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There is no doubt that all of the bright colors, prints, and whimsical retro-flavored looks are a lot of fun to wear, and so are all of the funky embellishments we are seeing like fringe, feathers, and flowers. But if you’re looking for something a bit sleeker and sophisticated this season, you may be interested in the chain link detailing being used on lots of stylish clothes, shoes, and accessories for summer 2012.
This is one of my favorites, because chain link detailing, especially when it’s done in gold, always reminds me of Coco Chanel and her iconic style. Chanel isn’t the only designer to use chain link for detailing and embellishment, but you can’t get any more sophisticated and stylish than Chanel. This is definitely a classic look. Chain link detailing is hardly a hot new trend, but it never looks old or overly trendy. In fact, it’s quite the opposite; it has a classy vintage look, but it always seems current and stylish. You can work several different looks depending on the rest of your outfit.
In the cooler months, chain link is often seen on jackets, handbags, shoes, and of course jewelry. To switch things up a bit, gold and silver link jewelry are becoming staples of several jewelry and clothing lines this summer. I think it’s the high-end look this embellishment has that makes it particularly popular as embellishment on lots of summer clothing and accessories. One interesting change is this embellishment is showing up on men’s clothing, shoes, and accessories, too. Raf Simons added chain link to a pair of men’s oxfords to take this often-casual shoe style up a few notches.
For jewelry, check out larger links alone as oversized chokers and statement necklaces, or check out styles made with just one strand. Another option is smaller links used in bunches and layered with other kinds of embellishments like pearls, silk cord, and leather, or chain links intermixed with semi-precious stones. If you can’t decide on color choice, check out jewelry that is a mix of both gold and silver tones and other textiles like brightly colored plastics, like Lucite and tortoise.
If you’re not a fan of wearing a lot of jewelry, look for chain detailing on clothing at the neckline, and don’t forget that this trend includes swimsuits and beach cover-ups. For accessories, look for seasonal favorites like straw bags, belts, and sandals that will easily work into your wardrobe.
Traditional is nice, but also try out some unusual places for chain embellishments, like straw hats, the back of shoe heels, and on jeans. Both silver and gold are showing up in magazines, but gold seems to be the favorite this year, so if you usually wear silver, opt for a mix, or be bold and give classic gold a whirl.