Normal People – The Little Silver Chain That Could

Connells Chain from Normal People on a model

For a while now, we’ve been working towards a more open approach to men’s jewellery, so if it takes a few weeks of binge-watching induced personal reflection – we’re all here for it.

In our minds it’s one of the few positive topics in recent months to be officially ‘trending’ on Twitter. But labelling it a trend would be an understatement. Lead actor Paul Mescal plays Connell Waldron in Normal People, the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel of the same name. Both Mescal and his co-star, Daisy Edgar-Jones, have gained huge recognition for their performances, having previously received little screen-time. The show has captivated viewers worldwide, which follows a young couple in a romance from high school through university. Its’ aesthetics are second to none, but there’s one unlikely detail that’s been attracting everyone’s attention..

We think the show’s costume designer deserves a raise #connellschain. Mescal’s Connell Waldron dons a thin silver chain throughout the series, and it’s been the subject of admiration to say the least…almost stealing the show.

The beauty of Connell’s chain is in its modesty. This is minimalist accessorising at its most effective.

Articles began circulating around the chain. My mum tagged me in an Instagram post, kindly pointing out that she’d bought me a similar chain several years ago that I rarely take off. So, we knew we had to cover it somehow.

Since the show’s release, we’ve witnessed searches for “men’s neck chains” soar 68%. The chain has already garnered cult classic status, demanding its own Instagram account, (@connellschain) that’s acquired nearly 200k followers, as well as earning its own emoji. The irony being, that if this necklace were a conscious being capable of expressing such emotion, it would probably laugh off any such attention with a shy, kind of charming humility – the kind Connell himself exhibits.

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📸 Wonderland

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While the hype surrounding the piece from all parties has elevated it to a near-mythic status, the beauty of Connell’s chain is in its modesty. This is minimalist accessorising at its most effective. As seen in our top picks for men’s jewellery guide, less is most often more. Over-accessorising is the easiest way to go wrong with jewellery.

It’s a thin silver chain. What makes it so great, then? Well, here’s why.
First off, we doubt it would’ve attracted so much attention had it only appeared in one or two episodes. It’s there throughout. Effortless, timeless, powerful…these are just a few words that come to mind. The chain is slight meaning it’s subtle, not too much of a statement, and versatile – ideal for everyday wear. It sits a bit closer to the neckline than most, just above the collarbones but not so much as to appear like a choker. This shorter chain is great for softening the angles of the face. It also means it’s more visible, peeking just over a deeper necked t shirt or unbuttoned shirt, drawing the eyes to the neck. A necklace is the best way to ease into the jewellery game because (bar the traditional wedding ring and watch), it’s the most commonly worn.

Here’s our pick:

Our take on Connell’s iconic silver chain

If you don’t feel comfortable with a shorter chain that’s more visible, you can always opt for a longer chain that’s easily tucked under your t-shirt for a more casual look. Silver chains like this deserve so much more recognition because they upgrade any outfit with so little thought, match any outfit, and make a plain white t-shirt and those trusty old jeans a look.

Connell’s chain straddles the line between traditional masculinity and femininity, and in doing so it reminds you that that line doesn’t really exist, and that rules are meant to be broken, anyway. All of our jewellery can be worn by anyone, because defining what constitutes male and female jewellery is becoming an increasingly pointless task anyway.

If you’re worried you’ll be joining a legion of similarly-minded, new silver-chain-wearers in the coming weeks, switching up to a gold plated necklace is a great alternative. Gold also works equally as well with neutral colours, making it just as versatile.

This gold plated sterling silver St Christopher medal is perfect for an individual look

Paul Mescal himself recently posted a series of photos modelling a different necklace, teasing fans of his character’s chain.

The necklace features a small pendant, attached to a familiar style of silver chain, proving the actor knows how to change it up when he wants to express a more personal taste. We’ve got a wide range of St Christopher and pendant necklaces, so you can find your individual take on the accessory (thinner chain necklaces are perfect for adding different pendants to – anything too heavy might overpower the pendant).

All of our jewellery can be worn by anyone, because defining what constitutes male and female jewellery is becoming an increasingly pointless task anyway

While the characters’ wardrobes reflect the show’s 2000-something setting, the necklace is clearly still resonating with those in the fashion world today. Which is to say, it would’ve worked with styles in the ‘90s, the ‘80s and beyond.

It’s a cliché but, where fashion is temporary, style is permanent.

The beauty of Connell’s chain is in its timelessness.

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