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
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
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
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
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
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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