How to Layer Jewelry, According to Jewelry Designers

Courtesy of Aurate
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To be skilled at layering jewelry is not unlike being proficient in the arts. Well-chosen necklaces, a spectacular ring stack, or a masterful earring arrangement are all worthy of applause if not deserving of a standing ovation. OK, that's slightly dramatic. But you follow our jewelry-minded gusto, yes? Half the fun of building a jewelry collection is figuring out fresh ways to layer your favorite pieces — that and showcasing as many of them as possible without looking like a try-hard.

Of course, certain outfits call for varying layers of jewelry. An everyday ensemble like a t-shirt and jeans is the perfect canvas for a mix of chains, bracelets, and earrings. The same goes for clothing you'd wear to the office or for a professional event; personal pieces that read subtle and sophisticated are key. However, statement earrings or a unique pendant is entirely appropriate, too. Dressier moments like a wedding or party are the perfect occasion to go bolder with your jewelry layers. You can mix in statement pieces like a bold earring, colorful bracelets, or a cocktail ring. Or, experiment with more distinctive designs, whether it's an asymmetrical earring or sculptural shape. You can even go full-on razzle-dazzle with layers of colorful gemstones, diamonds, or rhinestones.

Then, there's the question of how to layer jewelry with other accessory fixtures like a watch or, possibly, an engagement ring. The short answer: whatever feels right to you is best. Though, a few specific tips lie ahead.

Since layering jewelry is a legitimate art form, we sought out the advice of jewelry designers Jacquie Aiche, Bouchra Ezzahraoui, and Sophie Kahn of Aurate, Zoë Chicco, and Alyssa Wasko of Donni. From the basics of layering necklaces to tips on building ring stacks and how to combine earrings for a stellar ear party, keep reading for their expert tips. Plus, shop the edit of jewelry, from affordable pieces to investment-worthy buys — you know, if you're in the market for a little something special.

How to Layer Jewelry

"When it comes to choosing my daily jewels, I love being intentional with the adornments I wear. I tend to gravitate toward crystals that hold the healing properties I need, then layer up in their energy. Lately, I've been loving emerald and turquoise. The raw beauty of gemstones pairs perfectly with diamonds and gold. For your diamond and gold essentials, it's all about finding the layers you love and never want to take off. I live in my anklets, Elizabeth necklace, Liz bracelet, and Blossom finger bracelet." — Jacquie Aiche

How to Layer Necklaces

"My advice to someone who finds [layering necklaces] daunting is to be sure to mix lengths as well as chains. I tend to wear my delicate necklaces shortest and get progressively longer and heavier as I work down. Mixing the chain types keeps them from tangling. I would avoid necklaces that are too similar because it's all about the mixing of size and proportion." — Zoë Chicco

How to Layer Thin Necklaces

"When it comes to layering necklaces, there are three points to touch on: shape, length, and variety. First, choose a shape that is the centerpiece of your décolletage. Next, choose one to three smaller necklaces to complement your showstopper. Last, adjust the lengths of your chains so that it's hassle- and tangle-free." — Sophie Kahn

How to Layer Necklaces

"It's all about layering your gemstones and diamonds in a way that looks effortlessly put together. I like to style in color stories and shapes that work well together. Whether it's [a] round, trillion, baguette, or marquise [shaped stone], when I pay attention to the shape of the stone and layer it with alike pieces, it feels special. The layers radiate that easy, California energy I love, while still looking refined and classic." — Jacquie Aiche

How to Layer Pearl Necklaces

"There is no limit to how many pearl necklaces you can layer as long as they are all different lengths and sizes." — Alyssa Wasko

Layering Diamond Necklaces

"More is more! Style your diamond layers from light to heavy, so they graduate in size and the amount of diamonds. Your top layer should be the lightest piece, and the last layer should be the heaviest. Start with something simple, like our 5 Spaced-Out Diamond Choker, and let the last layer carry some weight. In between, space out the adornments that make you feel confident, playful, or empowered, like a symbol you feel connected to." — Jacquie Aiche

How to Layer Earrings

"Although we take great care to stay timeless, we think trends such as stacking earrings are always fun. Our Diamond Infinity Hoops are sophisticated and can be worn anywhere. Stack with the Mini Earcuff With White Diamonds to add edge." — Sophie Kahn

"We love pairing the Mini Ear Cuff with more bold pieces to create multiple different looks that bring out different aspects of our personality." — Bouchra Ezzahraoui

How to Wear an Ear Cuff

"I love ear cuffs, and I think they add a much-needed element of cool to your ear game. All of my cuffs are designed to be worn in the middle of the ear. They don't work for everyone; you want to make sure that it sits in the right spot and stays put. We always ask people to do the tug test. If you tug on it and it slips off, don't buy it — you will lose it. If you pull on it and it stays, you are good to go and pretty much wear it all the time as if [it] were a piercing. I wear two layered ear cuffs on my left ear — a plain gold one and one covered with pave diamonds — and I never take them off. It's like a piercing without the discomfort. I sleep, swim, and shower in them without any issues. When I'm feeling it, I tend to layer on some of our thicker, more statement ear cuffs, which I take on and off depending on what I am wearing." — Zoë Chicco

How to Layer Rings

"You can never have enough rings. I like to mix my diamonds and gold essentials with crystal color stories that bring me bliss." — Jacquie Aiche

How to Wear Multiple Diamond Rings

"I love pieces that stack well together, so an easy way to achieve this is to look for bands or rings with flat edges that sit well together. I love the idea of mixing colors and shapes. I wear 15 rings daily that I rarely take off; five stacked on each ring finger, and the rest stacked on my pinkies. There's yellow and rose gold, as well as platinum. There are round-, princess-, marquise-, baguette-, and radiant-cut diamonds. Anything goes. I love it all mixed." — Zoë Chicco

How to Stack Rings With an Engagement Ring

"The traditional engagement ring is stunning, but I wanted to give the bohemian bride something that speaks to her unique style. Whether you frame your stone with emerald teardrops, baguette diamonds, or customize something special, get a little playful with it. You'll know the stack that is meant for you — it's an intuitive feeling that lights you up inside." — Jacquie Aiche

How to Layer Bracelets

"Much like my rings, I like to mix up my bracelets, and anything goes. I have thin chain bracelets, diamond tennis bracelets, thick vintage chains, and cuffs, and they all work well next to each other. I wear my bracelets on the tighter side as I feel this helps keep them sitting with the diamonds or design elements on top, and I also feel they tangle less when they are tighter (unlike necklaces). I also have some fun blue plastic bracelets that I wear mixed in. That's the best part about an arm party — you can mix it all and everything works. The more you pile on, the better." — Zoë Chicco

How to Layer Bracelets With a Watch

"Layering bracelets with a watch is a personal thing. I, for one, wear a men's watch, and next to it is a relatively wide, hard cuff, giving a thicker, more solid look. However, some people may not like the cuff and watch knocking against each other. If that's the case, I would recommend a thicker chain bracelet, as that still gives the look of something more solid that will not get lost next to your watch, but has a softer feel since the chain moves easier. You can also mix in other fun woven and beaded bracelets to give more texture and interest, especially in the summertime. Just make sure that something durable is sitting next to your watch." — Zoë Chicco