How did this happen? 

By Tara Gonzalez
Updated May 08, 2020 @ 5:30 pm
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Earlier this week my friend showed me a photo of her boyfriend, who has never worn jewelry before, in a simple silver link chain necklace. Of course, she had put the chain on him. And of course, this was about 10 seconds after finishing the second episode of Hulu’s Normal People, where Connell Waldron’s chain announced itself as the show’s main character. Harry Styles’s pearl necklaces could never.

Connell Waldron, played by Paul Mescal, is a hunky Irish hunk who also wears a dainty little silver chain around his dreamy thick neck. Unexpectedly, that detail went viral overnight, when a Irish style writer created an account aptly named Connell’s Chain. The Instagram bio keeps it straightforward: “We Stan Connell’s Chain.” All 59,100 Instagram followers and counting agree. Three water droplets emoji and all.

The appeal of the chain isn’t new. Brad Pitt, Will Smith, and The Rock all know that. Even Timothee Chalamet wore a link chain necklace to the Paris premiere of Little Women, although Twitter was more focused on the little Eiffel Tower keychain he had wrapped around his finger. Harry Styles clearly prefers pearls, but still his look had everyone, everywhere, clutching theirs.

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The appeal of a hot guy wearing jewelry is undeniable. But no hot guy’s statement jewelry has had the same impact as Connell’s chain. This link chain necklace, which retails for as little as $10, got 20,000 followers overnight on the Instagram account devoted to it, and now, seven days later, it has nearly 60,000. According to the Lyst Insights blog, after Normal People’s release, searches for chain necklaces jumped 23 percent week-over-week. On the authority of my friend, girlfriends everywhere are currently placing chains on their boyfriends at an alarming rate and they’re not taking them off.

But while the simple chain might be jarring on some, it’s perfect on Connell, who is also coincidentally perfect aside from his inability to emotionally communicate — although that paradox is what makes the dainty chain fit him like a sexy glove. He is a character built on contradictions. He seems tough but he’s actually not. His chain matches his tender smile. It’s so much a part of him that in a scene where he’s entirely naked, the chain stays on. Needless to say, the internet and Connell’s chain fanbase was pleased.

While The Cut is suggesting the show is best watched alone with a vibrator, I think it’s fine to watch with a significant other too. Especially if you can get them to wear a chain. And who's to say you shouldn’t wear a matching one yourself? Paul Mescal actually wears one in real life, and it’s only a matter of time before that one has a viral fan account too.

Shop the trend that that’s making the entire internet hot, either for yourself or your significant other, below.

Asos Short Chunky Chain

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Shop now: $10; asos.com

Baublebar Small Hera Link Necklace

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Shop now: $42; baublebar.com

Baublebar Hera Link Necklace

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Shop now: $48; baublebar.com

Figaro Link Necklace

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Shop now: $36; baublebar.com

Monica Vinader 16-Inch Chain

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Shop now: $55–$70; nordstrom.com

Argento Vivo Tuscany Silver Chain Necklace

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Shop now: $48; nordstrom.com

Konstantino Classics Link Necklace

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Shop now: $145; nordstrom.com

Free People Classic Chain Necklace

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Shop now: $20; freepeople.com

Free People Delicate Chain Necklace

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Shop now: $20; freepeople.com

David Yurman Small Box Chain Necklace

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Shop now: $245–$265; nordstrom.com