As we return to office mode and travel and various other outings, you don't have to sacrifice utility in the name of fashion. The fall 2022 trends have spoken, and there are plenty of practical types of handbags (opens in new tab) for the season. On the other hand, small clutches that are more evening-appropriate and fuzzy, lap dog-like purses are also reigning king. Woven fabrics and geometric prints are omnipresent and drive home the industry's widespread embrace of craftsmanship. Meanwhile, modern interpretations of old standbys—like crossbody bags (opens in new tab) and backpack (opens in new tab) styles—mean you can save those tiny micro-purses for the next time the trend comes around town. Remember, you can always level out your purse personality with fall's widespread footwear, jewelry, and color palette options.
If you never could commit to getting a four-legged friend, this is possibly the next best thing, and if there was ever a handbag that could keep you warm, it's these fluffy creations. They came flooding the runway in all shapes, sizes, and colors. So whether you're looking for a pocket-sized pet or something that can hold its own, designers from Dries Van Noten to Fendi have it covered.
There's nothing quite like a check or plaid motif to usher in the back-to-school mood—and designers provided no shortage of inspiration for fall's fresh bout of style. From Chanel's iconic checkered tweeds on classic flap bags to Gucci's cool diamante pattern splashed across totes, this autumnal it-print gets an A+ from us.
We're used to the handbag trend pendulum swinging back and forth—one season, we're singing the praises of oversized tote bags and micro bags the next. Still, the popularity and usefulness of clutch bags never seem to waver. They're ideal for storing small items—for those who prefer to leave their whole kit and kaboodle at home.
The slouch bag, sometimes referred to as a "hobo" style, was traditionally used as a practical means of keeping one's belongings in tow via a cloth sack that was tied around a stick. The same silhouette has been replicated by a slew of modern accessories designers. At Khaite, slouchy bags were dramatically oversized and given a metallic coating. Bottega Veneta fastened their signature woven leather bag on a gold hardware handle, while Loewe added a monochromatic chain to their benchmark puzzle bag style.
Front and Center
These bags have more than just your basic flap. Snaps, buckles, and gold logo closures give these handbags some vintage appeal, as seen on the runways at Jil Sander, Bottega Veneta, and Salvatore Ferragamo.
Tons of Texture
A sought-after summer style, woven bags can carry you through the colder seasons, too. Equal parts earthy and cool, their neutral palette will seamlessly pair with all of your wardrobe basics like button-downs, blazers, and loafers.
With geometric designs and all-over prints, carrying one of these purses is akin to holding a piece of artwork. From Gabriela Hearst's two-tone Nina bag to Kim Jones' "F" flocked Fendi peek-a-boo, these bags crave to see and be seen.
For fall, elongated straps add a sophisticated feel without adding fuss. Multiple straps also add versatility. Wear them shoulder style, crossbody, or held by hand à la Jil Sander, Proenza Schouler, and Peter Do.
Backpacks are not novel, but they are an excellent option for toting around a ton of stuff. Their even distribution allows for more support, while their drawstring closures and front flap construction keep them lower maintenance. Designers are leaning back into them on the fall runways, upping the ante with luxe fabrications and hybrid styles that are a sound investment. You'll notice this season offers capacious backpacks to fit laptops (opens in new tab) and other everyday essentials as the industry continues to celebrate the woman on the go.
Emma Childs is the Style Editor at Marie Claire, where she researches up-and-coming trends, curates shopping guides, and gushes about the must-buy items she can't stop thinking about. She previously wrote for TZR, Editorialist, Elite Daily, and Mission Magazine and studied Fashion Studies and New Media at Fordham University. When she's not writing up fashion deep-dives or finding the season's best pieces, you'll find her fiddling around in Photoshop and perusing HBO Max for the next show to base her personality on (currently, it's "Succession").
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