I have a confession for you, my darlings: I am bad at knowing how to layering necklaces.
I love the way a good #neckmess looks, but I’m too much of an anxious perfectionist to be naturally good at throwing on a lot of necklaces together. I worry about the colors clashing, the necklace lengths being unevenly distributed, the chains tangling, the charms jangling against each other. BUT I love the look on other people, so I’m trying to get more comfortable with advanced necklace layering.
I may be a nervous Nellie when it comes to major necklace layering, but Instagram is full of jewelry lovers who are bolder than me when it comes to adventurous clavicle adornment. Let’s take a look at some inspirational #neckmess photos from those who have truly mastered this maximalist layering look!
How to layer necklaces: #neckmess legends.
It’s often hard to trace the origin of an Instagram hashtag once it becomes popular, but that’s not the case with #neckmess.
Jessica Kagan Cushman coined the term to describe her own distinctive necklace layering style and it quickly took off in the IG jewelry community as more and more jewelry lovers found it to be the perfect way of describing the gorgeous chaos of major league necklace deployment – truly an innovator of how to wear to wear necklaces.
Isn’t this look fantastic? I love the concept of wearing a whole themed collection together.
This lovely look from Luck and Lockets feels almost too elegant to count as a #neckmess, but this many gold chains all together is too good to ignore! She’s draped in rivers of gold and I’m alllllllll about it.
Luck and Lockets is such an expert at how to layer necklaces that she’s designed and now sells her own necklace layering device, the gorgeous Lucky 8 clasp.
I only discovered Girl.With.A.Diamond.Earring’s Instagram recently but I’m loving the joyful chaos of her colorful #neckmess styling.
This kind of look is just so much fun! I love the strong color theme, the moving bits and pieces, and the fact that there’s such a wide range of styles and textures incorporated all together.
A spectacular and somewhat spooky spider-heavy #neckmess from Instagram jewelry lover PinkPirahnah!
I’m lucky enough to know this particular expert necklace layer-er in real life and so I can confirm that yes, she is really as cool as she seems. She has such a knack for putting necklaces and charms together in inspiring and unexpected ways.
This Instagram jewelry lover, Vintage_Jewelry_Hoarder, has an incredible personal collection largely made up of vintage costume jewelry that I covet.
She has a knack for layering statement pieces that look like they’d need to be worn alone and making them work together in the most spectacular ways.
When I imagine how to wear necklaces, my instinct is usually to keep everything understated so nothing fights for attention. This #neckmess makes me want to change my ways.
Roseark is a store rather than an individual Instagrammer, but their editorial shots offer such consistently gorgeous layering that I had to include them here. If you want to know how to layer necklaces with chic opulence, study Roseark.
Just look at this dreamy, celestial #neckmess. Roseark’s styling is always completely on point and often surprising in the best way.
The Eden Collective has a knack for short, sweet necklace layers punctuated with gorgeous vintage charms and bright beads. This is a perfect example.
A more subdued #neckmess than many of these, but such a lovely one, with its warm, spicy color scheme. I love the differing textures of the pieces involved, too.
Delphine Leymarie is a contemporary jewelry designer who makes beautiful, charismatic pieces that are utterly perfect for layering. I believe that every piece in this #neckmess is her own work.
Don’t they work wonderfully well together? So many thoughtful, subtle details creating glorious harmony.
Morgan is a member of the jewelry industry with incredible personal style. I know that some of the neck messes here have been put together specifically for the ‘gram (which is fine! They still count) but Morgan definitely rocks her expert level neck messes in real life as well as for pics. She’s a master of the casual insouciance of throwing on a pile of carefully chosen exquisite pieces in a way that feels bewitchingly casual and incredibly personal.
For example: look at this tangle of jewels and see how many unusual, distinctive, gorgeously made individual pieces lurk here. The more carefully you look, the more remarkable details reveal themselves.
Most of my favorite neck messes include vivid color of some kind (because I love color) but I had to include this stunning white look from Winterlemon Jewelry.
The layered textures keep this tone on tone curation exciting and eye-catching even though the hues are all what I think of as neutral. A great look! I only discovered this account recently but I’m loving her flair for how to style necklaces.
This is one of the best jewelry styling accounts around, IMHO. The wonderful Jasmyn Tea has a knack for jewelry layering that few others can match. I’ve followed her for years and her looks still surprise and delight me on a regular basis.
Just look at the colors, textures, and use of negative space here. This is no average #neckmess.
Henry Dominique Jewelry was one of the first accounts that I ever saw post this sort of layered necklace styling, back before “neck mess” was even a term.
She has such a knack for combining disparate elements into an appealing whole. Fully inspiring.
Ooh. Isn’t this one so wonderfully serene? All that luscious green and white and gold, with just a smattering of sparkle thrown in. It’s jumbled and chaotic and yet it works perfectly.
Great work, LeLa Gems.
Let’s end things with another spectacular look from #neckmess OG Jessica Kagan Cushman! The colors in this look are just stunning, and there’s something so delightful about styling very serious antique jewelry in this whimsical way.
What do you think of the #neckmess trend, my darlings? Do you know how to layer necklaces like this, or do you still need more practice (like I do!)?
Want more jewelry styling inspiration? See How to Wear a Brooch here, or browse my Jewelry Styling Inspiration Pinterest board here.