Top Handbag Trends for Spring 2021

Top Handbag Trends for Spring 2021

It’s hard to believe, but 23 Days of Spring Fashion starts next Monday! I’ve had a lot of people asking what handbags are in style right now, so let’s talk about the top handbag trends for spring 2021.

Last week, I posted my annual Spring 2021 Fashion Trend Report, but I didn’t really touch on shoes and handbags. I always feel like those each deserve their own post, so today we’ll talk about bags, and tomorrow we’ll tackle spring 2021 shoe trends.

If you’ve been hanging around for long, you know I’m a handbag girl, through and through. I’ve always loved a handbag, and I enjoy the hunt of finding The One with the perfect marriage of style and functionality. If I had to choose between new shoes or a new bag, the bag would win, every time. Now, add denim to the mix, and I dunno… that would be a tossup!

Anyway, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years of writing this blog, it’s that women are very opinionated about their handbags. You know what you like, and you need it to function for you.

Women also vary quite a bit on what they’re willing to spend. Some will splurge on investment pieces for a carefully curated collection, some just want the cheapest thing they can find to do the job, and others fall somewhere in the middle — willing to spend on the right bag that meets all their criteria, but not willing to break the bank. For that reason, I always try to include a mix of price points in my handbag recommendations.

I posted my last Save, Spend, or Splurge post for everyday handbags last fall, so you can check that out if you want. For this post, I’m going to focus more on the handbag styles and colors are trending for 2021, along with some product recommendations under each category.

What Handbags Are In Style for 2021?

#1. Slouchy & Soft

Top Handbag Trends for Spring 2021: Slouchy and SoftTop Handbag Trends for Spring 2021: Slouchy and Soft

The first thing I noticed when looking at this season’s newest handbag styles is that they are all slouchy and soft — it’s a very laidback-luxe vibe, much different than the structured bags that have ruled the fashion scene for the past few seasons.

As the pendulum swings back towards the softer styles, you’ll see more hobo styles and shoulder bags, but even the satchels and totes will be softer and less structured.

#2. Big & Bold

Top Handbag Trends for Spring 2021: Big and BoldTop Handbag Trends for Spring 2021: Big and Bold

Along with soft and slouchy comes bigger and bolder. This year, the mini bags of the last few seasons are “out” and large totes and shoulder bags are back.

That doesn’t mean that smaller crossbody bags are out — it’s the mini bags that I’m talking about — like this mini satchel. They were very much a short-lived trend, and I never bought one or featured one on the blog because they don’t look right on me, and they’re not very functional.

My advice is to take the big and bold trend with a grain of salt. Personally, I think it’s more important to carry a bag that is an appropriate size for your frame than to follow the trends, but you may find yourself gravitating to bags with a larger scale than the ones of the past few years. You can make a subtle difference in your handbag selections that give a nod to the trend, rather going whole-hog into a trendy piece that will only last you a season… and that is true for any trend, really.

#3. The Clutch

Top Handbag Trends for Spring 2021: The Clutch Top Handbag Trends for Spring 2021: The Clutch

Thanks to Bottega Veneta’s popular Pouch bag, clutches are becoming more of an everyday bag, rather than just for evening activities. Mansur Gavriel makes a similar version for less — the Cloud Clutch, but it’s still a bit of an investment. Then there are a lot of less expensive imitations, like this ruched clutch from Topshop.

#4. Straw & Rattan

Top Handbag Trends for Spring 2021: Straw and RattanTop Handbag Trends for Spring 2021: Straw and Rattan

Straw and rattan bags are still going strong this year, and they are also getting bigger and bolder! The bag silhouettes range from bucket bags to picnic totes.

#5. Crescent Shape

You’re going to see a lot of these crescent/moon shapes this spring. Some are more slouchy and soft, and some are more structured. I can definitely see myself grabbing one of these at a lower price point, but I wouldn’t make a big investment in this shape because I think it will be short-lived on the trend spectrum.

#6. Duffle/Baguette Bags

Top Handbag Trends for Spring 2021: Crescent BagTop Handbag Trends for Spring 2021: Duffle

This trend, like so many this season, harkens back to the 90s — Lorelai Gilmore always carried one of these in the earlier seasons. The updated style for 2021 is a little more duffle, a little less baguette bag, but I’m seeing a lot of both.

So, what do you think about the handbag trends for spring 2021? I feel like after a few years of styles being pretty much the same, things are really going in a new direction this season, and I kind of like it!

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34 thoughts on “Top Handbag Trends for Spring 2021

  1. Love your new blog! Well done!! I was just wondering if you will be doing a review again for sneakers this year? The one you did last year was great but I thought it might just be a passing fad (wrong!!) so I’m on the hunt this year. I’m pretty picky with shoes due to a Morton’s Neuroma problem from wearing too many high heels back in the day and need comfort….so just wondering if a review is on your list anytime soon? Thanks Jolynne!

    1. I can definitely do a review of the ones I’ve tried. As we know, there are many. 🤣 I may not take all the pictures like we did last time, because I don’t have them all still here at the house. But I’m assuming the information is more important than the imagery?

  2. Oh yikes! All my handbags are out! I don’t have any slouchy, ruched, nor crescent shaped bags.

    What about bright colors? I’ve rEad that bubblegum pink and yellows are in, not that I would ever buy such an in your face color. Did you skip thIs because it’s a trend tHat doesn’t appeal?

    1. To be honest, I kind of ran out of time and forgot to talk about colors. But I also didn’t see a lot of color, I mean, it’s out there, but still so much neutral. And yeah, I don’t really have any slouchy bags either, but the ones I have are pretty classic, and I plan to keep carrying them. 🙂 I might add one or two of these for fun, though, and to spice up my spring/summer pictures.

  3. I can leave a comment, but I don’t see the other comments on the post. Am I doing something wrong? And IMO, I don’t like the spring purse styles! Don’t think I’ll be buying a new bag this season.

  4. I love the new blog look!! So classy!! When I’m on my phone, I don’t like the candy ad that continues to pop up when I first open your posts but it’s a minor annoyance. I’m also extremely glad that you’re removing the email list pop up. I click away from any blog that does that and never subscribe!!

    I love these new handbag ideas for spring. Excited buy a new one soon. Stay warm!!

  5. Hi Jolynn! I’m therE for all of them! Btw i’m Not shouting! For some reason i can only type in caps. But i love these baGs trends enouh to shout about them anyway! Lol

  6. Well certainly food for thought. I think I’ll be sticking to my medium sized crossbody’s just out of convenience and size.. I do have satchels which I like as well. Anything too big just swallows me up .. I’m looking for a new straw handbag so was glad to see they’re on the list they are often my go to for summer with shorts and little dresses. Great review once again.. thank you 😊

    1. Yes, a straw bag is definitely on my shopping list this spring. I always am drawn to them, but I never get one – except for my beach bag. I’m going to get one of these I think. I kind of like that crescent shaped one.

  7. YEEESSSS!!! Love this style! It has always been my favorite—hobo, soft, slouchy, slightly bigger. So glad to see this trend. Now I’ll have to find the perfect one in the perfect color. I’d like a nude/brown that leans more cool/gray—kind of like the Minkoff you linked, but more hobo style. Thanks for the post! I love it!

    1. Yeah, I’ve always loved a slouchy hobo. 🙂 But I do get annoyed when it doesn’t stand up on its own. I also love those puffy clutches… especially that they have a shoulder chain too.

  8. This is one of my favorite posts every season! It is nice to see bags moving a little less structured. The crew event bags seem to have no structure and look like they would roll right over! LOL! I am on the hunt for a light taupe bag for spring/summer, but it may be one of the more classic and timeless shapes. Thanks for another great post!

  9. I just added to my Nordstrom cart: the small saddle brown Coach shoulder bag pictured above. Super cute for spring and a great price!
    I’m sorry this is all in caps….i cannot figure out how to CHANGE it.

  10. If I’m being completely honest I’m a large, tote with exterior and interior pockets kinda gal……24/7/365. Comfortable shoulder straps and a ext pocket for my phone and preferably a center zippered section that divides the main inside of the purse up and I’m good! I enjoy finding new colors though.

  11. Thanks for the spring collection purse round up….. will keep an eye out for inexpensive straw purses. Love the slouchy hobo purses! I bought a gorgeous green hobo purse in Italy and kept it for years as it comes in and out of style. The quality of the Italian leather is second to none. Thanks for the reminder to pull it out.

  12. Wow – interesting. It looks like a lot of changes from last year. I’m glad to see straw bags are still in because I meant to get one last year but never got around to it (probably because I started hiding under my bed sometime around last March). Can I still carry a backpack? To wear with my out of style jeans, lol? I don’t know if you don’t mention them because they don’t occur to you or because they are hopelessly out of style. Either way, it’s my favorite thing to carry. I’ll carry one anyway, but if there’s a style that’s more or less in or out, I’d be curious to know.

    1. LOL, I don’t mention them because I don’t carry them, and they aren’t really on my radar. But I also didn’t see any in my wanderings as I was searching for spring trends. That doesn’t mean they’re out of style though. Camera bag crossbodies aren’t out of style, they just weren’t mentioned because they’re kind of a classic and they’ve been popular for a while already. The women at The Mom Edit are always singing the praises of that Rebecca Minkoff Julian backpack. Do you have that one?

  13. Yes, to a sneaker review! I also thought it might be a short-lived trend. All I can see is white Reebok’s of the 80s and 90s!

  14. First off, I wanted to compliment you on your new blog design. My first thought when I saw it was that it was definitely you—neutral colors, and the beige more taupe than yellow, which we both prefer. Good job going for what you want!
    Of course, as usual, my favorite bags were the most expensive ones, or at least next to most expensive. My favorite of all was the brownish duffel style with the chain. But like you said, I won’t spend that much on something more trendy. The good news is, this past year I purchased 2 bags that I really love, and am ignoring my other bags lately. They are both soft, slouchy hoboes. One was a Tori Burch from this past summer in the brown luggage color. Most of the bloggers I follow purchased the same color bag but in the smaller shoulder bag, or the tote with the chain handle. I really enjoyed it, but then I found a black Coach bag almost exactly the same and like that equally. Good to hear they are both in style, but I would have kept wearing them regardless! Thanks for the update on bags!

  15. I love These soft STYLES but since I’m 5’4″ I have to be choosy. Large totes tend to tHROW off my PROPORTIONS. Thanks for sharing. I see a similar styles on mangos website.

  16. I’m a large-framed, tall gal so I’m particularly grateful for larger bags to be making a comeback, as I look ridiculous carrying a small bag. I’m partial to the hobo style, so this season will be fun to have some viable options again! Thanks for providing this post!

  17. I love a straw/rattan bag for spring and summer. I’ve already been thinking about that one from Nordstrom – I love that style for me and $79 is not a bad price for a functional bag for a season or two.

    Love the new blog design! 🙂

  18. I’m glad that I have full control in regards to the style of the handbags I have in my closet. My personality is such that the inside of my handbag has to be organized so that I can get what I need without even looking. I am not one to carry an oversized or small handbag; I’m a mid size kind of girl. Because I like to change handbags often and I grow tired of them fairly quickly, I do not spend a lot of money on them. But, I don’t purchase real cheap ones either. I am still trying to train my brain to be okay with the color of my handbag not being identical to my shoe color, as well as, it being a neutral that is not in the clothes I have on. I do like to have a few fun colored handbags in my closet. We have reached 71 today, and you have snow! Wow!

  19. Thanks for this round-up. Loving the softer styles and all the neutrals, but I’m not in a position to invest right now. I’d love a cute straw bag for Spring and that’s probably easier to do as a fun, inexpensive purchase. And another vote for a sneaker review! Did you receive the canvas Cariuma’s yet? My feet have gotten so used to sneakers this past year of work from home that I’d like to expand beyond my running shoes to some cuter options to wear with Spring styles.

  20. I love all the links and price options you did! I can never decide so I always seem to have multiple purses!! I had a baguette (tube) purse back in the late 80’s. I want to get a new purse from the slouchy and soft section! But first I want to out some thought into what color would be best.

  21. Love the new blog design! I had no idea so much work went into it. Thanks for enlightening me. So interesting! I’m very plain when it comes to handbags. The more neutral, the better for my comfort zone! For some reason I’m more apt to venture further in trends in other areas. Funny thing tho, my son bought me a beautiful bright red Kate Spade handbag & every time I carry it I get so many compliments! Way out of my comfort zone!

  22. I love handbags – I buy then, use them – put away & pull out another one. I like big bags, medium bags, crossbody bags – did I mention I love handbags?

    I’ve spent all kinds of money on bags – big bucks to a steal; designer bags to knock-offs. I once saw a fabulous bag in a window of a shop in a conference center that literally spoke to me. I swore it was calling my name – it was a leopard print bag (way before leopard print was a thing) – that bag finally fits it’s way & is still is in my collection of bags.

    I know I say this a lot, but as I age lots of my preferences have changed. But not my love of handbags. Some of the bags in this post made me smile & click on the link – others not so much. But that’s the beauty of fashion / we all get to choose.

    I’m heading out of town on Thursday to visit some friends in Iowa – yes, Iowa. I know it’s winter – I’ve picked out my clothes; am planning to start packing tonight & guess what? I already know what purse I’m taking! It’s important to be prepared. Lol.

    Hope your weather calms down, warm up, melts & gets warm. Our snow has melted & it was 63 here Monday. Heatwave!!!

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