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The Ultimate Guide to Women’s Handbags: Popular Styles, Trends, and Tips for 2023

Handbags are much more than just accessories – they are a way to express personal style and complete any outfit. With so many types of bags to choose from, it can be tricky to figure out which style is best for your needs. This comprehensive guide explores all of the most popular women’s handbag types along with factors to consider when choosing a bag. You’ll also find tips for properly caring for your handbags so they stand the test of time. Read on to learn everything you need to know about selecting and caring for the perfect bag in 2023!


Breaking Down the Most Popular Handbag Styles for Women

From functional totes to elegant evening clutches, handbags come in a diverse range of shapes and sizes. Each style has unique features and lends itself to different occasions and uses.


Roomy and Dependable Tote Bags

The tote remains one of the most ubiquitous bag styles for its versatility and functionality. Medium to large in size, totes feature an open top and flat bottom along with top handles. Totes can fit everything from your laptop and workout gear to beach towels and diaper bags.

Some iconic tote bags include:

  • Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM – The go-to LV tote in monogram canvas with natural leather trim. Roomy yet refined for work or travel.
  • Longchamp Le Pliage – Durable and packable nylon tote great for travel. Available in a spectrum of colors starting at $95.
  • Madewell Transport Tote – A buttery soft leather tote with a minimalist design. At $168, it’s one of the more affordable status leather totes.
  • Dior Book Tote – Oversized tote in canvas embellished with the distinctive Dior Oblique monogram jacquard.
  • Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Tote – Structured leather tote with contrast topstitching and claimshell hardware.

Tote bags shine for their laidback vibe and ability to carry all your daily necessities hands-free.

first
Tote wheat ear handbag


Practical Shoulder and Crossbody Bags

Shoulder bags refer to handbags with short handles and a longer strap meant to be worn over the shoulder. Crossbody bags have an even longer strap designed to be worn across the body. Both bag types allow you to move around hands-free.

Popular styles include:

  • Gucci Dionysus – Italian leather shoulder bag with a textured tiger head spur closure.
  • Louis Vuitton Alma BB – Petite monogram bag worn as a shoulder or crossbody.
  • Chloe Marcie – Bohemian style saddle bag in pebbled leather with braided trim.
  • Balenciaga City Bag – Edgy motorcycle inspired bag with giant hardware and removable strap.
  • Chanel Classic Flap – Iconic quilted leather flap bag with woven chain strap.

Shoulder and crossbody bags suit commutes, travel, and busy days when you need your hands free. The right silhouette also makes a chic going-out bag.

cross bag

Cross Bag



Compact Clutch Bags for Night Outs

When heading to a wedding, cocktail party, or evening event, a sleek clutch bag adds polish. Clutches are hand-held bags without handles or straps. Though petite, they still fit evening essentials like your phone, wallet, lipstick, and keys.

Some posh and elegant clutch options include:

  • YSL Envelope Clutch – Wrinkled leather clutch with an oversized logo envelope flap closure.
  • Judith Leiber Minaudière – Bejeweled and intricately embellished minaudières for glam events.
  • Bottega Veneta Padded Cassette – Quilted clutch woven from supple leather in a chic curved shape.
  • Alexander McQueen Skull Box Clutch – An ornate knuckle box clutch with a crystal encrusted skull clasp.
  • Jimmy Choo Lance – Understated metallic clutch with glistening gold, silver, or rose gold leather.

A beaded, embroidered, or crystal covered clutch elevates formalwear with a dose of sparkle and glamour.

gold silver clutch bag
Gold Silver Clutch bag



Functional Hobo Bags for Everyday

Hobo bags are medium-large bags defined by a crescent shape, top zip closure, and slouchy structure that drapes against your body. Their roomy interior makes them another go-to everyday bag.

Casually chic hobo bags include:

  • Michael Kors Jet Set Travel Hobo – Effortlessly luxe pebbled leather hobo in neutral and pop colors.
  • Tory Burch Gemini Link – Pebbled leather hobo accented with a gold chain link strap and logo charm.
  • Coach Allie – Soft pebble leather hobo detailed with a turnlock and chain accents.
  • Rebecca Minkoff Nikki Hobo – Laidback boho bag with whipstitch details along the seams.
  • Mansur Gavriel Lady Bag – Simple Italian leather hobo bag in a spectrum of rich colors.

Hobo bags pair perfectly with relaxed daytime outfits like jeans and a tee or sweater dress for brunch.

leather bag 1
Leather Bag



Drawstring Bucket Bags

Bucket bags are medium sized and cylindrical in shape with a drawstring top closure. The silhouette has a modern, casual vibe.

Beloved bucket bag styles include:

  • Gucci Soho Disco – Pebbled leather mini bucket bag with an adjustable strap and iconic tassel detail.
  • Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis – Monogram canvas drawstring bag with a leather strap and gold hardware.
  • Staud Gita – Buttery leather bucket bag in a rainbow of colors like lilac, mango, and seafoam.
  • Mansur Gavriel Mini Mini Bucket Bag – Cute petite bucket bag that comes in bold colorblocked shades.
  • Chloe C – Slouchy suede bucket bag with braided edging along the sides.

The roomy interior and casual vibe make bucket bags ideal for travel, the farmer’s market, concerts, and everyday wear.

bucket bags
Bucket Bags



Breezy Straw and Rattan Bags

For a natural touch, woven straw and rattan handbags are light and airy for spring and summer. Neutral shades make them endlessly versatile.

Some chic woven styles include:

  • Loewe Small Raffia Tote – Slouchy oval raffia tote with a contrast leather base and straps.
  • Staud Moon Bag – Crocheted circular rattan bag worn as a shoulder or crossbody bag.
  • Shashi Star Straw Bag – Intricately beaded straw clutch/crossbody decorated with cowrie shells and pompoms.
  • Sensi Studio Toquilla Straw Maxi Tote – Oversized woven toquilla straw tote that can hold beach or picnic essentials.
  • Jacquemus Le Grand Panier – Vibrant colored oversized basket bags woven from seagrass with leather handles.

Straw and rattan bags encapsulate effortless resort vibes perfect for tropical getaways and summer in the city.

breezy straw bag
Breezy Straw Bag





Key Considerations When Shopping for a Handbag

With the wide range of styles available, it helps to go into the handbag shopping process with a clear idea of your needs and preferences. Keep these aspects in mind:

Your lifestyle and daily needs – Do you need a work bag, diaper bag, or weekender carryall? Determining the primary function helps narrow options.

Bag capacity – If you need to carry a lot of items, look for larger totes, hobos, shoulder bags. For going out, smaller satchels, clutches or crossbody bags allow you to travel light.

Personal style – Consider the structure, materials, colors, and detailing that appeal most to your fashion aesthetic.

Versatility – Bags like a black tote, tan hobo, or quilted shoulder bag offer more outfit pairing possibilities than trendy or loud styles.

Durability and quality – Higher priced designer bags often use better quality leather, hardware, and construction though there are budget-friendly options too.

Seasonality – Light straw or canvas bags suit warm weather while leather, suede, and nylon work year-round.

Brand preferences – If elegance is key, brands like Chanel, Gucci or Saint Laurent offer classic luxe bags. For contemporary looks, Tory Burch, Kate Spade, and Rebecca Minkoff have stylish options.

Thinking through practical and style considerations will guide you to the perfect bag.


Handbag Trends to Look Out for in 2023

Like clothing, handbag trends constantly evolve with the seasons. These bags are expected to be everywhere in 2023.

Mini bags – Compact clutches and crossbodies are having a major moment. Brands like Jacquemus, By Far, and Cult Gaia make Insta-worthy itty-bitty bags.

Bold brights – Vibrant pops of color in candy-colored hues like mint, cobalt, tomato red, and marigold energize ensembles.

Rattan and straw – Natural sandy tones and open weave textures feel beachy and breezy for spring and summer.

Slouchy silhouettes – Oversized totes and hobos that can fit everything have a modern, casual vibe.

Chunky chain accents – Chunky gold, silver, or acrylic chains imbue classics with an edgy upgrade.

Pearls and beads – Decorative embellishments give ornamental texture and a glamorous touch.

Vintage revival – The retro elegance of bags like the Lady Dior, Kelly bag, and Jackie 1961 capture old Hollywood allure.


Tips for Keeping Handbags Looking New

Quality designer handbags represent a significant investment. Here are tips for keeping your bags in tip-top condition:

With some TLC, your handbags will withstand the test of time no matter how trends change.

  • Use bag organizers and shapers – Felt and cloth organizers help structures retain their shape and protect lining from stains.
  • Alternate regularly used bags – Rotate 3-4 go-to bags to give the leather or fabric a chance to rest and reduce wear.
  • Clean and condition leather – Use a gentle leather cleaner when needed. Condition with an oil or wax every 6 months.
  • Store properly – Keep bags stuffed and upright in dust bags away from direct sun, heat, and humidity.
  • Check seams and hardware – Make repairs as needed to avoid bigger issues. Tighten loose screws or hardware.
  • Remove stains – Use a mild soap and warm water to spot clean fabric bags. Wipe leather gently and consult a professional for deep stains.
  • Waterproof outerwear – Use a protector spray to prevent water damage and staining on bags worn in inclement weather.


Finding Your Perfect 2023 Handbag

There are endless options when shopping for a handbag in 2023. Now that you know the major styles, trends, and care tips, think about your individual needs and style. Look for luxe leathers, thoughtful details, and silhouettes that work for your lifestyle. With so many gorgeous bags available from classic luxury brands to up-and-coming labels, you’re sure to find one that speaks to you!

The right handbag has the power to pull any look together. Whether you seek a roomy tote, chic satchel, cool mini bag, or functional crossbody, there is a perfect 2023 bag waiting for you. Trust your sense of style and don’t overthink it – the bag you’re naturally drawn to is likely the best match!



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