There’s a bizarre new trend in men’s fashion of wearing a smartphone around your neck, and luxury brands like Prada are already selling versions that cost hundreds of dollars

A model walks the runway at the Prada show during Milan Men's Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2018/19.

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A model walks the runway at the Prada show during Milan Men’s Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2018/19.
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Pietro D’Aprano/Getty Images

  • A new Wall Street Journal report investigates a growing fashion trend: wearing your smartphone as an accessory.
  • The trend was on display at a number of high-profile fashion shows last year, and some smartphone makers have even changed their designs to make their devices easier to wear.
  • Given that smartphones are an everyday tool for millions of people, maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that the fashion industry is re-thinking the way we wear them.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Like millions of other people, I keep my smartphone with me at pretty much all times, but I’ve never felt like I was “wearing” it like I would clothing or jewelry. I’ve always treated my phone more like a tool than an accessory, though there’s no shortage of colorful phone designs and unique cases that show just how much effort people can put into their phone’s aesthetic.

But as The Wall Street Journal reports, the world of fashion is starting to rethink the way we carry our phones, creating lavish leather carrying cases and designer pouches to go with the latest in high-end looks. Journal reporter Jacob Gallagher noticed wearable phone cases from designers like Prada, Dior Men, and Palms Angels on the runway in the past year.

Most of these designer cases and bags are worn as necklaces, with a lanyard holding the phone close to the wearer’s chest. Some have a transparent window to make checking your phone easy, but the most involved designs are encased in leather and other delicate materials that keep your phone completely covered.

With the size of smartphones steadily increasing, there’s certainly no shame in wanting an easy, fashionable way to carry your phone.

But the designer wearable case movement seems more interested in luxury than utility. Take a look:


Versace’s take on the trend is one of the most expensive of the bunch — this black and gold iPhone X case costs $875.

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Versace

The case features Versace’s signature Medusa logo stamped on the strap and the case itself. It fits an iPhone X.


Italian luxury house Prada and skate-inspired brand Palm Angels have gotten in on the trend, too.

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Prada’s phone bag, on the left, and Palm Angels’ case, right.
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Farfetch

Prada’s slightly more humble smartphone bag is 100% leather with a badge or card holder on the back. It costs $495.

Palm Angels plastic and vinyl iPhone case is waterproof and costs $165.


Luckily, there are some cheaper options out there if you want to try and get ahead of the trend without a major investment.

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Bandoliers Angie Faux Snake Wristlet Bandolet ($88) and Lucy Pebble Leather Crossbody Bandolier ($98)
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Bandolier

Celebrities like Kate Hudson and Zendaya have been seen sporting cases from Bandolier, a brand dedicated to stylish phone cases.

Bandolier designs of iPhone cases with a variety of styles and materials. Most of them retail for less than $100 and are available at popular retailers like Nordstrom.


If you’re looking for something affordable, you can find handmade designs like this cute fox phone case on Etsy for around $25.

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Driworks/Etsy

It’ll fit a wide variety of phone sizes, including the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

And if foxes aren’t your thing, Etsy is a gold mine of other affordable, wearable phone cases.


And phone makers themselves are adopting the trend: Palm, the brand best known for starting the PDA trend in the 2000s, recently came out with the tiny Palm Phone, which it says is made to be worn.

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Palm

Palm makes wristlets, armbands, and lanyards that let you keep the Palm phone on your body at all times.

Considering that phones are a consistent part of our everyday lives, re-imaging the way we carry them isn’t a bad idea. But for now, I’ll probably stick to keeping my phone in my pocket.