To the untrained eye, It Bags might appear to win over the masses at random. In reality, the silhouettes gaining traction overnight like a hot girl on TikTok (looking at you, Alix Earle!) usually stem from the season’s top handbag trends. Jacquemus’s Le Chiquto micro-bags wouldn’t have been as beloved in the era of oversized totes and hobo bags; likewise, Prada’s Nylon Re-Edition bags wouldn’t have stood a chance if the trends had us leaning towards leather that season. It all goes back to what’s predicted to prevail—so reading up on 2023’s top bag trends is essential.
While I may not be able to tell you right now which brand will have the It Bag of the year, I can definitely give you an idea of what shape or material it might be. While this year’s top trends do run the gamut, they all have one thing in common: A shift towards practicality. Vanilla girls, rejoice!
Kendall Becker, Fashion and Beauty Trends Editor at Trendalytics, sheds some light on why this season’s handbags feel like a far cry from some of the more outrageous looks we saw in 2022.
“Last year was certainly a year of celebration as our rejuvenated social calendars and bucket list trips were top of mind,” notes Becker. “Looking forward to 2023, there’s a notion of familiarity in the air once again, as normalcy and a sense of routine settles in, all of which calls for practicality in the way we dress.”
Practical? Perhaps. Boring? Decidedly not. While this year’s silhouettes may be roomier, we’re definitely still delighting in head-turning details. From exaggerated lengths to statement studs to bowling alley-ready designs, read on for the top seven bag trends of 2023 — and see if you spot the next It Bag in the mix.
Statement-making locks and fasteners have always been a stylistic choice, but Becker notes that—especially in the renaissance of handbag practicality—it’s simply nice to have a bag that stays shut.
“Between the return to office and increase in travel, the need for a full-closure handbag is crucial, and brands are tastefully providing a practical detail in an elevated way,” says Becker. Even when the look is purely for aesthetics, a lock, toggle or carabiner closure is worth seeking out.
Usually known for more feminine handbags, Miu Miu’s pivot to faux-worn leather styles gives the brand’s accessory offering a welcome edge, expertly complementing the new signature snap hook detail.
Jacquemus debuted multiple iterations of the new Le Bisou bag on the Le Raphia runway, and I predict the padlock style will be the most popular. That said, Le Bisou Mousqueton, with its unique (albeit potentially impractical) carabiner strap, may also be up for It Bag status.
True Longchamp fans know there’s more to the brand than their incredible Le Pliage totes. This cowhide leather carry-all features Longchamp’s signature bamboo clasp, a daintier take on classic lock closures.
Mini bags are still an option for night-out ‘fits (more on that later), but a return to big bags has finally come. “In 2022, we saw the Y2K aesthetic re-spark interest in decade-adjacent styles like the hobo bag,” shares Becker. “As we move forward into 2023, the style is being updated into chicer, more elevated iterations.”
The bigger the bag, the bigger the style statement—and, of course, the more stuff you can justify carrying around. “The need for practical carryalls continues to increase, and the hobo style checks the boxes,” says Becker.
This fits-everything-and-more smooth calfskin leather shoulder bag features croc-effect embossed details and Givenchy’s signature chunky 4G padlock.
While Bottega might’ve hoped their Sardine Top Handle Bag would rise to It Bag status, the return of hobo bag supremacy will make their larger styles far more popular. You could snag the new Full-size Jodie for $6,700, or save by searching for older Intrecciato weave pieces on the secondhand market.
Fans of vintage-inspired silhouettes will naturally gravitate toward this magnetic closure bag, inspired by styles from the Gucci archive and boasting just the right amount of slouch.
Real talk: A lot of us splurged on vintage Balenciaga City Bags or shiny new Le Cagoles and fell in love with the look of excessive hardware in 2023. Now, we’re looking for alternative options that scratch the same itch. Think studs, buckles, zippers, crystalized rivets and more, and let the below options serve as proof that the look doesn’t have to be too punk-rock (but it totally can be).
Won’t be caught dead with a City Bag any longer? Meet the answer to your punk-rock prayers. Inspired by the elevated edge of the early 2000s runways, this studded satchel is surprisingly roomy.
Prada isn’t typically the most hardwear-heavy brand, but this new nappa leather bag boasts a padded silhouette balanced by a belt buckle-style closure that feels like a fresh take on Y2K.
If you thought the Pillow Tabby would be Coach’s only It Bag, think again. The Studio Baguette on its own reeks of It Bag potential, but this particular style, embellished with crystal rivets, will soon be fast-tracked to wardrobes everywhere.
With a rise in Vanilla Girl aesthetics pushing minimalism and practicality, it’s no surprise we’re swapping statement bags for more subdued styles. Think basic in the best way: Durable, convenient, go-with-everything options in leathers created to last and shapes you can dress up or down.
Polène is highly praised for its exquisite quality and reasonable price point. As a result, the brand’s simple, angular everyday styles like the Umi sell out at a moment’s notice.
If you asked a child to draw a purse, with zero other context, this is probably the shape they’d draw. That, coupled with Celine’s luxe calfskin material and a unique chain strap, make it the perfect normcore bag.
When a purse looks as good on the shoulder as it does styled crossbody, you know it’s a convenient classic. Plus, Kate Spade’s pebbled leather is extraordinarily durable for daily wear.
While hobo bag are fulfilling our need for excessive slouch, they aren’t the only silhouette revived from the early 2000s that’s all about shape. According to Becker, more rigid handbags are just as cool.
“Adhering to the growing interest in structured styles, the bowler bag is due for a revitalization,” she shares. While today’s iterations may not be large enough to fit actual bowling balls, they serve as the perfect combination of modern design and vintage inspiration.
Just in time for the bowler revival, Loewe brought back this nappa calfskin style from the ‘70s and gave it a trend-forward twist.
This lightweight bowler from Marge Sherwood may look old-school, but it’s modern and spacious enough to fit a full day’s essentials—yes, including your Airpods Max headphones.
Larger than the average bowler, this Miu Miu take features the brand’s logo embossed front and center, as well as short top-handle straps to emphasize the bag’s intentionally big, boxy shape.
Behold, perhaps the only "impractical" trend in the mix. Save your mini bags for nights out—and be sure they make a statement! “Designers are putting the envelope clutch to rest and consumers are in agreement,” shares Becker. In its wake are much more exciting LBBs (Little Black Bags) to complement evening attire.
All of Blackwood’s new silhouettes boast a special je ne sais quoi, but the bulky brass hardware on this cowhide leather piece pairs perfectly with any LBD, making it a must-have.
Versatile conversation-starters are in, so it’s no surprise Loewe’s convertible tube-to-bracelet nappa lambskin bag will be a fast favorite, especially when worn on the wrist.
While glitzy baguettes will see us through for a few more months, the fashion set will soon start leaning towards micro-styles like the Fendi Mini Cookie as their night-out bags of choice.
Long and Lean
“Looking forward, we’re moving away from bulkier silhouettes like the bucket bags for sleeker options, often with an architectural slant and longer look,” shares Becker. These are especially great when paired with oversized tops or bulky outerwear, as traditional shoulder bags can get lost in the sartorial sauce, while the added inches make sure these styles stay in the spotlight.
Eco-conscious bag brand THEMOIRè boasts a bevy of unique silhouettes, but it’s the lengthy Dioni that’s designed to look perfect whether worn on the shoulder or held as a maxi-clutch.
Tory Burch’s popular Lee Radziwill collection is a godsend for anyone seeking Hermès Kelly aesthetics for under $1,500. The new Cat Eye silhouette is a trapezoidal take guaranteed to turn heads.
While most bags in the long and lean category boast skinny top-handle straps, this calf leather silhouette from Marge Sherwood features a rounded shoulder and unique U-shaped zipper.