For some, jewelry is like second skin — delicate layered necklaces, lightweight stacking rings, and strategically curated earrings that are rarely taken off and can be worn with everything from a work uniform to an evening out. For others, jewelry is an opportunity to make a bold statement — anything is fair game. If you tend to fall into the second camp, consider the cord necklace your ticket to splashy style for the coming summer months. This jewelry trend entails two key attributes: a cord (or rope) necklace and a pendant of some variety. It's a look that's been around for ages but despite its ubiquity, always manages to elicit a where'd you get that? Its aesthetic feels artisanal, vintage, but also relevant and of the time; it's a necklace worth your investment, basically.
Though cord necklaces aren't in every designer's current offering, there's a small selection of buzzy designers who have incorporated this harder-to-find piece into their repertoire. Ahead, hear directly from Bea Bongiasca, Sayana Durany of Gimaguas, and Morgan and Jaclyn Solomon of AGMES for insights on why this piece adds instant flair to any wardrobe, styling ideas, and the best tips for properly taking care of it.
Nod To Nostalgia
Cord necklaces can be spotted throughout all the best decades in fashion, each with its own unique twist on materials and style. For Durany, the trend is decidedly '90s and early aughts reminiscent. Both Solomon sisters agree it's got an air of 1970s charm (think Elsa Peretti). As for Bongiasca, the '60s era stands out. "From floral motifs, Carnaby Street in London, to the legendary Mary Quant and Twiggy, this trend reminds me of the '60s," she says.
An Alternative To Gold Chains
Of course, a simple gold chain is easy to incorporate into just about any look, but a cord necklace offers the chance to stand out a bit. "The cord necklace is lightweight, youthful, and playful," Bongiasca says. "Also, cords never get tangled, which is a major plus." Both Morgan and Jaclyn Solomon nod to the versatile component as a draw. "I love the ease of a cord necklace and the ability to adapt it with what you’re wearing," Morgan says. "All of our corded styles are self-tie, so you can choose to wear them long or short." The casual nature of a cord necklace makes it feel more substantial than a delicate metal chain, Jaclyn adds.
Fun To Style
A cord necklace can go both ways — worn with bold separates or teamed with pared-back pieces to really let the necklace take center stage. AGMES recently launched ivory silk cords on all of its classic pendant styles, and Morgan recommends wearing them with tonal neutrals for summer. Bongiasca offers both a laidback and playful take. "I love to mix patterns and contrasts, a Prada polka dot taffeta dress or a Fendi knit playsuit will be the perfect combination with colorful, bright, mood-boosting jewels," she notes. "For more casual days, a beige linen or embroidery Anglaise lace dress with low necklines paired with my cord necklaces to complete my summer and beachy look."
How To Take Care
Naturally, cleaning a cord necklace is different than cleaning metals, and it can be helpful to keep in mind a few quick maintenance tips heading into summer. All designers agree to avoid getting the leather wet. "I suggest patting down the leather with a damp cloth. Avoid using a wet cloth or immersing the leather in water as this will ruin it," Bongiasca says. "Put a small dab of mild, moisturizing hand soap on the cloth on both sides. Rinse and dampen the cloth with clean water and wipe the leather clean and dry."