Necklace vs. Chain | Various Materials, Designs and Styles

Necklaces complement outfits so elegantly that they’ve become a must in every woman’s closet. You can wear them with formal, casual, or black-tie outfits. However, there are many types of necklaces on the market, and each one works with a specific attire. For example, there are pendants, chains, chokers, and cascades. To style them correctly, you should know the differences between them.

This article will acknowledge a famous dilemma among women, necklace vs. chain. We’ll also tell you how to style both, so let’s get into more detail!

Necklace vs. Chain: What’s the Difference?

a woman wearing jewelry

To begin with, necklaces are standalone jewelry pieces that mainly consist of metals like silver and gold. They either look simple with no ornaments whatsoever or end up being dazzling diamond necklaces.

In addition, they come in many different sizes and shapes, making them a suitable accessory for any outfit.

As for chains, they’re technically one of the many types of necklaces that you can wear. However, they’re heavier and look thicker since they mostly consist of many strands intertwined together. In addition, they come in many patterns and somewhat resemble cables.

In comparison, necklaces are usually adorned with charms and pendants, while chains aren’t. Also, necklaces are much lighter and simpler in look.

Types of Necklaces

To give you a better idea about the difference between necklaces and chains, we’ll tell you the types available in both. Here are some necklace types that you might have come across before.


Pendant necklaces are the most popular type among jewelry lovers. They’re very versatile and can go with nearly all other accessories. A pendant necklace has an effortless design, as it consists of a thin chain with a pendant attached. Some necklaces also have multiple pendants adorning them.

As for the pendant, it might be a diamond, a locket, a gemstone, or any small accessory (see ‘Genesis’ necklaces).


Chokers are meant to flatter your collarbones as they wrap elegantly around your neck. Many chokers wrap so tightly that it almost looks like you aren’t breathing. However, those work best for people with long necks.

If you have a short neck, you’ll do better with a loose choker.

Chokers pair well with off-shoulder tops and shirts as they highlight your neck and shoulders. You can also layer them with other necklaces and pendants for an attractive look.


Princess necklaces exist to be worn by royalty because of their breathtaking appearances. They have a sophisticated design consisting of glistening stones that come together to a large central piece. The main piece might be a large diamond pendant or another precious stone.

Because of their eye-catching designs, they pair best with plunging necklines and strapless dresses. One of the most famous princess necklaces worldwide is the Brazilian Aquamarine that belongs to Queen Elizabeth.

a woman wearing necklaces
stylish necklace with gems


Chokers and pendant necklaces are primarily simple and complement costumes delicately; however, this beauty is a showstopper.

Professionals often style cascade necklaces with plain dresses to avoid jumbled looks. This is because they catch people’s eyes more than any clothing article.

A cascade necklace works best with high necks and strapless dresses. So, if you want to spice up your outfit, it’s a perfect choice.

It also comes in different metals and textures, so you’ll easily find your match if you decide to purchase one.


Single-strand necklaces are the most traditional type out there. They come in different metals and are usually pearl necklaces in their design.

Due to their simplicity, they’re pretty versatile, and you can style them with many other accessories. Also, if you own a long single-strand necklace, you can double it for an effortless, stylish look.

And now, it’s time to discuss chains.

Types of Necklace Chains

Here’s a brief roundup of the types of chains for necklaces that you can complement your outfit with.

The Cuban link chain, also known as the curb chain, is currently the hottest chain on the market. Those necklaces have attractive designs that go with many outfits, and they’re so durable that they might stay with you for a few years.

Curb chains consist of interconnected links that can lay elegantly flat even when interlocked. Also, chunky curb chains are suitable for men’s necklaces since they give off a masculine vibe. However, thin Cuban link chains look feminine and pair perfectly with pendants.

Cable Chain

Cable chains have basic designs with no meticulous details whatsoever. They merely consist of many similar oval links that connect to form a delicate chain. There are two forms of cable chains available, flattened ones and rounded ones.

Rope Chain

As the name refers, this chain’s pattern looks like a rope. It has a classic, timeless design, making it a common chain style among hip hop enthusiasts. Many rap singers feature rope chains in their videos and on red carpets.

a girl wearing a bundle of chains

Figaro Chain

The Figaro chain features a dazzling design that works for both genders. However, it’s more famous among men. It has a unique design that consists of two circular links surrounded by elongated oval links from both sides. Despite its high price, it’s a famous gold chain due to its elegance and simplicity.

Figaro chains pair well with many pendants such as medallions and crosses.

Snake Chain

Snake chains take a proud stance among necklaces as one of the most elegant types out there. Their appearances resemble the patterns of snakes’ skins. Mainly, this chain consists of tightly interconnected links with either squared or rounded cross-sections. The unique interconnection of links breeds a zigzag projection that you’ll notice if you look closely.

Box Chain

Box chains consist of many square links connected to form a smooth chain, unlike other chains with round and oval links. Those chains are popular among women and men, as they come in many lengths and widths. That said, men mainly prefer wider box chains.

If you purchase a box chain, you can rest assured that it won’t break as it’s pretty durable. Also, if a link falls apart, you can replace it easily without a hassle. Alternatively, you can reattach your necklace chain without putting back the broken link, and the design won’t look any different.

Herringbone Chain

A herringbone chain consists of interconnected flat and thin metal segments. As the name refers, the segments gather to resemble a herringbone pattern as each one of them is bent at the middle.

In terms of fashion, herringbone chains are statement necklaces, especially gold chains. They give off a strong vibe and look less flexible than other necklace chains. Unfortunately, they aren’t very durable and may break if you pull on them too hard.

Omega Chain

Omega chains resemble herringbone ones in that they also consist of flat segments of metal. They’re pretty flexible and can bend and kink freely. However, this deems them less durable than other chain types. People mainly style them as chokers.

Wheat Chain

The wheat chain looks different from all other chains on our list. It has four strands that consist of intertwined oval links. Those chains’ splendor mainly lies in the shape of links after they’re twisted together, as they create an eye-catching design that ought to dazzle anyone.

Also, this chain necklace has high durability, even if it’s thin. And while this quality works best for people who wear it every day, it gives the chain low flexibility. So it’s often a challenge to layer a wheat chain with any other chain.

Mariner Chain

The mariner chain looks a lot like the Cuban link one, but with links that resemble ship anchors. It has two available designs, the flat link and the rounded edge design. Mariner chains are strong, so you don’t have to worry about them coming apart because of pulling and wearing them constantly.

Byzantine Chain

If you want to wear a staggering piece of jewelry that gives outfits glamour like never before, then by all means, wear a byzantine chain. Those necklace chains are heavy, thick, and have intricate patterns that glam when worn around the neck. In terms of textures, they somewhat resemble the rope chain.

This necklace chain is also flexible, and you can wear it with other accessories. However, byzantine gold chains are famous for being one of the most expensive chains on the market because of their weight. So, if you have a tight budget, you can settle on silver chains instead.

To Wrap Up

Necklaces complete every outfit, and they come in many shapes and sizes. And chains are one of the most famous. But to style them right, you should know the difference between them and standard necklaces. Mainly, chains are thicker with more complicated designs and don’t have pendants. On the other hand, necklaces have simple designs and might be adorned with stylish charms.

Now that you’ve learned about the different types of jewelry chains, you can make an informed decision about what chain to use for your necklace or chain.

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