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A Man’s Guide to Wearing Gold Chains with Style

Man wearing gold chain

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Gold chains are a stylish accessory for men, whether you’re a rapper, a style icon or an average Joe. Because these accessories come in a several types, it’s easy to find one that will suit your personality and sense of style.

In this article, we’ll break down why gold chains make for an excellent male accessory and what factors you need to keep in mind when choosing the right one for you.

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Why Wear Gold Chains?

The right gold chain can amplify your style and make your casual outfit a little unexpected and a whole lot of cool.

Gold chains add some edge and personality to your ensemble—something you can’t get with just a pair of jeans and a graphic tee. They’re also functional and worthy of investment.

With celebrities like David Beckham, Pharrell Williams, and other stylish men sporting them, gold chains are on the radar of all men.

They can look great on everyone regardless of your style, personality, and preferences.

How to Choose the Best Gold Chains for Men

If you’re looking to buy a gold chain to up your accessory game, there are a few things to take into account. These include the following.

  • Know your gold
Gold chain

Check Price Here

When selecting gold chains, it’s important to know the gold color and karat that works for you.

Gold doesn’t just come in yellow – it comes in white, rose, black and sometimes even green. The most common colors, however, are yellow and white when it comes to men’s necklaces.

While yellow gold creates some pop of color to your outfit, white gold can amp up the elegance in your navy blues and grays. If you want a more masculine and edgier vibe, think of black gold chains.

When it comes to durability of your chains, the lower the karat the more durable it is. However, if you have metal allergies, stick to higher karats like 14k, 16k, or 18k that won’t likely react to your skin even if you wear them all the time.

Keep in mind that the higher the karat, the more gold content it has, and the more expensive it is.

  • Choose the right type of chain.
Figaro gold chain

Prefer something classic, like this Figaro chain? Check Price Here.

Herringbone chain

Or something more unique, like this reversible omega gold chain?

If you want to experiment with your personal style, it’s best to start with a classic gold chain since, different designs can garner you more attention than you might feel comfortable with at the start.

The type of chain you choose can reflect your personality and sense of style. When it comes to men’s necklaces, it’s more about complementing an outfit rather than being the statement piece of your overall look.

Sleek Chains: Omega chains, Box chains, Snake chains, Herringbone chains

When in doubt, keep your necklace simple. These chains are great conversation pieces, but they can overpower your look (depending on their size). The herringbone and omega chains are flat and formed with links, while a snake chain has a rounded tube look with subtle zigzag patterns. On the other hand, a box chain has a four-sided shape, and its chain consists of a square links.

Classic Chains: Rolo chain, Cable chain, Curb or Cuban chain, Singapore chain, Marine chain, Figaro chain

These are the most common types of men’s necklaces, the image that comes into you mind when you think of “chains”.

The cable and rolo chains are quite similar as the two are comprised of interlocking circle links, but the latter can alternate in size. Also, these chains are commonly worn with pendants.

The marine chain can interlock or be laid flat, but it is composed of oval links with horizontal bar in between. In fact, it resembles the chain attached to an anchor on a ship, hence the name.

Both curb and Figaro chains have interlocking flat links, but the latter forms a pattern and alternates with a rectangular link. These are the types that are typically worn by rappers to flaunt their wealth.

A Singapore chain is a twisted curb chain, which consists of twisted links and is usually worn with a pendant.

Textural Chains: Bead chain, Popcorn chain, Wheat chain, Rope chain

Whether you like to wear these necklaces with pendants or without, they add some texture and dimension to your overall look. A bead chain is often used with dog tag necklaces, and is made from ball-shaped links joined by short lengths of wire.

A popcorn chain resembles the puffed look of “popcorn”, and is created by lightweight, convex links. The wheat chain and rope chain are quite similar in appearance. However, the latter has twisted links resembling a rope while a wheat chain is formed by oval links woven together resembling wheat stalks.

  • Consider the chain length
Different chain lengths

Choose from a range of chain lengths. See this here by Your Dream Jewelry 26.

Men’s gold chains come in a variety of lengths, from 14 to 30 inches, depending on the look you want to create. In fact, you can even play with different lengths if you want to layer multiple chains at once.

If you like a choker style necklace, choose between 14 to 18 inches. This length will perfectly suit more formal pieces like a shirt, and relaxed items like tee, sweater, turtleneck, or a jacket.

If you want mid-length chains, choose between 20 to 24 inches. These chains are usually unornamented, and fall around the base of your neck or top of your sternum. These necklaces will look great when worn with an open shirt collar or outside the shirt, as well as with a basic tee with crew or V neckline.

On the other hand, chain necklaces with pendants like dog tags and crosses ideally fall between 22 and 24 inches. These chain lengths can also help elongate the neck and draw the attention to your broad chest. If you want to layer your chains, start with 22-inch and 24-inch chains that will add some edge to your everyday T-shirt.

If you’re looking for punk, rocker style chains, choose between 25 to 30 inches in length. These necklaces are meant to be worn outside the shirt, and make a bold statement. They’ll also give you an edgier, hip-hop vibe for a night out.

  • Choose the right thickness of chains
Different gold chain thickness

Chain thickness makes all the differences. See these here by Goldmania.

While the thickness of your chain can affect the durability of the chain, its width also plays a role on how subtle or statement making it will look. Technically, you can choose between 1mm to 21mm chain depending on the look you’re trying to create.

If you want to keep your gold chains subtle and make it work for formal occasions, choose between 1mm to 6mm.

If you want to rock your gold chains with your casual outfit, opt between 6mm to 10mm, which is the middle width range for men’s necklaces.

If you want to make a bold statement, choose between 12mm to 21mm chains. These are the kinds that most hip-hop and rockers wear.

However, the width of your chain should ideally be proportionate with its length. You wouldn’t like to wear a choker length necklace that is too wide, and a very long chain that is too thin.

  • Make it work for your wardrobe and style
Simple dog tag

Simple dog tag chain by Designs by Dawn Renee. See it here.

Statement gold chain

A statement look by Twisted Pendant. See it here.

When it comes to choosing gold chain design, it’s all about your lifestyle and what you gravitate towards. If you want something that can be your signature jewelry, think of a simple chain necklace that can be worn with your casual tees and button-down shirts. Simple chains like ball chains and cord chains won’t overpower your 9-to-5 look, yet enhances your style.

Some gold chains like Figaro and Herringbone are a statement on their own, while others will look great with a pendant. A choker length necklace suits a casual outfit like a white tee worn with denim or leather jacket. However, long, thick gold chains are trickier to pull off, but they are ideal if you’re comfortable wearing outlandish styles.

White gold and black gold go well with everything, and won’t clash with colors. On the other hand, it’s best to wear your yellow gold chains with earth tones—browns, reds, oranges, yellows, greens, as well as grays and blacks.

Don’t forget that matching your accessories gives a more cohesive and polished overall look. While a yellow gold necklace looks striking, it will clash with a silver watch (unless that’s the look you’re going for).

  • Make it unique and a bit more personal.

Whether you want to wear gold chains for decorative, functional, or sentimental reasons, it should feel comfortable and personal for you. Here are some tips:

  1. With or without a pendant: Choosing a chain design that looks stylish in itself can give you a classic yet cool look. But adding a pendant will add some individuality and allow you to customize the look.  
  2. Starting small: If you’re not used to wearing necklaces, start with a dog tag or chain necklace. Pair this with a meaningful pendant, like a religious emblem or a symbol that means something to you.
  3. Dog tags: If you love the appeal of military fashion, make your gold chain more personal with a dog tag. This can be customized with a favorite quote or keep it simple with your name and medical information. It also makes your jewelry more of a piece of identification than an accessory.

Regardless of your personality and preferences, your gold chain should be something that complements your style and reflects your character.

If you’re considering what type of chain to choose, read our helpful guide listing the most popular types of chains. In terms of durability, check out our guide covering the strongest and weakest types of gold chains.