It’s fair to say the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People was a huge a hit; the show delivered BBC Three’s best-ever week, and it looks like fans REALLY couldn't get enough of one key part of the show: Connell’s chain. The character's chain necklace sparked a major men's style trend in 2020 – one that also makes a perfect Christmas gift!
While Connell's chain is super subtle, the lead male character, played by Paul Mescal, wears it throughout the series. And, as it turns out, eagle-eyed viewers were desperate to get their hands on one, too – so much so that there was a huge surge in searches for chains, including, it was revealed in December, 70 per cent more searches for "silver chain" on eBay.
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That increase sparked by Connell's chain was one of eBay's many TV-inspired boosts, which also included Emily in Paris inspired berets and the co-star of The Queen's Gambit, chess sets!
Connell's chain – a major TV-inspired trend for 2020
Meanwhile, there was also a whopping 500% increase in searches for chain necklaces on shopping app LIKEtoKNOW.it, and Argos found that searches on men’s chains on its site were immediately up 56 per cent, with a 15 per cent week-on-week increase in sales from when the show first aired.
WATCH: Normal People trailer
An Argos spokesperson said: "Connell’s chain has become an iconic fashion item overnight, showing that sometimes the best and most effective accessories are the simplest."
There’s even a fan account dedicated entirely to the jewellery on Instagram, and @ConnellsChain which now has a massive 179,000 followers. Who knew we could all love a subtly sexy piece of jewellery so much?!
That's why we're helping you shop the best Connell-style silver chains for men... just in time for Christmas!
Love Connell's chain? Shop the best lookalikes
And if you’re tempted to give the man in your life a chain like Connell's? The good news is there are lots of styles for men - or women, since the humble chain has been one of fashion’s favourite items for a while now. These are the very best to shop - because if you can’t try something new in lockdown, when can you?
Paul has been photographed running around London during lockdown wearing a different kind of chain - this Otiumberg oval pendant which he had engraved with three initials. Yes, we're dreaming they were ours, too!
Oval pendant, £190, Otiumberg
More chains like the ones Paul Mescal's character wears in the hit show...
Venezia chain, from £59, Thomas Sabo
Sterling silver chain, was £69.99 NOW £49.99, Argos
Sterling silver men's chain, made to order in the UK, from £59.50, eBay
Gold-plated sterling silver necklace, was £18 NOW £12.60, ASOS
Blackened chain, from £69, Thomas Sabo
Chain necklace, £130, Missoma
So, what happened to Connell's chain?
Incredibly, Paul doesn't even have the now-iconic chain any longer. In an interview with Variety, he revealed that he actually gave the token to co-star Daisy Edgar-Jones as a wrap gift before it was temporarily lost during a photoshoot.
He explained: "I gave it to Daisy and I'm not going to blame her for losing it! I gave it to her as a wrap gift with photographs at the end of filming. We then came back to shoot the poster for the show and I had to wear it and it got lost in all the costumes and stuff but [it was found eventually] and I think Daisy has it now. You can call off the search party!"
Thankfully, when the two co-stars appeared on The Graham Norton Show, she revealed she did have the chain after all - the costume designer for the show had it just in case they needed it for more shots. Phew! We were worried for a minute...
And on a touching note, Paul loves his chain collection so much, he decided to raffle his Roxanne First chain from his jewellery stand earlier this year in aid of Pieta, raising an incredible €70,280 (£64,438) for the suicide prevention charity. Speaking about Pieta’s charity raffle, Paul said: "I am delighted to be able to help out Pieta by raffling off my chain that has taken on a following of its own since Normal People hit television screens."
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