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🎼Chain, chain, chain…. 🎵  There won’t be any “chain of fools” this fall if you decide to layer gold link chains around your neck or wear gold, waist-cinching chain belts. Remember the chain belts from the ’80’s that were adorned with charms and coins? They’re back. In addition to gold link chain necklaces designers are hanging gems, crosses and charms from them, or they’re layering them on separate thinner chains underneath. They’re also adding long ropes of pearls and wearing them all together. Many of the pieces featured this fall remind me of my mother’s jewelry.

Lucky me. It’s back in style.

At one point mother had a beautiful chain belt, but I don’t know what happened to it. I think this Chanel belt is smashing! Think about pairing a gold chain belt with denim jeans or black velvet pants, or wear it around the waist of a blazer or an oversized sweater. If you like Chanel, there are lots of vintage, Chanel, gold chain belts on the Real Real, an online, luxury consignment shop that authenticates each piece and makes note of any wear and tear. The prices are soooo much cheaper, plus they often put items on sale.

This fall Oscar de la Renta is showing gold link chokers, some very chunky, that lay flat around the neck.

Both of the photos above are from Oscar.

I’ve mentioned my mother had great taste and a real flair for styling clothes, probably because she was a model and then a buyer in couture. We never had much money when I was growing up, but mother always looked like she’d stepped off the runway. Below are three of her necklaces and a large charm, or pendant, she added to many of her pieces. They’re all back in style and are costume jewelry pieces she may have bought at Dillard’s or Macy’s. Except for one they are as beautiful as the day she bought them.

This one is from Carol Lee Jewelry.

And this one is from Cinar Jewelry. I read about Cinar online. Much of their work was done by hand and was often plated in 18-carat gold. Since mother’s necklace hasn’t lost any of its luster, I’m wondering if it could be gold plated even though I don’t find a gold marking anywhere? I found one identical to mother’s on Ebay for only $89, so I’m thinking it’s not gold plated.

Here you can see more of the “seed” work Cinar was known for that might have been done by hand, but it was still inexpensive enough to be considered costume jewelry.

Have you noticed we don’t hear the term “costume jewelry” anymore? Probably because we’ve blurred the lines between real and fake and we’re wearing both together now.

Here’s another one of mother’s gold link necklaces. This was one of her favorites. It has some markings on the clasp, but I can’t read it to know the manufacturer or whether it’s gold plated. She worked for a jeweler in the Trade Mart in Dallas for a number of years and several of her pieces are “real.” I just don’t know which ones.

Mother would often hang this pendant from one of her necklaces. It’s a large piece… two inches in diameter… and has a lion, a shield, a sword and a fleur de lis. I need a magnifying glass to read the manufacturer on the back. You can see where the finish is gone in spots, but it’s still a pretty piece.

This fall Adeam paired a short, single strand of pearls with a chunky gold choker.

One of my favorite looks is Versace’s 2019, gold, chain link necklace with round, oversized Medusa heads. This is NOT one of mother’s pieces. Oh, how I wish!

There’s a “chain reaction” happening on the wrist as well because chain link bracelets–some are dark metal–are also popular this fall… which brings me to a full-circle moment.

Thinking about ropes of pearls and chain link necklaces and bracelets makes me think about my friend, Taylor, who gave me this beautiful bracelet for Christmas almost eight years ago. She said, “It looks like you.” It’s a piece I never would have picked for myself, and yet, this bracelet changed the way I thought about my personal style. I started wearing my leather pants, again… with this bracelet… and ditched my Armani in favor of elevated casual. Everything I’ve shown you on Fashion Friday is an outgrowth of this bracelet. Thank you sweet friend! I love you!

When was the last time you thought about changing your style? It doesn’t have to be a radical change, just something that says you’re young at heart and not stuck in another era.

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  1. Heading into that ERA of casual but always with a PUNCH of COLOR and JEWELS!
    YOU may see me in MORE CAFTANS BY DAY as It’s been SO HOT here in Northern California!
    I do recall the GOLD chains and I too have a few hanging around!
    I worked in THE COLLECTORS department at NORDSTROMS in the 80’s and we got things at COST!
    I have some GIAN FRANCO FERRO earrings that I adore……………..
    CAFTANS on the BLOG This week!Pop over when YOU can!

    • Oh, Elizabeth! You look fabulous regardless of whether it’s beastly hot or freezing cold. One thing we don’t know about you is what do you sleep in? A caftan? xoxox, Brenda

  2. I just laughed at this , I have LOTS of chunky jewelry from my Mom .. it was not my style , it’s so large , but I kept it , mostly since none of the resale stores would take it … so here you are sharing the trend is back , what a Hoot !! I just may wear it Now … Thanks

    • Renee, Chunky gold jewelry was not my thing either, although my mother always looked beautiful, and her friends wanted her to take them shopping and style their outfits. Now like you, I have these necklaces that are back in style. Interesting the resale stores didn’t want them. If we don’t think we’ll ever wear them, perhaps now is the time to show them this blog post and see if they’ll buy them! xoxox, Brenda

  3. Love this! I have a drawer full of similar heavy gold chokers and chains. I’ve never thought about the value…just knew they were special to my mom. I’m going to have a look now and consider wearing a piece…good to know they’re back in style!

    • I love all of these comments, Joan! It seems as though all of our mother’s had chunky, gold chain jewelry. We need a group photo of us all wearing our necklaces! xoxox, Brenda

  4. I had momma’s ashes put in a beautiful charm that I wear around my neck every day. It’s my most cherished piece of course, but I love that some of her older things are coming back in style. I had a belt almost like the Chanel chain belt when I was a teenager.

    • Rena, Your mother would be so touched… and I imagine not surprised… to know you wear her ashes every day. That says so much about the relationship and the love the two of you shared. So sweet… Thanks for sharing! I had a Chanel like belt as well and remembered loving it but have no idea what happened to it. xoxo, Brenda

  5. Vintage fashion jewelry from Oscar de la Renta, Kenneth Jay Lane, Napier, etc. are hot on 1st Dibs and ebay. I have Napier pieces that I bought thirty years ago for a small price that now are getting $150-$500. New Napier jewelry is cheap and boring. I always loved bold, chunky pieces. Kenneth Jay Lane is my favorite and the look has stayed the same over the years. This brand has new and gorgeous art deco style pieces. Jackie Onassis to Michell Obama wore KJL. Brenda, your mother sounds like she was a very chic lady.

    • Hi Colleen, I love this! Thanks for the info about these jewelry brands. I remember them all. Kenneth Jay Lane socialized with the Jackie O set, didn’t he? His pieces have always been a cut well above the others, but I remember Napier as well and of course, Oscar. One of my favorite necklaces I bought for myself a number of years ago is from Oscar. Not cheap, but then not as pricy as real gold, but it’s held up beautifully. Mother was chic and lovely. Considering we had totally different styles, she did a good job of keeping her mouth shut about my clothes in the 70’s and 80’s, although she predicted I would die… an old lady… in a pair of blue jeans. xoxox, Brenda

  6. I love that chunky gold is back, My large link charm bracelet may be coming out of retirement (the safe). And yes, I might actually wear some of my mom’s obnoxiously huge jewelry!

    • Lauren, Obnoxiously huge jewelry! LOL! I remember thinking the same thing about some of my mother’s jewelry. Now I would love to own one of Julie Vos’s large link bracelets… (included in the shopping pieces above)… which is reasonably priced and even the Versache Medusa head necklace which is SO NOT me! I also wouldn’t wear it often enough to justify the price, so I’ll pass. xoxox, Brenda

  7. Isn’t this something. My sister in law, who inherited all of her mother’s jewelry (90 years old, passed away late last year), was up here a couple of weeks ago looking at what she wanted to keep. Nothing like this in mil’s collection, I don’t think. My personal style leads me more to jewelry sold at craft fairs but I liked the jewelry in pictures above that came from Forever 21 Forever 21! I’ve never set foot in one. I may be changing that. I don’t consider myself style conscious but I do have my own personal style, now that I think of it.

    • Hi Alana, I just pass by Forever 21 at the mall. The short, short skirts in the window made me keep walking. Not my tribe! Have you clicked on the Forever 21 images? You can see a larger image of them and get a better feel for whether it’s worth a trip to the store, or you can buy one online. Of course you have style!! We all have our own individual style, and the fact that we have lots of style choices, regardless, makes it so great. I went through a period in my 40’s where my style was flexible. My late husband and I spent lots of time in Wyoming, New Mexico and Colorado, and I would always fall for the Native American pieces, but knew I didn’t have much to wear with them. Then there’s my friend at church who wears turquoise and silver with everything, and she looks great! xoxox, Brenda

  8. I love chunky gold jewelry though I don’t have a lot. I am into bracelets right now so am always looking for new and different ones. I love some of the items you posted but of course, the John Hardy $7,900 bracelet is the first thing to catch my eye. A little out of my price range. lol

    • LOL! I’m with you, Victoria, about the John Hardy bracelet. I found another one I know you’d like but it was over $20,000. It did take my breath away… and my retirement account… Hope this is a great week for you, sweet lady. You’re still in the process of getting use to being without your husband and living alone. I think of you often. xoxox, Brenda

  9. After losing ALL of my jewelry during our move (!) I only have a few bracelets and three or four of Turk’s Mom’s chunky gold-link necklaces, very much like you pictured… not exactly my style, but stunning. Thank you Brenda for this fashion bulletin! Since I too am probably “going to die an old lady in my blue jeans,” may as well dress ‘em up with some classic gold jewelry!!

    • Donna! You lost your jewelry? Oh my stars! That’s terrible!… Really terrible! Like you, the chunky gold link necklaces aren’t my style, but I wore one of mother’s to the doctor’s yesterday and had one of my necklaces on a thinner gold chain layered underneath, and it looked great! xoxox, Brenda

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