasons, street style bloggers piled on a motley crew of jewelry and dubbed the look an “arm party.” Maybe the neck got jealous, because now the on-trend look is all about the dainty dailies, layered, of course.

How to layer necklaces |

On the left, a three-piece short necklace includes a crystal pendant, black chain and a chain with small gold balls, $70. A three chandelier necklace on the right is three individual necklaces, but is sold as one, $95; both at Vignette in Brentwood, TN.

Gone are the bib-like necklaces with bold gemstones that evoke a Cleopatra-like vibe. Instead, style pundits are snatching up delicate necklaces that, when worn solo, are feminine and simple. But fashion being fashion, that cunning creature that forces us to reimagine and create art and identity with what we wear, is not content with simple.

The pieces are meant to be layered, a sort of DIY statement necklace you create by layering three or four pieces at a time. Daily dainties make everyone a jewelry stylist. And since you can change the look by subbing in one necklace for another, the trend gives you amazing flexibility.

How to layer necklaces |

The key to the layered look is to make it appear effortlessly chic. Pictured from longest to shortest: long 48-inch pyrite chain, doubled, $395; 18K gold pendant on long pyrite chain, $1,725; shorter pyrite chain, $150; brown diamond necklace, $1,750; gold loop chain with black diamond bead, $1,200; from Cindi Earl in Nashville, TN

Before you throw the contents of your jewelry box around your neck, a few tips are in order. You want to look effortlessly chic. Weird, I know, since you are actually taking the time to fasten several necklaces around your neck, which is the very definition of effort. However, a slapdash approach to layering will result in more crazy-Aunt-Edna than on-trend. Not to mention that different clothing styles require different dainties. Here’s what you need to know to achieve the look:

How to layer necklaces |

The 14K shield necklace, $435, and the Lexington necklace with pearl, $169, are available at Ex Voto in Birmingham, AL.

Start at the top

Your first piece should always be the shortest necklace of the bunch. A slim, 16-inch choker, a dainty pendant or a circle of gemstones or pearls is the starting point, if you are wearing a scoop-neck top, blouse or T-shirt.

The only time you don’t want a shorter necklace as your base? If you are wearing a boat-neck top or any shirt with a high neckline. If your necklace “fights” the neckline of your shirt or top, start layering below the neckline.

How to layer necklaces |

Your first piece should always be the shortest necklace of the bunch. Pictured here (top to bottom) from Spruce in Brentwood, TN, feather necklace by Louisa Guild, $124; beaded necklace by Goodman Spalding, $118; arrowhead necklace by Betsy Pittard, $102

Chain change

Now you’re ready to start your personality profile accessory. Add necklace number two, choosing a longer piece. Even an inch or two longer will work, but if you are filling in a deep V neckline, you can drop down several inches.

Keep things interesting by choosing a different chain for your second accessory element. If your base piece has a subtle, delicate chain, perhaps choose a bold link or a rice-bead chain.

If you are fearless when it comes to fashion, mix it up even more with a different metal. Layer gold, rose gold or silver.

Layering necklaces

Left, 16-inch gold-filled chain with golden druzy ($68), 18-inch rose gold chain with yellow and copper jasper ($58), 24-inch, gold-filled chain with electroplated pink and yellow agate druzy with lemon quartz ($210) at Cindy Borders. Right, a gold rhinestone rose pendant ($49), long linked gold chain ($75), gold tassel with faceted turquoise drop ($79) at W&M Custom Jewelry, both in Louisville, KY

Long and lean

Make your longest piece a bit on the heavy side if you are filling in a deep V neckline. Pendants work great, since the weight of the bauble adds a long visual that frames the other two necklaces.

Cale & Cole's stone-stickle-necklace-116-black-onyx-rectangle-82-athena-coin-necklace-128-black-druzy-necklace-145

Pendants work great, since the weight of the bauble adds a long visual that frames the other two necklaces. This is from Cale & Cole. The stone stickle necklace is $116, followed by the black onxy rectangle for $82. The athena coin necklace is $128 followed by the black druzy necklace for $145.

Keep it personal

Once you understand the basics of length and layering options, you can play with jewelry designs that will create a one-of-a-kind accessory.

Want to make it uber-personal? Use initials, zodiac signs or other engraved words (hometown, zip codes or favorite sports teams) to make your accessory style even more your own.

For a sophisticated style, try simple chains in varying lengths for a subtle, but sexy, look.

For an interesting visual contrast, add a horizontal bar necklace to break up the lines of necklaces that are mostly vertical.

Layering necklaces

These 14K white and yellow gold necklaces with diamond accents are from Anatra Jewel in Nashville, TN. Shortest triangle diamond, $395; middle, $350; longest, $525.


More is more

Don’t think you have to stop at three necklaces. Adding piles of necklaces is one of the oldest tricks in the style book to give you a sophisticated, slightly boho look. (Think Coco Chanel and her piles of pearls … timeless and oh-so-chic!)

Go ahead! Start layering necklaces for an easy on-trend look!