Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Chain Game: How to Play

Hello friends! Let's continue the sparkle parade by addressing CHAIN.
Light and airy, twiggy-liner and a chain.
Which one will be the winner?

I have been feverishly searching Pinterest, Google, and Etsy for dainty chain necklaces.

My mom says, "Preppy 80's," but all I'm finding is Dynasty style giant baubles and neon (I'm working on clearing up the discrepancy between the 80's-90's right now--it's exhausting, and I'm so over decade related costume parties.... or maybe just terrible Halloween costumes from a bag).

I'm thinking more of a 70's look, but I trust the woman who lived through all of that and admits to being a "trend monster."
The seventies are totally hot right now, mostly long necklaces with big charm/baubles or as another layer. Seeing as I like to wear all my favorites at once, I'm enjoying this trend. I'll have you know I started that layering thing long, long ago. I guess one could say I helped start it, I'm a visionary, OR it's finally coming around and this is my moment to shine. LOL.

Because I can't find what I'm looking for on the internet, I decided to learn about chain and see what I already have. Below you'll find my top fave chains.

Cable chain and variations

1. Cable chain
Remember those paper chain decorations? yeah, same idea.
I enjoy this style for small charms, usually a matching metal. Depending on the weight of the chain, you can play with the size of the charm. I'm constantly mixing and matching.

Some variations include anchor, which are flat/ractangly pieces, and rolo/belcher, that are more open)

Box Chain
2. Box Chain
You see a lot of these in upscale jewelry stores, or old school jewelers who are less edgy. I think all of my Magen David necklaces as a kid have been on this type of chain. Tiffany's has a bracelet (and maybe a necklace) that people love in this design.

The necklace chain is usually a smaller scale than the bracelet style, just because there are a whole lot cooler chunky/edgy chains for that.

It's really simple for any charm, that's why I think we find it so much. Not a lot going on visually, so it's a great backdrop. Once again, consider the weight of the chain before choosing a charm.

Ball Chain, not Ball-Change

3. Ball Chain
Because I don't think any of us got enough in middle school. Once worn with dog tags, then blown up to super size for chokers, and back down to mini ball for looooonnnggg charm necklaces. I'm a fan.

I use ball chain for more casual looks. Although you can see that ranges from religious to fantasy... And back to functional. Yep, that's my dad's dog tag!

L to R: Rope, double cable, double cable.

4. Double Cable Chain
The kind you'd likely find in a new age shop. Sturdy in sterling's what I always say....
Great for large or heavy charms.

5. Rope Chain
The kind your great-grandmother wore. It's not so bad when it's dainty, and if it isn't, go retro with it!
Also great for large or heavy charms, (re purposing those hand-me-down brooches!)
 I think it's just fine with no charm--mostly because it's already so ornate.

Top to Bottom:  Chain, Rope, Rope, Filigree Link. 

Moral of the story, I have what it is that I'm looking for, but I can't find a decent styled picture on the internet.

So I took some.. tadah!

For more information on fantastic resources and actual history:

Design Thrift- Fun Mama blogger from NY who also teaches jewelry DIY's and sells her stuff! I like this write up, because it's applicable to today's trends.

Joden -This has concise descriptions dating back to the Georgian Period.

Antique Jewelry University - This has a really in-depth collection of information dating back to the roman period. (this link is specific to chain though)

Here's a great resource if you still enjoy 80's parties.

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