Dainty, minimalist jewelry has spent the last few years dominating the trend cycle. Thin ring stacks, tiny gold hoops, and delicate layered necklaces have been the bijoux of choice for virtually every self-professed minimalist — and even a few maximalists too. And though statement styles have appeared on the runways to great acclaim often enough, they just don’t tend to trickle down to impact the IRL trends in any significant way. This is perhaps why the recent rise of the thick chain necklace trend is so noteworthy — and such a breath of fresh air.
Increasingly, fine metalwork is seeing its long-held territory encroached upon by the edgier, more high-impact look of large, thick links. The trend was ushered in with the last spring season and has carried through into the Fall/Winter 2019 collections as well, with labels like Bottega Veneta, Marni, Prada, and Off-White all offering their own iterations of chunky chains. Contemporary jewelry brands have embraced this new mode as well — see, for example, Young Frankk’s vintage-inspired square chain set, the summery pearl pendant Medina necklace and abalone-embellished link necklace from Lizzie Fortunato’s most recent release, and pretty much anything from Laura Lombardi’s lineup of hefty brass designs, like the bubbly metal Piera necklace and long interlocking Isa earrings. But of course, the ultimate litmus test of whether a trend has legs is Instagram — and bulky chain link jewelry has been popping up all over the app, earning a seal of approval from both the maximalist and the less-is-more camps alike.
This is an unexpected attribute of the recent shift towards more substantial hardware — it is surprisingly versatile and wearable for all persuasions of personal style. While the designer collections may have presented a heavy-handed version of the aesthetic, piling on the hefty metal in a more substantial manner, many of your favorite modern minimalist influencers are opting instead for a more distilled approach, elevating a sleek tank top with a single gold curb chain perhaps, or wearing a classic swimsuit with a collar of polished, oversized links.
From there, you can customize the look to your desired level of boldness and statement-making effect by mixing metal finishes, weights, and chain patterns. Go ahead and throw in some of those old delicate pieces too, if you feel like it. A layered tangle of chains makes for a cool contrast against the barely-there neckline of a slinky silk slip dress; and a tailored, boxy blazer with a basic shirt underneath (or nothing at all) creates the perfect framework to display a row of solid metal bonds around your neck.
No matter how you choose to wear it, now’s the time to buy yourself a chunky chain-link something. Keep scrolling to shop the most standout options the current market has to offer, plus see some examples of how Instagram’s chicest are styling the trend to inspire your own experimentation.
Show It Off
A statement chain paired with a simple, one-shouldered shirt allows the jewelry to shine.
Neutral suiting gets a modern upgrade with the addition of a set of thick chain necklaces.
Back To Basics
A relaxed jeans and tank combination feels instantly elevated with a cool statement necklace.
You may want to take it off before diving in the pool, but a thick chain offers a sophisticated twist to your standard swimsuit style.
Give an extra bit of oomph to a night-out look with the addition of a necklace or bold, oversized earrings.
Pair a chunky chain with a few of your favorite more basic bracelets for a fresh take on the arm party.
Bright gold jewelry instantly pops against sleek suiting in black or navy.
If you tend towards something a bit edgier, try a cool bike or wallet chain repurposed as a necklace.