Master the Art of Layering Necklaces

I've been a fan of Helen Anderson's jewelry for years. She has traveled the world to search out and collect the most unique pendants, precious stones, bones, and metals that she spins into masterpieces. I'm a big fan....

I wanted to show you some of Helen's beautiful pieces and also share what she has taught me about layering necklaces. There is a way to layer 2 or 3 necklaces to create an interesting, unique look that appears completely original! 

As you read on, I'll explain some of Helen's layering techniques.

First, let me point out that Helen's color palette is a True Colors COPPER, which is what many of you know as AUTUMN. She wears chartreuse with ease, as well as teal, red brick, plum, and mustard yellow. 

Here is Helen modeling three layers of copper necklaces over a chartreuse cashmere sweater and denim leggings. One layer of copper just wouldn't be enough!

Same chartreuse sweater. Three different necklaces. Torquoise and silver chunky short necklace, silver pendant on chain, and longer torquoise on chain. Helen adjusts the lengths of her necklaces specifically for layering so each piece is showcased.

If you think chunky necklaces are reserved for tall or large women, think again. Helen is a diminutive 5'3" and she ROCKS her chunky styles!

If you prefer a more delicate look, try layering necklaces such as pearls and gold chain necklaces to create an elegant, simple look.

 The background of Helen's black tunic shows off two beautiful torquoise necklaces.

Same black tunic, different necklaces made of chunky amber, Bakelite, bone, wood and ebony. See how the colors complement Helen's skin tone and hair, and pop off the black top. It's no accident that her neckline opening and the amber pendant meet at the same location.

Another way to break up a basic black outfit is by adding layers of pearls, as Canadian singer, Nelly Furtado does below.

If you're wondering how to determine what length your necklaces should be, you have two ways to figure it out. 

  1. The first way is to use a tape measure and literally wrap it around your neck and stretch it down to the different points you want your necklaces to fall. Write down the lengths and take the measurements with you when you buy necklaces. 
  2. The second way is to locate three locations on your body: Your collar bone (ideal for choker styles), your sternum (just above your point of cleavage -- ideal for pendants), and your belly button or just above (for long chains). For small-breasted women, a location just below your sternum works well, too. But, if you have larger breasts, your necklace will not lay smoothly at this location, so it's better to keep necklaces above your bust line. 

I love Helen's teal-colored tunic paired with quartz crystal, fresh water pearl, gold tone agate, and vintage metal beads below. Simple and elegant.

Helen Anderson (pictured above) is a jewelry designer and local San Luis Obispo resident. She designs original necklaces and earrings, but she will also take a treasured piece of jewelry and completely redesign it into something you'll enjoy wearing every day. I've given her several old pieces that I never wore, and Helen re-purposed them into beautiful necklaces. 

Helen always says that a beautiful necklace will transform a t-shirt and jeans outfit into something special! If you'd like to get in touch with Helen, you can send her an email at  

I hope this article inspires you to rediscover all the necklaces you've been saving for a special occasion, and layer them over everyday outfits to create a special, original look that brings you JOY!  


What's the Hot Accessory This Spring?

Springtime is finally here this week! Time to celebrate with colorful, weightless, silk kimonos and scarves. These are two accessories you can wear with just about everything. They're hand painted, gorgeously lightweight, effortlessly chic.

The best way to enjoy your life journey is to travel light!

Check out these beautiful local ladies modeling springtime accessories from Finders Keepers:

Debi Basile looks gorgeous and dramatic in a black and gray Kavita painted silk kimono.

The thing I love about these kimonos is they're so versatile and flattering on women of every size and shape. Throw a kimono over a sweater and equestrian leggings and voila! you're ready to go dancing. 

Patty Andreen wears an emerald green flowered kimono over a Ralph Lauren cashmere sweater and Ralph Lauren equestrian leggings with a pearlescent circle necklace.

Softly demure kimono in mauve and robin's egg blue, below. Throw on a multi-strand necklace, some lip gloss and strong eye makeup, and you've got a date night outfit.

Switching to another spring accessory, THE SILK SCARF

Let me ask you a question: "Can you own too many scarves?" I say no, because a scarf is the finishing touch, the artistic flair to an outfit representing an expression of you.

Wearing a beautiful gold and blue scarf finishes this comfortably chic outfit for a day of shopping.

SLO resident, Dixie Cliff, is wearing a blue tunic top with Yost leggings, a silk hand painted scarf, and faux leather handbag (available at Finders Keepers).

Dixie looks like she stepped out of a Monet painting in her light blue tunic blouse with a brightly colored floral silk scarf.

Look what happens when Dixie ties the scarf around her waist! There's no explanation other than spring fever... 

Patty is smartly outfitted in a Ralph Lauren equestrian ensemble, with a silk scarf that ties everything together.

Patty Andreen wears a creamy white Ralph Lauren cashmere sweater, Ralph Lauren equestrian leggings, brown leather belt, and Alberto Fermani boots. The silk scarf ties everything together.

Helen Anderson is ready for a fun day in her Crazy Jays tunic top, Ralph Lauren leggings, her own necklace creation, and a gorgeous hand painted silk scarf.

I'm curious to know what your hot accessory item is this spring. Please leave a comment and tell us what you're going to buy! Enjoy the Spring Equinox this week!

Belted and Beautiful!

Belts are sometimes a forgotten accessory, so I thought it was time to resurrect the belt's status as a treasured piece that can transform an ordinary outfit into something special.

How many belts do you own? If you're like me, I've been collecting belts for many years. Belts stand the test of time, although, I don't have my fringed belt from the 70's any longer -- darn! There are wide belts, skinny, leather, suede, bangled, beaded, metal, the worn look, shiny patent leather, and more.

Belts give your body shape more definition, and when used around your waist gives you an hourglass look. Belts can make a bulky sweater or blouse look fitted. I wear a skinny belt with my jeans to help them stay put.

Helen Anderson is wearing a Chico's satin trench coat, silver conch belt, Lysse denim leggings, and her own jewelry creations.

In the photo above, Helen removed the satin belt that comes with the trench coat, and replaced it with a beautiful silver conch belt.

Below, Lu Shepard is wearing one outfit and changing it up three ways:

Lu Shepard is wearing a cashmere shawl over a Vince long-sleeve top, wide brown leather belt with brass hardware, denim leggings, silver chains, and Sam Edelman boots.
Same outfit without the cashmere shawl.

Lu removed the brown leather belt and added a silver studded belt over her shawl for a completely different look.

Next, Helen Anderson uses a belt to amp up a cardigan sweater, giving it a figure-hugging silhouette and a pop of color.

Helen Anderson is wearing an H & M animal print cardigan with a carmel-colored leather belt, denim leggings, and her own jewelry creations.

Below, I'm joking around with Helen, but we're both looking seriously stylish.

I'm wearing a BCBG dress with cutout sleeves, black woven leather belt, Diane Von Furstenberg boots, and brass chain necklace.

Below is my artistic, thoughtful pose. Adding a jeweled accessory belt to a simple blue sheath dress provides a finishing touch.

Linda is wearing a Banana Republic sheath dress, bejeweled belt, copper bracelet, Max Mara purse, and Pelle Moda boots.

Many of the clothes we model are available for purchase right now at Finders Keepers. If you're not a San Luis Obispo resident, you can have the item shipped to you. If you live in SLO, I highly recommend a visit to the store. There are always treasures to be found!

What are your favorite ways to use a belt (fashion only, ladies!)? What is your favorite belt? Please take a picture wearing your belt and add it to the Comments below.