Unpopular Opinion: The Cross-Body Bag Is Dead

Listen first. Hate later.

(Image credit: Getty)

Before I launch into my diatribe—or "pointless rant," if you wanted to be meaner about it—I would like to say something to prove I am still sound of mind, and therefore worth hearing out: There is still no better choice than a cross-body bag for situations in which you need full use of your arms to hold your weeping friend and/or flail around so violently security has to come over. (Unless you can do without one entirely—that is the very best.)


Shoulder, Standing, Joint, Chest, Line, Back, Temple, Neck, Muscle, Trunk,

(Image credit: Design by Katja Cho)

The New, Why-Didn't-I-Think-of-That Way to Carry All Your Bags

However, when aesthetics trump practicality, which is probably more of the time than might be good for us, a little flap- or zipper-top thing worn bandolier style just doesn't cut the mustard anymore. My hypothesis attributes this to a few conditions:

  • the general puffiness of clothes at the moment, which makes it kind of weird to deflate it all/interrupt the line
  • Fashion said so
  • we got tired of the thumping against our hips
  • and the lopsided shoulder ache
  • carrying an extra thing with your hands makes life more difficult, and we like making life more difficult because that is the human condition

I don't make the rules! But as an interpreter and messenger of vibes, I am here to confirm what you might already know in your heart: that the cross-body is not cool and that you really do need to buy a straw basket or a top-handle something-or-other. Look on the bright side, though—whereas the CBB's main draw was freedom of movement, the handheld carrier encourages it by enhancing your arm swinging. Plus, you can't very well sling a briefcase over your torso, so in matters of size, even The Row croissant or Cult Gaia Ark wins. (Unless your standard is a messenger bag, in which case, we have bigger problems.)

Interesting too that, in these times, we've returned to a more classic, not-so-utilitarian shape. But then you remember how movie-ticket and lipstick sales soar during wartime.

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Chelsea Peng
Chelsea Peng

I'm Chelsea Peng, the assistant editor at MarieClaire.com. On my tombstone, I would like a GIF of me that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, I'm into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard I have to go lie down.