Gone are the days of living by the rule “less is more.” Today, it’s all about layering your treasured pieces one on top of the other and letting your creativity run wild.
Start transforming a simple outfit with eclectic arm candy and a fist full of rings to complement every style, from boho to chic, casual to classic. But before you run to dust off your collection, don’t forget, like any art form, there’s a method to the madness.
We spoke to Sarah Markle, director of Houston’s family-owned Thomas Markle Jewelers, to get the do’s and don’ts of accomplishing the perfect stack. Whether you’re following the “treat yourself self” advice during the early years of mommy-hood or looking to give something special to the rock star mamas in your life, these seven golden rules will make your look (or gift) speak volumes this Mother’s Day.
- Odds are in your favor. Remember the saying: one’s company, two’s a crowd, and three’s a party? This is the motto you should live by when stacking bracelets, rings, or necklaces. “The art of the stack is about odd numbers. You want three or five for a nice balance,” says Markle. “If you have two or three kids, or five people in the family, each person can purchase their own piece to add to the stack to make it more meaningful.” A tidbit: Guys, if only one piece is in your budget this year or you don't know where to begin, Markle recommends you start with one piece you know she will love, like a diamond tennis bracelet or a simple silver bangle. "That way you can always add to it on occasions to come," Markle says.
- Set in stone. For a commemorative look that can’t be replicated, add in personal pieces with a birthstone, whether it be yours, your children’s, or a loved one’s. The splash of color will also liven up your ensemble and give it the vibrancy it needs to stand out among other bracelets or rings. Want to make it even more special? Have your jewelry engraved with the initials of those dear to your heart.
- Add to the mix. From metals to textures to sizes, mixing is key in making a stack versatile. Toss on rose gold, yellow gold, and oxidized silver bangles for a well-wrapped wrist, then pair one chunky bracelet against a few smaller ones. “A lot of women fear different metals and mixing, but you get more out of a look when you do,” says Markle. “It’s also unique when you have a beaded bracelet with a cord bracelet.”
- Trading places. For soon-to-be-brides or those with little ones, add a stack of rings to accompany your wedding band or use them in place of your diamond all together, making for an everyday look that maintains a bit of bling. “It’s really trendy to have stacked bands instead of your engagement ring,” Markle says. “You can swap it out when running around with your baby versus when you’re out to dinner.”
- Go long. To wrap your neck in just the right way, start with a delicate necklace (think diamond solitaire pendant) that lies along your collar bone at center stage. Then add another thin chain one or two inches below, and repeat. A tidbit for those who want to lengthen their neckline: stick to pieces 36 inches or longer for that heightened look.
- As good as new. Don’t fret pairing old with new, and lavish with simple. Don a family heirloom on one finger then stack a few dainty rings on the other. The blend of vintage with modern creates an interesting contrast. “That’s what makes stacked jewelry unique, you can add more to your collection throughout the years,” Markle explains. “You’re not taking out pieces, you’re adding to your existing jewelry, and wearing them together.”
- Read between the lines. Experiment with shapes when layering rings on your hands for an edgy feel. Sport a vertical line or horizontal line on your ring finger, followed up a cross on your middle. The variation will create a sense of juxtaposition and provide some negative space so you don’t end up looking like Mr. T.
If you ever feel stumped, remember to have fun and wear what makes your confidence shine. Plus, you can never go wrong with adding new pieces to the jewelry box (hint, hint).
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