Though most of us embark on fewer outings these days, the need to schlep around our belongings remains. Whether we're carrying groceries, a bevvy of PPE, or essentials for a quick weekend getaway, women are still very much relying on our handbags. Designers debuting their Spring 2021 collections took note and left us no shortage of options, albeit ones with a more practical edge. While spring collections have historically been a place for summer vacation staples like straw totes and macramé shoulder bags, designers reminded us that the ways women spend their time outdoors shifted in summer 2020. Outdoor bar hopping was replaced by boozy brunch picnics with a select crew; farmer's market runs took precedent over laptop-schlepping daily commutes; and dressing up the mundane essentials, like water bottles, felt more novel than the micro bag trend of seasons past.
This doesn't mean a major shift in trends, but rather revisiting some tried-and-true trends and giving these styles a more practical purpose (as opposed to handbags sitting in a dust bag waiting to be paired with something other than sweatpants). At Marie Claire, we love practicality in fashion and making the trends make sense for us, so this is totally up our alley. We've taken apart the designers' offerings and shopped out styles that can work even now, while spring still feels so far ahead.
Not sure who needs to hear this, but single-use plastic water bottles are just not it. Instead, invest in a chic, refillable version with a fashionable carrier like these at Fendi (left) and Alyx (right) to make a real statement.
This woven leather water bottle purse honestly could not be more chic.
I mean... How cute is it of your water bottle to have her own teddy coat? Very.
This holder is a little more freeform than a “bag” per se, but it get the job done.
We all know hydration is a “good look," but this gives a whole new meaning to the phrase.
Extra large leather totes are not a totally new trend, but boy, are they as timely as ever. Seen at Khaite (left) and Coach (right), these will be the go-to shape for grocery runs and quick weekend getaways and will carry you well into the following season.
This smooth leather style with sharp angles feels super modern and chic, even when you’re schlepping an umbrella, water bottle and other unsightly things inside.
A woven leather tote is the perfect transitional bag between seasons. The box-like structure takes it from vacay vibes to office-appropriate.
This baby blue number has sturdy top handles but comes with a removable shoulder strap in case you really need to pile it all in.
You’re going to want to make this worn-in wonder your everyday bag. It even looks good when you don’t have much in it—the slouchy-ness makes for a nonchalant, cool-girl attitude.
If this past summer's Instagram feeds showed us anything, it's that berry picking and picnics are the new brunch. Fendi (left) and Jacquemus (right) took notice with straw and rattan bags that can help take your dining experience outdoors in the chicest way possible.
This bag is bit more functional than trendy, but carrying the lunch, blanket (and just a few bottles of wine...) has never been easier.
This hands-free basket bag is chic for when you’re berry picking (like everyone on Instagram this summer), and also when you’re not.
Intended for a picnic, but which actually looks like a chic wicker bowler bag, this lined tote has great depth that can hold basically anything you’d need for a lunch or a day out.
This multi-purpose tote can serve double duty to haul a backyard garden harvest back to the house or hold a beach blanket and bottle of wine for a sunset toast.
In the spirit of toting lots of stuff around, try out a fab leather duffel for short trips or as a roomy handbag shape to carry run errands in. Max Mara (left) and Marni (right) showed this shape in sumptuous leathers that are pretty much impossible to resist, for both function and style.
This classic leather duffle will be the go-to you'll grab for years, and the color and texture will only get better over time.
Honey, we shrunk the duffel. This furry cow-print (basically a neutral!) will go with everything and lend a touch of Western to your spring look.
This mini duffel in leather also has a crossbody strap to keep you feeling hands-free and fabulous.