If you’re the type to always keep your eye out for the latest jewelry trends or taking note of what your favorite celebs are wearing on the red carpet, you’ve likely spotted this trend that’s been growing in popularity since the beginning of the year: paperclip chain jewelry.
Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Just like how you might’ve looped paperclips together in elementary school or even when you were bored during that one internship or office job, designers are looping together paperclips made of precious metals to create unique, corporate-inspired chains that are interesting and eye-catching. Modern, but also somehow vintage, sometimes chunky, sometimes slender, sometimes long, sometimes short, sometimes plain and sometimes decked out with accents — you can find paperclip chains designed a variety of ways, so you can add this trend to your personal aesthetic with ease.
Shopping for a Paperclip Chain:
What Length is Best?
When you shop for a paperclip chain necklace, bracelet or other piece of jewelry, as noted, you’ll find varying styles and options. But one factor that you should consider across the board, no matter if you go silver or rose gold, accented or plain, is length.
As with all necklaces, different lengths work best with different outfits, different body types and different face shapes. If you have a rounder face, you’ll want to go with a longer chain, to give the appearance of a longer face structure; if you have a square or heart-shaped face, you can go with a shorter chain length. If you’re on the tall side, you may want to go with a longer chain that will look proportionate to your body.
But once you find a paperclip chain necklace or other piece of paperclip chain jewelry that you love, how do you wear it? Here are a few tips.
Layer Your Look
Layering has been a big trend in jewelry for a while now, and paperclip chains work very well for layering, especially when wearing a more plain, more minimalist chain. Pair your paperclip chain with a flashier necklace or bracelet with some diamonds or other gemstones for a look that blends basics with bold colors or styles.
Ditch the Traditional Clasp
One cool aspect of paperclip chains? Many can be hooked, or clasped, at varying spots on the chain itself. That means you can change up the length of your necklace on a whim, to fit whatever you happen to be wearing.
However, don’t just dangle the excess chain down the back of your dress, if you happen to shorten the necklace. You’ll see many influencers and fashion tastemakers wearing the excess chain in the front, creating a Y-shaped necklace with a dangling finish. The unique take is modern and fun, while not being over the top or too flashy.
Add a Personal Touch
If you’re shopping with a jeweler or designer who offers this option, consider adding a personalized engraving to your paperclip necklace. To do so, a designer will often remove one of the links in the paperclip chain and will replace the paperclip link with a similarly shaped and sized plain link, made from the same metal, that features the engraving of your choice. You can choose to engrave your name, initials, a special date or coordinates — whatever your heart desires. Some designers will even give you the option to embed your birthstone in the engraved link.
Mix and Match
While you can layer your paperclip necklaces and bracelets with other necklaces and bracelets in your jewelry collection, if you really want to embrace this trend wholeheartedly, consider mixing, matching and layering paperclip jewelry exclusively. Mix paperclip necklaces in varying weights, metals and sizes, for a look that’s interesting while also subtle.
Add a Charm
If you want to add a charm to your paperclip necklace, it’s as easy as adding a charm to any chain. See what charms your jeweler has on offer and then ask about adding one (or a few!) to your favorite paperclip necklace or bracelet.
Start Simple, with Earrings
If you’re not quite sure the paperclip chain trend is right for your personal style, start small and simple, with paperclip chain earrings. Since paperclip chain earrings are naturally going to be shorter than the chains used for necklaces and bracelets, you’ll find that most only include a series of two or three paperclip links. The elongated, drop earrings are similar to others you might wear, while also being a little more modern and on trend. It’s an easy way to shake up your everyday look without shaking things up too much. Try these Vhernier 18krg Olimpia Earrings.
Paperclip Jewelry FAQs
Need to know more about this trend? We’ve got answers to all your burning questions.
What does paperclip jewelry symbolize?
While paperclip jewelry doesn’t quite have any significant symbolism and is just a chain style that’s appreciated for its overall aesthetic, paperclips — and wearing paperclips on your jewelry — do boast some symbolism. According to Bellevue University, paperclips were used as a symbol of rebellion by the Norwegians during World War II. The paperclips, when worn, indicated Norwegian unity against invading German troops.
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Why is paperclip jewelry so popular?
There are lots of reasons why paperclip jewelry has become so popular. Not only does this chain style work well with a variety of looks and outfits, from the most casual to the most formal, but it also is easy to include in other trending looks, such as jewelry layering.
How long have paperclip necklaces been popular?
While the most recent interest in paperclip jewelry is only about a year old, the interest in paperclips being used as jewelry or in jewelry pieces goes back way further. In fact, Coco Chanel was actually designing paperclip necklaces in the mid-20th century and those necklaces could be seen on celebs and notable fashion icons such as Jackie Kennedy.
Of course, Coco Chanel’s version was quite different from the paperclip necklaces of today and was more of a traditional chain with paperclips scattered throughout. Today, you can find replications of this Chanel necklace available from a variety of vendors, as well as original and authentic vintage Chanel paperclip pieces, if you’re lucky enough to snag one.
Is paperclip jewelry a good investment?
Just like all chain jewelry, paperclip jewelry makes a good investment if you’re looking for extra staple pieces that you can wear with a range of outfits. However, more embellished or personalized paperclip jewelry may not be as good an investment if you don’t already have your collection’s staple pieces nailed down. Focus on the staples first, then add in extra, trending pieces that you may not love or wear forever.
Want to Add This New Trend to Your Collection?
Whether you’re shopping for a paperclip-inspired piece of jewelry or any trending jewelry for your collection, Yamron can help. Come in and talk to our luxury jewelry experts today and see what you can find among the Yamron selection of fine and estate jewelry. Whatever your personal style, you’re sure to discover something you love.