PICS: How To Stack Rings Like a Pro

The art of the stack.



Inspiration! | Images via Honestly WTF, Catbird NYC.

For a very long time, everyone talked about the great arm stack: piles of clanking bangles, all shapes and sizes, lined up on wrists like a kid’s colorful ring-stacking toy. By now, we’ve all mastered this, and every woman I know wears some sort of bracelet stack (though most I’ve seen lack the thoughtful mix of a set curated over decades; a matching — or artfully mismatching — set from H&M or J.Crew does not a stack make).

In any case, with bare wrists making a comeback (even the Man Repeller herself—coiner of the now-tired term “arm party”—has left her wrists naked of late!), we now have a new appendage that we must make a living jewelry display of: Enter the Ring Stack.

This can be tough terrain to navigate. You’ve really only got about two inches of real estate to work with, and the spot between your knuckle and first joint is tricky. Try to stuff too many on there and you’ve got a bad situation (there is nothing worse than getting a ring stuck on your finger).

So here’s how to do it: Mix up your widths. If you’re piling on multiple fingers, sticking with a single metal makes a cohesive statement (see below). Large single rings balance out thin stacks. And avoiding matching rings (see how there’s only one moon?) makes the look feel organic and not contrived.


(Forgo the French manicure.) | Image via GyspyLovinLight.


Ready to incorporate some stones? Just as with the previous picture, you’re going to want to start with stones in the same color scheme for a major impact. Mixing very long rings with wide ones gives the look of a full stack without having to pile on dozens of rings. If you still want to pile on, start with the big rings first and add on simpler bands where there’s room. Remember: the more, the merrier! (A tip: If you don’t have room for a traditional ring, a midi ring will do the trick!)


Image via Honestly WTF.


Now let’s get into the intricate stacks. These are best reserved for one finger only, rather than an entire hand of knuckle-dusters. Mix up your stones, metals and heights. To keep high-set stones (see the pearl-esque ring below?) from clinking with another high-set stone, stick a very thin, simple band in between to set them apart. And don’t be afraid to experiment! These stacks are made to be played with, to give personality to your jewelry box. Don’t save your good stuff, either: My favorite stack is my wedding stack, different diamond bands with a spiky gold ring thrown in to de-precious it (my term, not a real word).

Need to get started? The easiest way is to stock up on some very thin bands and midi rings to wear with your clunkier rings. Catbird NYC has some great options—go here to shop. Those partial to bigger, less dainty stacks? (I’m with you!) Head to flea markets or antique stores for the best stash of jewels. Jinxed is always getting in cool pieces, and Barbara Blau Collectables in Old City has some great rings, too. Mix real and costume, gold and silver, new and old, and, above all, have fun with it.

Remember: If you can’t move your fingers, you’re doing it right. (Kidding. Sort of.)