The Fashion Memo

Why the chain-strap bag is a FW21 essential

Clockwise from left: Bottega Veneta; Chloé; Bottega Veneta

From chunky handles to delicate detailing, chain-embellished bags will add a jewelry-like polish to your arm this fall


Wardrobe mileage has never been more important – and that rule applies to our accessories, too. Far from having a singular function, we want our pieces to work harder than ever, whether that’s in the form of a necklace that can double as a cuff, or a bag that adapts to our mood. Thankfully, the chain-strap bag is a seamless fusion of the two – a practical hero piece that brings a jewelry-like edge to everyday looks, making it perfect for when you’re heading out the door in a rush, or those off-duty days when you want to feel refined without adding precious embellishments.

For FW21, the chains are bigger and bolder than ever. Drawing on summer’s trend for interlinked jewelry, designers have fused robust hardware with earthy palettes, creating an aesthetic that’s both urban and feminine. Chloé’s chain-strap bag, with its big, slimline links, offers a bohemian take that’s ideal for teaming with floaty midi dresses and textured suedes when the temperature drops. Meanwhile, Bottega Veneta designer Daniel Lee has opted for a frosting of hardware that ensures your bag is always the focal point. Coveting something more practical? JW Anderson offers a grab-handle tote that’s just as slick for the office as it is for the bar – team it with crisp tailoring in concrete grays for a look that will seamlessly take you from day to dark, no matter where you’re headed.