It was circa 2002 and "Sk8er Boi" by Avril Lavigne was consistently on the Billboard Top Ten. The harrowing story of a girl, who did ballet, rejecting a boy, who skated, imprinted on the minds of tweens worldwide. Not only did the song make the waves, but soon Avril Lavigne’s punk rock style was being imitated with abandon. Tartan skirts, layered studded bracelets, a father’s necktie casually tied overtop a tee-shirt, and belt chains were the style du jour. Which is to say, not much has changed.
Case in point: belt chains are making a comeback in a major way. Belts made out of chains aren’t very practical in terms of keeping your pants up, instead, they’re a jewelry accessory for your waist. While ears and necks often get adorned in metals and sparkly things, outfits typically get more boring the further they go down. No longer! Belt chains introduce the possibility for some pizazz just where you need it most.
Historically, belt chains in fashion were popularized by brands like Chanel and Comme des Garçons. Chanel’s blinged-out belt chain has been a mainstay of their collection for decades—looking perfectly at place looped through a pair of linen trousers. Another example: during the Fall 2006 Comme des Garçons Hommes Plus show, models moodily walked down the runway with belt chains holding up their jet black pants. Just this year, Comme des Garçonsonce again heavily incorporated chains into their collection, adding the clunky metal into everything from a harness to sneakers.
Those amongst us that twinned with Avril (guilty) created a kind of armor out of clothes that projected to the world that we weren’t to be messed with. It was a little angsty and pushed back against cultural norms that told young girls to look pretty and wear dresses. Instead, we screamed song lyrics about heartbreak and stole our older brother’s wallet chain to look cooler and older than we were. The resurgence of belt chains is just another example of aughts-fashion making a comeback in a big way.
Nowadays, a belt chain will give your outfit some edge and grit, telling the world that you mean business. Below, we rounded up some of our favorites.
A belt chain that’s cool AND practical:
For a goldie-locks look with a pearl on top:
Add some old-money bling to an outfit:
Simple. Classic. With a hand-patinated touch:
Opt for a plastic chain for a lighter, more contemporary vibe:
A belt chain with a message we can get behind:
A loop-dee-loop belt for the perfect Mod look:
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue