Cheryl Shops Spring Shopping Guide: Chain Trim Bags

When the recession hit almost two years ago and the fashion cognoscenti heralded the death of the It Bag, chastised fashionistas not-so-discreetly started carrying classic Chanel bags--vintage for the thrifty, new for the well-heeled, the idea being only close scrutiny would yield the difference. Of course, this major shift in handbag trend ensured that countless designers now make a Chanel-inspired look, from full-on homage (I'm looking at you, Marc Jacobs), to more subtle elements, such as quilting or chain straps (nearly everyone else). And while the look is iconic, those chain straps can get mighty heavy, and the chunkier styles are hard to keep on the shoulder. Not to mention, there's something a bit fussy about the style. Thankfully, the trend has evolved into a cooler, more rocker-y place, with chains now serving a more decorative, rather than functional, role.

Arguably the most luxurious of the pack, Stella McCartney's Fabella bag was a front-runner in the chain-trim trend. The generous size is great for everyday, and the chain trim is neither too subtle nor too over-the-top. Whether it's worth $1100 for a faux suede bag is up to you, however.

CC Skye's Janey bag has chain fringe trim along the sides, making it the perfect marriage of rocker and bohemian.

If the rocker-bohemian cross trend makes you think of Kate Moss, you're not in the wrong. In fact, Ms. Moss has been photographed carrying a Genevieve Jones bag all over London. Here's another bag by Jones, the Grace fringe bag, and while smaller than Moss's usual choice, I can definitely picture her taking this one for a night out.

This J.J. Winters chain fringe bag is a bit more glamorous and Hollywood, with its rows of gold fringe and braided strap. This one is on sale, but here's a more subtle gray version (sadly, full-price, but not unreasonable as far as bags go).

This chain tote from MICHAEL Michael Kors is also a little glitzy, but the drawstring shape is very current, and the chain detail is more updated-classic than fashion-victim. I'd just recommend removing the unnecessary MK logo charm.

I was at the DKNY store a few weeks ago and fell head over heels for this leather crossbody bag--in fact, this is the bag that inspired this post. They actually have several variations on this theme (here's a similar style), but I like this one particularly, because in true convertible fashion, you can wear it folded as a crossbody, or you can carry it as a tote via the two thin chains along the top. Because, really, there's nothing I love more than getting two (or more) looks in one.

For those who find BCBG not quite trendy or young enough, there's BCBGeneration, which does really fashiony items at fast-fashion prices. PVC fabrication aside, I really like their Edie hobo, which has subtle chain trim along the bottom and an easy, slouchy shape.

Apparently Mischa Barton has a line of handbags in the UK, and unlike many celebrities-turned-designers, she might actually have some talent. I think her Stella style is a really cute bag, and even considering the exchange rate, the price is not bad. Marisa Cooper might have staying power after all!

Sometimes a bag comes along, and it's everything you've been looking for. This Melie Bianco bag is almost it. The shape is versatile, and I love that you can carry it on your arm, on your shoulder, or across your body. The chain trim is subtle and well-integrated, and the size is great for big-bag addicts such myself. My only quibbles: It doesn't come in black, and it's not leather. But for $99, you might as well even try a fun color, like the blue--at these prices, you can afford to take a risk.


Kristina said...

Cherylshops, What a great article. I love the CC Skye and Kate Moss bags. For people looking to learn more about these bags, I would recommend checking out and their Handbag Blog. Great site and resource for learning about designer handbags.

Karolina Zmarlak said...

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