On the Brink of Trending: Chain Belts

The Man Repeller crystal ball is shining bright


Across the spectrum of Designers Who Matter, there is a genus of designer not at all concerned with changing the shape of the narrative but rather with how their details will be sprinkled through it. If Phoebe Philo and Alexander Wang and Marc Jacobs give us new clothes, the other designers who matter give us new concepts. They impact the cultural landscape, not necessarily attempting to reinvent the wheel but rather to prove that, as I’ve said before, theirs are just the shiniest. 

Nicolas Ghesquière, who is having The Best Week Ever on Man Repeller (cue: resort, cue: flip flops), is a prime example of this kind of designer. Through his work across the houses of Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton, he has chiseled into stone some of the most viral fashion trends of our time. I’m thinking specifically of the gladiator sandals he showed for Spring 2008 at the former house. The Star Wars-inspired collection he built soon before his exit. The boisterous 70s revival he single-handedly marked during his first season at Louis Vuitton and then finally, last February in Paris, the tasteful tackiness he put on display.

There, viewers growing comfortable in their supple suede and understated blouses were met with brighter-than-light embellishments and thick, structured shoulders; shiny pointed shoes, sateen suits and chain belts.

Chain belts! A practical spokesperson for the death of understated fashion and simultaneous champion for the bemused spectacle of it. That same week, Alessandra Rich showed a series of her own, too, and that settled it: if the Man Repeller crystal ball can only forecast one trend this year, let it be that tasteful tackiness is a “thing,” that chain belts are dancing back in like Studio 54 never closed and that we, the people, are ready. Proof? This look.

Leandra Man Repeller chain belt 2904

And there is great news: because it’s still early, you are likely to find a generous slew of these on eBay. Because Krista taught us all how to shop on eBay yesterday, you will actually find them. And if that doesn’t sound compelling, might I recommend clipping three necklaces together and tying them around your waist.

I think we’re on to something.

If the mention of our crystal ball made you nostalgic for other balls, click here. And if you’re looking for pants to wear with your chain belts, what about these?

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  • Sarah


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  • this just smacks of christina aguilera c. 2001, but i’m okay with that

    • Kelsey Moody

      My 7th grade self is all like, “I knew it.” Gotta dig those babies up!

    • Leandra Medine

      up next: the belly button

    • Ola

      Ha ha, I totally agree, remember having a chain belt, but I guess the ones here are quite nice 🙂


  • Allie Fasanella

    your sunnies are dope and those shoes are so geriatric-chic. diggin the chain belt as well. rock on

  • Oh man, I used to wear chain belts when I was a very young and not-so-fashionable tween. But hey, flares are back (which I’m digging), so I’m all in favour for the chain belt.


  • parkzark

    My mom has a bunch o chain belts from back in the day. ROOM RAIDERS TIME.

  • Natali

    Great inspo on how to wear a chain belt! Love your cardigan , it’s so retro and cool!


  • This is Deborah! She loves a good chain belt. Cheers!

    • Amelia Diamond

      oh. my. god. this is perfect.

      • Leandra Medine

        wait wait wait
        this isn’t you!?

  • So many great chain belts at thrift stores always. Those gold chain belts sit piled high in baskets, waiting for an MR reader or 150,000 to pick ’em up and give ’em love. Thanks for the PSA!

    • Enrique


  • monkeyshines
  • Michelle

    Years ago, my mom handed me down a chain belt I wore once but I kept it in the back of my closet waiting for this exact momento in life.

  • Cute! I am still waiting to see if this trend will blow up again!


  • Aydan

    this outfit is AMAZING! I also need those shoes!

  • soniadelvalle

    My mom is gonna be so happy.

  • Paige

    Not really loving these belts – they should stay in the past!


  • Lady, you’re always one step ahead of trending!

  • Denise

    I LOVE this look so much.


  • Well, look at trendy me. Just wore one on Saturday (before reading this) because I liked how it looked with the tunic I was wearing.

    • Leandra Medine

      i gotta see a photo readbarbara.