Style Glossary: Chain of Thought

Savvy though you may be, there’s likely a missing link in your fashion knowledge. But don’t worry–you’re not alone. Because, beyond snake chain and, perhaps, box chain, few folks really know the specific terms associated with different kinds of chains. Well, chain of fools no more, Aretha! This post will polish up your basic knowledge in no time.

Curb Chain – This chain looks like a cable chain that an elephant stepped on; it’s made of flattened, round or oval loops.
Cable Chain – Perhaps the most basic design out there, this chain features uniform, perpendicularly interlocking ovals or circles.
Wheat Chain – Crafted from sets of four twisted ovals, this chain is named for its resemblance to–you guessed it–wheat!

Rope Chain – Simple-yet-elegant, this chain is composed of tightly linked oval pieces that fit into a voluptuous helix shape.
Popcorn Chain – This hard-to-describe chain features small, slightly bulbous pieces arranged into a cylindrical shape.
Panther Link Chain – Sleek and relatively flat, this chain is composed of partially overlapping hinged links.

Which of the above is your favorite?


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  1. Avatar
    Emily 08/03/2011 at 5:29 pm #

    I used to work in a jewelry store years ago, and this post reminded me of combing through pouches of chains, trying to learn all the names. Fun 🙂
    My favorite is definitely the wheat chain–it’s delicate, yet is thick enough to be visible, unlike some very fine curb chains and box chains I have in silver, which basically make it look like the pendant is scotch-taped to my chest!

  2. Avatar
    Lauren Mocny-Branum 08/04/2011 at 12:17 am #

    Wheat, very delicate and cozy

  3. Avatar
    emily 08/04/2011 at 2:33 pm #

    I love thick rope chains, especially over a shirt with a high neckline

  4. Avatar
    shelby petersen 08/04/2011 at 11:23 pm #

    dido on the wheat chain. i love a good long necklace though and as long as it has a great pendant i’m pretty much down with any chain style!

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