How to Take the Body Chain From Coachella to the Office

Alexander McQueen

“You look like you’re into bondage or something,” says a coworker as she walks by me. I am wearing a white T-shirt, shackled in a massive body chain, which splays out across my chest and is connected to a thick, metal choker. And I don’t mind the off comment: The slightly outré metal harness on top of a white tee is my sad, vicarious version of the Coachella accessory du jour. In this frigid, fluorescent-lit office space, it’s the next best thing to actually frolicking across the Indio festival grounds with Bella Hadid and her crew, proudly wearing their glinting clinkers underneath tank tops and showing off a little toned midriff.

But my sloppy workplace imitation is admittedly not the most optimal interpretation. Executive Fashion Editor Jorden Bickham chastises me a bit: I should try to elevate the image and lose the rumpled tee. True, I’m not a Coachella-going It girl–meets-model trying to make a casual, sexy statement for my Instagram followers. I work in a professional setting and I need to aim high when it comes to the business of the body chain. The chicest reference that first comes to mind is the Calvin Klein Spring 2016 collection, where body chains traced the busts of creamy, slinky slip dresses.

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Photo: Luca Tombolini /

Cubicle hour, however, is far from clingy cocktail attire, so Bickham steers me to an unlikely source for inspiration: Vetements Fall 2016. Sure enough, hidden between the slouchy hoodies and sweat suits, a heavy metal harness—resembling a thick belt lock chain looped over multiple times—made a low-key appearance on top of a plaid frock with ruffles, resulting in a cool, punkish clash.

A plaid dress is not my personal vibe, but I still take some polished cues from Vetements’s punk translation of the pattern and throw on an oversize, pin-striped men’s button-up. On top of it, I drape a thin metal harness that makes a crisscross across the chest. The piece was made by the jewelry designer Lizz Jardim, a Brooklyn resident who is often spotted around the borough in her face hardware and, of course, her body chains, which she wears as a second skin. Jardim’s advice to me is simple: “As far as button-downs and harnesses go, I stay away from anything too formfitting to avoid any bunching in the fabric,” she says. “Pieces that primarily sit above the waist are most flattering with a more tailored look for the same reason.”

The resulting pairing? The body chain looks quite nice when it traces my upper body, creating a light and pretty metallic flash, which breaks up the tomboy vibe of my collared shirt. I even get a “j’adore” quip from Bickham. Turns out you can take the body chain out of Coachella—and definitely take the Coachella out of the body chain, too. Above, see the chicest ways to wear the Coachella body chain in the office.

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Photo: Courtesy of Liana Satenstein



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