At the risk of sounding like a broken record, a (semi-)new photo of Bella Hadid in a chain-link belt prompts us to again reiterate: basically everything from your childhood — and your parents’ clubbing days, if they had clubbing days — is cool again. (Trends are nothing if not cyclical.) From the aforementioned waist candy to scrunchies to fanny packs to (dare we even say it?) Sketchers, all that was tastefully tacky in the Eighties, Nineties and early Aughts is in the midst of a revival.
Of course, some trends (chain-link belts) have been slower to catch on than others (fanny packs). And it’s no wonder: While the new generation of fanny packs is equal parts cool-looking, fun to style and utilitarian, chain-link belts are a bit more…superfluous. Though they can be strung between belt loops, they do little to actually hold pants up — quite the opposite, in fact (as anyone who went through a punk phase in high school will attest). Really, they’re more jewelry than belt.
That said, we predict 2018 will be the year chain-link belts finally get their due (again). Think about the fashion set’s current obsessions: necklace stacking, draping themselves in logos, sparkling from head-to-toe. A more generalized move toward chain-link belts makes nothing but sense.
Here’s some more (photographic) evidence to support our case: Finally, it’s no longer just early adopters like Bella Hadid and Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquière who are out there campaigning for chain belts. (Again, the Christian Dior spokesmodel is a known fan of vintage chain belts, the latter began showing his own long ago, most memorably in Fall 2015.)
Much like the Resort 2018 shows, Fall 2018 was one big waist party. Cheerily clinking links made their way down the runways of Balenciaga, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Nicopanda, Chanel, Versace, Moschino and Louis Vuitton. (They’re also a perennial staple at cool-girl label Miaou.) Some came hung with name charms (Moschino, Nicopanda), others plastic key fobs (Balenciaga, Preen). Some doubled as fanny packs (Versace). Some accompanied more functional waist belts (Moschino again, Versace again).
As for styling, the general thought seems to be that a brash, busy belt calls for bold patterns and colors. (Thornton Bregazzi feels otherwise). In most cases, designers strung their chains over equally eye-catching skirts. Needless to say, this is not a look for the faint of heart. If you’re just looking to dip your toes in the trend, a great way to do it is to pair your spangly belt with a classic denim outfit à la Hadid.
And don’t forget to coordinate jewelry! Pearl-accented belts (like the one directly below) look doubly cute with pearl earrings (the chains keep things from looking too precious). Matching your choker to your belt is also sure to turn heads, without coming across as trying too hard.
Ready for some waist bling? Shop our favorites in the slideshow below.