By Alison McGill
There is an art to layering, especially when it comes to jewelry, necklaces in particular. The current more-is-more aesthetic when it comes to neck adornment means piling on the pendants in an in a way that looks, artful and organic. This is the very essence of the neck mess trend.
Corrine Anestopoulos is the founder and designer of Canadian jewelry brand Biko and says a perfectly imperfect pairing of necklaces not only looks cool, but is a way to really showcase your personality. “Start with a pendant or two that really speak to you,” Anestopoulos says. “It could be pieces you’ve owned for years, or new ones you have just picked up. To get the layered look down, choose pendants at different lengths—I’m a big fan of mixing in many pendant styles and throwing a statement collar on top to anchor it all. What I love about a neck mess is each piece becomes conversational and an opportunity to share memories with others.”
Gwyneth Paltrow, JLo and Madonna are all neck mess enthusiasts, but Anestopoulos thinks the celeb doing the look best is Rihanna. “She reminds us to be playful with colour and texture, and to not be afraid to throw in that chocker as the cherry on top.”
Anestopoulos offers more expert tips below for creating your perfect neck mess.
Mix delicate and statement pieces
“Your necklace layers can be delicate or statement or a mix of both,” Anestopoulos shares. “You can also throw in some vintage or heirloom chains, some colour in the form of stones or crystals. Never overthink your mix, wear what you love because it’s all about fun!”
Add pearls please
“I love mixing textured pendants and different metals to keep your look interesting and playful,” Anestopoulos details. “I love the idea of choosing all pieces but one in the same metal finish as the base, then throwing in a topper piece in a contrasting metal for an effortless twist. I also think everyone needs to add freshwater pearls! My favourite is a pop of baroque freshwater pearl to add contrast and brighten your neck mess up.”
Play with chain lengths
“The thing that’s so great about a neck mess is that you can choose to go big, or go minimal,” Anestopoulos explains. “For a more minimal neck mess, stick to 18″ chains at the longest, and layer on 16″ and 15″ chains, and consider a choker at 14″. For a bigger statement look, the longest length can be 33″ which hits near the belly button, 24″ which lands just above the bust.”
Chain knots and twists can be a hazard of the neck mess, but one Anestopoulos assures is easily avoided and remedied. “To avoid tangling, put your necklaces on in order of the longest to the shortest. This essentially locks in the placement of your stack. It also means when you take it off, you’ll know where to begin, at the top! If you do find a tangle, put your pile down on a table and grab a pair of tweezers or pliers. Pull the top piece gently and go from there. Store your necklaces by gently layering several pieces on single hook in your bedroom or closet to avoid snarls. Bonus: your necklaces become a modular piece of art in your space!”
Create a beautiful mess with these Biko pieces
This statement piece is available in gold and silver, and is the perfect way to top a layering of delicate chain pendants.
This pendant is hand-cast from a baroque freshwater coin pearl and has incredible shine and texture. It makes for a beautiful mid-length necklace in your mix.
This coin pearl is a total star. The unique shape and glossy finish make this a piece a standout, and a keepsake you’ll treasure forever.
Cora Pendant (Large)
This sculptural and shapely beauty measures 24” making it the perfect pendant to add some dramatic length to your neck mess.