The Maximalist’s Guide to Buying and Styling Rings

Lindsey Lanquist
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The Maximalist’s Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
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Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.

Though some insist a good manicure is all you need to dress up your fingers, I’ve always been more partial to the magic of layered rings than I have to the power of nail polish. Though my hands often feel at home without a coat of black, white or nude gloss lining their tips, they rarely feel complete without an array of metal bands hugging every last knuckle.

Stacking rings is the sartorial equivalent of stepping into armor, at least for me. Something about layering silvers and golds on my hands makes me feel edgy and tough and badass. It’s like having brass knuckles on at all times—but dainty ones that’ll complement an outfit, rather than overpower it.

MORE: Acrylic Earrings Are the ’80s Throwback We Can’t Get Enough of

But the practice of acquiring and stacking rings is often more complex than it seems. Combining statement pieces is possible but challenging. And if you’re anything like me, you’d prefer to mix metals of different shapes and sizes—not stones in myriad colors and textures.

Not to mention, stocking up on an array of stackable rings that fit your fingers and work well together is one thing—doing so on a budget is another. A given maximalist ring display might involve as many as 10 rings at a time; it’s simply not worth it to spend hundreds of dollars on each ring, especially when there are plenty of incredible options you can score for a fraction of the price.

MORE: 38 Art Deco Engagement Rings So Stunning They Belong in Museums

Below, you’ll find something of a comprehensive guide to buying, styling and stacking rings—the maximalist way. Part street style inspiration, part shopping guide, the below slideshow should help you figure out what you’re looking for in a layered ring ensemble—and where you can turn to find it.

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STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Stackable Stones

Don't be afraid to stack stones of different shapes, sizes and colors. The result is a statement-making display that'll ground any outfit—no matter how light and flowy.

Photo: Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Stackable Stones

Don't be afraid to stack stones of different shapes, sizes and colors. The result is a statement-making display that'll ground any outfit—no matter how light and flowy.

Everything ring set in Iridescent Stone, $38 at Free People

Photo: Free People.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Sleek Statements

Not into stones? Thick, misshapen bands can give you a badass brass knuckle vibe when combined.

Photo: Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Sleek Statements

Not into stones? Thick, misshapen bands can give you a badass brass knuckle vibe when combined.

Riva Ring, $120 at Still House

Photo: Still House.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Silver Shapes

A mixed ring set in a single kind of metal can give you a dynamic look that won't overpower the rest of your ensemble.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Silver Shapes

A mixed ring set in a single kind of metal can give you a dynamic look that won't overpower the rest of your ensemble.

9-pack rings, $10 at H&M

Photo: H&M.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Angular Appeal

Remember, rings don't have to be circular.

Photo: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Angular Appeal

Remember, rings don't have to be circular.

Luma ring set, $38 at BaubleBar

Photo: BaubleBar.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Structured Switch-Up

Keep your rings achromatic, but vary the band size and shape—you'll end up with a geometrically dynamic look sure to turn anyone's head.

Photo: Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Structured Switch-Up

Keep your rings achromatic, but vary the band size and shape—you'll end up with a geometrically dynamic look sure to turn anyone's head.

Stackable ring set, $6 at Forever 21

Photo: Forever 21.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Mix and Match

Getting a ring set that comes with all kinds of different options will make mixing and matching your jewelry incredibly easy.

Photo: Onnie A Koski/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Mix and Match

Getting a ring set that comes with all kinds of different options will make mixing and matching your jewelry incredibly easy.

Faux gem ring set, $6 at Forever 21

Photo: Forever 21.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Delicate Details

For a minimalist way into a maximalist trend, try keeping your bands simple—and mixing metals, instead.

Photo: Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Delicate Details

For a minimalist way into a maximalist trend, try keeping your bands simple—and mixing metals instead.

Delicate stacking ring set, $24 at Madewell

Photo: Madewell.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Singular Showstopper

Maximalism doesn't have to mean stacking rings. It can mean sporting a single statement piece instead.

Photo: Timur Emek/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Singular Showstopper

Maximalism doesn't have to mean stacking rings. It can mean sporting a single statement piece, instead.

Peacemaker ring, $42 at BaubleBar

Photo: BaubleBar.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Stand-Alone Stones

A statement stone can go a long way—whether you wear it on its own or combine it with other, more delicate pieces.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Stand-Alone Stones

A statement stone can go a long way—whether you wear it on its own or combine it with other, more delicate pieces.

Merewif Feelings ring, $88 at Free People

Photo: Free People.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Subtle Circles

Keep things seriously simple with a pack of rings consistent in color, size and shape—but varied in texture.

Photo: Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Subtle Circles

Keep things seriously simple with a pack of rings consistent in color, size and shape—but varied in texture.

Textured midi ring pack, $12 at Topshop

Photo: Topshop.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Pretty in Perpendicular

Vary your lines with rings that run in different directions.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Pretty in Perpendicular

Vary your lines with rings that run in different directions.

Punto gold plated ring, $52 at BaubleBar

Photo: BaubleBar.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Dainty Differences

Contrast doesn't have to be obvious to be interesting.

Photo: Georgie Hunter/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Dainty Differences

Contrast doesn't have to be obvious to be interesting.

Assorted gem ring set, $7 at Forever 21

Photo: Forever 21.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Chunky Combinations

Don't be afraid to combine your heaviest pieces—stone, metal or otherwise.

Photo: Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Chunky Combinations

Don't be afraid to combine your heaviest pieces—stone, metal or otherwise.

Everything ring set in Arrowhead, $38 at Free People

Photo: Free People.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Beautiful Bands

Even when stoneless, bands can be dynamic.

Photo: Timur Emek/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Beautiful Bands

Even when stoneless, bands can be dynamic.

Geo cutout ring, $19 at & Other Stories

 

Photo: & Other Stories.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Jewel Tones, Jewel Stones

Your ring display doesn't have to be restricted to gold and silver. Stocking up on stunning stones can be a fun way to add some color to an achromatic look—or add more color to an already-colorful one.

Photo: Timur Emek/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Jewel Tones, Jewel Stones

Your ring display doesn't have to be restricted to gold and silver. Stocking up on stunning stones can be a fun way to add some color to an achromatic look—or add more color to an already-colorful one.

Bejeweled ring set, $28 at Free People

Photo: Free People.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Magnificent Medleys

Four words: Have fun with it.

Photo: Timur Emek/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Magnificent Medleys

Four words: Have fun with it.

BaubleBar crystal rings, $42 at Shopbop

Photo: Shopbop.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Lovely Lines

For the person who doesn't want to choose between "curvy," "straight" and "angular."

Photo: Onnie A Koski/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Lovely Lines

For the person who doesn't want to choose between "curvy," "straight" and "angular."

Twisted ring set, $6 at Forever 21

Photo: Forever 21.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Negative Space

As any designer will tell you, negative space can be just as interesting (if not more interesting) than the stuff happening in the foreground.

Photo: Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Negative Space

As any designer will tell you, negative space can be just as interesting (if not more interesting) than the stuff happening in the foreground.

Circle bar ring, $19 at & Other Stories

Photo: & Other Stories.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Textured Trinkets

The more dynamic each ring can be, the better.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Textured Trinkets

The more dynamic each ring can be, the better.

Oxbow Designs Vena stacking ring set, $110 at Urban Outfitters

Photo: Urban Outfitters.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Loaded Layers

Like claws, but in a fashiony way.

Photo: Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Loaded Layers

Like claws, but in a fashiony way.

Mixed metal ring set, $6 at Forever 21

Photo: Forever 21.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Adorned Alloys

Gem-ful and gem-free aren't your only options.

Photo: Merilyn Smith/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Adorned Alloys

Gem-ful and gem-free aren't your only options.

Isabel Marant Bague Casablanca stackable ring set, $115 at Shopbop

Photo: Shopbop.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Terrific Textures

Because simple and dynamic don't have to be mutually exclusive.

Photo: Cedric Riberio/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Terrific Textures

Because simple and dynamic don't have to be mutually exclusive.

Three-pack rings, $10 at H&M

Photo: H&M.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Delightful Duos

You know what they say: Two heads rings are better than one.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Delightful Duos

You know what they say: Two heads rings are better than one.

James Stone pinky ring, $20 at Urban Outfitters

Photo: Urban Outfitters.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Masterful Medleys

Layering statement rings in a neutral color palette will keep all eyes on your statement accessories.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Masterful Medleys

Layering statement rings in a neutral color palette will keep all eyes on your statement accessories.

Horn ring set, $20 at Free People

Photo: Free People.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Spotlight Stones

"Huge," "colorful" or "clunky" doesn't necessarily equate to "not versatile."

Photo: Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Spotlight Stones

"Huge," "colorful" or "clunky" doesn't necessarily equate to "not versatile."

Alidia ring, $42 at BaubleBar

Photo: BaubleBar.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Shades of Silver

Varied textures and shapes and thicknesses—oh my.

Photo: Georgie Hunter/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Shades of Silver

Varied textures and shapes and thicknesses—oh my.

Simple ring pack, $18 at Urban Outfitters

Photo: Urban Outfitters.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Shiny Signets

Signets look just as great on their own as they do combined.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Shiny Signets

Signets look just as great on their own as they do combined.

Signet ring pack, $28 at Madewell

Photo: Madewell.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Thick and Thin

Thick bands are so sleek you might just end up looking like a superhero.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Thick and Thin

Thick bands are so sleek you might just end up looking like a superhero.

Classic stackable ring set, $6 at Forever 21

Photo: Forever 21.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Pops of Pearl

Pearl lovers can get their fix and stack their rings at the same damn time.

Photo: Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Pops of Pearl

Pearl lovers can get their fix and stack their rings at the same damn time.

Pearl gold-plated ring set, $68 at BaubleBar

Photo: BaubleBar.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Shapely Silhouettes

Bands adorned with all kinds of shapes? Yes, please.

Photo: Onnie A Koski/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Shapely Silhouettes

Bands adorned with all kinds of shapes? Yes, please.

10-pack rings, $10 at H&M

Photo: H&M.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Party of Four

One ring on each finger (save your thumb).

Photo: Timur Emek/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Party of Four

One ring on each finger (save your thumb).

Four-pack rings, $7 at H&M

Photo: H&M.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Leading Lines

Insert subtle vertical lines where you can to break up the horizontal consistency.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Leading Lines

Insert subtle vertical lines where you can to break up the horizontal consistency.

Open duo bar ring, $19 at & Other Stories

Photo: & Other Stories.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Rose Gold Royalty

Silver and gold aren't your only options.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Rose Gold Royalty

Silver and gold aren't your only options.

Multiband ring pack, $18 at Topshop

Photo: Topshop.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Bulky Bands

Any band that runs from one knuckle to another gets a yes from me.

Photo: Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Bulky Bands

Any band that runs from one knuckle to another gets a yes from me.

Cote ring, $158 at Still House

Photo: Still House.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
In Focus

Put the spotlight on one ring by keeping the rest in a single, achromatic palette.

Photo: Timur Emek/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
In Focus

Put the spotlight on one ring by keeping the rest in a single, achromatic palette.

Sun fan ring, $19 at & Other Stories

Photo: & Other Stories.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Layered Loops

Rings don't have to just layer over your fingers—they can layer over each other, too.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Layered Loops

Rings don't have to just layer over your fingers—they can layer over each other, too.

Twisted ring set, $5 at Forever 21

Photo: Forever 21.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Geometric Gems

Statement-making pieces come in all kinds of different shapes.

Photo: Hanna Lassen/Getty Images.
STYLECASTER |The Maximalist's Guide to Buying and Styling Rings
Geometric Gems

Statement-making pieces come in all kinds of different shapes.

Hexagon bead ring set, $19 at & Other Stories

Photo: & Other Stories.

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