By EW Staff
Updated October 20, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT

They’re neck and neck in the ratings, but that hasn’t stopped actresses Jennie Garth, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lea Thompson, and Jennifer Aniston from getting all choked up over the same thing — lariat necklaces.

Suddenly, the dainty chain-and-crystal combo is the ornament of choice among TV costumers. ”It’s delicate and doesn’t take away from the face,” explains Seinfeld costume designer Charmaine Simmons, who accessorizes Louis-Dreyfus’ Elaine. ”In the sitcom world, a lot of the show is edited from the waist up to catch facial expressions. To set up those jokes, jewelry shouldn’t compete with the face or hair.” Even silver-screen stars are being roped in: Winona Ryder can be seen wearing a lariat in How to Make an American Quilt.

Credit Los Angeles jewelry designer Joan Goldman, who sells her $30-$100 creations to TV and movie costumers, with supplying most of prime time’s pendants. ”I think they’re popular because they have a vintage feel,” says Goldman.

With knockoffs popping up in department stores and accessories shops, viewers will soon join the chain gang. Or at least they should, according to Caroline in the City costume designer Elizabeth Palmer: ”Simple is best.” Whether you’re on screen or not.