Summer 2023’s Handbag Trends Can Do It All

Subverting traditional accessory codes, this summer's trending bags can be taken everywhere.

A woman with an oversized bag
(Image credit: Courtesy of brands)

Summer is all about that soft, simple ease, and the same ethos goes for our summer accessories, bags included. But this season, many of summer 2023's trends subvert traditional accessory codes. A canvas, straw, or raffia bag, historically used as a beach bag, isn't relegated to the surf anymore; while it fits into a seaside setting, it's also an excellent accessory for errands around town or dinner at a buzzy city sidewalk café. The same goes for the season's array of ladylike vintage-inspired bags—they're not just for evening. This season's sweet, studded satchels also serve as a daytime jewel box.

"Don't overthink your summer handbag choices," advises Diego Abba, CEO of Italist. "Incorporate whatever [bag] suits your mood into your everyday look." There's no need to overthink size, either—it's a matter of preference. Compact or oversized—either can lend themselves to simplifying your summer accessory game. Diego notes that with more people traveling and taking day trips this time of year, large "ludicrously capacious" totes are sure to come in handy for your summer adventures, offering space for a change of clothes and all your essentials (they're an excellent transporter for your mobile offices too).

Need more bag real estate? Try one of the season's double-bag styles, or dip your toe into the trend with a cool pocket-clad silhouette. Maybe a more minimal style will do for those at the opposite end of the spectrum—summer's offerings will have plenty of those too. Ahead, five trending handbag styles to add to your summer wishlist.

Generous Proportions

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The bigger, the better? Perhaps. "Recent data from Klarna actually found that purchases of oversized bags have increased by 87 percent after the debut of Succession's "ludicrously capacious" Burberry tote," says Megan Gokey, Head of Business-to-Consumer Marketing at Klarna USA. To seamlessly incorporate this larger-than-life style into your look, Gokey suggests keeping the rest of your outfit "understated— yet chic and tailored" to offset the volume of an oversized silhouette.

A woman with an oversized bag

(Image credit: Courtesy of brands)

Simply Good

"This summer's bags emphasize classic shapes and colors—a celebration of good quality, timeless pieces, and investment-worthy styles—a realignment about value and longevity," explains Abba. From soft structured Jil Sander designs to the sleek Scandinavian aesthetic at Acne Studios to Savette's classical, contemporary silhouettes, this season's minimal handbags pack a big punch. Sans in-your-face logos and signature prints, it's an, "if you know, you know approach to luxury," says Gokey.

Women standing with bags

(Image credit: Courtesy of brands)

All About Texture

Textured fabrications like raffia and crochet have always been popular for warm weather—"perfect for browsing the farmer's market or sitting by the pool," says Abba. But this season, those styles have expanded to include even more variability, like netting, padding, and retro-style embossing that aren't just suited to the French Riviera—they can also perform well as work, travel, and everything-in-between bags. At Klarna, Gokey is also seeing an uptick in textural hardware, like bamboo handles, embellishments, and fringe detailing.

Women standing with handbags that have texture

(Image credit: Courtesy of brands)

Seeing Double

Any busy person will tell you firsthand that one bag is usually insufficient to transport all the essentials as we bounce between work obligations, social calendars, and everything else that fills a hectic schedule. While not necessarily new (double bag styling first debuted on the Chanel Spring/Summer 2014 runways), the double-bag trend has resurfaced for summer 2023.  More stuff equals the necessity for more bag real estate, but let’s be clear—two designer bags don’t come for the price of one—so consider a bag with double the pocket space and a bevy of compartments instead. It’s sure to be your warm-weather workhorse.

A woman carrying double bags

(Image credit: Courtesy of brands)

Vintage Vibes

"Vintage-esque bags are having such a moment, particularly with young generations. This trend, particularly with sequins, beads, or nostalgic embroidery, is a call back to the '90s and early aughts," explains Gokey. Older generations, more familiar with the silhouettes, also appreciate them in their second go-around. Pair an embellished vintage style with a neutral-hued outfit to create a modern look. "It will also adapt any evening-looking bag styles to be ideally suited for daytime," explains Abba.

A woman with a white bag with a jeweled design

(Image credit: Courtesy of brands)
Sara Holzman
Style Director

Sara Holzman is the Style Director at Marie Claire, covering runway trends and tracking down the latest finds to buy and wear. When she’s not writing about fashion, she pens about the best places to jet-off to. Over her six years with Marie Claire, Sara has reported on the ever-evolving world of fashion— covering both established and emerging designers within the industry. Sara has held fashion positions at Lucky and SELF Magazine and was a regular contributor to Equinox’s Furthermore website, where she wrote across their style, wellness, and travel verticals. She holds a degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and currently resides in Manhattan. Follow her along at @sarajonewyork.