Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now


IT’S ALWAYS a good time to buy a bag,” said Sarah Newkirk, a mortgage underwriter in Waterford, Wis. Last year, some prominent fashion observers disagreed, wondering if we’d ever embrace handbags again, with Australia’s Daily Telegraph, for one, suggesting the pandemic might bury the accessory for good. Unaware of these death knells, Ms. Newkirk did a lot of embracing just last month, treating herself to a pink nylon Kate Spade bag for her 40th birthday as well as a black-and-rust Coach crossbody. “I’ve been buying bags [throughout the pandemic] to cheer myself up. And, like everybody else, I gained weight,” she said. “But a handbag always looks good.”

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Ms. Newkirk is not in the minority. “In the beginning, the world seemed to stop altogether,” said Hallie Spradlin, director of accessories at Fashion Snoops, a trend-forecasting agency. But by last summer, cooped-up men and women “were looking for a mood boost…and started investing in bags.” Yumi Shin, chief merchant of New York department store Bergdorf Goodman, called handbags “pandemic proof”—particularly, she added, when they’re in perky hues like tangerine or neon green. Perhaps that’s because they represent optimism: Buying a bag designed to tote essentials between home, school, the office and even the airport suggests that we’ll soon return to some version of our bustling former lives. Paul-Sebastian Japaz, a New York painter, said he began building “an arsenal” of bags last summer. His buys range from Telfar’s vegan Shopping Bag to an as-yet-unused leather Prada tote. Mr. Japaz, 29, cheerily called it the “back-to-school bag.”

However, as our lifestyles have shifted, so too have our handbag tastes. The awkwardly bulky, top-handle work bags so prevalent pre-pandemic have been ousted by smaller, more versatile options that facilitate a lighter existence. Giana Ballard, 29, who owns a New York photography studio, recently splurged on a canvas Balenciaga bag with a long shoulder strap. Before the pandemic, she used different bags for day and night, work and play. Now she wears her roughly 8-inch-tall bucket bag (which fits her iPhone, camera, lipstick and a crucial can of pamplemousse LaCroix) for morning walks, afternoon errands and outdoor dinners. Once she needs to carry heftier cargo like, say, a laptop, again, Ms. Ballard plans to team her modest new pal with a roomier tote.

DOUBLE DOWN A showgoer at Paris fashion week in 2019 decided that two Chanel bags are better than one.



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Curt Myers, a Boston public-affairs consultant and erstwhile traveler, has bought three bags during the pandemic—a leather duffel and two backpacks. Mr. Myers, 28, admitted that he “never really looked at bags” before, but with a surfeit of time and a new, social distancing-inspired love of hiking, he sought pieces that fused style and utility. His usual habit of searching for cities to visit was irrational, he said. “The alternative was to buy [these bags] that symbolized travel.”

Katrina Tracy waited until she was vaxxed to splash out on a faux-snakeskin Steve Madden crossbody-cum-fanny pack. “It was a little bit of an affirmation of, ‘We’re getting back to it!’” said Ms. Tracy, 34, who works in human resources in Los Angeles. She debuted the chain-embellished bag when visiting her grandmother, whom she’d seen only once in the past year. “It was fun to have a conversation with her about my shiny new purse,” she said. Her grandmother thought it was adorable.

WOMEN’S
Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now


Photo:

F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

1. Cheerful Check

This brightly beaded bag is as easy on the eyes as the shoulder. Staud Bag, $250, neimanmarcus.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now


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F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

2. Square Deal

A gingham tote for picnics or a particularly preppy commute. $150, Loeffler Randall, 917-608-2972 


Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now


Photo:

F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

3. Cerulean Classic

In blue tweed, this quilted classic will pair well with post-pandemic denim. $6,500, Chanel, 212-355-5050

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now


Photo:

F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

4. A Basket for Bubbles

An aesthetically pleasing vessel for schlepping champagne to a decadent beachside gathering. $295, ullajohnson.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now


Photo:

F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

5. Sheer Show-Off

A pink, see-through raffia number perfect for toting that book you want everyone to know you’re reading. $1,270, prada.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now


Photo:

F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

6. Fluttering Fancy

A butterfly-print clutch to elevate summer date nights. $410, Weekend Max Mara, 917-244-0274


Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
7. Everyday Elegance

Made in New York, this leather crossbody boasts a linen lining and drawstring closure so you needn’t worry about anything falling out once you resume running around town. $695, kallmeyer.nyc

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
8. Green Goodness

This lushly hued, vintage-style bag is small enough to prevent back aches, but ample enough to carry re-entry must-haves like a phone, sunglasses and, yes, hand sanitizer. $395, Coach, 212-758-2450

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
9. Main Attraction

Have you ever perilously forgotten to lock your bag? This leather crossbody in a showstopping cherry red has a magnetic front-flap closure that you won’t need to remember to fasten. $2,490, ysl.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
10. Artisanal Option

Dubbed the Party Pail, this quaint black-and-white bag lined in Duchess silk satin took a master craftswoman in Rwanda more than seven days to weave. $495, cestacollective.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
11. Pretty in Plaid

This cotton, rose-colored tote in an abstracted plaid pattern is simple and unstructured while still being stylish, making it a prime option for carefree summer days. $175, rachelcomey.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
12. Small and Mighty

In sturdy calfskin leather, this slickly geometric pochette from newly launched brand Savette has become an insider favorite. $1,190, savette.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
13. Eco Tote

Made with recycled plastic bottles, Paravel’s carryall will make you feel both chic and socially responsible. Get it embroidered with your initials for a personal touch. $165, tourparavel.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
14. Horsey Handbag

In optimistic lemon yellow, this harness-inspired bucket bag might be only 6 1/3 inches tall, but the brand’s website assures us that it can easily “accommodate a smartphone.” $1,490, alexandermcqueen.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
15. Printed Pack

In a technical fabric, this floral style is called a “gymsack,” but its punchy, feminine pattern makes it more than pretty enough to wear outside Equinox’s walls. Adidas by

Stella McCartney

Bag, $100, shopbop.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
16. Sleek and Chic

Perhaps the most touted launch of the season, this minimalist, 7 1/2-inch-long, supple calfskin bag from cult-favorite brand the Row comes with an adjustable strap. $990, therow.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
17. Triangular Triumph

Relatively cost-effective and resplendently retro, this cowhide, 1970s-style shoulder bag is equipped with a magnetic closure and vintage-looking tortoiseshell buckle. $435, edas.store

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now


Photo:

F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

18. Face Time

Called the Love bag, this, burgundy leather crossbody offers convenient interior and exterior pockets and a much-needed smile to passersby. About $550, paradiserowlondon.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
19. Bohemian Beauty

With gilded beads and a braided strap,

Tory Burch’s

macramé Tassel Bag will work just as well with a cocktail dress as with jeans and a T-shirt. $398, toryburch.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
20. Zipped Up

In a serene sky-blue shade, this calfskin style from New York brand Mansur Gavriel adds the rare security of a zip closure to the classically casual bucket bag. $595, mansurgavriel.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
21. Let’s Logo

Crafted from leather and a robustly monogrammed rafia, the OnTheGo GM Tote lets everyone know you’re a

Louis Vuitton

fan while also fitting your must-haves. $3,950, Louis Vuitton, 212-758-8877

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
22. Patchwork Pouch

Held together by tactical knots and made from deadstock fabric, this charming satin sack looks like something Little Red Riding Hood might carry. About $113, itsrooper.co.uk

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
23. Ball Game

This ovular leather crossbody is lined with cotton canvas and can conveniently double as a pigskin if you’re ever in some sort of sporty pinch. About $405, hereustudio.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
24. Checked Out

Inspired by 1950s hat boxes and steamer luggage, Bembien’s round, handwoven leather shoulder bag in shades of beige  will delight madly nostalgic vintage fans. $220, bembien.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
25. Striped Satchel

A go-to for style savants, this minimal Jil Sander bag—yet another ever-popular crossbody—is accented with gilded grommets and cinches shut for extra security. $2,290, jilsander.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
26. On the Chain

Don’t fret—this ivory, Italian-leather, day-to-night bag won’t hold you down. On the    contrary, Wandler’s structured style will free up your time by being so very versatile. About  $670, wandler.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
27. Sweet Novelty

Ideal for fruit lovers and quirky types, this playful pineapple bag is woven from calfskin and topped with a quasi-realistic green fringed crown. $2,100, Loewe, 305-576-7601

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
28. Tangerine Dream

This ’90s-inspired nylon baguette might seem teeny, but its extra-thick, adjustable shoulder strap lends it stylish substance. Plus, it’s got convenient, built-in card holders. Attico Bag, $445, mytheresa.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
29. Exacting Pack

With a place for everything, this recycled nylon, multi-pocket backpack caters to on-the-go organization obsessives who want everything precisely in its place. $139, athleta.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
30. Lemon Drop

At 7 1/2-inches high, this little ray of sunshine is cheery and functional—the leather crossbody includes a convenient magnetic closure and a clever exterior pocket for easy credit-card access. $295, lizziefortunato.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
31. A Place To Hang Your Hat

Sick of squishing your beloved broad-brimmed sunhat? This supersize cowhide tote solves that millinery dilemma with a special, two-strap hat-holding feature that will ensure yours travels crease-free. $680, janessaleone.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
32. Sculptural Style

Made in Italy out of bull-skin leather, this architectural tote from recently launched label Mas includes a top zip and artful walnut-wood accents. $984, themasfamily.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
33. Novel Nylon

It’s stylish. It’s functional. It has a supremely comfy padded strap. If you want it all, consider nabbing this leather-and-nylon option. Porter-Yoshida & Co. Bag, $359, matchesfashion.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
34. Flat Out

Super slender with a minimalist silhouette, Cos’s mint-green leather crossbody is perfect for those light, laid-back days when all you need to carry is a good book (and maybe some cash to buy a better book).  $115, cosstores.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
35. Snake Eyes

Want to slither back into society with a flash? Consider this shocking-turquoise, serpent-closure top-handle option. Mary Katrantzou x Bvlgari Bag, $3,250, Bvlgari, 212-315-9000

MEN’S
Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
36. Band of Brothers

This luxe, striped, canvas-and-calfskin bag takes a classic preppy pattern and filters its sportiness through a Mediterranean “Bain de Soleil” aesthetic that’s extra summery. $1,125, Hermès, 212-751-3181

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
37. All Smiles

This jaunty canvas tote features a smiley-face motif, sure to inspire cheer wherever you may be inclined to carry it. Kapital Bag, $540, mrporter.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
38. Pack It In

A moderately sized, caramel-canvas and leather backpack to facilitate urban adventures and add sophistication to ambitious rural escapes. Polo Ralph Lauren Bag, $250, ralphlauren.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
39. Sling Fling

A utilitarian crossbody with a covert pocket for a phone. About $260, mismo.dk

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
40. Mesh Marvel

In dark olive green, this cotton-ripstop and polyester  men’s bag is slender enough not to bulk up your shape, but hefty enough to hold your daily necessities. Satta Bag, $85, chcmshop.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
41. Nothin’ But Net

Made to order, this paracord bottle bag comes embellished with beads and is perfect for carrying your water bottle on a hike or some Sauvignon Blanc to an outdoor dinner party.  $80, home-economics.fun

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
42. Durable and Dandy

Now offered in lively colors like “pheasant red,” “flag blue” and “hemlock” (seen here) Filson’s “Rugged Twill Tote Bag” is weather-resistant and comes with a reinforced base so it will survive even the most extreme outings. $195, filson.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
43. Big and Bright

A vibrant, versatile nylon backpack made from repurposed materials. With plenty of pockets, it can carry most anything you might need for adventures in the wild and the city. $75, cotopaxi.com

CHILDREN’S
Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
44. Flying Colors

This cheery children’s backpack won’t avert pre-camp tantrums, but it will make them more colorful. $116, mokuyobi.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
45. Lion King

For the brazen, adventurous child with a spectacular imagination who has many places to go, people to see and important things to carry. Like costumes and crayons. $38, merimeri.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
46. Abstract Athleticism

A colorful, Miró-style cotton tote bag for all of your artistically inclined child’s requisite gym-time accessories. About $90, bobochoses.us

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
47. Right Stripes

Packed with pockets to separate snacks, books and that vaguely slimy thing your child found while playing outside and insisted upon taking home, this water-resistant backpack comes with reflective safety piping and padded straps for extra comfort. $35, potterybarnkids.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
48. Rockefeller Florals

A deeply fancy, Liberty-print cotton bag for youngsters (and their gear-toting parents). The brand’s website describes it as “very practical.” $220, bonpoint.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
49. A Chic Changing Bag

Handcrafted from recycled cotton, this washable diaper bag comes with plenty of pockets for all your little one’s essentials. Rive Droite Bag, $155, smallable.com

Bags for Everyone—the 50 Best New Styles to Buy Now
50. Recycled Wonder

An extremely accommodating royal-blue tote bag for your socially aware, environmentally conscious kiddo. $59, patagonia.com

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