While visiting my Dad in the Netherlands over the last few months I’ve noticed a fun and fresh juxtaposition of bag and footwear on the street: a chain shoulder bag worn with sneakersThe lifestyle in the Netherlands is all about comfortable footwear, because most people commute on foot, by bike, or with public transport. Fashion sneakers are common there, and usually dressed up in some way. Hence the juxtaposition of fancy chain handle bag with the sneakers.

Here are some outfit examples that illustrate the look.


Combining a chain handle bag with fashion sneakers, jeans, and casual or smart casual support act was a common rendition. Of course, it was colder in the Netherlands so women were wearing knitwear, jackets, coats and scarves too. But you get a good idea of the vibe from this photo. Some carried the shoulder bag cross-body style, which is handy when riding a bike.

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN Insignia Textured-leather Shoulder Bag


I saw a few ladies wear leggings and joggers instead of jeans for a sportier interpretation. Personally, I prefer the modern retro trackpants shown here because of their bootcut silhouette (nice change from body-con leggings). Very ‘70s Adidas, and quite nostalgic for people my age. The denim jacket here is fab, but a leather or pleather moto would work just as well. And the dressy bag makes the look to my eye. Loving the green with the orange and emerald too.

MULBERRY Darley Textured-leather Shoulder Bag


Wearing dresses with sneakers works particularly well when the sneaks look less like running shoes (at least, that’s my own preference). Here’s another way to incorporate the chain handle bag with sneakers, which is probably the most acquired taste of them all. The black and white palette helps pull together the look.

MICHAEL MICHAEL KORS Sloan Editor Leather Shoulder Bag

The combination of very dressy bag with very casual sneaker will seem jarring and uncomplementary to some, which is understandable. It IS an unusual pairing, and I’m surprised that I like it. Somehow I find the juxtaposition fun, interesting, modern, fresh, complementary and practical. 

The chain handle bag is a new-to-me silhouette that I’ve had my eye on for a while. And since I’m having a good run with the new fit Converse hi-tops – why not sport them together. So I’ve ordered Karen Millen’s Santa Monica bag to wear with my All Star Converse Brushed Off Leather Hi Tops. The gold chain of the bag and brushed gold effect of the sneakers “match” in a subtle way, which will help pull the look together. The colour of the Converse also matches my pearls, so I’ll be throwing them into the outfit too. The exact items that I want to sport together with jeans, pullover/ blouse, and jacket/coat are represented in the collection.