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Jewelry designers go for the layered look

“Layering necklaces, like any other styling, comes with practice,” says jeweler Laura Preshong.Joanne Rathe/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

When outfits call for a subtle flare, layered necklaces could be the perfect addition to any ensemble.

From the extravagant pearl strands of the 1800s to the braided choker/long chain combo of the early 2000s, layered jewelry has left its mark — for better or worse — on the necklines of fashion history.

Although the statement necklace has been at the forefront of the jewelry scene, layering delicate strands as opposed to donning one chunky piece has made a resurgence.

"Wearing multiple necklaces can add just a little bit of emphasis to your look, without making your neckline the total focal point," says Kristen Uekermann, the name behind The Boston Fashionista, a popular fashion blog.


The best place to start is with the shortest necklace, then increasing length as you add more pieces.

Laura Preshong, founder of Laura Preshong Fine Jewelry in Boston, says mixing up the weights and lengths of necklaces will keep them from tangling and add dimension. All of Preshong's pieces are made from recycled metals using low environmental impact processes and conflict-free and fair-trade gems.

"Layering necklaces, like any other styling, comes with practice," says Preshong. "Have fun. Experiment."

The best way to experiment with layering is through mixing up the types of necklaces with an outfit. For example, a blouse with a decorative neckline does not call for extra long chains. Although a giant statement necklace may not be the best to layer, Uekermann says necklaces that have charms and pendants can still layer nicely. Adding charms and pendants to lone strands can also add dimension as well, especially if the metals of the chains varies.

"If you find a cute charm that you think could match a strand you have at home, try it out. Also, connect similar chains to make a longer necklace is always a good experiment," she says.


The trickiest part about wearing multiple necklaces is knowing what lengths work with particular outfits. Preshong says the lengths will depend on personal style.

Uekermann says deciding what the necklaces need to accentuate helps with matching different pieces.

"Adding that longer necklace with a couple shorter ones will draw the eye downward for some added sex appeal," says Uekermann. She added that bringing along a spare long necklace is perfect for transitioning an outfit from professional to post-work casual.

Jewlery from Preshong, a Boston based jewlery designer.Joanne Rathe/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

Kelly Gifford can be reached at kelly.gifford@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @kelgiffo.