Fashion

8 Functional Designer Accessories to Upgrade Your Look

From hybrid products to just quirky couture pieces, these are some of fashion's fun and functional pieces of the moment.
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For those of you who haven’t noticed, the fashion industry’s been churning out more unique (and often unusual) pieces every season. By unique, we mean that some items are very innovative and practical. On the other hand, some items are just downright amusing—possibly too amusing for other people’s taste. Whether your sartorial stamina is up for some of these challenging items or not, it’s safe to say that they’re still pretty wearable. We’ve lined up eight quirky and useful designer pieces for your perusing or shopping pleasure:

1. Dior Men’s pendant-bracelet hybrid 

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What kick-started this article in the first place was the news about Christian Dior’s sneak peek of a new accessory. Hypebeast recently reported on Daniel Ashram’s Instagram post which gave his followers a preview of the soon-to-be-released Dior pendant that morphs into a bracelet. “The idea was to take the Crystal Eroded Sculpture I made of Christian Dior’s book and turn it into a necklace pendant that could be taken off and worn as a bracelet,” Ashram describes in the post. Kim Jones, the artistic director for Dior Homme, has collaborated with the American artist for the Spring/Summer 2020 collection, which imagined the storied house’s future by fusing it with the past. The result was a futuristic, cyborg-worthy collection, and the artist even flaunted a reinvented, Tron-like Dior Saddle bag (seen below). Wear it to your liking.

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2. Loewe Multi Heel Necklace

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SHOP NOW: Loewe, loewe.com, Multi Heel Necklace Multicolor

Spanish brand Loewe upholds its roots in leather-making via polished and buttery soft bags, belts, and even bracelets. The brand has been under the helm of Jonathan Anderson (known for his eponymous brand JW Anderson) since 2013 and has reinvigorated the brand’s Spanish-rooted traditions ever since.

It seems like one way to do it is to design leather variants of accessories such as necklaces. Here, we present a strange item: a necklace with leather pockets in different colors. How does one wear this? Well, why don’t you keep your keys here so they’re always on you? You could even place spare change here so you don’t jingle-jangle like a Christmas tree. Tiny secret love notes are also prime items for such small storage. If the necklace is too easy, go the extra mile and sport Loewe’s headband version—it’s got two extra pockets. 

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3. Gabriela Hearst Joplin Crocodile Phone Case

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SHOP NOW: Gabriela Hearst, gabrielahearst.com, Joplin Crocodile Phone Case, Price upon request

Tech accessory meets class and craftsmanship in this sleek, innovative product by designer Gabriela Hearst. The crossbody metal phone case comes in two variants: green-yellow crocodile skin and grey-nude crocodile skin, both with rose gold hardware. What’s great about this is the clear window that allows you to tell time without having to whip out your phone from your bag. There’s even a three-tiered card holder inside, plus there’s enough space to keep cash and maybe a slim tube of lipstick. Did we also mention how gorgeous it is to look at? The verdant color is divine.

For phone warriors with more than one gadget, the Joni Bag is perfect for you—it could hold up to three phones with its drawer-like design. These items are made-to-order so hit up the website for inquiries.

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SHOP NOW: Gabriela Hearst, gabrielahearst.com, Joni Bag Crocodile, Price upon request

4. Chanel Side-Packs

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SHOP NOW: Chanel, chanel.com, Lambskin & Gold-Tone Metal Side-Packs, $4,700

One of fall’s hottest bag trends is still the double-bag trend. Yes, two bags are better than one... especially when they're from Chanel. The Side-Packs item, made of lambskin, has twice the fashion points if you’re willing to sport the bag crossbody style twice. So, you’ll have one bag on each side, maybe to keep more of your daily weapons on you (i.e. wallet, phone, cosmetics case). On another note, this trend is great for people who tend to carry more things than they need. Chanel is here for you. The Side-Packs comes in black and white or white and yellow combos.

5. Saint Laurent Monogram iPhone X Case 

SHOP NOW: Saint Laurent, ysl.com, Monogram iPhone X Case In Crocodile Embossed Shiny Leather, $395

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Another crocodile skin item, this iPhone case from Saint Laurent dresses up your phone in shiny leather with red, black, grey, and white options. You may not see the back of your phone often but knowing that your phone looks this decadent might lift your spirits a bit every time you use it. Plus, it comes with a two-tiered cardholder.

6. Off-White Leather Racing Belt

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SHOP NOW: Off-White, neimanmarcus.com, Leather Racing Belt, $735.00

A racing belt is used during marathons, duathlons, triathlons, or basically any sports race that requires the athlete to wear a race bib (the piece of paper with the athlete’s race number). These racing belts are used to hold the number in place without the use of nasty pins (which destroy your beloved Italian-made race gear!). We think that Virgil Abloh’s leather racing belt is a tongue-in-cheek take on this sporty item, as it basically looks like a number tag and racing belt molded into one. In fashion terms, we think you could wear this piece to dress up an otherwise basic tea-length dress or polo shirt. It practically looks like a detachable peplum.

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7. STAUD Suzy Bag 

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SHOP NOW: STAUD, STAUD.com, Suzy Bag Pistachio Lizard Embossed, $295

L.A.-based brand STAUD understands how a cute summer bag should look like. The tiny top-handle barrel bag comes with a detachable sunglasses case so you could easily access your pair of large bug-eyed sunglasses. What to keep in this darling bag? Just the essentials for when you’re rushing out the door because you’re late for brunch.

8. Dior Scarf Jacket 

SHOP NOW: Dior Scarf Jacket in Fringed Wool, dior.com

The house of Dior is never short on innovation. For this year’s fall/winter collection inspired by 1950s England and the French New Look revolution (propagated by Christian Dior himself), creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri presented a lush green wool scarf-and-jacket hybrid in a cool checkered print. Perfect for cooler climates, this jacket is probably the easiest and most stylish way to stay warm—because maybe you’ve already booked a winter destination for the holiday season. 

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