Back by popular demand, our annual handbag article for your Fall must-haves is here! The 2021 season has been a visual feast of return favorites and interesting new trends.
Our editors have been all over to bring you their 25 must have, cool trending favorites from daytime to night, work to weekends.
Frame bags have returned in a big way this season. The timeless silhouette of this ladylike structured bag really resonates with our post-pandemic desire for a re-embracing of the classics. That said, keep your look from registering as dated by adding fresh details and color. This burnt orange beauty from Windsor is a great example, with plenty of textural interest to keep it fresh for 2021.
Blame it on all the loungewear but slouchy clutches are languidly finding their way across forearms everywhere this season. Look for solid colors in supple leathers and skip the previous season’s love of sparkly lamé. Mansur Gavriel’s cult-inducing Cloud Clutch shows off the style beautifully.
Another example of a classic style that has made its way back into our graces. This season’s take on the humble Hobo focuses on rich colors with neutral textures and add-ons. This dark chocolate crossbody from Dooney & Bourke looks good enough to eat, and we love the equestrian nod on the front that keeps things interesting without going too blingy. Medium sized, it works perfectly as your new go-to work bag.
Somewhere between gorpcore and ath-flow lies the Utility trend. These bags are packed to the brim with everything a gal could want. This sleek version from adidas is a superb example. Super versatile, it can be worn as a sling bag, a shopper bag or a backpack. And pockets, pockets, pockets! Did we mention pockets?
Bottega Veneta, Padded Crossbody Bag $2,240 (reg. $3200)
Our love of all-things-woven is still going strong into fall. Case in point, this gorgeous wine-colored Bottega Veneta bag is flying off the shelves. We managed to find it on sale, in very limited supply, so if you’ve been waiting to find your investment piece of the season…here it is.
For those times when you just can’t figure out what to take and what to leave. Yes, the mammoth tote phenom seems to be here to stay. This season we’re staying away from the awkward materials and returning to creature-of-comfort fabrics. This splendid suede large tote from Chanel looks comfy enough to use as a pillow…and at that size it practically could be.
Chains in all shapes and sizes are still dominating fashion from jewelry to shoes to, of course…handbags. Prices certainly vary, but for a solid piece that’s easy on the bank account, this black beauty from Windsor with its super chunky chain is your new staple item.
If beading is your thing, you’re really going to enjoy this season’s embellished bag trends. We’re talking tons of muy, muy pequeña pretty beads that put together add up to some big bling. This adorbs mini tote from Shrimps’ 2021 season is a power punch of color and cuteness you simply cannot deny (and why would you?).
Retro coin purses are crazy-trending right now. That means if you were hoping to score one at your local consignment shop, you may already be out of luck. Instead, we found you this totally cute new version with a price that’s nice.
Not your average Timbuk 2. Designers this season are turning the humble messenger bag into this season’s ‘it’ bag for those looking for a chic, all-day option. This sueded fellow from ETRO’s fall 2021 collection shows off all sorts of practical usage to keep important items at your fingertips.
It’s the return of the furry friends! Whether it’s fuzzy, fleecy or furry, textures to cuddy up to are definitely staying in the Fall 2021 rotation. This Teddy tote from Marc Jacobs makes a great edition to the group.
Like a knight in shining armor, silvery mesh always turns heads as it enters the room. This little clutch by Ninas is big enough to hold the essentials for your evening out, but still small and sleek enough to keep you moving freely all night long.
The silhouette is familiar, but the luxed-up materials make a big distinction in this season’s non-workout version of the duffle bag. Still all the great pockets and room to stuff everything you need for the day…just a little more office friendly.
Puffy perfection. Like someone took their fav down-comforter duvet and turned it into a purse. This white-hot number from Maison Margiela can be carried as a clutch or worn over-the-shoulder.
Make room, croc-lovers. There’s a new growing animal print in town…and it’s python. For now, designers are focusing on the perennial black/white and brown/white patterns, but there are some emerging signs here and there of more pop-inspired, don’t-occur-in-nature shades like hot pink and pastels. Time will tell how far off-topic this print trend will go. But for starters, grab this leather embossed version from Lancaster to add a splash of this trend into your wardrobe
Yuzefi Pitta, Leather Bucket Bag $269.99 (reg. $340)
Bucket bags are back, baby! This season’s incarnations are staying a bit more streamlined and minimal, like this tawny-toned bag by Yuzefi Pitta.
More than any other season since, designers and fashion lovers have been obsessed with gorpcore. If you include yourself in this “camp” you’ll very much appreciate this canvas cutie from Acne Studios. Just the right amount of utility that still manages to look chic.
If there is one big take-away for the 2021 fall bag season, it’s texture, texture, texture. That includes all kinds of fun with feathers, like this clutch by Isla. Dyed ostrich feathers give playful movement to this bag with every move you make.
Mar Y Sol, Molly Spotted Clutch $44.99 (reg. $110)
Yup, more texture please! Woven fabrics normally reserved for spring/summer are rotating their way into many a fall look. This ravishing raffia clutch from Mar Y Sol will lend a good punch of color to your neutral fall grays.
A better way to embrace your love of all things 90s…instead of attempting to rock that Spears-Timberlake Canadian tuxedo look.
Half-moon shaped shoulder bags were showing up in fall shows from Chanel to Versace. The slouchy, carefree silhouette seems to have grabbed our post-pandemic attentions and so far as we know, hasn’t let go. From Lemaire’s 2021 fall collection, this butter-colored beauty is a delicious example of the trend.
The edgier, far more practical cousin of the fanny pack is becoming the no-brainer go-to for students and city commuters everywhere this season. And why not? With its roomier size, ergonomic fit and easy on & off, what’s not to love? You could grab a canvas version and be on your way, but the freshest versions for this season are in richer materials such as high quality leathers and suedes. This one from rag & bone gets next level marks for style and will continue to only look better as it ages.
Logomania is BACK!…sort of…Let us explain. In 2019 logomania hit us hard. Then came 2020, and the pandemic hit us harder. 2020 saw customers and designers alike reassessing the priority of what soon became considered the “tone deaf” nature of flaunting famous labels all over your clothes. Fast forward to now, and 2021 has seen a steady rise in nostalgia-driven love of older, established brands. Gucci’s vintage monogram “double-G” logo is once again being sought after by celebs and fashion lovers alike.
By FAR, Mini Rachel Shoulder Bag $279.99
Lovingly called “the Y2k purse” the mini, under-the armpit bag was sported by mean girls and O.G. influencers like Paris & Nicole alike. This 2021 updated version from By FAR keeps the loving silhouette but adds this season’s fresh chain and croc-print obsession. Wear it with your pink…on Wednesdays, natch.
Balenciaga, Phone Bag $1,050
And rounding out our top twenty-five bags, we couldn’t leave the list without the phone bag. As the name implies, these tiny totes are made to fit your phone and nary anything else. While the micro-handbag trend of last year are slowly ramping down in popularity, the practical (yes, we did say that) phone bag is continuing to enjoy it’s place along the hands and hips of out-and-about’ers everywhere. Why practical? Elementary my dear Watson…unlike so many of those mini and micro handbags before, the phone bag actually fits your phone.