Gone are the times when men would wear only watches. The modern man combines his casual outfit with rings, bracelets and other accessories – including chains.
When buying a chain, you need to look out for a number of different things, such as the chain length, style and thickness. You should also consider the density of this piece of jewelry.
With the large variety of men’s chains available in jewelry stores and online, it can be tricky to find the chain that adds to your look (You might want to check out What’s The Difference Between A Diamond Cut And A Regular Cut Chain? here).
The thickness of the chain can affect your visual appearance, depending on the outfit you are wearing. The thicker a chain, the more difficult it is to get away with a classic business style, for example.
We take a look at the different chain thicknesses for men, and we find out what is acceptable, and how you can combine chains with your work attire and casual outfits.
The Most Common Thicknesses Of Chains For Men
What is commonly defined as chain thickness by jewelers is how wide the links of the necklace are. This width is typically measured in millimeters (mm).
The majority of available chains for men have a thickness of between 1mm and 2mm. These standard-sized chains can be worn with formal as well as casual outfits.
To give you a rough idea of scale, most headphone wires are around 2mm in thickness. In comparison, your standard pencil is roughly 6mm wide.
If you would like to wear something formal, such as a suit, then men typically keep their chains underneath their shirts.
On the other hand, if you are going for something for casual, then you can show off your chain.
But there aren’t just standard chain thicknesses available. You can also find chains between 3mm and 6mm in width.
For this, it’s good to know that the price increases according to the thickness of the chain. Jewelry makers use more material for the thicker chains, so they are more expensive. This applies to gold as well as other metals.
While chains between 1mm and 6mm thick are relatively common, anything above 7mm width isn’t so widely available.
However, there are still some custom pieces made by jewelers, so if you are looking for a relatively wide chain, then it’s worthwhile speaking to your local jewelry store.
Sometimes you can even find rare chains that have a thickness of up to 12mm.
What’s The Best Chain Thickness For Men?
There is no right or wrong chain thickness for a man’s necklace. A good chain thickness depends on how confident you are, what you want to achieve and what look you want to create.
This means you also need to consider what you are planning to wear as your outfit is the “canvas” for your chain.
Chains can be worn either over or under your shirt. With chains that range in thickness from 1mm to 6mm, you can wear them either over or under your shirt.
Most men prefer to wear their chains under their shirt. This can look especially appealing when you are wearing a button-up shirt with a few buttons undone.
This is the best option for smaller chains. However, for chains that are thicker than 6mm, you are likely going to wear them over your shirt.
This makes thicker chains much more of a statement piece, and you are guaranteed to catch the room’s attention.
In order to get a better understanding of different chain thicknesses, it’s worthwhile paying a visit to your nearest jewelry store.
They will be able to show you a few different pieces, and you can get a feel for what may be the right chain thickness for you.
What Chain Thickness Is Right For You?
The right chain thickness for you depends on what look you want to achieve, and also your own individual preferences.
If you want to wear business casual outfits or just casual wear, then stick with the pieces below 6mm. They give you the greatest flexibility for different styles.
The thicker your chain, the more casual your outfit will look, so you can only wear the really thick chains above 7mm with casual wear.
For example, if you were to wear a 12mm chain with a suit and tie, the chain would visually clash with your sleek outfit.
You could wear the chain underneath your shirt, but these thicker chains are statement pieces, so they aren’t really meant to be hidden.
When choosing the right chain thickness and length for you, it’s also a good idea to pick something based on your build.
Slimmer or taller men often choose a chain thickness between 1mm and 3mm, as this creates a classic look.
On the other hand, bigger men are fine to also go for some bigger chains from 2mm to 6mm.
What’s The Best Men’s Chain Thickness For A Pendant?
The exact thickness of a chain with a pendant depends on the pendant itself. A pendant always adds visual weight to your chain, and you want to make sure that it matches the chain.
As a rule of thumb, smaller pendants with a maximum width of 0.5” are fine to be worn with a thin chain of 1mm width.
If your pendant is slightly larger, then you should opt for a chain thickness of 3mm to 5mm. And if you want to wear a pendant up to three inches, then it is best to choose a chain thicker than 6mm.
Saying this, these are just general guidelines, so you will need to match your chain and your pendant carefully to make sure that you get the right look.
Rope Chain For Men: How Thick Should They Be?
Chains also come in different styles. They are not just all flat link chains. One of these styles is the rope chain which has a twisted look like a rope.
Similar to the standard flat chains, you can get rope chains in different thicknesses. We recommend a thickness between 2mm and 4mm.
There are thicker rope chains, but they are much heavier in weight and they also add a lot of weight visually.
We found that already 2mm rope chains look very strong and heavy, so you need to choose wisely with this type of chain.
One benefit of rope chains is that they are the strongest type of chains on the market. This makes them ideal to go with larger pendants.
Depending on the exact material, some of these rope chains don’t ever break. This is one of the reasons why they are so popular with men.
Rope chains have also seen a huge rise in their popularity thanks to their association with rap artists.
But even if you are not musically inclined, you can also wear a thinner rope chain as an attractive accessory and to spruce up your outfit.
Does The Thickness Of A Chain Affect Its Length?
The short answer here is: yes, chain thickness does have an impact on the length of the chain.
As a rule of thumb, a thinner chain should be shorter, and a thicker chain should be longer.
Saying this, these are just general guidelines. You can get chains that are 8mm thick and they are 18” long, so you are free to whatever feels right for you.
However, the most commonly available thicker chains are always on the longer side, with a minimum length of 24”.
Standard, thinner chains are somewhat shorter, with a length of between 18” and 20”.
The reason why chain length and thickness are interlinked is that they reflect different body proportions, and a chain should also be chosen based on your body type.
Slimmer men usually get away with a chain width of up to 4mm, while broader men can wear slightly thicker chains.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Measure Chain Thickness?
Usually chains for men are measured by professional jewelers. They measure the widest point of a chain link, and this is referred to as the chain’s thickness.
Is 3mm Thick For A Chain?
3mm thickness for a man’s chain is not too thick. In fact, it is the standard size for many chains.
However, this depends on what type of look you want to create. If you want an understated, delicate style, then it may be better to go with something thinner.
Alternatively, you can also wear the 3mm chain underneath your shirt. But if you want to show your chain off, then you can even attach a pendant as this type of chain is definitely sturdy enough to hold a pendant.
The right chain can complete the look of whatever a man is wearing. When buying a chain, it’s important to look out for the style, length and also the thickness.
Chains are also available in a wide variety of different materials, although gold and silver are still one of the classics that can add a touch of maturity and confidence to your outfit.