If you’re set on giving your wardrobe a summer refresh ahead of the season, allow me to give you a hand…bag. There are a lot of ways to give your closet an update, but when in doubt, you certainly can’t go wrong with a chic accessory. And, trust me, the biggest summer 2023 bag trends are simply ones you cannot miss. From practical, oversized leather tote bags to flashy, sequined evening bags that warrant a party on their behalf, there’s truly an option for everyone.
All that said, maybe you want a second opinion—I get it, which is why I reached out to Bloomingdale’s accessories and beauty director, Marissa Galante Frank, to have her confirm the best bags to reach for this summer. Keep scrolling to see them all below.
“The soft, oversized tote was all over the runway, and after many seasons of micro bags, we think everyone is ready for a functional option,” Frank shares. She goes on to say that they’re a practical choice for our 24-hour lifestyles, which include hauling a laptop, beauty essentials, and more. “Investing in a leather tote is always a good idea, but oversized totes are great in novelty materials as well such as canvas, neoprene, or raffia. As someone who uses her bag as a car trunk, a gym locker, and a portable closet, I am so on board.
Crochet and Raffia
When you aren’t running around the city or heading to the office, a crochet or raffia bag is always a good choice—and Frank agrees. “The summer months beg for a lightweight, breezy handbag option, and, thanks to Prada’s viral totes, we are now seeing fun woven handbags at all price points.” This year, you’ll be seeing tons of bright and fun colors along with the classic neutrals.
Don’t get me wrong: a practical everyday carry is always a win in my book, but when you want to spice things up, opt for a glitzy purse. It’ll look good with everything, including a classic T-shirt and a pair of jeans. (It’s also a great way to sport one of the best summer fashion trends, too!) Frank adds that this trend is “perfect for golden hour drinks and all of your summer weddings.” You read that right—now go on and complete the look with a stylish summer wedding guest dress.
Crossbody bags and their shoulder-friendly counterparts are always a staple, but if you want to mix it up, consider another option: the top-handle bag. The fashion and beauty expert tells me, “As tailoring and chic sophisticated dressing becomes more important so do top-handle handbags. They are feminine and timeless and great investment pieces that can take you into fall.”
Pickleball, anyone? Or maybe tennis is more your thing. Either way, a luxe bag to hold your racquet is a fun and unexpected way to show off your summer hobby. “Racquet sports are all the rage, and bags to support these spring and summer sports are an unexpected new addition to the handbag wardrobe,” Frank shares.
“Few things are more classic than a boat tote, and designers are now using canvas in handbag silhouettes beyond the tote bag,” Frank offers. “Canvas is neutral, durable, and easy to style back to almost any casual summer look.” And, if I may add, they make for the best beach bags.
Dale Arden Chong is the Senior Fashion Commerce Editor at ELLE.com. Previously, she was an editor at MensHealth.com and has written for Who What Wear, GLAMOUR, The Coveteur, and more. She loves fashion, food, and art, among other things—but her greatest love is K-pop idol V of BTS.