While our handbags may not have been getting much wear for the past year, like shoes, we couldn’t neglect the fall/ winter 2021-2022 bag trends. Besides, last spring proved the ultimate spring awakening, as people started getting vaccinated. Even if we were all still where we were in 2020, how could that ever be an excuse not to want more handbags in our closet?
So accessory lovers, run for your credit cards and pull up multiple tabs on your computer or phone because we are about to provide you with the ultimate list of fall 2021 purse trends. The more economical of us might recycle the old trends and reach for the timeless vintage bags in storage, but those that adore being fully on-trend and falling in love with new items might want to bookmark this list to stay in style.
And if you simply can’t spend the money, there are some upcycling ideas here as well. After all, extra detailing proved popular at Carolina Herrera with mini hearts, and embroidery took charge at Ulla Johnson. Even if you don’t go for the glitzed-up trends, this list of popular purse looks for the fall and winter will surely have something destined for you to tuck under your arm.
A large carry-all like Marni, perhaps? Or maybe a micro-purse strung up on a camera chain from Coach? Whatever you choose to adore, there is a style on this list destined to fit into your life and fill the purse void you didn’t even know you had because designers danced on the line between practical and fun this year.
#1. The Bigger, the Better
Just when we thought that bags couldn’t possibly get any larger, Marni, Fendi, Valentino, and Khaite sent their models down the runways with bags that could fit your entire life in them! Carryall bags certainly didn’t skimp on organizational options either: most of the spacious rectangular bags had many pockets on the inside to make sure that you could keep everything in order, and some featured the 2021 purse trend of pockets on the outside. Just be careful – the XL totes might prove to be the ultimate black hole purse.
#2. ‘Pet Me’ Bags
Match your fuzzy boots with furry bags this season because matching has become a key look for all fashion-forward people. Yep, it looks like the 2015 popularity of the furry, huggable bag is back! Naturally, Chanel and Miu Miu created some bags to pair with their boots from the fall collections. But if that happens to be a bit too into the petable fashion realm for you, then just grab a furry bag at Fendi, Prada, or the furry crossbody option from Marni’s pre-fall collection to enter the fuzzy foray of this purse trend.
#3. Mini and Hands-Free
Going for the opposite look of oversized totes, many designers opted to find hands-free options for consumers this season. Whether the look came in the form of clutches worn on the wrist like Chanel or bag necklaces like Marine Serre, Balmain, Valentino, and Simone Rocha, the trend took multiple options. Zimmermann may have opted for animal print and Coach for classic leather, but one thing is for certain – this purse certainly doubles as a piece of statement jewelry, along with a bag.
#4. Hobo Style
Yes! The hobo bag is back on the list of purse trends for fall/ winter 2021. From the classic shape at Versace, Prada, Staud, and Simon Miller to more half-moon versions at Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Dior, hobo bags are most certainly back to bring in the causal French girl chic to any outfit for a carefree day in the post-pandemic world.
#5. Slouchy Clutches
If a large hobo bag isn’t your thing, then opt for a slouchy clutch! The look is reminiscent of the Bottega Veneta bag that Lauren Hutton carried in American Gigolo. Whatever iconic choice of style inspiration you choose, this effortless look can be pulled off from day to night. Both Gabriella Hearst and Fendi honed in on the style in neutral tones to play up the silhouette. But Valentino’s pre-fall collection just released also focused on slouchy clutches in the use of knitted fabric.
#6. Messenger Bags
Functional, classic, and easily styled, it truly is a blessing that the messenger bag is a 2021 must-have purse. The design is grounded in purpose, and both Etro and Max Mara created options for an easy style this season. Whether leather or canvas, this look is a go-to where detailed buckles and exterior pockets make the look.
#7. Puffy Bags
Puffy and cloud-like seems to be a statement style this year, whether in the form of a coat or bags! The lovely thing about a bit of extra fluff (other than its sheer huggability) is that it can be used in all styles. Like we mentioned before, Chanel used it for arm cuffs, but Tod’s showed how it could cross into the hobo bag trend, and Prada brought inflated oversized bags to the forefront.
Did I not warn that logos are all the rage in the fall? Clearly, it’s true. Aside from Chanel’s recent cruise show using their monograms in lip rings, many brands splattered their logos onto the fall 2021 bags that waltzed down their runways.
Versace, this season, unveiled a new monogram (the 3D La Greca style that still retains the brand’s signature Greek Key pattern). Naturally, a new monogram wouldn’t be complete if it wasn’t added to purses, and so the logo was set in a brown hue on a hobo bag with gold lettering! Other brands that also featured this look were Balmain, Valentino, and Prada, who varied in using the monogram as patterns or clasps.
#9. Outside Wallets
Organization and sleekness is a key component to creating practical and stylish bags, and for this reason, the trend of outside pocket-wallets just makes perfect sense! Sure, more valuable items would be best if stored in the interior of the bag, but lipstick, masks, and gum? All those necessities can be right where you need them.
Versace used this style in their collection with both square and circle-shaped pockets in multiple colors. Balmain brought these details to boxy bags, Chloe used a thick knitted material, and Louis Vuitton progressed it into the now covetable multi-bag.
#10. Travel Bags
If messenger bags and extra pockets haven’t clued you in yet, people are aching to go traveling! For this reason, many designers used those vacation hopes for their fall/ winter 2021 collections. When creating handbags, large duffle bags for quick trips seemed to be a primary love affair. The Row, Courreges, and Balenciaga all had this in mind with the purses in their collections. But if you need an actual suitcase, look no further than Anna Sui’s sleek option in a fun psychedelic print.
#11. Tiny Details
The forecast for the winter 2021 handbags: the more details, the better! Reminiscent of both Betsy Johnson and Kate Spade, appliqués and other tiny, flirtatious details took front stage for many bags this year.
It takes little viewing of the Carolina Herrera show to know that Wes Gordon fell for the heart this year, and the bag was no different. Coach brought in adorable ladybugs onto the canvas of their bags, Staud played with X’s and O’s – whether a playful note to the Elle King song or an easy way to carry the game with you, it’s too early to tell.
Along with these appliqué details came fringing, popular on the runways for fall 2021 and still popular on bags. From Bottega Veneta to Simon Miller, fringe was the way to go. Pick leather or shearling or string, the choice is up to you, but this look brings in major southwest vibes.
Angles in fashion are amazing, fun, and a classic element of design. For this reason, asymmetry came out on the fall 2021 runways in the form of different bags. With unexpected silhouettes the past couple of years, why would angles be any different on handbags? For this sleek and timeless look, check out Acne Studios, Nanushka, and Jonathan Simkhai.
Do we need any more indications that we’re ready to party? I think not, from silver to gold and other shimmering colors, designers reached to splash the metallic onto their purses for the 2021 winter season. Playful silver party bags took center stage at Paco Rabanne, and shiny, chaotic purses fit right at home in the Dolce & Gabbana collection. However, if you need something a bit more downplayed, Schiaparelli played with metallic accessories on their purses as an extra chic detail.
Glitter lovers, it is the time to unite! With COVID restrictions relaxing, a party bag (or two!) is most certainly needed for the social distancing festivities that might occur in the near future. Designers that decided to fill the void created by the lack of color and fun in our normal lives were Chanel, Tom Ford, and Jil Sander, who all threw a fete of glitter, sequins, and other sparkling embellishments onto their handbags.
#15. Animal Print
Oh, hello again! From print trends to swimsuit trends, animal print has continued to reign supreme, so is it any shock that it appeared on purses as well? This fall, designers strayed from the zebra that had been the queen of the runways for the past few years to incorporate cheetah and python prints. So, for a dose of the jungle on your 2021 bags, head to Lanvin, Dior, Valentino’s pre-fall collection, or Fendi!
#16. Embroidery & Woven Details
Who could possibly resist that homespun touch that comes from embroidery? Certainly not designers when it came to the fall 2021 bag trends! The artisan touch appeared in many collections, but the ones that captured our heart most were Gabriela Hearst, who went in a classic floral direction for her bags, and Ulla Johnson, who captured the need to travel in her embroidered purses.
#17. The Half-Moon Structured Hobo Bag
And the one we’ve all been waiting for – the cross between the structured shoulder and the half-moon hobo! This bag has taken over Instagram of late and is reminiscent of Jackie O’s favored Gucci bag. The 2021 style often takes the form of a small or medium bag that is infinitely structured with a slouchy shoulder strap. For the one loved by Instagram influencers everywhere, head to By Far. But if you don’t want what everyone else has, then Coperni, Prada, and Gucci all have you covered for fitting in and standing out at the same time.
Photos via Vogue, Livingly