Chain belts on vintage image of a woman in a ball gown

How to style a classic accessory that adds a touch of chic to any outfit…

My love of chain belts began one dull autumn day when lustfully watching replays of old Chanel catwalks as a teen. Since then, I’ve collected my very own 2004 version and a number of others, both vintage and modern. Sophisticated, luxurious and somewhere between practical and purely aesthetic, the chain belt is more akin to items of jewellery than is to a sturdy waistband aide.

Chanel vintage chain belt

The chain belt became iconic when Chanel began showing them in the early 90,s including the collections of 1994, and we see variations of them in most Ready to Wear collections since then.  However they weren’t the first examples in the history of fashion, in fact far from it – Versace and others were showing them off around the hips of supermodels in the late 80’s and in fact, chain belts or similar garments were won as a status symbol as early as Medieval times, in a manner similar to how we commonly wear them now – loose, around the waist with one end hanging down.

That’s not the only way they can be worn though: Over the years these belts have stood the test of time due to being incredibly versatile, working with pretty much everything you own in your wardrobe and, if you read on, even in your laundry cupboard!

Ways to Wear a Chain Belt

The most obvious way to wear a chain belt is around the waist of garments, but don’t be limited in your choice.  You can wear them, for instance:

Over a blazer:

YSL Chain Belt around waist of blazer

With an evening dress:

Silver Versace waist belt with medusa heads

Around a shirt/shirt dress:

Blonde in white shirt dress and sunglasses

Actually, around any dress:

Blonde in coral dress with cold coin belt

Around a cami:

Chain belt around green satin camisole

You can also wear your chain belt as jewellery…

As a necklace:

Girl wearing Chanel chain belt as necklace

As a bag strap – use removable clips/carabiners to secure:

Girl holding chain strap of bag

Around a duvet!  

Ok, I’ll admit I’m being silly with this one but here’s a flashback to my Instagram #PillowChallenge look during quarantine that included – you’ve guessed it – a duvet and a chain belt. Tell me it doesn’t look fabulous?!

p.s. for more things to do during quarantine, check out my 15 Things to Do During Whilst Staying at Home post!

Girl wearing duvet with chain belt and glamorous sparkly accessories

Covetable Chain Belts to Buy Now

Here’s a couple of chain belts I’m pining after to add into my collection – see if you can get them before I do!

Do you own a chain belt and if so, what’s your favourite way to wear it?  Leave me a comment or drop me a DM over here.


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