Shane Watson: Ready for a little razzle dazzle? Bring on the bling

How to dress like a grown up with Shane Watson: Ready for a little razzle dazzle? Bring on the bling

  • Shane Watson shares her advice for embracing this season’s gold necklace trend
  • She suggests opting for varied lengths, widths and textures when purchasing 
  • British style expert reveals a selection of High Street stores offering the look 

Anyone who spends even a small amount of time with twentysomethings will be aware that they’ve dedicated the past two years to collecting and layering up their gold chains.

Top of the birthday present list for any 21-year-old is still a chain with a tiny pendant from Monica Vinader or Missoma. Can’t go wrong at Christmas, either.

Of course, you don’t have to be under 30 to have bought into the fashion for wearing a tangle of chains, but it helps.

Get past 40 and your interest gravitates towards earrings and rings — hassle-free jewellery. You’ve got the one gold chain you need, and you don’t want any more. That’s what I thought.

Shane Watson shares her advice for embracing this season’s gold necklace trend. Pictured: Kaia Gerber

But this winter, everything feels a bit different. A bare neckline now looks barren and cold and in need of cheering up. You can fix that with a scarf, a ruby-red polo neck or a pussy-bow blouse.

But for those days when your collar bone and a few inches of chest are on show, a gold chain or two feels like just the right amount of warmth and razzle.

Meanwhile, the fashion for multiple gold chains (they have to be gold) keeps on growing — and the chains have got bigger and blingier too, which in many ways makes it easier.

You don’t have to pile on lots of delicate necklaces, you can go for a couple of more substantial ones if you prefer. And substance, in my view, is the secret to making this look grown-up and chic.

The detail that makes the difference — apart from convincing-looking gold plate, nothing too bright or brassy — is a T-bar clasp that you wear in front.

Top of the list is Missoma’s gold, twisted link, T-bar chain (£349, Or go for its plain gold pendant disc (£105).

The fashion has been for pendants engraved in classic Greek and Roman styles, and that antique coin look is still a firm favourite.

Shane suggests opting for varied lengths, widths and textures when purchasing gold necklaces. Pictured: Alesha Dixon

Otherwise, throwing a snake chain into the mix adds extra shine, a variety of different-sized links adds texture, and a charm or two works, especially if they’re small and flat.

That said, don’t be tempted to get lots of add-ons. This is all about the mash-up of chains.

If you want a short-cut, Missoma does a crafty, half one link and half another chain necklace which makes it look as if you have twice as much going on (£189,

Missoma and Monica Vinader are at the high end of the costume jewellery brands, along with Tilly Sveaas and Soru, whose charm chain necklace is a classic (£165,


  • Stick to gold chains and pendants.
  • Boost up the shine factor with a snake chain.
  • Vary lengths, widths and textures.
  • Don’t go longer than your breast bone.

But the good news is that joining the chain gang doesn’t have to cost a lot. Orelia is a brand that’s excellent value; it does a good-looking, gold-plated, chunky chain T-bar necklace (£25, and a three-row chain — all different textures — with an open circle pendant (£28), and that’s just for starters.

Astrid & Miyu is similarly affordable and reliable for everything from chains with pretty pendants decorated with a few zircons (blossom pendant, £85, to snake chain necklaces (£69) or an oval-link T-bar necklace short enough to wear just showing above a high neckline (£65).

Tilly Sveaas does a good-quality T-bar chain, too (£100,

And Amme does the perfect just-chunky-enough Figaro chain necklace (£75, amme, which you could wear with one of its finer-chain necklaces and a textured disc add-on (£45 and £30). It also does a thick rope chain at £80 — but I’d stick with links.

If you can’t get your head around chunky and want something pretty and timeless, that is allowed. You can start light and maybe upgrade later.

For a fine-trace chain and a charm that looks like it cost a lot, it’s worth checking out Tilly Sveaas: scroll down past the pricier items to the brand’s necklace with a little gold disc pendant embedded with a Swarovski crystal (£70,

PD Paola does a nice line in delicate, gold-plated chains with added details. Best-sellers are the Jasmine necklace from the Blossom collection — dotted with tiny dangling gold petals (£55, — or the Amore gold necklace with an engravable disc (£80).

And, of course, there’s always the safe building blocks at Monica Vinader — if you’re unsure, start with a plain chain (£50, or the Ziggy pendant charm necklace set (£110), which you can have engraved for free.

Is it just me or does this feel like a year for jewellery with messages on?

How about: Bring on 2021.

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