Whoever came up with the idea that you need to carry your entire life in your bag all the time was wrong, so wrong.

It sounds sacrilegious to be taking a swipe at the all mighty tote, satchel or hobo, but with the average contents of a handbag weighing in at around 5 lbs and known to cause all sorts of back problems, busting out the BenGay because of a bag doesn’t seem that crazy. In fact, as Buzzfeed once found out, doctors even have a name for it: ‘pretty purse syndrome.’

The good news is that recent trends show women are done lugging their bags around town on the daily, our refined friends across the pond included.  Mintel, a London-based research firm published a 2016 study revealing that over one in four Brits who had bought a handbag in the last year now say they prefer smaller bags.

With all the technology you could want stored away in your smart phone, there’s no excuse not to say hello to your little best friend: the crossbody bag.

The crossbody bag fits into your life, not the other way around (don’t you wish you could say that about your actual best friend?) The long straps hang diagonally across your body, distributing weight evenly and allowing you to go hands free. Perhaps most important of all, the crossbody forces you to get really Zen and downsize what you consider “essential.”

Here are five essential crossbody bags to consider:

Hermes Mini Constance Swift Blue Saphir

The Hermes Constance was originally designed by Catherine Chaillet. The in-house designer created it in 1959 and named it after her daughter Constance, who was born the same day the bag went into production. The bag, with its simple and elegant design was favored by celebrities, including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and has recently surged in popularity once again.

This classic Hermes “Bleu Saphir” Mini Constance 18 comes in smooth Evercalf leather and palladium hardware. Taking on average 14 hours to make by a single artisan, the Constance required 50 leather pieces during the manufacturing process. it features the signature metal “H” snap lock closure, an adjustable shoulder strap and tonal stitching. The leather-lined interior includes a pocket on the front wall and another on the back.


Chanel Mineral Nights Mini Flap Bag

Originally inspired by military satchels, Coco Chanel’s flap bag revolutionized fashion forever by creating a hands-free bag, liberating fashion forward women forever. Now a staple in the world of Coco Chanel, it has only increased in value and is now considered an investment akin to or even better than the American stock market.

Available in 6 different sizes ranging from small, medium, jumbo and maxi, it is perfect for carrying your essentials without being too bulky in size. It also comes in lambskin, caviar or patent leather as well as jersey, tweed. velvet, alligator and python exteriors.

Unlike the Reissue’s mademoiselle turnlock closure, Chanel Classic Flaps feature interlocking CC locks, introduced in the 1980s by Karl Lagerfeld, head designer and creative director of Chanel. This Mini Chanel Mineral Nights Flap in quilted classic lambskin leather with silvertone hardware. It features leather and chain straps, a rear pocket and a front flap with the classic interlocking studded CC closure. The bag opens up to a leather-lined interior where you can store your phone, cash, lipstick and keys.


Gucci Soho Disco

Since its founding almost a century ago, Gucci has made its mark across the world when it comes to innovation and ingenuity in the handbag and fashion industry. Gucci’s influential reach has gone far beyond its beginnings in Italy to become a household name synonymous with luxury, attracting an incredibly wide array of loyal supporters – everyone from Sophia Loren to Ronald Reagan to Tracee Ellis-Ross have been seen sporting the fashion brand’s designs through the years.  

Though Gucci’s revolutionary moment came from inventing the bamboo handle during Mussolini’s reign in Italy when supplies were short, the fashion house has crossed over to crossbody too.

This Gucci Soho Disco bag – called the “2014 star of Instagram” by The Telegraph – comes in supple leather with a natural cotton linen lining opening up to pockets inside for easy storage of your phone and other items. It is embossed with playful, but not overbearing interlocking Gs, which stand for “Guccio Gucci.” This easy to carry bag has a top zip closure, an oversized leather tassel and a shoulder strap you can adjust depending on your height.


Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas Mini Saint Cloud

Named after Saint-Cloud, a wealthy neighborhood in Paris famous for Saint-Cloud porcelain produced there in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas Mini Saint Cloud is a chic, easy to carry everyday bag featuring vachetta leather trimming and signature Louis Vuitton brown monogram canvas.

In 1889, Louis Vuitton launched the iconic Damier Canvas, which was later reintroduced in 1988 as the Damier Ebene. Louis Vuitton passed away in 1892, and soon after Georges created the famous LV monogram canvas the brand has become known for. Though it was created as a way to prevent lookalikes, Louis Vuitton has in fact become the most counterfeited designer handbag in the world.

This Monogram Canvas bag features goldtone hardware, an exterior back pocket, tassel and adjustable crossbody straps. Though not has roomy as the Gucci Soho Disco bag, the Louis Vuitton Mini Saint Cloud in Monogram Canvas offers plenty of space for important items like your phone, wallet and keys. The push-lock closure also opens up to a brown canvas interior with a zipped pocket for a bit more extra storage.


Chanel Timeless WOC in Caviar


The Chanel Wallet on Chain bag isn’t just a classic, it’s one of the most versatile accessories you’ll ever own. Featuring a variety of colors, it comes in several styles, like the Half Moon, Camellia and Sevruga. This Chanel Timeless Wallet on Chain in beige leather with goldtone hardware features a tonal stitched CC logo embellishment on the front flap, a zippered pocket on the top of the inside flap, and a zip closure opening up to several pockets inside, including six card slots. Caviar, the type of leather used for this bag is one of the most durable and resists the wear and tear that lambskin and other softer leathers are subject to.

The single shoulder strap is chain link and intertwined with leather accents and is at the right length for a crossbody bag. It’s sturdy and highly functional design means it’s an ideal bag when you want to be hands-free, which is most likely every day. But just in case you don’t, the Chanel Timeless Wallet on Chain can also be worn on the shoulder, with the chain doubled up or as a clutch with the chain tucked inside. The Wallet on Chain is a great starter accessory that can replace a wallet or larger bag and is ripe for experimentation without losing any of Chanel’s most sought after signature elements.