I bring excellent news of an easy new-season style hack. It fits anyone, flatters everyone, won’t have you shivering or give you blisters, and will lift your look and your spirits whether you are going to work, going out for dinner or going nowhere at all. You probably don’t even need to buy anything. Do you own more than one necklace? Sorted. Because that’s what this is. That’s the style update of the moment, right there: wearing two or three necklaces at once.
It’s that simple. Last year was all about curating your earlobes. Perhaps you now have more piercings on one ear than the other. A mix of studs, mini-hoops and statement pieces, right? Well done you. But even if you are still wearing just the two earrings, that’s fine too. Just whack in a pair of hoop earrings – ideally ones that are a bit wonky as if you dented them in your workshop while doing something vaguely artisanal – and be done with it, because the style spotlight has moved on from the curated ear to our next assignment, which is the double (or triple) necklace. One necklace looks pretty. Two or three necklaces looks even prettier, and cooler to boot.
I began necklace layering by accident, as I have a chunky, blunt-linked Missoma gold chain I’ve worn most days since for ever. Then last year I fell in love with a vintage-look lock pendant by Kirstie Le Marque and I didn’t want to give up either so I started wearing them both together. Before long, just one necklace started to read as a bit basic. Recently I came across a longer necklace I’d forgotten about – a gold bar on a long chain – and now I’m tripling up most days.
Jewellery is about personal storytelling. That’s what engagement and wedding rings are for, in a blunt kind of a way, but the story needn’t be limited to that.
Claire Le Marquand, half of the duo behind Kirstie Le Marque, is never spotted in fewer than two necklaces “because it feels more interesting and more modern,” she says. She has two necklaces that she never takes off, and then usually adds a third. “Maybe you have a necklace of your mum’s that you always wear – you don’t need to swap that out, you can layer it up,” she says. “Start with what you love.” You don’t want a tangle of chains, though.
Start with a simple chain. Nothing too short or tight around the neck; one that sits at about your clavicles will be more comfortable and more elegant. If a shortish necklace has any dangly bits, they need to be quite flat so they don’t twist around and sit wrong. Then add a longer necklace, one with a pendant so it falls to a point a few centimetres clear of the necklace above. The downward point lengthens your neck. If you want to go crazy, a third necklace can sit in the gap between those two, or dangle lower.
This isn’t just for maximalists. It is a brilliant foil for minimalist looks. A plain white T-shirt and jeans is transformed into something glamorous. In winter, when almost every inch of skin is buried under fabric, the extra sparkle warms up the emotional tone. It helps to remind the world that you are a human being with thoughts and feelings, rather than a walking jumper. Try it: it is more impactful than you would imagine. Also, did I mention it’s easy?
Hair and make-up: Carol Morley at Carol Hayes Management. Model: Kit at Body London. Shirt, alémais. Pearl and recycled silver necklace: loveness lee. Charm necklace and small gold pendant: Astley Clarke