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As life has grown busier and people are more frequently on the go, crossbody bags have become a staple for many. They carry all the essentials you need without feeling too bulky or heavy and free up your hands so you can take calls, check messages, hold an umbrella, or carry another bag. Plus, when it’s time to resume working at the office, a crossbody bag will come in clutch for commuting to work, in addition to its usual uses, like traipsing around the city or traveling to a new place.
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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],” says 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, see are our top picks of the best crossbody bags for casual wear, work, travel, and beyond.
Best Overall: Saint Laurent Lou Quilted Leather Camera Bag
What do buyers say? 80+ Nordstrom reviewers rated it 4.0 stars or above.
The camera bag is a testament to Saint Laurent’s elegant timeless appeal. Crafted wholly from calfskin leather, it’s not too big or too small and offers the right amount of room to fit all your essentials while maintaining its shape.
Material: Calfskin leather | Size: 9.1 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 style for its simple yet sophisticated design. It may appear to be on the small side, but it's spacious enough for your everyday essentials. It's also organize, given its its two zippered compartments (one of which has an interior flap) and additional flap pocket on the back with a magnetic closure. Numerous buyers wrote in reviews that they were able to store their cell phone, card case, keys, and a couple of beauty items without overstuffing.
Material: Pebbled leather | Size: 4.6 x 7 x 2.7 inches | Number of Pockets: 2 | Drop: 23.1 inches | Closure: Clean gently with damp cotton cloth
Best Leather: Cuyana Mini Double Loop Bag
The crossbody bag from Cuyana offers quality construction minus the high price tag of designer labels. The structured body 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, and it closes with a magnetic flap. And if you love the design but feel that you need more space, there's a 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: 16-24 inches | Closure: Magnetic flap | Care: Wipe clean with damp cloth
Best Budget: Mango Flap Crossbody Bag
A crossbody is not everybody’s cup of tea, but sometimes it's a necessary for convenience, when you need to stay hands-free. For the most mobility, it's important to go with something small and minimalist, like this flap cross-body bag from Mango. It’s very versatile, so you can wear it as an everyday purse or for a night out with friends. Its boxy shape is understatedly elegant. And the best part is: it's not a huge investment.
Material: Polyurethane and polyester | Size: 8.27 x 6.3 x 3.94 inches | Number of Pockets: 1 | Closure: Magnetic | Care: Spot clean
Best Saddle: Dior Saddle Bag Dior Saddle Bag
The Dior Saddle Bag has been around since the late 1990s but has ascended to an iconic status through the years. So,if you’re going to splurge, this is the bag to do it for. It's traditionally worn as a shoulder bag but comes with a crossbody strap for even more functionality. It has two pockets — one interior and one exterior — for storage. You can choose over a dozen colors between the leather and the canvas, and personalize the style with the label's shoulder strap offerings.
Material: Grained calfskin leather | Size: 10 x 8 x 3 inches | Number of Pockets: 2 | Closure: Magnetic | Care: Hand clean
Most Spacious: Everlane The Italian Leather Studio Bag
Sometimes you need a little more space. In those cases, you should consider this crossbody from Everlane. Its body is longer than the typical crossbody and even seems to share the qualities of a small tote bag and offers enough room to carry a 13-inch laptop, a notebook, a wallet, eyeglasses, keys, and a phone.
Material: Italian leather | Size: 9.75 x 13 x 6.25 inches | Number of Pockets: 2 | Handle Drop: 10.5-12 inches | Closure: Snap button | Care: Spot clean
Most Stylish: Marc Jacobs Snapshot Crossbody Bag
The Marc Jacobs Snapshot Crossbody Bag was made for the fashion-forward. As the name figuratively implies, the bag doesn't hold much than your on-the-go essentials, such as your phone, wallet, keys, and maybe some lip balm. Still, it offers several interior compartments as well as an exterior slip pocket.
Material: Leather | Size: 7 x 4 x 2 inches | Number of Pockets: 2 | Drop: 18-27 inches | Closure: Zip
Best for Travel: TUMI Voyageur Troy Nylon Crossbody Bag
It's always a hassle when you have to fish around your purse while trying to make it through check-in at the airport. That said, Tumi is a top brand when it comes to travel luggage, and it's handbag styles are equally well-designed expectation. This crossbody has so many interior pockets to promote organization, plus a top handle and a shoulder strap for convertibility. Material-wise, the body of the bag is made from nylon, so you don’t have to worry about items inside getting wet or damaged in bad weather. Its leather corners add even more protection and durability, ensuring the bag will maintain its shape over time.
Material: Nylon | Size: 7 x 8.5 x 2.25 inches | Number of Pockets: 3 | Closure: Zipper | Care: Hand 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 one-of-kind pieces, artworks unto themselves. This bucket bag, for example, is made from raffia and has a handmade, reddish dot pattern. While the brand is based in the U.K., it prioritizes convenience for customers everywhere by offering 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 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 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 (like many compartments) without losing the compactness of a crossbody. It's made from a water-resistant, durable Vinylon fabric capable of withstanding the elements. It also comes with a convertible strap that can be adjusted from between 12 to 26 inches, and it has handle straps for carrying as well.
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 Embossed: Steve Madden Dignify Croc Embossed Crossbody Bag
The croc embossing on this bag is just enough to elevate a look. Construction-wise, this piece comes with both a top handle and a detachable shoulder strap so you can switch up how you carry it. Given its mini size, this crossbody is on the smaller side with just a main compartment and one pocket. Still, many reviewers said they were able to fit their essentials. And, if you prefer your purses to have a solid structure, this bag is great, as it 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 Sportswear: Nike Futura Luxe
This Nike crossbody bag will round out your streetwear and athleisure looks. It's made from a sporty, polyester fabric from recycled plastic water bottles. And, unlike other sporty handbags that tend to look like a fanny pack, it's a true crossbody with an option for convertibility. That means it can be worn around the hip, on the shoulder, as a clutch, or as a crossbody.
Material: Polyester | Size: 8 x 2 x 5 inches | Number of Pockets: 2 | Closure: Zip | Care: Spot clean
Best Round: Jenn Lee The Sayan Ata Round Bag
You can't go wrong with a basket bag for summer. Particularly for concerts and festivals, this bag is the perfect sartorial companion for its versatility and unorthodox, round shape. It's handmade by local artisans in Bali, so ensuring that no two woven designs are exactly the same. The interior of the purse is lined with colorful printed silk to cradle all of your belonging, while a supple leather strap supports shoulder comfort.
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
Most Professional: Brandon Blackwood Jumbo Kuei Bag
This Brandon Blackwood bag checks all of the boxes for a great professional handbag. It's roomy enough to hold a small computer, tablet, notebook, and other small essentials, and it's sleek enough to go with everything you might wear, from power suits fit for your next presentation to denim looks on casual Friday. You can carry it as a tote bag via its top handles or as a crossbody bag thanks to a detachable shoulder strap. From an ethical perspective, vegan shoppers should know that the bag isn't made from animal-based materials.
Material: Premium vegan leather | Size: 14 x 10 x 5 inches | Drop: 21-23.5 inches | Closure: Magnetic | Care: Hand clean with a soft cloth and warm water
Meet the Expert
Samantha Brown is a stylist based in NYC. She has been working with clients to refine their personal styles for over a decade.
What to Look for in a Crossbody Bag
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. “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 says. “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.”
Make sure your strap is sturdy enough to bare the weight of your essentials. "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,” she says.
To best gauge the weight of a bag, Brown suggests 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, cell phone [and] all the essentials you take on the go,” she says.
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 and hold just the essentials. Now, however, bag companies are adding a longer strap so many more styles can be worn crossbody.
Where should a crossbody bag sit?
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.” Though, ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to wear a crossbody as it all comes down to personal comfort.
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.