Forget minimal jewellery – charm necklaces are well and truly back

More is more

Carrie Elizabeth charm necklace
(Image credit: Image 1: Carrie Elizabeth / Images 2 & 3: @okay______fine)

Generally, I don't subscribe to the 'less is more' adage. I'd rather add a bauble (or five) than remove an accessory before I leave the house, contrary to Coco Chanel's famous advice. That's why I was positively thrilled about the bag charm trend and why I'm all in when it comes to charm-laden necklaces.

The look is anything but dainty; think heavy-duty chains strung with an array of eye-catching charms, from vintage talismans to precious gemstones. You probably already own a few errant pendants and that's the beauty of this trend (which is so timeless it oughtn't be called one, though it does feel particularly zeitgeisty right now) – it utilises pieces you already have, with the option to add a new chain or charm to the mix.

A post shared by FoundRae Fine Jewelry

A photo posted by foundrae on

Crucial to the modern charm necklace is the addition of clasps and carabiners (which you can find in new and antique form, depending on your budget and shopping stamina). Some necklaces come fitted with front clasps, allowing you to swap charms in and out depending on your mood and outfit, while carabiners can be added onto existing necklaces or used to conjoin two.

@okay______fine charm necklace

(Image credit: @okay______fine)

No one understands the art of charm styling like content creator @okay______fine. Kylie, the person behind the account, never shows her face – only her incredible jewels and how she styles them. She uses antique carabiners, locks and rings in novel ways, using them to create one necklace out of two or adding dimension to a 'charm salad.'

New York-based brand Foundrae has been championing the front-clasp necklace for years, while the likes of Carrie Elizabeth and Pandora have recently introduced more affordable options. As Kylie proves, it takes years – and decades – to perfect one's charm collection, so start slow, and be sure to look out for antique and vintage options.

Not sure where to start? I have curated four excellent charm necklaces, below.

Build your own charm necklace:

Fashion Editor

Natalie Hughes is Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK. She has worked as a fashion journalist and content consultant for 16 years, crafting copy and content for magazines and brands including Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Net-a-Porter, Who What Wear, Matches, Glamour, and more.