Recent fashion history tracks the chunky chain jewelry trend back to the early 2000s with rom-com characters like Elle Woods donning large Tiffany & Co. jewelry sets complete with “Please Return to Tiffany & Co.” engraved charms. But according to Tammy Kirks, Marketing Director at Harem & Co (1638 E Republic Road, Springfield; 417-881-0602) the trend goes back much further. “We can thank Bottega Veneta for popularizing the chunky chain look on handbags,” says Kirks. “Of course, the most classic chain example is the Chanel quilted handbag with chain straps. A perfect example of chain at its most chic.”
From those 1950s Chanel bags to styles synonymous with the rap stars of the 1990s, large scale chains—with their broad and ever evolving history—are back in vogue for 2022. And this year, they are bigger and bolder and blingier than ever. From jewelry to purses to shoes, we’ve asked two local experts for their top tips on chunky chain styling.
“I love the idea of layering in your chunky chain with your dainty pieces,” says Andrea Pena, owner of Modern Society Apparel (2652 S Glenstone Ave, Springfield; 417-831-0775). "It gives the look richness and dimension,” she adds. For an added impact, Kirks recommends mixing metals when layering. “Decide on a focal point and feel free to layer at will. When wearing lots of chains around your neck, keep earrings simple,” says Kirks.
Bag It Up
“We are all about big chains on purses and bags,” says Pena. In addition to clasps and straps, Kirks has been seeing chain details around the tops of bags and down the sides. Both Pena and Kirks recommend that if you go with bold chain details on your bag, keep the jewelry scaled back.