Chain Necklaces for Women

14 Always Classic Chain Necklaces for Women

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From delicate and dainty to bold and chunky, chain necklaces offer endless styling potential. They can be worn solo to make a statement or layered together for a trendy stacked look. Both classic and modern, these essential necklaces are perfect for everyday wear or dressing up for a special occasion.

14K gold link chain necklace

Check out this 14K gold classic link chain necklace here.

The classic link chain with its interlocking oval or round links is the most common type of chain necklace. These can range from thin and delicate to create a minimalist look or chunky and bold for a more substantial style. Gold and silver link chains are versatile basics that every jewelry collection needs.

Cable Chain

14K gold plated classic cable chain necklace

Check out this 14K gold-plated classic cable chain necklace here.

Cable chain necklaces feature unique interlocked links that lay flat against the skin. The twisted shape of the links creates a subtle texture and added shine. Cable chains have a more modern and sleek look than regular link chains. They are often worn in chokers and collar styles.

Curb Chain

18ct White Gold Curb Chain 45cm

Check out this 18ct White Gold Curb Chain 45cm here.

Also known as Venetian chains, curb chains are interlocked oval links with a rounded ridge or “curb” along each side. The heights allow the connections to lay flat for a sleek, fluid look. Curb chains come in varying widths and are prevalent in choker lengths. Gold curb chains are ideal for formal events and black-tie attire.

Snake Chain

18k gold plated snake chain

Check out this 18k gold-plated snake chain here.

Snake chains consist of smooth, slinky links that zigzag and interlock. The fluid links allow the chain to be flexible and drape elegantly around the neck. Snake chains only reflect light along the outer ridges, creating a subtle shine that works for both day and night.

Choosing the Right Chain Length

Chain necklaces come in a variety of lengths to complement different necklines. The right size can accentuate your features and allow you to layer multiple chains.

Collar/Choker Length

18K gold plated choker necklace (15 inches)

Check out this 18K gold plated choker necklace (15 inches) here.

Collar-length chains measure 14-16 inches and sit high on the neck below the collarbone. This tight choker length is on-trend and perfect for crew neck tops. For a casual daytime look, layer a collar chain over a t-shirt. For the evening, style a sparkly choker-length chain with an off-the-shoulder dress.

Princess Length

White ceramic 18k yellow gold link necklace

Check out this White ceramic 18k yellow gold link necklace here.

The princess length of 18 inches is the most common and versatile chain length, as it falls neatly around the collarbone. Princess-length chains accentuate open necklines and look great on their own or layered with longer chains. This length is ideal for both casual everyday wear and formal events.

Matinee Length

18K gold interlock chain necklace (20 inches long)

Check out this 18K gold interlock chain necklace (20 inches long) here.

Matinee length chains measure 20-24 inches, hitting the upper chest above the bust. This length is perfect for button-up tops and crew neck sweaters, as the chain is long enough to be seen over the neckline. Matinee chains also work great layered with collars and chokers.

Opera Length

Opera length silver chain necklace

Check out this Opera-length silver chain necklace here.

Opera-length chains end mid-chest, measuring between 28-34 inches. This longer length allows the chain to be seen even with lower necklines. Opera chains can also be doubled or tripled for a layered necklace look. The size is ideal for layering with shorter princess and choker lengths.

Rope Length

Very long gold chain necklace (37 inches)

Check out this Very long gold chain necklace (37 inches) here.

Rope-length chains are any links measuring longer than 36 inches. These extra-long chains can be wrapped around the neck to create a layered look. Rope length also allows for pulling the chain through a pendant or tassel decoration to customize the drop.

Styling Tips and Ideas

Chain necklaces are versatile accessories that can be incorporated into any wardrobe. Here are some stylish ways to wear these classic necklaces:

Everyday Casual Wear

14k gold plated chain necklace with a snake pendant

Check out this 14k gold plated chain necklace with a snake pendant here.

For casual everyday looks, please keep it simple with a delicate gold or silver chain over a t-shirt, button-down, or blouse. This adds subtle shine and interest to basic outfits. Try layering a longer princess-length chain with a choker or lariat necklace.

Layered Chains

Triple row layered gold chain necklaces

Check out these Triple-row layered gold chain necklaces here.

One trendy way to wear chains is by layering multiple lengths and metals together. Try combining silver, gold, and rose gold chain necklaces for visual interest. Vary the link size and style for texture. Chokers, princesses, and matinee or opera lengths layer well together.

Adding Interest to Work Outfits

Chunky curb silver chain necklace

Check out this Chunky curb silver chain necklace here.

Class up professional looks like blazers, sheath dresses, and button-downs with a classic silver or gold chain necklace. Longer opera-length chains complement scoop and v-necklines by adding a little shine. Or try a chunky curb chain necklace to dress up a basic sheath.

Evening and Formal Wear

solid silver open link chain necklace

Check out this solid silver open-link chain necklace here.

Dress up little black dresses, strapless tops, or off-the-shoulder silhouettes with a statement chain necklace. Try a chunky gold curb or snake chain to add bold shine. Opt for a diamond chain necklace or pendant chain accented with gems for black-tie events.

Play with Lengths

gold layered chain necklace

Check out this gold layered chain necklace here.

Get creative mixing up chain lengths like a collar necklace layered under a crew neckline with a princess length on top. Or a choker with a plunging v-neck and long opera-length chain beneath. Varying the links and metals creates dimension.

Caring for Chain Necklaces

Chain necklaces can last many years as long-term wardrobe staples with proper care. Here are some tips for maintaining them:

  • Store chains properly in a jewelry box rather than tossing them in a drawer to prevent tangling and scratching.
  • Clean periodically with mild soap and water using a soft brush, paying close attention to crevices.
  • Have a jeweler perform annual cleanings and checks for loose links or damage to precious metals.
  • Take chains off before showering, swimming, or cleaning to avoid exposure to chemicals and moisture.
  • When layering, be cautious that chains do not snag or scratch each other.

Following these care instructions will help keep chain necklaces looking beautiful and lasting longer. With timeless versatility, they are accessories to cherish.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What length chain is most versatile?

    The princess length of 16-18 inches is the most versatile chain length for casual and formal outfits. Princess-length chains complement various necklines and sit perfectly around the collarbone.

  • Should the chain length match the neckline?

    It can help balance proportions to match chain length to neckline, i.e., a choker chain wears best with a high crew neckline versus a plunging V-neck. But layering different sizes together is on-trend.

  • What metals look best layered together?

    Popular metal combos for layered chain necklaces include silver and gold, silver and rose gold, or gold and rose gold. When styled right, mixing three metals, silver, gold, and rose gold, can create an eclectic boho look.

  • Are longer chains outdated?

    Longer opera length and rope chains provide great versatility for layering and styling tricks and should not be considered outdated. The average princess length is still the most popular, but longer 31-36-inch chains are on-trend for layered looks.

  • How do you keep chains from tangling?

    Store chain necklaces individually on velvet hooks or pads in a jewelry box rather than tossing them together in a pile. Use clasps to connect chains in the back versus looping them over your head to avoid tangling.


Chain necklaces are the little black dress of any jewelry box – endlessly versatile. With the variety of metals, lengths, and styles available, it is easy to add a classic chain necklace to complement casual everyday outfits and dressy going-out looks. Layering dainty and chunky chains together creates a trendy stacked necklace look.

Make sure to care for your chain necklaces properly, and they can last for decades as staples of your personal jewelry collection. Simple but sophisticated necklaces featuring gleaming interlocked links or interesting textures like cables and snakes are must-have accessories for all women.


Pashalis Laoutaris

I am a professional writer, fashion blogger, and owner of the site As a salesperson for more than 20 years, I have experience of 10 years in the fashion industry. I consider myself a true fashionista. I am writing daily blog articles about fashion, tools and converters, and everything you need to know about the current fashion trends.

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