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Bag the best handbag trends

EINGESENDETE MELDUNG
Von Sponsor

9. Nov. 2021

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Image: Website 24sevres

Bags, purses, handbags. We all own them, we all love them. But naturally one can find every bag under the sun. Which makes choosing the perfect companion difficult. Here we take a look at the most current bag trends and what you need to know when searching for your next addition. The trends of this year combine playfulness and perhaps impracticality. This year, anything goes and you can go as all out as you want. Rules do not apply this year, since we are finally able to go out and use our precious companions again that have been in the backs of our wardrobes for too long. Pick whatever makes you feel good, since that is the most important factor. Further, we also take a look at some of the most popular handbag materials, in order to highlight the different attributes of them and what that might mean for a handbag, its durability as well as the look and feel of course.

Versatility is key

One of the freshest trends this season is the versatility bag trend. This trend illustrates our need for more versatile bags, those that we can alter ourselves to suit our everyday needs. With detachable pouches and straps you can transform your bag into something totally different, which then makes you feel like you own many different bags all wrapped into one. The versatility trend is also extremely handy now when we are easing back into going to the office and back to our normal, busy lives. The perfect versatile bag fits your work essentials, but transforms into a casual and trendy bag that will not look out of place at afterwork drinks with colleagues or friends. This style is perhaps also rooted in our calls for more sustainable options, since buying one versatile bag is more of a conscious choice than having to buy many separate ones; one shoulder bag, one clutch and one coin purse. Why buy separate ones when you can get them all in one? Take a look at the newest collections from iconic brands like Louis Vuitton and Fendi to find your next transformative purse.

The return of the 90s baguette

This year we have seen the return of the iconic baguette bag. Think of the golden Fendi from iconic TV show Sex and the City, or dainty and small purses bouncing off the shoulders of noughties celebs. Now, the new Gen-Z have fallen in love with this bag, and it looks fresh and appealing yet again. The appeal of the baguette bag is in the instant chic-factor as well as the practicality of it. It is small enough to fit all of your essentials, but at the same time it is not too big. It performs equally well on a Sunday morning grocery run as on a night out. The fact that there are a multitude of shapes and colors available also makes this a bag that can suit anyone, anywhere.

Statement chains

After a brief hiatus, chains are back in bags. Now chunkier than ever, you can spot bags with a chain that comes in all shapes, sizes and lengths. For the most on-trend option, pick a bag with a chunkier than chunky chain, and simplify the rest of your outfit. Your cool factor goes up immediately. The most on trend chains are acrylic ones, that can either be purely ornamental or be the actual chain strap of the bag. Made famous by Bottega Veneta by adding a chunky golden chain to one of its already trending pouch bags (see the next bag trend), fashionistas around the world have been obsessed with the chain ever since. Some might argue that the chunky chains add unnecessary weight to the bag, but regardless this style is still trending. Other brands such as Marni and See by Chloe have also added chains to their bag collections. The chain does not always have to be featured as the handle, but can also be present as a purely decorative chain, or as chain accents stitched to the front of the bag for example. You can find this trend on shoulder bags as well as crossbody versions. Thus, there is something for everyone within this trend as well.

The playful poof

A new fresh and youthful trend is the puffy bag. Think of for example Bottega Veneta’s Pouch clutch that has achieved cult-like popularity. And no wonder, the puffy, pillowy bag adds instant playfulness and a whimsical aspect to your outfits. To add even more youthfulness, the bags usually come in an oversized clutch-style, which makes it impossible to miss, especially if it is in a neon colour. The bags are so poofy they often resemble a pillow, which is perhaps why this trend is so popular at the moment. The coziness and comfort the purses emulate is perhaps a nice segue to introduce us back to real life and getting used to using beautiful purses again, but easing into it gently. The poofy pillowy bags come in all shapes and sizes, which means that you don’t have to go all out if you do not want to. For just dipping your toes into the poofy pool, pick a smaller version in a neutral colourway, such as beige or brown. You can pick a version with a strap or without. Thus, there is a pillowy bag to bring comfort into any occasion you might need it to.

All quilted everything

Another very prominent trend is the quilted one. As every fashionista knows, this is not limited to only bags. This season we have seen quilted jackets, skirts, shoes, bags and even gloves. The quilt in bags comes in the form of leather or different types of fabrics, such as nylon. Iconic quilted bags have of course been around for decades, but this season the quilt has been modernized. For instance, the ultra-modern Bottega Veneta Cassette bag is an excellent example of this, and was one of the trailblazers that brought this trend to the 21st century. The “old fashioned quilts” are still in of course, but the most 2021 quilted bag features a soft and pillowy quilt in a modern shape, perhaps a geometric one. The quilt also symbolises comfort, much like the puffy bag trend. This season, utilize the quilted trend to the max and wrap up in a quilted jacket that feels like a blanket, while donning a quilted purse on your arm. You will look 2021-proof immediately.

Going out with a bang

After a year and a half of being stuck inside, we finally see the resurgence of the perhaps impractical party bags and clutches. Even though the 90s baguette bag highlighted above is a great choice for going out on the town, there are also other options available. You can opt for the extremely trendy microbag just big enough to fit your lipstick and keys, or choose the traditional, but not by any means boring, clutch. You can be as impractical as you would like because you finally have a reason to. The most on trend look is a bedazzled version of the party bag covered in crystals. Brands such as Paco Rabanne have released new updates of their old classics, this time covered in crystals, jewels and over-the-top sparkes that will shine brighter than the disco ball. If crystals are not your thing, you can also take your pick out of materials such as beads, pearls, chainmail or tassels, in true 00s fashionista style.

A quick guide to handbag materials

The traditional handbag came in leather or a thick canvas, and was mainly used to carry coins. The most important characteristic was durability and practicality, the aesthetics were secondary. Throughout the decades however, the handbag evolved together with history. The sizes became smaller as well as bigger, depending on the occasion. The design became more ornate and less practical, symbolizing the increased wealth within the population as well. The shapes evolved into feminine shapes, chucking practicality out the window. Since then, the handbag has become more and more common, and everyone owns multiple different bags for different occasions. Nowadays, handbags are unisex objects that can either be one’s status symbol or merely a practical vessel for transporting one’s belongings from one place to another. Below you can take a look at the most common handbag materials and choose the most appropriate one for you regarding your next purchase.

Classic leather

Perhaps the most common bag material is of course leather. This is the most used one due to its durability and timelessness. A leather bag will truly stand the test of time. In fact, a leather bag will even look better the longer you use it, which is why this is the perfect choice of material for an expensive designer bag that you invest in. If you make a big purchase like that, you do want it to last for as long as possible. Another advantage of choosing a leather bag is the fact that leather is waterproof. This being said, different types of leather have different attributes, and the choice of one depends on what one is looking for in a handbag. For example, full grain leather is the most commonly used leather in especially premium bags due to its durability, scratch resistance and the beautiful patina it achieves once it ages. In comparison, suede leather is known for its delicate look and premium feel. However, this material is perhaps not as durable as other leather options. The innate properties of suede mean that it absorbs weather easily, and stains are also very visible. This is especially true if you pick suede in a lighter color, such as pink or purple. However, a suede bag looks and feels extremely luxurious, so this is definitely a great choice for the material of your next bag, if these attributes are what you appreciate. It is clear that picking the right leather depends on what you are looking for in your next bag. Will you pick the durable full grain leather which perhaps looks less dainty? Or will you pick the luxurious suede and compromise on the durability of it? These are all questions that one should ask themselves before making a bag purchase.

The rise of vegan leather

More recently, especially premium bag brands have also come out with leather alternatives. At this point, the term “vegan leather” has been on everyone’s lips. Vegan leather, also known as faux leather or “pleather”, which comes from the term plastic leather, has proven to be the conscious alternative to more traditional bag materials. On the other hand, going conscious can also result in a bit of a different look and feel than what we are used to. These new materials include leather mostly made out of plastic, but recently we have seen more and more leather alternatives made out of natural and organic materials. These sustainable alternatives include pineapple, cactus and even mushroom leather, among others. The attributes of vegan leather are almost on par with real leather, but it is naturally less durable and will not stand the test of time as well as the real deal. However, it is also waterproof and definitely the more conscious choice. Further, vegan leather is easier to dye than real leather, so you can find “pleather” purses in every color under the sun. These are all things to consider when choosing a bag, especially when you are most likely looking for one that will be with you for a long time.

Cotton canvas

Perhaps a more surprising trend is the use of canvas in especially high end bags. Perhaps when one traditionally thinks of this material, it brings to mind industrial level cotton tote bags, that are far from trendy. However, this season designers have made canvas cool again. Have a look at the newest bags from Burberry and Celine, who have proven that canvas too can look and feel extremely luxurious. Even some of the most trendiest it-bags have been released in new and beautiful canvas versions. This means that canvas is definitely in this season. The durable nature, lightness and versatility of the material has made it a very popular choice for a bag material. However, cotton is a more inexpensive material compared to other materials such as leather. This can perhaps result in a less premium-feel and a more casual look as compared to the leather alternative, but recently luxury brands such as those mentioned above have ensured that canvas bags are back in style. Nowadays it is common to combine cotton with leather trims, which is when you get the best of both worlds.

Durable nylon

Another common material is nylon. Many different types of nylon are used in bags, ranging from shiny and delicate fabrics to thick and durable versions. These types of bags are especially popular with the younger consumers, especially among Gen-Z. This is due to the accessibility of nylon bags, which seem to be everywhere, as well as the slightly cheaper price tag, as compared to leather bags for example. Bags made out of nylon are stretchy, durable and stain resistant. They are also very lightweight, which makes them ideal for bags that you will carry around for long stretches at a time, such as messenger bags or backpacks. The casual yet refined look of the bag has resulted in great popularity and no wonder; a nylon bag is easy to combine with more casual looks as well as a more sophisticated outfit, since it illustrates a nice balance between elegance and youthfulness.

Playful straw

Perhaps the most whimsical material out of this list is the straw. With it it brings instant memories of summer picnics and scorching hot days on the beach. A straw bag combines sturdiness, symmetricality and playfulness all in one. Check out new additions from the biggest bag brands and grab yourself a version of this lovely material. Straw has been rising in popularity lately because a straw bag is an essential step in achieving the cottage core aesthetic which has been rising in popularity over the past months. Cottage core is a trend that includes fashion trends that emulate sustainability, romantic nostalgia, and a connection with nature. Thus, a straw bag is naturally key in this aesthetic. Even though there are multiple other more natural handbag materials, none of them emulate a direct link with organic materials quite like the straw bag. The woven patterns of straw bags are also present in the woven bag trend. You can catch leather bags being presented in a woven pattern, which combines the playfulness of the straw bag with the durability of leather bags.

All in all, it is clear that choosing the material of your next bag really depends on what you are looking for. There is no right or wrong option. When considering your next purchase, think of the properties you are looking for and go from there. With the inspiration from the trends and materials highlighted above, choosing the next perfect bag will be a walk in the park.