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Crossbody bags have become a go-to staple as our lives are increasingly busier and we’re frequently on the go. They carry all the essentials you need without feeling too bulky or heavy, freeing up your hands so you can take calls, check messages, hold an umbrella, or carry another bag. And, when it’s time to resume working from the office, a crossbody bag will come in clutch for commuting to work, traipsing around the city, or traveling abroad.
Meet the Expert
Samantha Brown is a professional personal stylist and celebrity stylist in NYC. She has been working with clients to refine their personal styles for over a decade.
In addition to that, crossbody bags can help elevate any style or outfit. You can find a myriad of crossbody bags in a wide variety of silhouettes, shades, and designs. “I would say the most popular style that I’ve noticed in the last year or so is the camera bag [silhouette]. So many brands were making the camera bag,” says professional stylist Samantha Brown. “Keep an eye out for the different details that brands and designers are doing so that you find something that speaks to your personality.”
Ahead are our top picks of the best crossbody bags for casual wear, work, travel, and beyond.
Best Overall: YSL Camera Bag
A classic silhouette that has stood the test of time. The camera bag is a testament to YSL’s elegant timeless appeal. Crafted from 100 percent calfskin leather, this purse is the embodiment of the quintessential characteristics of the perfect crossbody bag. It’s not too big or too small with the right amount of room to fit all your essentials while maintaining its shape.
Material: Calfskin leather | Size: 9 x 6.2 x 2.3 inches | Drop: 23 inches | Closure: Zip | Care: Hand clean
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Tory Burch Perry Bombé Mini Bag
The Bombé Mini Bag is another beloved of many for its refined and sophisticated design. Featuring the brand’s signature double ‘T’ embossed logo against rich pebbled leather, the construction is top tier. This purse may appear to be on the small side but it is spacious enough for your everyday essentials. With its two zippered compartments (one of which has an interior flap) and another flap on the back with a magnetic closure, you have options. Many reviewers note they were able to store their cell phone, card case, keys, and a couple of beauty items without overstuffing. The mini bag comes in a wide variety of colorways and patterns, perfect for dressing up or down.
Material: Pebbled leather | Size: 4.6 x 7 x 2.7 inches | Number of Pockets: 2 | Drop: 23 inches | Closure: Clean gently with damp cotton cloth
Best Budget: Mango Flap Crossbody Bag
A crossbody is not everybody’s cup of tea. But sometimes they’re a necessity due to the convenience of having one for certain occasions when you don’t feel like or need to carry a larger bag. And that’s where a minimalistic yet functional bag such as this flap cross-body bag from Mango comes in. It’s a stylish pick equally wearable as an everyday purse or a night out with its faux leather construction. Its boxy shape gives it an understated elegance. Plus, you won't be making a huge investment here.
The bag only has the main compartment with an inner pocket for storage but rest assured it's enough room for a phone, hand sanitizer, mask, keys, wallet, and whatever else you may need. The only downside is that the crossbody comes in one color and that is black with gold hardware.
Material: Polyurethane and polyester | Size: 9 x 7.5 x 2.4 inches | Number of Pockets: 1 | Closure: Magnetic | Care: Hand clean
Best Saddle: Dior Saddle Bag Dior Saddle Bag
The Dior Saddle Bag was one of the defining bags of the mid-aughts due to its iconic shape and bold design. When vintage-inspired fashion made its resurgence, Dior revisited its archives and reintroduced the handbag. Suffice to say, the Saddle Bag popularity ascended to a new level, cementing its timelessness. If you’re going to splurge, this is the bag to do it for. The crossbody bag is made from black-grained calfskin with antique gold-finish hardware. A magnetic closure covers the main interior compartment, which is secured with a zipper. There are two pockets—one interior and one exterior—for storage. Available in over a dozen different canvases, you can further personalize the handbag with different customizable shoulder straps.
Material: Grained calfskin leather | Size: 10 x 8 x 3 inches | Number of Pockets: 2 | Closure: Magnetic | Care: Hand clean
Most Versatile: Everlane The Form Bag
Sometimes you need a little more space, especially those of us who tend to carry a lot on our person daily. For that, consider this authentic Italian leather crossbody from Everlane. It’s longer than the typical crossbody bag as it is more of a cross between a tote. It doesn’t have a lot of storage options save for one interior pocket. But it more than makes up for that in the amount of space of its main compartment. There’s enough room to carry a 13-inch laptop, notebook, wallet, eyeglasses, keys, and a phone. It’s as functional as it is stylish. Plus, it's gorgeous enough to use year-round as an everyday bag.
Material: Italian leather | Size: 10.5 x 13 x 5 inches | Number of Pockets: 1 | Drop: 27 to 44.5 inches | Closure: Magnetic | Care: Spot clean
Best Value: Dagne Dover Epic Crossbody
This sleek crossbody from Dagne Dover is an organizational dream. Along with a modestly roomy interior, the bag has three card slots, one zippable pocket, two lip product molds, a key clip, and an exterior pocket on the back. To add to that, the body of the bag is made from a coated canvas to better protect your belongings in case you happen to get caught out in the rain. It also comes with a detachable shoulder strap and carrying handles atop the bag. It’s a good handbag, whether it's for everyday use or going out.
Material: Polyester with leather trim | Size: 7.75 x 2.75 x 6 inches | Number of Pockets: 1 | Drop: 20 inches | Closure: Magnetic flap | Care: Damp cloth and mild soap; leather cleaner for handles
Most Stylish: Marc Jacobs Snapshot Crossbody Bag
Available in over a dozen different colorways and patterns, the Marc Jacobs Snapshot Crossbody Bag was made for the fashion-forward. As the name implies, the bag doesn't hold much but it's perfect for your on-the-go essentials such as your phone, wallet, keys, and maybe some lip balm. But where it takes the cake is the diversity of designs you can choose from. From teddy, plush, and animal prints to metallic and tie-dye, there’s something from everybody. The style factor of the bag is taken to the next degree with its oversized J emblem and adjustable logo-laden shoulder strap that can be worn as a crossbody or shoulder bag. As far as storage, the bag has two interior compartments with an inner wall pocket as well as an exterior slip pocket.
Material: Leather | Size: 7 x 4 x 2 inches | Number of Pockets: 2 | Drop: 18 to 27 inches | Closure: Zip
Best for Travel: TUMI Voyageur Troy Nylon Crossbody Bag
It can be a hassle going in and out of your purse while trying to make it through check-in at the airport. Or fishing around as you’re trying to make your way around on a trip. Tumi is a top brand when it comes to travel luggage and its handbag options are not an expectation. Take the Voyageur Troy Crossbody. It has a double-zip main compartment, a U-Zip pouch on the front outside, and an easily accessible pocket on the back that closes with a magnetic snap. The lightweight crossbody has both a top handle and shoulder strap, which is adjustable and removable depending on how you want to carry. It’s more than enough room to store your essentials neatly and organized without everything getting jumbled up. There’s even a leash for safekeeping a set of keys. The body of the bag is nylon so you don’t have to worry about items inside getting wet or damaged by bad weather. Its leather corners add a layer of protection and durability, ensuring the bag will maintain its shape. The crossbody is covered by Tumi’s limited warranty.
Material: Nylon | Size: 7 x 8 x 2 inches | Number of Pockets: 3 | Closure: Zipper | Care: Hand clean
Best for Outdoors: Fjällräven Kånken Sling Shoulder Bag
Fjällräven is renowned for its smartly-designed, uber-stylish outdoor gear and apparel, particularly its Kånken line of backpacks. A couple of years back, the Swedish brand released a new addition to the lineup: the Kånken Sling Shoulder Bag. A hybrid between a sling bag and backpack, this scaled-down version is the best of both worlds for people who want the functionality of a backpack without losing the compactness of a crossbody. It is made from a water-resistant, durable Vinylon fabric crafted to withstand the elements. The shoulder bag also comes with a convertible strap that can be adjusted from between 12 to 26 inches or handle straps for carrying. As far as space is concerned, there is an interior and exterior compartment as well as multiple outside. This is a great handbag for everyday use or outdoors a lot. If you’re looking for something a bit bigger, you should also check out the Kånken Mini.
Material: Vinylon | Size: 6 x 8 x 2.75 inches | Number of Pockets: 4 | Drop: 2.5 inches | Closure: Zipper | Care: Soft brush and lukewarm water
Best Leather: Cuyana Mini Double Loop Bag
While this crossbody bag is a bit plainer in comparison to others, there’s more to it than meets the eye. It’s quality construction minus the high price tag. The beauty of this bag lies in its structured frame. Foremost, the body of the bag is crafted from Italian leather sourced from a Leather Working Group-certified, woman-owned factory in Turkey while the inside is lined with suede. It has one main compartment for your phone, keys, and other essentials as well as a back slip pocket for cards and ID. The bag secures close with a magnetic flap. If you’re looking for more space, consider the larger sister version, which comes with two additional pockets on each side of the purse.
Material: Italian leather | Size: 6.8 x 7.6 x 3.7 inches | Number of Pockets: 1 | Drop: 16 to 24 inches | Closure: Magnetic flap | Care: Wipe clean with damp cloth
Best Nylon: Herschel Orion Retreat Crossbody
If you frequently travel or are someone who is a little rough on handbags, consider this durable crossbody from Herschel. It is super lightweight and made with nylon, which is water and stain-resistant. The closure flap is genuine leather so you don’t have to worry about it becoming frayed over time. In addition to its main compartment, there is one zippable pocket inside and a hidden rear pocket to make sure your belongings are safely stored.
The metal buckles on the magnetic flap closure give it the sophisticated feel of a satchel. Not only does it look high-quality but the construction is top-notch, which is to be expected of Herschel who is known for its durable, well-made travel accessories and backpacks.
Material: Nylon with leather lid | Size: 7.5 x 10.5 x 3.5 inches | Volume: 3.5 liters | Number of Pockets: 2 | Closure: Magnetic
Best Vegan: Matt & Nat Erika Vegan Crossbody Bag
Matt & Nat makes vegan purses using sustainable, cruelty-free leather, nylon, and other recycled materials. Last fall, the brand launched its capsule Purity collection featuring purses made from polyvinyl butyral, which is recycled windshield glass resin. A gem from that line is the Erika crossbody. In addition to the exterior, the inside of the bag is crafted from recycled plastic bottles. The material looks as good as the real deal. For other equally stylish silhouettes, there are the Casa (bucket-shaped), Brave (sling), Buda (half-moon), and the Adel (satchel) purses from the same collection.
Material: Polyvinyl butyral | Size: 8 x 7.5 x 3.5 inches | Number of Pockets: 1 | Drop: 20 to 24.5 inches | Closure: Magnetic
Best Satchel: Madewell The Abroad Shoulder Bag
If you want something a little more polished and with some more style than that, Brown suggests a satchel always looks great. And Madewell, known for its genuine leather bags and accessories as well as the company’s sustainable practices, is a solid pick. The purse is constructed with leather sourced from a tannery that has achieved a Leather Working Group Gold—so this bag will last you for many years to come. It has a classic, streamlined, and charming silhouette and a slip pocket both on the inside and backside. The main compartment itself is deep enough to carry all your daily essentials—and then some.
Material: Genuine leather | Size: 7.25 x 10 inches | Number of Pockets: 2 | Drop: 15 to 20 inches | Closure: Magnetic | Care: Hand clean
Best Pouch: Clare V. Sac Bretelle
If this slim purse could be summed up in two words, it would be simple sophistication. This crossbody is one of the versatile options as you can mix it with various outfits choices, whether you’re dressing up or keeping it casual. With it being a pouch shape, the main compartment is your only storage. But it’s spacious enough to fit your cell phone, a small wallet, and keys with a little room to spare. For a more personal touch, you can pick between tan, black, cheetah, and neon orange.
Material: Leather with chambray lining | Size: 12 x 9 x 0.5 inches | Drop: 20 inches | Closure: Zip
Best Embossed: Steve Madden Dignify Croc Embossed Crossbody Bag
The croc embossing of this mini bag is just the right touch to elevate a look. It makes a nice statement piece in any wardrobe. This bag comes with both a top handle and a detachable shoulder strap so you can switch up how you carry it. Plus, the strap is adjustable for you to fix it for a more comfortable fit. One thing to note is this crossbody leans on the smaller side with just a main compartment with one pocket. But many reviewers remarked they were able to fit their essentials. And, if you prefer your purses to have a solid structure, this bag has a flat base with protective metal feet to keep it upright.
Material: Polyurethane | Size: 6.25 x 8.25 x 2.5 inches | Number of Pockets: 1 | Drop: 24 inches strap; 3 inches top handle | Closure: Clasp
Best Athletic: Athleta Kinetic Mini Cross Body
When you’re on a run, cycling, or working out, the last thing you want to worry about is storing your essentials—or worse, your keys falling out of your pocket. There’s a solution to that. A lightweight crossbody such as this miniature Kinetic one from Athleta will keep your essentials secure without impeding your workout. The crossbody bag has one main compartment that zips close and a pocket on the back for your phone and ID that secures with a magnetic snap. The nifty thing about this bag is you can wear it as either a crossbody or across the waist. Another bonus is that the crossbody is made of quick-drying recycled nylon, which is also moisture-wicking. That means you don’t have to worry about sweat transfer from your body.
Material: Recycled nylon | Size: 9 x 6.5 x 1 inches | Number of Pockets: 1 | Closure: Zip and magnetic | Care: Wipe clean
Best Sportswear: Nike Futura Luxe
A fashionable option that works well with streetwear or athleisure styles. The polyester fabric used for the bag is made from recycled plastic water bottles. And, unlike some other sporty handbags that tend to look like a fanny pack, the design of this bag closely resembles that of a typical crossbody. It can be worn around the hip, across the shoulder, clutch, or crossbody, which makes it great for travel or festivals.
Material: Polyester | Size: 8 x 2 x 5 inches | Number of Pockets: 2 | Closure: Zip | Care: Spot clean
Best Woven: AAKS Lisi Bucket
Founded by Ghanian native Akosua Afriyie-Kumi, each handbag from AAKS is handwoven by women from her home country to create unique, one-of-kind pieces. The silhouettes are beautifully crafted like artworks unto themselves. Take the Lisi Bucket for example. Crafted from raffia, this bucket-shaped handbag has a bright reddish dot pattern. It has one inner pocket for closure and closes by a drawstring. Though based in the U.K., the brand offers free worldwide shipping.
Material: Raffia with leather detailing | Size: 7 x 6 inches | Number of Pockets: 1 | Drop: 39 inches | Closure: Drawstring | Care: Hand clean
Best Round: Jenn Lee The Sayan Ata Round Bag
This style of crossbody has become the quintessential, go-to staple for everything, from a day purse to a day at the beach. The Ata bag from Jenn Lee is a solid pick. Each handbag is handmade by local artisans in Bali and features a unique woven pattern so that no two designs are exactly that. In addition to that, the interior of the purse is lined with colorful Batik silk. The mouth of the bag opens wide enough for a phone, keys, a pair of sunglasses, and a couple of makeup products to fit inside and secures close with a supple leather strap. Its timeless, bohemian, and chic appeal will last for years to come.
Material: Ata grass, coconut, palm leaf, and leather | Size: 7.63 x 2.75 x 7.63 inches | Drop: 22 inches | Closure: Leather with snap | Care: Hand clean
What to Look for in a Crossbody Bag
Material and Construction
There aren’t necessarily certain materials that you should avoid over others. However, you should be mindful of the properties of the material and what you intend to wear the bag with. With a crossbody bag, because it’s hanging on your body a certain way, it will rub back and forth against the hip or the side of the waist where you are wearing it.
“So, for instance, if you are someone who loves to wear blue jeans regularly, suede is very porous,” explains Brown. “Suede can actually absorb the dye of denim and turn blue. If you were to buy a cream, caramel, or a light gray crossbody in suede, or sometimes a porous leather, you just want to be mindful of that so you don’t end up destroying it.”
In terms of looking for more eco-friendly options, you should also take some time to research the company you’re buying from and look into what their approach for sustainability is. Take faux leather for example.
“If you’re thinking faux leather is better for environmental reasons, it can sometimes actually be worse because they are made of plastics,” Brown clarifies “Look at the company you’re buying from and what their landmarks are for sustainability and production, and that will give you an idea if you are doing more harm than good buying that way.”
What Is a Crossbody Bag?
A crossbody bag is anything that has a strap long enough that you can drape it across the body from one shoulder to the opposite hip. Traditionally, these bags were a little bit smaller. They would hold just the essentials but now we’re finding that a lot of bag companies are adding a longer strap so anything can be worn crossbody just so that people have the ease of hands-free shopping. They just have a lot more flexibility that way. I wouldn’t say that the size of the purse directly matters—it’s more of how you style it.
How Do I Shop for a Quality Crossbody Bag?
Well, it depends whether you’re looking for the latest trend of the season or a bag that will last for some time. The difference between the two is the quality of construction. Brown suggests looking at the way that [a bag] is stitched together and the kind of hardware used on the bag. You’ll also want to check for things like if the bag fastens well.
Brown added that she also recommends putting the bag on to see if it’s heavy with nothing in it. “Bags can be either lightweight or much heavier, and usually they’ll be a lot more comfortable if it’s something you can fill up with your keys, wallet, cellphone [and] all the essentials you take on the go,” she elaborates. “You don’t want [the bag] to weigh you down and it will throw off your alignment in your back. You also don’t want a strap that’s going to dig into the shoulder. If you’re someone that carries a lot around with you, it’s also helpful to find a strap that has a part that widens to the shoulder base because it’s specifically designed with extra padding to wrap over the shoulder.”
Where Should a Crossbody Bag Sit?
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to wear a crossbody as it all comes down to personal comfort. However, stylistically, Brown recommends that “a crossbody bag should end in alignment with your hip bone. If it’s sitting lower than that, it starts to look a little heavy and messy.”
Why Trust Byrdie
Byrdie contributor Danielle Ransom is an NYC-based writer and has covered a myriad of topics ranging across beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. For this article, Danielle researched different silhouettes, shapes, and designs of crossbody bags from both luxury and non-luxury brands across different price points. She also interviewed a professional stylist for further insight.