Five Steps to Necklace Layering Perfection

As the weather gets colder, layers are all the rage. Soon you’ll have to don two pairs of pants, three shirts, a scarf and a coat — just to walk a block to the store. And hey, since you’re forced into layering everything else you own, go ahead: Have some fun, and layer your necklaces, too.

But how? Won’t my necklaces get tangled? Which one do I put on first?

Necklace layering isn’t that difficult, once you’ve figured out what works for you. We’ll take this step-by-step, and soon you’ll have the most stylish neck on the block.

1. Pick a theme.

This is important. What type of look are you trying to pull off? Are you a grungy, punk chick who tends toward metal chains and spikes? Or maybe you’re a petite girl’s girl who prefers simple chains and charms. Whatever your style, make this decision first: Once you have a theme, you’ll much easier be able to choose the necklaces for your layered look.

2. Decide how many layers you want to include.

Three is the magic number. Start with three layers of varying lengths for a dainty look, and go from there: The more necklaces you add, the bolder the statement made.

3. Shortest goes first.

The first necklace you put on will be your base, the layer you build from. Ideally, this chain will be 14 to 16 inches in length, and should hold some personal significance — a name, or your initial, or a simple pendant. This first layer should say, “This is me, and this is my style.”

From there, if you want, add a few more simple chains (18 inches or so in length); you’re well on your way to creating a fabulous layered look.

4. Make a statement.

This is the one that will really bring the look together. After all, you’re not just wearing a bunch of necklaces thrown together; you’ve taken the time to choose each piece to form a cohesive design. The statement piece will be worn in the middle of several (or just two) longer and shorter layers, and needs to, well, make a statement.

Don’t be afraid to be bold.

5. Add longer layers to finish the look.

Just as proportion matters when dressing any other part of your body, proportion matters when layering necklaces. If your shortest chain falls 14 inches, the longest should reach no more than 30 inches. Mix textures, colors, and lengths (but don’t go beyond 30 inches, remember) to complete a look that says, “I’m creative, sassy, and stylish.”

Things to Know When Bracelet Shopping for That Special Someone

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — jewelry-buying season, that is.

Your lady love has started dropping not-so-subtle hints, but you don’t mind. She’s an angel who spends all her time bringing the homeless blankets and dinner, a regular Nobel Peace Prize winner. Maybe? Maybe not. But whoever she is, you know she’s a winner (maybe even the one); whatever that girl wants, that girl is going to get if you have anything to say about it. And well, this year, that girl’s heart is set on finding a new bracelet under the tree on Christmas morning.

But here’s the catch: What size is the right size?

Most jewelry comes one-size-fits-all, but not bracelets. Necklaces slip over the neck, or clasp at the bank; earrings only come in one size typically, but not bracelets. Wrist size varies slightly from person to person, and while this disparity isn’t enough to warrant exact sizing specifications, it does pay to know some basic information about bracelet fit.

What are the standard lengths for bracelets?

The standard length for women’s bracelets is 6.5 to 7.5 inches, where seven inches is most common. (In case you’re wondering, men’s bracelets are typically longer: 7.5 to nine inches in length.) “Ah, perfect,” you might be thinking. “My lady has average-sized wrists. Any bracelet will fit her, right?”

Maybe you’re right, but maybe you’re wrong.

When purchasing a bracelet she’s sure to love, don’t forget to account for comfort and movement. The best way to ensure you get the correct size is to measure her wrist.

How do I determine her bracelet size?

Be sneaky. Very very sneaky. You might even want to enlist the help of her best friend. Set up an evening of good food, girl talk… and wrist measurements.

Follow a few simple steps:

  1. Use a flexible measuring tape or a strip of paper to measure your wrist just below the wrist bone, as this is where bracelets are typically worn.
  2. If you choose to use paper, measure the strip with a ruler. Otherwise, skip this step.
  3. Add a quarter-inch to her wrist size for a bracelet that fits snug; a half-inch for standard comfort fit; or a full inch for a loose fit.

How should a bracelet fit?

A bracelet that fits perfectly will be loose enough to move, but not loose enough to let it slide off. Most link bracelets are adjustable, and should be worn with the ability to slide one or two fingers between the chain and her wrist. Bangles can fit close to the wrist or more loose; keep in mind though that they shouldn’t slide over the heel of the hand too easily. Cuff bracelets are made to fit tightly on the wrist or forearm.

Happy holiday shopping!