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by Jesus Zabala - 5 min read

What Makes Thick Chain Necklaces a Stylish Statement

It’s evident that many styles from the 80s and 90s are making a comeback back and are taking over the fashion world. A 90s staple that seems to be in demand is chunky chain necklaces, and people are loving it! This has people questioning what makes thick chain necklaces a stylish statement and how today's thick chains compare to those of the 90s.

Minimalist jewelry has been in the spotlight for many years now. But this year, we can see that the thick chain necklaces are the centerpiece. Now, thick chain necklaces are the pinnacle of fashion, transforming even the simplest outfits into a highly sophisticated style. 

What Makes Thick Chain Necklaces A Stylish Statement

What Makes Thick Chain Necklaces A Stylish Statement

The stylish appeal of thick chain necklaces is their versatility. Depending on the design, chunky chain necklaces can suit anyone's style, at any age and gender. 

Versatility in material

The list of materials chain necklaces are made from is endless; from a thick gold chain necklace for men and women to thick silver chains or diamond crusted, they can definitely choose from a plethora of materials. 

Also, oxidized silver thick chain necklaces have risen in popularity. These chains are made by taking sterling silver and oxidizing it. This creates the look of a rock or dark grey stone, which will only add to the edginess of the look. 

Versatility in design

If hip-hop stars made gold chains popular, chain jewelry, in general, was made popular by the rock and metal community. Because of socially imposed stigmas around chains, they were usually associated with inelegance and roughness.

However, the versatility in design in a large chain necklace has allowed room for necklaces to suit any style, even those trying to achieve an old-money aesthetic.

For a touch of elegance and glamour, there are combinations of thick gold chains and pearls. These necklaces are half chain and half pearls, allowing the wearer to wear either a chain or a pearl necklace, depending on which side they place to face the front.

However, fashion enthusiasts are turning to wearing the necklace in a manner that shows off both sides. This is done by placing the point where the chains and pearls meet to sit on the suprasternal notch. 

They allow room for creativity

Today the thick chain necklace trend is everywhere, and unlike other necklaces trends, the thick chain necklace allows room for creativity and personal expression.

If you don’t want to let this great statement piece sit by itself on your collarbone, you can easily layer it with other minimalistic necklace chains with different pendants and medalions.

For men, chain pendants usually involve dog tags or a cross. Most pendants are crystals or cute shapes, such as flowers or animals for women. Yet, jewelry knows no gender, so anyone can wear whatever type of pendant they want.

The most popular pendant found on thick chain necklaces is the playboy bunny. This type of necklace was largely worn by rappers such as Snoop Dog and Cardi B.

I’ve also noticed an increased demand for ring details on chain necklaces. The Gopa Necklace is such a thick chain necklace worth checking out. It’s a beautifully crafted curb chain necklace with a large ring detail attached to the front. 

Aside from the ring detail, the slight oxidation creates a dark sheen, adding to its vintage charm and making it a unique piece.

The ring is intended to fall right between the two sides of the collarbone and sit near the suprasternal notch.

They take an outfit from boring to chick

Another reason a thick chain necklace is a versatile jewelry piece is that these necklaces can be styled with any outfit for any occasion.

If a woman puts on a plain white t-shirt and denim jeans, maybe a blazer too, she will be nothing more than a causal, everyday outfit. But if you add a thick gold chain necklace, the outfit immediately becomes a chic modern combination.

A man could wear cargo pants and a plain black t-shirt, and when he adds a statement thick silver chain necklace, the outfit modish appeal to your casual outfit.

How Modern Thick Chain Necklaces Compare to 90s Thick Chain Necklaces

Thick chain necklaces are a classic trend that always finds its way back. Yet with every comeback, they’re more different and more unique than the chain necklaces before them. Let me elaborate on how today’s thick chains compare to those of the 90s.

The 90s thick chain necklace

Back in the day, when hip-hop music was taking over the world, chunky chain necklaces were a staple jewelry piece. News tabloids and magazines reported on rappers wearing large chunky chains, and suddenly everyone was rocking a thick chain.

In the 90s, there weren’t many variations of chain necklaces. First off, almost all of them came in large sizes made from thick chain links. Secondly, the most popular chain link was the Cuban link chain; almost everyone owned such a chain necklace.

Thirdly, the most popular material for these necklaces was gold. Rappers would rock gold or diamond-crusted large chains, while others usually wore silver or gold-plated thick chain necklaces.

Modern-day thick chain necklaces

As of 2023, thick chain necklaces are made from different materials and chain links. Designers have strayed away from the Cuban chain link and experimented with other styles.

Some of the most popular chain link styles for thick chain necklaces today are:

  • Round link chain - a chain with soldered circular links linking them.
  • Parallel link chain - the parallel chain is built on top of a basic link chain or circular link chain but with double links.
  • The gourmette chain - is a twist on the standard basic chain link, where the links are round or oval. However, they’re twisted and usually with a diamond cut. 
  • Twisted curb chain - this chain is made up of links such as on the gourmette chain, but in this case, they’re twisted.

Modern-day thick chain necklaces


Ultimately, versatility is what makes thick chain necklaces a stylish statement. The long list of available materials, different chain link styles, and the plethora of extra details hold the power of thick chain necklaces being among the favorites as of 2023.

Nonetheless, whichever type of thick chain necklace a person wears, they must wear it confidently.

Jesús  is the founder and designer of JewelryLab. He is the Head of Design and also oversees production, quality control, and precious metal sourcing.