Reigning queen of the ‘90s style comeback Olivia Rodrigo has championed many trends from the decade — including slip dresses, combat boots, and opera gloves — since she rocked the world with her debut album Sour this spring.
Now, Rodrigo is bringing back another ‘90s staple: the chain belt. Last week, the singer wore a spring 1995 Chanel suit and chain belt to the White House, paired with white Giuseppe Zanotti platform sandals and black socks.
Like much of Gen Z, the singer is a fan of secondhand and thrift stores, including Depop and her favourite vintage shop Vantage in Utah. But her latest outfit is no ordinary find. The archival piece was featured in Chanel’s spring 1995 collection by Karl Lagerfeld. With the help of stylists Chloe & Chenelle Delgadillo, she opted to pair the suit with a thin silver chain belt that spelled Chanel on the front.
With Rodrigo’s help, chain belts are now trending. Online fashion search engine Lyst has seen a 121% week-over-week surge in shoppers looking for similar pieces, while back in April searches for “layered,” “hip” and “waist” chain belts were rising at a more modest 20% week-over-week.
The trend is making its return with a twist. While back in the ‘90s and early ‘00s chain belts were worn as a single accessory adorning one’s hip area, this time around the most non-functional-belt-to-ever-exist is now sported high waisted and layered, as demonstrated by designers like Chanel, Saint Laurent, and Gucci in their spring and autumn collections.
Although the ‘90s were the time chain belts as we know them emerged on the scene, they were also a defining staple of the Y2K era, which is making a comeback in the form of whale tails, low-rise jeans, and cut-outs. In their first rise to popularity, chain belts were championed by celebrities like Beyoncé, Britney Spears, and Lil’ Kim. Now, it’s Instagram-ready influencers and celebs like Bella Hadid and Kylie Jenner who are sporting the look. bringing the accessory into a new era.