Trend Spotlight: Paperclip Chain Jewellery

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The paperclip shape reigns in
jewellery right now. Before you write this style off as just another trend, it’s worth noting that the paperclip chain has been a must-have among cool girls for a few years now, establishing it as a trend with longevity – and in fact, its history extends much further.

With the popularity of paperclip styles only growing, it’s the perfect time to invest in the trend. If you need a little convincing, read on for some history and our favourite styling tips for this surprisingly timeless and versatile piece.

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The history of paperclip jewellery
First things first, why is it called a paperclip chain jewellery? (Or paperclip earring, ring, or bracelet?) The simple answer is that the elongated, rounded-rectangular links resemble the shape of the humble office paperclip which, according to JCK, was first created in 1899.

During World War II, the unassuming paperclip was worn as a symbol of resistance to Nazi occupation in Norway. It’s believed that the paperclip was chosen due to its symbolism of binding together - in other words, the sense of community among the resistance – and a belief that the paperclip had been invented in Norway, giving it a patriotic overtone. It was also subtle enough to be worn – whether clipped to a shirt collar or lapel, or strung together as bracelets or necklaces - without attracting dangerous attention.

Paperclip jewellery today doesn’t lay claim to any social or political significance; it’s worn purely for its statement aesthetic. But it’s interesting to know that the modest office supply that inspired its design has such a surprisingly deep history.

Probably the most well-known iteration of the paperclip necklace was created by none other than Coco Chanel. A little different to contemporary designs, Chanel’s version was a bold Singapore chain style interspersed with large, embellished oval links that looked very much like true paperclips. Famously, Jackie Onassis obtained a vintage Chanel paperclip necklace after reportedly desiring one for years.

Why we love this style

While trending, the paperclip design is also versatile and timeless. The most popular paperclip styles are undoubtedly chains – specifically gold and silver chain necklaces. These pieces can be found from fine or mid-weight everyday styles that are perfect for layering, to chunkier, bold chains that make a statement.

With its unique, elongated links, the paperclip chain is your ultimate layering piece, adding a new texture to each of your looks. Whether you go for a statement choker style or a fine, longer necklace, the paperclip chain is a jewellery wardrobe investment that’s definitely worth making.

Necklaces not your thing? The cool, modern, yet timeless paperclip jewellery shape can be found in chain bracelets, hoop earrings perfect for adding edge to your stack, and even rings.

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How to style paperclip jewellery:

1. Everyday style

Paperclip jewellery is perfect for adding a classic, yet unexpected edge to your everyday style. Elevate your office look, weekend brunch ‘fit, or even your low key popping-to-the-shops style with a timeless paperclip piece or two.

Our favourite everyday pieces include our paperclip chain necklaces, boyfriend paperclip chain necklaces, our reversible, open paperclip rings, and our paperclip hoop earrings.

Wear one piece at a time for a refined, minimalist look; or stack them together (or layer with jewellery in a mix of textures) for more of a statement. Our boyfriend paperclip styles also feature our versatile Medley clasp, which lets you stack multiple pendants – so you can personalise your everyday jewellery look.

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2. Date night

For a date night, cocktails with the girls, or any special occasion, diamonds are the go-to way to elevate your style.  Our new diamond paperclip chain necklace and bracelet make the classic paperclip extra luxe.

Wear both for a polished, matching look. Or, layer our diamond paperclip necklace with an additional diamond piece, such as our diamond pavé circle necklace or laboratory-grown diamond oval necklace for layered sparkle.  We also love our diamond paperclip bracelet stacked with a diamond tennis bracelet for luxe statement vibes.

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3. Statement look

When you want a bold, striking, can’t-miss-it look, heavyweight paperclips are the style you need. Draw attention with large-scale angular links, by layering our large paperclip toggle necklace and maxi paperclip choker: two statement-width pieces that are even better together.

Build on your look with our new, chunky paperclip earrings. These rectangular hoop styles are bold and modern, and they come in multiple sizes so you can choose your favourite, or create a multi-earring stack for even more of a statement.

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Style your modern, statement look with our paperclip jewellery range – including must-have new arrivals.