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How to Style Body Chains for Summer and Beyond

Dec 05, 2023Dec 05, 2023

They're back, baby.

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Body chains are back, babes. Unlike the last time they took the accessories world by storm, body chains are no longer the sole domain of pop stars and the preteens who worship them. Instead, thanks to brands like Chanel, Stella McCartney, and Chloé, the sultry accessory has undergone an elevated runway makeover. This new generation of body chains combines the quality of fine jewelry with the sensual power of fine French lingerie. They're grown up, luxe, and, believe it or not, they go with almost everything.

The body chains of today boast real pearls, crystals, and precious metals, so it makes sense that the styling options have gotten the high-fashion treatment, too. No longer relegated to the realm of crop tops and low-rise jeans, celebrities and fashion houses are pairing body chains with designer maxi dresses, blazers, and gowns. Ahead, we've rounded up 11 new ways to style body chains that you'll be itching to adorn yourself with ASAP.

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Shop Similar: Alana Maria Malibu Body Chain, $289.

Ocean-inspired accessories and summer maxi dresses are summertime classics for a reason. So if you're hoping to channel Botticelli's Venus this season (and honestly, who isn't?) without looking like you're wearing a costume, try a full-length body chain beautifully adorned with subtle pearls or mother-of-pearl beads.

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Shop Similar: Free People I Love Your Way Body Chain, $68.

Blazers, especially of the oversized variety, have quickly become our go-to canvas for trying out delightfully subversive trends — like the underwear as outerwear craze, for instance. Take this sultry train of thought a little further and swap out a bralette for a statement body chain.

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Shop Similar: Alana Maria Jordana Body Chain, $329.

Finding the perfect necklace for a bold neckline can be difficult, especially when you're rocking a deep V. Thankfully, plunging necklines and body chains are a match made in heaven. You can wear a body chain over your dress or top like the models at the Chanel Cruise RTW '24 fashion show or style things a bit more flirtatiously by wearing the body chain under your clothes.

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Shop Similar: Missoma Bobble Belly Chain, $127.

Add some depth to a midriff-baring matching set by wearing a simple belly chain around your waist. This look can be luxe and minimal, like how Kim Kardashian wore it, or amped up to the umpteenth level with lots of layered chains.

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Shop Similar: VIDAKUSH Rainbow Station Body Chain, $90.

We spotted body chains at Miami Swim Week long before they went mainstream on Ready to Wear runways, and many folks still think of them as swim accessories. We love how body chains can transform a swim look, whether it's adding a playful set of brightly colored beads to a basic bikini or elevating a sophisticated piece even further with dainty golden chains.

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Shop Similar: 8 Other Reasons Halter Chain Top, $288.

Breathe new life into a simple white tank by wearing it under a body chain. It's a great backdrop for delicate gold pieces and is also an excellent opportunity to experiment with bold, curve-hugging styles of chains.

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Shop Similar: Camila Coelho Yena Body Chain, $58.

Dip your toe into wearing body chains by tossing a few asymmetrically across your chest. The look is subtle but still striking and a great way to get used to the feel and movement of wearing body chains.

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Shop Similar: Child of Wild Marbella Body Chain, $128.

A delicate body chain can literally hold a look together. Next time you're putting together a minimalist two-piece set, skip rings, necklaces, and bracelets in favor of a body chain that wraps you from shoulders to waist.

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Shop Similar: Ariana Ost Crystal Corset Body Piece, $128.

Bring a touch of glamour to even the most relaxed athleisure 'fit by wearing it with a body chain. Rather than going extra luxe, we recommend opting for a body chain that incorporates crystals, semi-precious gemstones, or seashells for a vibe that's laid-back and unique.

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Shop Similar: NAiiA Sasha Body Chain, $289.

Add an air of sophistication to a simply cut metallic dress by pairing it with a body chain. Mixed metals work beautifully here, so don't be afraid to create lots of contrast with chain styles and thickness.

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Shop Similar: ASOS Black Crystal Body Chain, $52.

Hear us out: Between music festival fashion, the return of "naked dressing," and the bras-as-outerwear revolution, there is literally no reason not to wear a body chain as a top with some decorative pasties. Is it a look you could wear to the office? No, probably not, but it's still a look worth adding to your gothic-heroine-goes-to-lollapalooza mood board.

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