May 16, 2023

5 Trending Handbags for Summer

Chloe Parr

Chloe is a Creative Content Manager + Writer @ StockX.

The type of baggage you actually want to carry, including picks from Prada, Loewe, and more.

The type of baggage you actually want to carry, including picks from Prada, Loewe, and more.

Whenever the word “baggage” is thrown around, it sometimes evokes negative connotations. Emotional baggage, overweight baggage (that dreaded 51 pound bag), too much baggage, the list goes on. But my mind doesn’t exist in the normal world — it holds residency in the fashion universe. And if your mind is like mine, when we hear the word “baggage” we instantly perk up, checking to see which designer or vintage handbag is nearby. 

So know that the baggage I’m about to talk about is the type that’ll make you feel all giddy for summer to arrive. Because it’s that season where you can have fun with your handbag of choice and actually utilize all the different types collecting dust in your closet. From vacations to pool parties to date nights, each summer outing calls for a specific type of handbag. Maybe you need a tote for the beach, or a trendy bucket bag for exploring a new city, or even an elevated clutch for a night out. Whatever the case, there are endless options to choose from when it comes to your seasonal arm candy. These are the five trending handbags that will honestly be everywhere this summer. 

Au Naturel

Summer is a time to strip it back and go au naturel. Relax, I mean in the makeup and skincare sense (unless you happen to find yourself on a European beach while reading this). Now fashion is following suit, as brands are coming out with styles that opt for more natural materials to capture this summer aesthetic. And when it comes to handbags, raffia is still just as classic and now more popular than ever for the season. 

Raffia is a natural fiber that comes from the leaves of a raffia palm tree. It’s not only strong and easy to manipulate, but the texture also adds warmth and effortlessness to any summer outfit. Just because this handbag trend has been around since forever doesn’t mean it has to feel outdated. Designers are taking the straw-like material and incorporating it into a variety of new and nostalgic silhouettes – from baguettes to bucket bags. The Prada Re-Edition 2005 Raffia Bag is a perfect example, using the fashion house’s most popular style to create a timeless, yet still modern feel to the handbag. While the two straps – one gold hardware and one woven tape – give you the option to dress it up or down.  

Too Into U

We’re all human here (unless this is an AI Bot reading, then awkward), so we can all admit there’s something addicting about a good summer romance. Whether you’re reading it, watching it, or fully in it IRL. As for me, I am fully in a summer fling with the slouchy “U” shaped bags taking over my feeds. Yes, I’m making my summer love with the hobo bag official, and I know the season just started, but I can already tell this relationship is going the distance. 

This isn’t just infatuation. See for yourself, there’s just something so effortlessly cool yet classic about an oversized hobo bag. This type of love isn’t just about the looks either; supersized U shape bags are also highly supportive for all your summer needs. While the maxi-sized hobo looks oh-so-stylish around the city, you can also transform it into a tote for a weekend getaway. A current favorite is the Givenchy G-Hobo Shoulder Bag. While the mini option is uber chic for a night out, I recommend opting for the medium size to really fall head over heels with this summer trend. The slouchy U shape with the touch of gold hardware takes this hobo bag from current fling to soulmate status real fast.

Handle It, Please

One of the biggest personality traits of a bag is the strap. From crossbody to backpack and shoulder straps, the list goes on and on. And let’s be honest, the way you hold your handbag says a lot about you (I talk with my hands so a clutch is a no-go). But this summer, the way to carry your baggage in the chicest way possible is actually going sans strap and taking it from the top. 

Top handle bags were hugely popular on the Spring ‘23 runways, with collections showcasing a variety of shapes and sizes. To capture the true elegance of a classic top handle bag, opt for more of a boxy build. The structured silhouette will give any laid-back summer outfit a touch of sophistication. The bag that can’t be beat when it comes to top handles is the Jacquemus Le Chiquito. It’s the bag that broke the internet and took Jacquemus to a new level of global brand recognition. The smooth leather bag has a stand-out top handle that looks as current as it does classic. Not only that, Le Chiquito comes in a variety of fun colors and sizes – from the famous micro mini to a large version. Believe me when I say, this is the bag that will handle all of your summer style wants and needs.

Bucket List Worthy

For the past few summers, whenever the word “bucket” came up, I automatically assumed it was referring to a bucket hat. It’s like when someone says Beyonce, or Adele, or RiRi– you just know who they’re referring to from one name alone. But this summer, bucket is going to have a whole new meaning as the bucket bag is giving the iconic hat a run for its money.

The bucket bag is a style that lost a bit of its relevance over the last few years, but thanks to top labels putting their own unique spin on the basket, it’s back and chicer than ever. What I love about the bucket bag is that it really fits in with the summer style aesthetic. It’s fun, effortless, and functional– all the traits to look for in a summer handbag. Not to mention it looks just as chic sitting in the grass next to your picture-perfect picnic as it does strapped over your shoulder on-the-go. The Bottega Veneta Crossbody Bucket Bag plays into the rise of quiet luxury (no logos, high quality leather) and looks fashion-forward for any occasion. The woven leather and mint color also add a heightened level of sophistication to the trendy shape. 

Ludicrously Compact Totes

I don’t know about you, but am I the only one who is sick of hearing about “ludicrously capacious” bags? We get it Succession fans, it was a good line. While the viral meme did give me a good laugh (from the first five times I came across it), the truth is I can’t stop thinking about ludicrously compact totes instead. The type of bags that are so small, you can’t help but think like Tom and ask, “what’s even in there, huh?”. 

To create your own viral moment this summer, look for an XS Tote that has structure, high quality material, and a touch of your personality – whether in the color or brand choice. The LOEWE Standard A5 Tote Bag in Raffia is a top pick. The natural material and rectangular structure of the tote creates the perfect balance between trendy and timeless. Now all you need to do is show up to a family function and have someone comment just how ludicrously compact your bag is. Trust me, it’s a compliment.