More so than nearly any other high-fashion item, women are much more likely to spend on luxury handbags, partially because unlike other garments, they really tend to keep their value and even grow over the years. This means that you may spot many of the fall 2020 bag trends for years to come.
As a result, designers always present at least a few handbags and purses with timeless designs, which is why vintage-inspired coin purse bags, croc-embossed bags, and saddlebags made an appearance for the fall/ winter 2020 bag trends.
At the same time, it’s still important to innovate since sometimes it’s the outrageous designs that really stick in our minds. This is how wild geometric bags and tightly strapped bags likely came to be.
Finally, cohesion in a collection is also important, which is how fashion trends also ended up showing up as fall 2020 purse trends, including extra fuzzy shearling and dramatic fringe.
#1. Thick Chains
Chains were major for the fall 2020 bag trends, much as they were for shoes and other accessories. They add a rough and industrial touch to high-fashion bags.
Decorative chains were a big part of the No. 21 show this season, including for bags. Thick, silvery chains were used instead of hardware over bag clasps, which elevated them beyond the position of straps.
Not that there’s anything wrong with chain straps. The Hugo Boss proved that with striking, thick chain straps that contrasted against slim, streamlined purses.
Many more labels made chains part of their bag designs, including MSGM, J.W. Anderson, Ulla Johnson, Stella McCartney, and Dolce & Gabbana.
The sway and sound of a fringe embellishment can interject joy into your everyday life, and when it’s on your bag, it’s a little more subdued than if it was part of your clothes. Fitting with the fringe theme on the runways, we saw lots of fringe fall 2020 bags.
Fringe was not subtle at Rochas, with all-fringe dresses and coats complemented by a clutch utterly covered in shiny black fringe. We spotted all-encompassing fringe at Dries Van Noten as well, with a small bag covered in multi-colored fringe made even noisier and more noticeable with a few beads.
Fringe was comparatively more restrained at Hugo Boss, where leather bags were lined with a fringe along the bottom.
#3. Reusable Bottle Bags
With designers shifting their focus more and more to sustainable designs, another question that has come up is how fashion can help people lead more eco-friendly lifestyles. One way is by making it easier to always have a reusable water bottle on hand with a special bag!
We think joggers, in particular, would like the reusable bottle bags at Marine Serre, which came in black or pink with a tight hand strap for easy access or metal loops that can be attached to a bigger bag the rest of the time.
For day-to-day, the colorful bottle bag at Chloé was decorated with a sketch, and for casual occasions, it will surely be convenient, with a long crossbody strap for hands-free carrying.
At Kenzo, reusable bottle bags were made of a classy combination of mesh and leather, with both a strap for over-the-shoulder carrying and smaller straps for attaching to a larger bag.
#4. Shearling Bags
Just as shearling showed up on coats and jackets, it also covered all kinds of fall 2020 handbags, giving its cozy touch to our accessories.
Dries Van Noten proved that this material doesn’t have to be brown or beige, with colorful, fuzzy bags made out of jewel-toned shearling. There was just a touch of shearling at Christian Dior, with the material used to line an already autumnal-looking suede flap bag.
Stella McCartney, Michael Kors, and Balmain also presented shearling bags on their runways.
#5. Soft and Plush Quilted Bags
Normally, it wouldn’t be fair to talk about quilted bags like they’re a trend since quilted leather is such a staple in luxury purses. The difference with the fall/ winter 2020-2021 bag trends is that this time around, the quilting was extra plush and soft, much like the blanket-inspired coats we had seen on the runways.
The Moncler Genius project included a few different and extra-plush bag designs, from the rounded pillow-like bags from Richard Quinn to the oversized bucket bags Simone Rocha made for the project.
Valentino gave us a twist on the quilted leather bags, with quilting that bunched together a bit looser leather than normal, giving them a much softer appearance, even though they were still made of leather.
There were a few other plush quilted handbags at Burberry, Chanel, and Alexander McQueen.
#6. Micro Bags
The fashion world isn’t done with overly small purses yet, which is why there were so many micro-sized fall 2020 handbags.
At Versace, super small bags were thankfully not carried alone (although we’re not mad that most stylists have finally abandoned the concept of multi-bagging). Instead, they were attached to large and medium-sized bags, often in contrasting colors, like fashionable little coin wallets.
There were a few miniature bags at Fendi, most of them cheekily worn like necklaces or attached to belts, blurring the line between jewelry and bag, but one was more of a wallet designed to look like a traditional Fendi flap bag, even fitting with a little handle!
There were more miniature bags at Dries Van Noten, Jacquemus, and Chloé.
#7. Vintage Coin Purses
There were a few vintage touches on the runways this season, and the standout vintage fall 2020 purse trend we spotted was the vintage coin purse design, which was especially popular clutches. These bags are essentially small totes with the kiss-clasp or magnet clasp at the top.
At Lanvin, models carried chubby-looking coin purse bags made of leather (with a wide range of color options), either by hand like an oversized clutch or with double handles.
We spotted both large and small coin purse designs at Miu Miu, as well. They were made of leather, with ruched leather at the top clasp. There was even an autumnal patchwork variation on the coin purse that we found particularly appropriate for the season.
There were more vintage coin purse bags at Erdem, Celine, and Paco Rabanne.
#8. Patchwork Bags
This season, many designers looked to reduce the eco-footprint of their collections by repurposing fabric scraps from older collections. The result? Fabulous patchwork bags with a lot of colorful, handmade charm.
This was definitely the case at Marni, where scraps cut into triangles were stitched together in patterns to construct gorgeous, colorful totes. Patchwork bags at Alexander McQueen were made to match patchwork garments, with oversized bags made with multi-colored leather patches overlayed with animal patches.
Collina Strada, Moschino, and Cynthia Rowley also used patchwork in their fall 2020 bags.
#9. Perfect Match
The days of matching your bag to your shoes are long gone, but matching isn’t totally out. For the fall/ winter 2020 bag trends, you can match your bag to your outfit! Lots of models walked the runway with bags made of the same material and print as their ensemble.
Bags were clearly made to match a few other garments at Marques’Almeida, but for the most part, they weren’t styled together. The one exception was a small handbag and coat pairing, where both were purple and covered in metallic floral brocade.
The opening look at Michael Kors embodied a lot of trends form this season, with a model wearing a dark gray plaid cape and carrying an oversized bag in a matching print. There were a few other matching bag and outfit looks on his runway.
Shrimps, Richard Quinn, Burberry, and Area all also presented a few bag and outfit matches.
#10. Professional Totes
We usually think of tote bags as casual shoppers, but for the fall/ winter 2020 handbag trends, professional totes crafted out of thicker materials made quite a showing.
To start, of course, there were all the new takes on Prada’s iconic totes in prim and proper neutral tones, as well as a few brighter options in yellow and blue. Marc Jacobs combined trends by presenting a few small-sized croc-embossed totes with solid construction and built-in handles.
Lastly, Dior presented slim, pocket-book-style tote bags in smooth leather with streamlined kiss-clasp tops that looked totally timeless.
#11. Elongated Tote
Is an elongated tote somehow better than a traditional square one? We’re not too sure, but if you like to bury your goods deep in your bag, then this will be one of your favorite fall 2020 bag trends. We saw both shopping-style and more purse-like elongated tote options on the runways.
Suede totes in gray or brown at Michael Kors were definitely intended as purses, thanks to a zipper closure at the top, a belt-like crossbody strap, and leather-lined corners.
We spotted elongated totes with cow or snakeskin prints at Off-White, which were made more compact with the help of a folded carry, which is the perfect solution for when you’re on the way to the store, and an empty bag would look awkward.
There were more elongated totes at Kenzo, Simone Rocha, Stella McCartney, and Paco Rabanne.
#12. Oversized Clutches
An oversized clutch might not be the most convenient bag, but it definitely conveys a certain softness because of the commonly unstructured design. Often carried under the arms, these clutches looked pillowy.
At Loewe, models carried clutches made out of leather and suede in earth tones that were decorated on the corners with large baubles that looked as though they had been made out of molten gold.
Large clutches at Ralph & Russo looked soft thanks to a gathered leather design, even though they would have been more solid to the touch. We spotted more oversized clutches at Prada, Alexander McQueen, and Bottega Venetta.
A saddlebag is a type of flap bag with a rounded bottom that is based on the bags that would be attached to a horse’s saddle. As a result, they often have a bit of a vagabond charm, and we think that for this season, they’re a great choice in combination with equestrian boots.
There were lots of saddlebags on the slightly equestrian Tory Burch runway. They were mostly small in size, in black or brown leather, and fitted with long straps for crossbody carrying.
Wanderlust is a big motif at Etro, with an earth tone saddlebag covered in an embroidery meant to echo Argentinian designs definitely helping to give “nomad” vibes.
The Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini and Christian Dior collections also included some compelling saddlebags.
Dangerous yet luxurious – that’s what croc-embossed bags (not to mention real croc-skin bags) bring to mind.
On the more severe side, Gucci presented solid tote bags slightly reminiscent of doctor bags that were made of shiny black croc skin.
If you love the look of a croc bag but hate the idea of carrying either real leather or real croc skin, you may like the vegan croc-embossed clutches and small, solid purses at Stella McCartney.
There were lots of other examples of croc-embossed bags on the runways of Christian Siriano, Marc Jacobs, Ermanno Scervino, Vivienne Hu, Rejina Pyo, and Tory Burch.
#15. Geometric Purses
While a classic bag is a safer investment, there is something about geometric bags that gives off irresistible avant-garde fashion vibes. For the fall/ winter 2020-2021 bag trends, designers found all kinds of exciting ways of playing with shape to create remarkable (if not comfortable) purses.
On the playful side of things, there was a little hexagonal bag made out of something solid at Zimmermann that was even decorated with a tassel. Round is a shape, and Marine Serre presented perfectly spherical little black evening bags that hung on delicate gold chains.
We also saw some unique bag shapes at Adeam, Coach 1941, and Stella McCartney.
A box is such a simple and convenient shape, and yet box-shaped bags always look a little quirky, perhaps with a hint of vintage charm.
At Oscar de la Renta, a box clutch made for an interesting evening bag, especially since it was covered in a houndstooth pattern.
The second half of the Lanvin show featured a wide range of box bags, from ones literally designed to look like takeout boxes with a built-in handle to delicate metal cigarette box bags on a dainty chain. There were also a few box bags at Louis Vuitton and Fendi.
#17. Solid Buckets
At this point it’s starting to look like all bucket bag designs are going to stay in vogue for a long time to come, so while soft buckets were de rigueur, solid bucket bags stood out to us as a unique fall 2020 bag trend.
The modern Marie Antoinettes at Moschino carried two-part bucket bags that were matched to their outfits. The outer part of the bag was made of more solid leather, while on the inside there was a fabric lining with a drawstring that was printed with the same design as the leather.
Solid buckets at Gucci came in either dark blue or in the brand’s iconic print, with a similar solid outer leather part and fabric inner lining. There were more solid buckets at Etro and Salvatore Ferragamo.
#18. Shiny Purses
The fall 2020 purse trends included some great party bags, covered in jewels and beads to add a little shine to any look.
Small beaded totes at Simone Rocha were positively darling, with a youthful air about them. At that size, they would be the perfect evening bag for a more eccentric event. It was all about those girlish beads at Shrimps, as well, with both tiny bags and larger totes covered in sparkle.
Richard Quinn constructed a totally blinged-out bag to match with the jeweled outfits that opened his show. The little square handbag was covered with a busy pattern of crystals and pearls.
#19. Coming up Roses
There was a romantic touch of florals decorating the fall 2020 handbags, so if you’re aiming for something a little more feminine but still elegant and mature, consider one of these.
The three-dimensional rose bags at Valentino were a little on the abstract side, with large petals cut out of leather and attached to the front of the bag in a loose rose shape.
The flowers at Erdem were made of gathered scraps of fabric, which gave the floral bags that soft, lovely touch. There were more rosy bags at Richard Quinn and Shrimps.
#20. Strapped in
There are situations when you want your bag well secured to your body, so even a crossbody strap won’t do since, while it will allow your hands to remain free, it won’t necessarily keep the bag from jumping all over the place. Designers experimented with different ways of getting the fall 2020 bags to stay tight and secure against the body.
Marine Serre really experimented with the different hands-free ways in which a bag could be carried, including crafting multi-compartment micro bags that could be strapped around the leg or arm, as well as a few belt bag options.
A holster-like design at Michael Kors attached a miniature saddle bag to the body quite closely, and when worn under a jacket, it felt like a great anti-pickpocket money bag option.
#21. Velvet Bags
Velvet was one of the major fabrics this season, especially for glamorous evening wear. This luxuriously soft material was also a great fit for soft evening bags and clutches.
A little black velvet clutch (with a coin purse design, nevertheless) was made even lovelier and more luxurious by the addition of shiny CC hardware at Chanel. If you prefer more color, we spotted a soft folded bag at Burberry, made of contrasting panels in both green and purple.
Velvet was a key material on the Dries Van Noten runway, which featured a deep green velvet bag covered in a floral print.
For the second season in a row, feathers continued to be one of the loveliest bag trends on the fall/ winter 2020 runways.
At Altuzarra, feathers exploded from the top of small, solid bags, even obscuring their design a bit because of the under-the-arm carry the models utilized. At Marques’Almeida, bags were totally covered with feathers, for a playful, soft, and fuzzy look.
#23. Hobo Bags
The fall 2020 purse trends also feature some all-time classics we love to carry around from time to time, such as the hobo bag. Elegant and sober, this is one bag style every fashionista should consider investing in.
Coperni gave a modern twist to their raw and high-class hobo bags using well-defined structures and some chain bangles. Bottega Veneta decided to stick to their signature weaving technique, unveiling a series of graceful hobo bags in perfect autumnal shades.
We also loved the combination of suede and rich jewel tones for the hobo bags spotted at Brandon Maxwell. Valentino combined trends by using plush quilted motifs for their oversized hobo bag designs.
Wristlet purses are some of the cutest and effortless styles that are so easy to transition from day to night. Designers reiterated the style in so many ways for fall, from bright and cheerful day bags to extravagant party options.
Fendi used vibrant colors along with eccentric details and structures for their small wristlet bags every fashionista would die to obtain. Coach sent down a series of wristlets in wearable colors and whimsical geometric shapes, while Simone Rocha put the focus on compelling evening designs.
Photos via Vogue, Livingly