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All About The Tennis Chain

A brief history, the different styles and how you can wear them

The tennis chain is considered as one of the most classic styles of necklace chains, right along with the Cuban link chain, so if you’re new to the hip-hop/urban style culture and don’t know where to start with wearing hip-hop jewellery, a nice tennis chain is a great piece to start sporting. A bit understated compared to bigger chains, the classic tennis chain complements any ensemble, be it a casual get-up or a more formal one.

What is Tennis Chain?

Basically, it’s a chain that has diamonds or gems connected by a thin, precious metal chain. Real diamonds, or the more cost-effective simulated diamonds, or other precious gems are embedded into prongs made of precious metal such as 14k gold, 18k gold, platinum or other plated metals. Unlike more elaborate and bigger chains, the tennis chain is a classic in simplicity, focusing on the quality of the stones and mountings that hold them securely in place instead.

A Brief History

Why is it called “tennis” chain? The term actually comes from the 1987 UP Open when tennis player, Chris Evert, lost her diamond-studded chain in the middle of a match. Chris Evert asked the game officials to pause the game while she looked for her chain. Since then, the chain was referred to as the tennis chain.

What to look for in a chain

When buying a tennis chain, keep in mind these 4 factors:

  • Diamond Settings – Check how the individual gems or diamonds are mounted on the chain. A 4-prong setting is a good choice to ensure protection and that the stones will not easily fall off.
  • Links – Test the chain to ensure that the links are strong and cannot easily be broken when yanked.
  • Clasp – Examine the clasp carefully and make sure it doesn’t open easily.
  • Flexibility – Test the chain’s flexibility by dangling it. The chain should be straight and not rigid.

How To Wear It

A layered tennis chain

Tennis chain layered with Jesus chains

Men’s chains vary in length, from 14 to 16 inches – the choker style – all the way up to 30 inches, perfect for the hip-hop bling category. Since tennis chains are more understated, a length of 14 inches to 22 inches are ideal lengths. These lengths typically fall from your collarbone to the first or second button on a shirt.

While tennis chains are typically worn alone, it’s also a great choice to wear them in a layered fashion, for a more punchy and fashion-forward style. Mix them up with other chains (with or without pendants) if you want to ante up your urban streetwear style. For a modern vibe, you can even mix gold tennis chains with platinum or silver ones.

Ready to floss a tennis chain? Check these out:

 

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