Formerly considered strictly street fashion, the Cuban link chain has been gaining popularity among high-fashion designers like Dior and Louis Vuitton recently. This has opened the accessory to wearers with numerous ways to style high-quality white, rose gold, and yellow gold chains.
If you are new to wearing Cuban link chains, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with the main characteristics to focus on when choosing the perfect chain and get inspired by some ideas of how to style the chains you own.
In this men’s jewelry style guide, you’ll explore how to pick out the right piece and how to wear your Cuban link chain so you can show off your innate sense of style.
A Cuban link chain features oval interlocking links that lie flat when you wear the piece, making the style a sleek, modern alternative to chunkier, raised styles like a rope chain or a box chain.
When looking at Cuban link chains, the first element that stands out is the chain’s material. Each type of metal gives off its own vibe and pairs with different colors. The three most common precious metals used to construct Cuban link chains are yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold.
● Yellow Gold
Yellow gold is the OG chain material. Thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, yellow gold was used to create jewelry pieces for royalty, including bracelets, ball chains, and even sandals. Since then, yellow gold has remained a status symbol of power and wealth.
Yellow gold Cuban link chains are a classic choice. This precious metal looks good on any skin tone and adds warmth to ensembles with vibrant solid colors and bold-colored patterns.
● White Gold
White gold is created by mixing yellow gold with other metals such as nickel and palladium to get a classic white hue. White gold was created in the 1700s but didn’t take off as jewelry until a wartime platinum shortage in the early 20th century. Since then, white gold has created elegant, timeless jewelry, including men’s chains.
Cuban link chains of white gold add coolness to your outfit and work well with blacks, grays, dusty pinks, and pastel colors. White gold complements all skin tones but looks especially good on people with cool undertones.
● Rose Gold
Rose gold mixes yellow gold with various amounts of copper to create blushing results. First made popular as a material in Russia’s famed Fabergé eggs, rose gold has risen to new heights of popularity in the last decade. The precious metal now graces the face of luxury watches and Cuban link chains, as well as many other jewelry pieces.
Rose gold looks amazing on individuals with pink and olive undertones in their skin and adds a touch of flirty romance and retro charm to any outfit.
When choosing your ideal Cuban link chain, finding the perfect length is an important factor to consider. Although lengths vary by designer and manufacturer, Cuban link chains typically come in lengths of 20″ to 30″.
If you prefer your chains to sit just at your collarbone, go for 20″, 22″, or 24″, depending on the size of your neck. This length of chain looks good with open collared shirts like button-downs or polos.
For a more traditional necklace length, opt for a Cuban link between 24″ and 26″. This type of Cuban link chain looks good with sweaters and t-shirts and is especially nice to layer with other types of chains.
A 28″ to 30″ chain is one of the longest options available, hitting at the mid-chest. These chains work well with a layered look on a flat button-down or t-shirt. Pendants pair perfectly with this chain length.
Your chain’s width is responsible for the boldness or subtlety. Cuban link chains come in different widths, from 5.5 mm to 13 mm. The thicker the chain, the more stand-out the accessory will appear, so opt for a width that complements your style and makes you comfortable. Smaller chains are an excellent choice for work or dressy occasions, while thicker chains are better for vacation and party ensembles.
When choosing a Cuban link chain, decide whether you want to rock some bling or whether you’d rather go with a simple, shiny metal. Iced-out Cuban link chains can garner you show-stopping attention and are ideal for occasions. For a more day-friendly look, you might opt for a classic yellow or rose gold Cuban link chain, unembellished.
You can layer chains of different lengths together to enhance your look. You keep it simple with just two or three chains or layer on as many chains as you own. There are some layer rules to get you started and guide how you can best layer your gold chains.
Start with a chain that is about 20″ to 22″ in length. You can add a shorter or longer chain to your first, but make sure the second chain has a size difference of at least 2″. This leaves room to add pendants to your chains and gives enough separation you can see and appreciate all the chains you’re wearing. Try out different lengths and link thicknesses to see what works for your outfit.
Why not jump on the latest hot accessory trend: mixed metals? Layer a thick Cuban link chain in yellow gold with a more delicate rose gold Franco chain for a statement look that perfectly balances the warm tones of each metal.
The styling options for a Cuban link chain are endless. You can find the right length and type of metal to go with any outfit or occasion. Go for a more casual vibe wearing a shorter gold chain with tees and hoodies. Class it up with a white or rose gold chain or wear layers of chains for a more dramatic look. A Cuban link chain is a perfect choice, no matter your preferences or sense of style.