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A layered necklace is a piece jewelry worn around the neck that is made up of several strands of beads, chain, or even ribbon. There are many different styles of layered necklace. Some necklaces have all of their strands fastened together at the ends with the same clasp, while others consist of separate necklaces that can be mixed and matched depending on the outfit. Typically three strands are worn in a triple layered necklace, but anywhere from two to dozens of strands can be worn as well. Wearing multiple necklaces has been the fashion across many time periods and in various cultures.
Layered necklaces can be made of a variety of materials. Strings of beads are common, as well as lengths of chain. To show off different textures, layered necklaces can have multiple strands made out of the same materials, or alternating strands of two or more different materials. Pendants are also incorporated into many layered necklaces for a rich effect. The pendants can be large and centered on the top or bottom tiers of the necklace, or many tiny ones can be scattered throughout the strands.
Layered necklaces began a fashion revival in the US when the designer Givenchy featured them as part of the Fall 2008 collection, but layered necklaces are part of a stylistic tradition that may stretch back to the first time humans strung shells on sinew. Multi-strand necklaces have been discovered in caves dating back to the Paleolithic age. Ancient Egyptian women wore necklaces made of multiple strands of colored clay beads, while in the Victorian era the fashion was to wear multiple strands of pearls.
There are several ways to create a layered necklace. People with basic jewelry making skills can create their own using beads, clasps, and tiger tail wire. Budget fashionistas have also recommended wearing multiple necklaces as a way to refresh a tired wardrobe. They can mix and match single-strand necklaces they already own into a layered look.
Caring for a layered necklace can be slightly more difficult than single-strand necklaces. Some layered necklaces are bulky, and require more storage space than single-strand necklaces. While some layered necklaces have their strands twisted around each other and are meant to be worn in a "messy" manner, others look best when the strands are separated.
For the latter type of necklace, keeping the strands untangled between wearing can be a difficulty. Ways to combat entangling include buying a tall jewelry box with hooks to hang necklaces from, rather than coiling them in separate compartments. Another tip is to drape the necklace over a padded hanger between wearings.
@bythewell - Making your own layered necklace effect is another way to make sure you aren't going to be the same as anyone else in the room.
I try to put together several necklaces that have a theme, so I might end up with a layered cross necklace that is made from a combination of several of my cross necklaces.
A good way to do it so that it looks more professional is to clip the necklaces together and wrap them around your neck, rather than putting them all on separately.
There are also a bunch of fabulous layered necklaces available on Etsy if you have a search for them.
There are some really fabulous ribbon necklaces out there at the moment which fall into this category.
One I saw recently that I've got my eye on had a black ribbon, then layered necklaces made from black and gold chain with a pendant on each one. The ribbon was attached to a chain by a charm that looked like a bird.
It was very sophisticated looking without being too cluttered. It also looked fairly unique.
That's one of the things I really like about layered necklaces. If you get them from an artisan, they are probably using their materials to make a different layered necklace each time. So it's not likely you're going to run into someone at work wearing the exact same necklace as you.
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