4 Chains for Holiday (Neck) Parties

Layering necklaces has been a popular style in some iteration or another for a very long time. Most recently, though, it’s been fun to watch how it has blossomed from a relatively simple concept to something quite a bit more elaborate and personal.

Some years ago (say, between five and 10), layering pendants were all the rage. You’d have a short chain—say about 16 inches—then a slightly longer one, and then one slightly longer than that, each strung with a single pendant that created a perfectly aligned trio of everything from diamonds to hearts to palm trees. The exact look was so popular that jewelers began offering all-in-one pieces, combining three strands into one clasp and calling it a day. This is still a very well-liked style that I’m sure you wouldn’t be too hard-pressed to find.

Quick memory detour: Remember in the ’90s when those three-strand fishing wire necklaces were everything? You know the ones strung with bezel-set gemstones (usually crystal or cubic zirconia) that appeared to be floating? Those were fun.

Anthony Lent Hands pendant
Adorned Hands necklace in 18k yellow gold  and platinum with pear-shape yellow diamond and white diamonds, $21,160; Anthony Lent

Anyway, back to 2019. Layering has gotten much less formal as of late. There’s no specific number of necklaces needed to achieve a specific look, no right or wrong way to wear them, a particular alignment of lengths completely unnecessary. Wear them all short, wear them in a broad range, wear two, wear 10—it’s all about the wearer. “Neck parties” to me as of late feel more about a personal expression of style and less about the need to achieve a trending look—it’s like a charm bracelet if it was worn on your neck, and each charm was a different strand (or, related, some charms can be combined on a single chain for a really great look). There are just too many variances to list, and that is what is so wonderful about it.

Amy Glaswand Large Loops necklace
Large Loops necklace in 14k yellow gold and oxidized sterling silver with enamel, $3,000; Amy Glaswand

I do want to highlight one specific member of the modern neck party, though: the chain. This is such a cool style to see in the mix, because it adds a new texture and a great bit of edge to any curation of neckwear.

Anita Ko Plain cuban link diamond necklace
Plain Cuban link necklace in 18k rose gold with 2.44 cts. t.w. diamonds, $17,025; Anita Ko

Jewelry brands and designers are taking note, as many new chain necklaces are coming onto the market, and there’s more variety than I would once have thought possible, nuanced by a range of perspectives and design styles.

It isn’t just chain necklaces that are gaining ground—in the July/Aug. issue of JCK magazine, our own Amy Elliott suggested chain bracelets as the modern alternative to the classic tennis bracelet—so stay open to chain-link everything (rings and earrings, too). Since I am personally persuaded by this range of styles for the neck, I advise you to consider adding some of these to your stock and finding a good spot up front for the ones already in your store as the holiday shopping season approaches.

Top: The Triple Shaker curb chain necklace in 18k yellow gold with 1.95 cts. t.w. emeralds and 0.2 ct. t.w. diamonds in white sapphire Kaleidoscope shakers, $16,300; Moritz Glik

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JCK Contributing Editor

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