The Only Accessory You’ll Ever Need: A Chain Necklace


Chains come in all sort of forms, styles, and iterations. Aside for the simple chain one might loop through a pendant and let hang on the neck, there’s the ever-pompous 2 Chainz, the medieval garb chainMAIL, and then “The Chain,” the 1977 Fleetwood Mac song. I’m Stevie Nicks’ biggest fan, but the problem with this chain she sings of here — this metaphorical chain that some object of her affection promised to “never break” — is that, unless you two end up getting married, this particular strain of chain will always inevitably break. To put your trust in this ilk of chain is a precarious, if not downright and unequivocally ill-fated endeavor. It’s a chain whose durability relies not on concrete, measurable factors like material and design, but on vague and emotional ones. And it’s a chain whose livelihood hinges on a notoriously unreliable source: in this case men, who feel pressured to be in a relationship. Stevie took her chances, and I’d urge you to follow her lead if you, too, think there’s a chance it will inspire a song as timeless as “The Chain.” But for everyone else — go for the simple neck chain. It goes with any outfit, won’t talk back to you, and unlike Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” it’s not inexplicably linked to your heart. Put differently: someone accidentally stomping on it is not a grand metaphor for your love life.

Even within the realm of chain necklaces, the options are seemingly endless. There’s the curb chain, which has taken various routes — the chunky route Γ  la CΓ©line:

And the Rick Ross route, which only asks that you attach a single, diamond swathed pendant of your own face.

There’s the link chain, which can be equally as chunky as the curb chain, and which seems to enjoy being held together by a lock (see: Moschino).

And then there’s the much flatter snake chain (also known as the Brazilian chain, hexagon chain, round maille chain, and star weave chain). Less ostentatious than the others, the snake chain is a good choice for layering necklaces, but still looks just as good on its own.

The only chain necklaces I’d advise you to stay away from are: the anchor chain, the ball chain, the bead chain, the belcher chain, and even the box chain. Which — just incase you’re not fluent in metalsmithing — translates to anything you might have worn as a belt or as stomach jewelry in 2005.

And the best part about the chain necklace is that you probably already have one in your jewelry box, just waiting to be stripped of its pendant. Yet its ubiquity may also explain why I’ve had such a hard time finding one myself — that is, finding one that doesn’t feel ridiculously priced considering its pervasiveness. All I can offer you is the idea, and some images that might give some guidance. And if you happen to know where I can find one, do share.