#KibouStyles: Layering Jewelry in Style with @LeyaKaufmom

After all the enthusiasm over Leya’s accessories in her last #KibouStyles, we had to follow up to learn more about how @LeyaKaufmom achieves such a perfectly jeweled balance day or night!

Here you’ll find all of Leya’s tips on jewelry designers to check out, staples to consider and her “rules” for layered perfection!


What jewelry designers are you currently coveting?
  • The timeless yet eye-catching personalized designs from Tel Aviv based designer, Hella Bigio put Touti Bo at the top of my list for Mother’s Day. I’ve seen personalized initials but I’ve never seen anything quite like this before…
  • I tried on a yellow gold puffy heart ring by Ali Ruth of r.u.t.h.n.y. almost a week ago and haven’t stopped thinking about it. I also discovered the designer at the start of the pandemic and her playful designs are arguably some of the brightest, happiest parts of my instagram feed.
  • Ali Weiss is my new girl crush and I think her earrings might convince me to get another piercing. The line is a great go-to for gifts with such a wide array of fine jewelry at accessible price points too.
  • Ritique Jewelry’s Tricone collection stole the show at a press preview I attended the other day. Geometric but feminine and entirely original. It’s the type of collection that speaks to designers, innovators, and creatives. I’m in love.
    What are your staple pieces? 
    • There are a few classic pieces that I never take off. They’re easy to style or reinvent daily with charms or add-ons so they’ve really become the foundation of my look! I love:

      catbird sweet nothing

      1. Catbird’s Sweet Nothing Choker
      2. Idyl’s Diamond Studs
      3. KBH’s Reclaimed Split (love this one as a pinky ring!)
      What are your favorite pieces to take a look from day to night?
      • Lariat necklaces like this look great with a classic bodysuit and blazer at the office. Lose the bodysuit, wear the blazer like a low cut top, and your jewelry just took you to date night. 
      • And while a classic hoop really goes with everything, I swear there’s something about a rose gold pair that can take a look from brunch to happy hour without a second thought.
        What are your tips for finding elevated pieces on a budget? 
        1.  Prioritize raw materials over brand names. Take a trip to the diamond district or consider online retailers that offer wholesale prices for exceptional pieces, like Capucelli and Ferkos Fine Jewelry. There won’t be any regrets in buying strategically because, honestly, have you ever asked someone the brand of the tennis bracelet they’re wearing? 
        2. Consider less vs. excess. For years, I continually invested in poorly made costume jewels that didn’t hold up well under water, pressure, or daily wear. Then, I realized that I could have owned one or two 14k gold or diamond pieces in lieu of the drawer of tarnishing trendy baubles. Set an annual budget and consider buying the 1x pieces that you’d love in 2+ years.


        Layering can be daunting! What are your top tips to get started? OR Layering 101 (a few of your top tips)
        • There are no rules. You literally can’t make a mistake. So, have fun with it.
        • I’ll always be a proponent of mixing metals and textures. Rose gold & yellow gold play exceptionally well together, especially at different lengths. I’ll always come back to diamonds set in white gold too. I also think a stack that looks too uniform can come off as ‘trying too hard’ so I’ll always prefer an eclectic one that is uniquely my own.
        • The best looks I’ve pulled together have always come out of style experiments. There’s nothing wrong with putting six necklaces on before taking that one that keeps clanking against another off before you walk out of the door.
        • Sometimes, it’s easiest to start with the shortest and thinnest chain(s) you plan to wear that day before throwing caution to the wind. I think the dantiest pieces also look the best underneath a statement or two.
        • To avoid tangling, start layering thicker chains in different styles on top of your staples (think: skinny snake, paperclip, ball chain). I try to shorten or limit the number of dainty pieces to two so that they don’t find themselves tied into a bow in my hair by the end of the day.
        • I also don’t believe that every layered necklace needs to be arranged at a different length. As long as all of the pieces you’re stacking don’t have charms of the same size that hit or hide each other, let them hang out. You’ll find a few combinations that surprise you and uncover the art of the “neckmess.”

        Photos courtesy of Leya Kaufman and Catbird

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