There has always been jewelry for men and guys who want to wear it. But in recent years, men’s jewelry has grown in popularity, especially when it comes to chain necklaces. Celebrities like Brad Pitt, Bad Bunny, Timothée Chalamet, Charles Melton, and Lakeith Stanfield are driving the demand for chains, whether the links are diamond-encrusted or streamlined and understated.
But what are the best types of chains for men? The best types of chains for men definitely serve up masculine (or genderless) vibes and those might be a great place to start. There is a wide selection of chains for men looking to add a little flash of chic to their look, whether they’re shopping online or in a jewelry store.
Since there is an abundance of men’s chain styles to choose from, selection comes down to a mix of personal preference and budget. The types of chains for men vary in weight, length, and thickness. You can go subtle and barely-there, chunky and bold, or even add diamonds to keep things interesting and flex your personality.
For all types of chains for men, the metal type, the thickness (specified in millimeters) and the weight of the chain determine the price. Opting for silver, gold-plated metals, or a base metal (like brass or stainless steel) will help shave down the cost.
If you are interested in trying out the men’s chain trend but don’t know where to begin, consider two of the most common—and classic—types of chains for men: the cable chain and the box chain. Cable chains have rounded or oval interconnected links, while the box chain consists of squared-off links that look like small boxes. Both chain styles are known for their durability and classic appearance.
Here are the best types of chains for men that are available at most retail jewelers.
Men’s Cuban Link Chain
This timeless classic has become an iconic accessory for men, especially men who bring the swagger wherever they go. There are two types of Cuban link chains: the Miami Cuban link (featuring the round, tightly-packed interlocking shapes) and the Prong Cuban link (square links that have a “woven” appearance). Rappers ASAP Rocky and Jay Z have Cuban link chains and Bruno Mars sings about them in his beloved party anthem “24k Magic.”
Men’s Curb Link Chain
An enduring classic with 1970s appeal, the curb link has been around for hundreds of years. Where Cuban links tend to be more dimensional, Curb links are twisted, lie flat, and have a high-shine finish. Actor James Gandolfini wore a curb link chain with a medallion as Tony Soprano in the television series, The Sopranos.
Men’s Tennis Chain
The tennis necklace is a continuous strand of diamonds—small, large, or somewhere in between. A favorite among women, men are now borrowing the style as a way to project confidence and telegraph their fame and/or accomplishments. You may think a men’s tennis chain is the perfect accessory for a red-carpet event (and it is) but Australian tennis champion, Nick Kyrgios, wears his diamond tennis chain on the court.
Men’s Herringbone Chain
Also known as a step-cut chain, the herringbone chain style displays multiple rows of interconnected V-shaped links, arranged so that the direction of each row is opposite the row next to it. Most of the links are created from sheet metal, producing flat sides with sharp edges. It’s a high-shine, nearly-glitzy option that layers well with other styles. Go wide with this one—the 7-9 mm range would be perfect (most men will find that slender herringbones are too dainty and delicate).
Men’s Rope Chain
This type of men’s chain looks like…well, it looks like a rope. Its strands are woven tightly in segments of twos and threes, giving it a twisty appearance. Shiny (and wonderfully extravagant when you choose an oversized style), it’s a favorite among hip-hop greats such as Run D.M.C., Eric B., and Rakim.
Men’s Figaro Chain
One of the more unique men’s chain designs, the men’s Figaro chains are usually thick and feature on longer link alternating with 3-5 smaller links. It’s durable, versatile, and looks cool when you wear it alone or with charms and pendants like crosses or medallions.
Men’s Snake Chain
This type of men’s chain is narrow but sturdy and supremely flexible, creating a single, continuous and fluid line. It’s perfect for dangling pendants and smaller medallions.
Men’s Wheat Chain
Also referred to as a Spiga chain, the wheat chain is formed by V-shaped, interlocking links. It has a braided/woven look that resembles a stalk of wheat. Very 1970s chic and also a good one for pendants.
Men’s Foxtail Chain
Bearing a close resemblance to wheat chains with its chevron pattern, the men’s foxtail chain design has two rows of oval links, arranged at a 45-degree angle and connected by flat links with squared-off edges.
Men’s Byzantine Chain
This intricate Italianate type of men’s chain has a ropey, regal appearance and is formed by a repeating pattern of interlinked jump-ring pairs.
Source: Jeweler’s Mutual