If You're Going To Splurge On A Designer Bag, This Should Be It

Photographed by Christian Vierig.
Unless you are really rolling in it, making a decision to spend hundreds of dollars — or even thousands — on a single item of clothing doesn't usually come from a place of I thought it was cute. There are a lot of things to consider: It needs to be roomy, but not unwieldy; pretty, but not flimsy; iconic, but not cliche; and plain, but not boring (you did spend a ton of money on it, after all — you want people to notice the thing!). Out of all the different kinds of bags out there, there's one that ticks all the boxes: the chain bag.

Most major labels have their own versions. The body of the bag is typically medium-sized — more than enough to hold all your essentials, but not so big that you'd use it as your work bag. Chain bags are also a more traditional style, so you can get away a wilder print, a more off-kilter shape, or a trendy color and have good faith that your bag will feel cool to you for a long time.

To help convince you of a chain bag's great cost-per-wear arithmetic, here are some women (with five very different outfits), who've made the chain bag work.
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1 of 5
Photographed by Christian Vierig.
A classic Chanel in cherry red peps up a neutral outfit, but is still a classic.
2 of 5
Photographed by Christian Vierig.
This delicate chain bag in shiny patent leather almost makes this sweaterdress feel like a party frock. And if you liked it here...
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3 of 5
Photographed by Christian Vierig.
...On an all-white evening wear look, this bag still feels luxe and formal, but allows you to be hands-free.
4 of 5
Photographed by Christian Vierig.
A leopard bag with a chain strap dresses up jeans and a tee in a major way.
5 of 5
Photographed by Christian Vierig.
A patterned bag could look childish, but a chain makes it much more sophisticated.
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