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Hottest Jewelry Trend: The Neck Mess

The pros at Gem Set Love share the secrets of this layered necklace trend.

Presented by Gem Set Love December 12, 2019


For shoppers looking to create a stylish, layered necklace look -- known as #neckmess on social media -- Gem Set Love offers a seemingly endless number of options, with thousands of pieces of vintage, antique, and recycled jewelry.

While there’s no right or wrong way to create a neck mess from any combination of lockets, charms, fobs, vintage gold or silver chains, or other pieces, it can be overwhelming to start from scratch. Gem Set Love proprietor Paula Bixel has a few tips for getting started.


4 tips for making a neck mess

  1. The best neck mess is a group of mixed textures and lengths. Before getting started, the number one thing to keep in mind is that the chains and charms should not match, but instead should be complementary. Mixing textures, metals, and necklace lengths gives the “messy” signature appearance of the neck mess. For example, consider using one chain with multiple charms or multiple chains with multiple charms. More is better with this fun look.
  2. Select a chain with a big enough ring or multiple ways to attach bits and fobs. There are several types of hooks to choose from as wa
    ys to attach charms, fobs, and lockets to chains -- all with a unique purpose and aesthetic -- but the important thing to know when shopping for your chains for this fabulous look is to ensure there’s a big ring or hook, or stop by Gem Set Love to get one attached.
  3. Pick versatile pieces. Consider taking one long chain and doubling or tripling it to create a layered effect, or wear the necklace “backwards” by flipping around the front to the back. Attach bracelets to add length and a new level of interest. And remember to select chains and charms to outlast the neck mess -- pieces you will reach for in the years to come with or without the layered look. Vintage is always a good choice as it’s timeless. You can wear them all at once, or one at a time.
  4. Collect meaningful pieces. Think of the neck mess as the modern version of the charm bracelet -- a fun way to collect things that are meaningful. Whether it’s collecting vintage or antique charms as a vacation souvenir or simply a fun hobby, jewelry should have personal meaning so that you love it forever. Not only are vintage, recycled, and antique pieces higher quality than “single use jewelry” available in fast fashion shops, the pieces have more character and provide a unique way to express creativity and personal style. Wear what you love and love what you wear.

At Gem Set Love, shoppers can choose from a variety of metals, necklace chains and hooks, and unique charms to build the perfect layered necklaces that match their personality and style, and feel good about their purchase too. 

In its 25 years of serving the Portland community, Gem Set Love has stayed true to its mission of providing beautiful jewelry without doing any harm to the planet. All of the vintage and antique pieces are responsibly sourced, and the in-house line, Ancient Influences is sustainably made from recycled pieces.

Ready to craft your own #neckmess? Stop by the Gem Set Love shop at 720 NW 23rd Ave or browse hundreds of pieces online.

Thanks to Jessica Kagan Cushman for the #neckmess hashtag on Instagram.


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