Go clear, gals! Transparent plastic bags are one of the most playful and alluring trends circulating within the blogosphere and gracing the catwalks. Clear bags are delightfully kitschy and tongue in cheek. They are brazen and fearless; confidently revealing what lies within. This aggressive sartorial statement is perfect for women who like to raise the style stakes with spirit and poise.
Today, we are going to examine the best see-through PVC bags from the hottest names in fashion. We’ll take that one step further and provide you with some fun styling tips for rocking your transparent bag with ease.
The Trend of PVC Clear Bags: Contents
Whether you have something to show off in your bag or just want to add a modern, futuristic touch to your outfits, these high-end PVC clear bags are here to save you the day!
1. Michael Kors Graphic Logo Clear Bag
Michael Kors is synonymous with elegant and breezy luxury. This transparent bag takes this reputation and infuses it with a healthy dose of in-your-face name-dropping. We love the bolder than life logo. It is a take on prisoners’ approach to style that will have the masses transfixed. The roomy shape provides you with lots of room for the essentials and more. Perfect for school, work, and travel, this PVC bag is available at Farfetch.com.
2. Hermes What Goes Around Comes Around Clear Vinyl Kelly Bag
This aptly-named PVC clear bag makes one thing loud and clear: if Hermes is embracing transparency, then it’s not long before every woman on your block follows suit. This clear bag is so provocatively stylish that even seasoned sartorialists may be trepidant about its luxurious implications. More at home in an upscale bar or terribly fabulous invite-only yacht party, this transparent bag will be on every insider’s wish list come fall. It is currently available at Shopbop.
3. Dolce & Gabbana Sicily PVC Bag
Leave it to our favorite Italian statement-makers to up the style stakes and release a collection of Sharpie-colored see-through PVC bags. Kitschy and mod-inspired, these daring clear bags allow you to embrace transparency while retaining a pop of pastel in your silhouette. The envelope closure is a demure contrast to the neon hues. It comes in three bold colors at Net-a-Porter.
4. Staud Clear and Black PVC Bag
This sculptural clear bag is futurism gone fabulous! We love the architectural curves and the minimalist design of this tote. The handle is sculptural and stark and it provides a compelling element to the tote’s silhouette. This number will pair seamlessly with a gritty and urbane downtown look. Perfect for packing up all your belongings, it is available at Farfetch.com.
5. Tasha Clear Belt Bag
Belt bags are a trend in their own right, and this hybrid PVC version is delightfully enticing. From a distance the bag is hardly perceptible but up close it adds texture and density to your silhouette. We love the adjustable strap, convenient design and elusive transparency – a clear street style winner. Pick it up at Nordstrom!
6. Maison Margiela Japanese Transparent Bag
This bold and eclectic clear bag takes shape, form, and symmetry to a seductive new level! The transparent black is alluring and visually arresting. The spacious design is convenient and perfect for school and work. The originality of the design ensures that this PVC bag is guaranteed to be a staple for the downtown crowd. You can get it at Farfetch.com.
7. Hat Attack PVC Clear Bag
A gracious and feminine take on the transparent bag trend! We love the molten gold hardware – it creates a stunning visual contrast against the kitschy PVC. The petite shape makes this clear bag a sweet and playful addition to an elegant and polished silhouette. Wear as a shoulder bag or tote as the mood strikes. It is available at Shopbop.
8. Valextra Clear Bag Case
PVC bags are not necessarily playful. The material has made strides into the world of grown-up fashion as of late, and this beautiful tote is proof! The blend of materials and textures makes this a sumptuous choice for the more sophisticated among us. The clean tote design is intriguingly well-appointed. You can pick it up at Farfetch.com.
9. Anya Hindmarch Cherries PVC Bag
Comic book nostalgia meets quirky Seventies kitsch in this vivacious tote. We love the patent lipstick red and the sweet cherry design. The transparent window creates a fascinating play on form that studied sartorialists will love. Pair with a monochrome outfit for a hit of color or power clash with a bold print. This clear bag is available at Net-a-Porter.
10. Chanel Vintage Jumbo PVC Clear Bag
Everything Chanel touches turns to gold, doesn’t it? This regal and luxuriant clear bag is a hedonistic dream. We love the marriage of retro hardware and futuristic material. The oversized shape is wearable and practical. This PVC bag is certain to be a favorite of gilded golden girls and models off duty in the seasons to come. Grab it at Farfetch.com!
11. ZAC Zac Posen Mini Crystal Clear Bag
We love this luxurious and embellished little number. It is the perfect harmony of rock and roll seductress and glitterati queen. The petite form makes this a perfect addition to your evening aesthetic. The gold clasp makes this clear bag a secure and practical option for everyday wear, as well. Pair with your jeans and tee look for a dose of intoxicating glamour. It is available at Shopbop.
12. Sarah Chofakian Transparent Bag
Embrace the breezy sensibility of the yacht crowd with this Hamptons-inspired PVC bag. The sailor stripes are an unlikely pairing with the plastic material, and we love how they merge together so elegantly. The mustard yellow handle and sky-blue detailing feel fresh and inspired. Pair with a white linen dress for a classic silhouette. You can get one for yourself at Farfetch.com.
13. Kelly Wynne Clear Mingle PVC Bag
This tribal-meets-uptown-girl transparent bag is enticingly unique. The long strap makes this the perfect addition to your evening get-up, while the petite size will fit all of your essentials. The calfskin additions and the chain strap add compelling texture to the PVC cutouts. Pair with a chiffon dress for the ultimate in feminine dressing. This clear bag is available at Nordstrom.
They’re plastic, they’re transparent, they’re beyond trendy. But where did clear bags come from? Great question, girls!
Trips to the grocery store aside, the originator of the trend in its current iteration is often credited to Raf Simons and his groundbreaking orange transparent bag for the Jil Sanders SS 2011 collection. The trend simmered under the radar for a few seasons but has come back full force as of late with a flurry of designers dabbling in the full potential of PVC’s see-through expansiveness.
Chloe, Burberry, Balenciaga, and Chanel recently released transparent bags of their own. Balenciaga’s offering was not much more substantial than a Tesco plastic bag and it inspired the kind of delightfully trivial controversy that is unique to the sartorial world.
A wonderful Vice ID article on the subject dubbed the overarching aesthetic mood ‘normore’, a kind of satire on the humble and pedestrian attire of the masses. Burberry’s release is exclusive to those who buy a piece from the new collection, firmly locating the transparent bag in the realm of the barely attainable. Plastic, for lack of a better word, has gone luxury.
Some critics have located irony within the trend. In an Inconvenient Truth era, our obsession with plastic has taken on uncomfortable parameters. We toss plastic bags at a worrying rate. But what about our treasured designer bags? We wouldn’t dare part with them.
Perhaps re-appropriating plastic as a desirable luxury material will make us less quick to cast the material aside. Maybe the fashion world’s new appraisal of plastic will force us into a collective mea culpa over our past wastefulness and will create a new generation of sartorialists who revere the see-through.
It’s see-through and plastic so it goes with, like, everything – right? Typically, we would stop you dead in your tracks and give you a studied primer on the dos and don’ts of the clear bag trend. But the truth is loud and clear: PVC bags know no bounds!
Its democratic ‘everyone is invited’ sensibility is what makes it so enticing and so compelling as a trend. That being said, we want to offer you a stylistic launching pad from which to explore all the possibilities of PVC bags.
• The most intriguing aspect of the material is that it allows the world to peek into your private life. It allows you to make a statement about the inner workings of your fascinating life. Carrying a clear bag is like leaving your diary on the kitchen table – people shouldn’t read but they will.
Showcase your belongings in an overt way but make it count. Show off a stunning wallet, a thoughtful book, and an artistic phone case to give the passersby insight into the full capacities of your multidimensional personality. Have fun with your transparent bag and curate your belongings for best effect.
• We never need an excuse to troll through Sephora’s new offerings but we’ll take one anyways! The see-through bag allows you to show off pretty cosmetics. A beautiful blush and bronzer compact and a molten gold mascara will create an intriguing color palette that will provide a striking style statement.
• Hide your hideous belongings. We all have them, girls! Keys, loose change, and credit cards should be stowed away within the confines of a sweet and pretty coin purse.
• Pair your see-through bag with a monochromatic outfit for a minimalist and sleek aesthetic. We love the classic black and white outfit paired with a strategically curated clear bag.
• Power clash with stripes, plaid, and floral patterns. If you are feeling extremely thoughtful and detail-oriented, find some small objects that you can place within your PVC bag that will play against your outfit. The effect is so original that you might start a style riot.
• Go full Barbie girl with a kitschy and lighthearted outfit of neon pinks, blues, and purples. Silver and gold accents and outlandish accessories will score you bonus points. This fearlessly fun-loving look will garner you stares but if you’re game for it, then go be your bold and transparent self!
• An all-black suit, round sunglasses, and sky-high boots will look positively intoxicating when paired with a PVC bag. This is perfect for a chic and entrepreneurial working woman.
• Pair with a delicate Nineties-inspired slip dress for a dazzling Kate Moss-inspired look. You’ll be a veritable clubbing queen. Added bonus? No digging in vain for your lipstick in dim bar bathrooms!
• For a laid-back but well-appointed look for every day, pair your tote with your favorite high-waisted jeans and a crisp white tee. The transparent bag will be an unexpected but immensely wearable addition.
Photos via @aylin_koenig, @songofstyle, @notjessfashion