The Most Sought-After Handbag Styles of 2020

Marina Liao
·6-min read
Photo credit: Edward Berthelot - Getty Images
Photo credit: Edward Berthelot - Getty Images

From Marie Claire

I work in fashion, so my friends (and strangers I meet at parties) are constantly asking: "What trends should I know about?" And I always have an answer. After all, I've prepped for this. I skim retailers' trend reports, keep a pulse on what went down on the runways, and peruse shopping websites for the latest product drops. (My wish lists are never-ending.) Though I can toss out new clothing trends in my sleep—for a refresh on those for 2020, here you go—there's more to the story. Aside from the ready-to-wear trends, there are the must-have jewelry, shoes, and bag trends to consider.

For the handbag obsessives, let's dive into the latter a little more. This year will bring a fresh array of bag designs, and already we've gotten a sneak peek of what both spring and fall 2020 collections have to offer. In order to make all this information digestible, here are the top bag trends to know for 2020. Bookmark this page or text it to your group chat, because everyone deserves to know about the latest must-buy arm candy.

Quilted Textures

Photo credit: Peter White - Getty Images
Photo credit: Peter White - Getty Images

Quilted bags of all sizes and colors ran the gamut on the runways, from Alexander McQueen (pictured above) and Burberry to A.W.A.K.E. Mode. This classic style lends an air of sophistication to any crossbody or tote bag you choose for the 2020 season. Like most things in fashion, what is old eventually becomes new again, and quilted accessories will have its moment this year. Whether you end up choosing one from the likes of Chanel (Coco Chanel first created her quilted leather 2.55 handbag in 1955!), which is a timeless choice, or from other more contemporary designers out there, this style is sure to last you a lifetime.

Frame Bags

Photo credit: Victor VIRGILE - Getty Images
Photo credit: Victor VIRGILE - Getty Images

How to spot this accessory silhouette: Look for a metal frame that supports the textile or leather of the bag. Frame bags also often have a "kissing lock" closure with two interlocking metal beads on top. Fashion houses like Chanel, Celine, Erdem, Miu Miu, and Reike Nen all featured frame bags on the runway, proving this vintage design is still beloved to this day. Chances are, if you dig through your local thrift store or grandmother's attic (the best place to find older hidden treasures), you'll come away with the perfect frame handbag. Not into either idea? Shop the newest styles below.

Hobo Bags

Photo credit: Victor VIRGILE - Getty Images
Photo credit: Victor VIRGILE - Getty Images

This style is defined by their crescent shape and slouchy silhouette complete with a handle or strap that makes it easy to wear over your shoulders. Though they were once on the arms of every It girl in the early 2000s, trends like micro purses have eclipsed their popularity. Have no fear, though—in 2020 hobo handbags are making a comeback in all sizes and textures. We spotted them on the fall 2020 runways of Brandon Maxwell (above) and at Zimmermann, so designers are poised to get this design back on your shelf asap.

Chain Embellished Bags

Photo credit: Victor VIRGILE - Getty Images
Photo credit: Victor VIRGILE - Getty Images

Chains are popping up everywhere, from your jewelry to shoes and now handbags. Look for your favorite totes, satchels, and minaudières to all receive a chain strap as an added detail. Tory Burch's fall 2020 collection debuted a host of chain-embellished handbags (as pictured above) while JW Anderson decided to make it the statement design on its accessories. Meanwhile, Ulla Johnson offered glamorous thick, braided chained bags on its fall runways. If you're feeling ambitious and crafty, you might even want to DIY your own gold or silver chain on a bag in your closet.

Multi-Compartment Bags

Photo credit: Courtesy
Photo credit: Courtesy

It's not enough to carry just one bag—in 2020, you'll want to carry two or more. Multi-bagging, or bags with multiple compartments, will be everywhere if Coach (pictured above) or Staud's pre-fall 2020 collections have anything to say about it. On a recent trip to the latter's showroom, I spotted a tote with three detachable pouches hanging from the handles. J.W. Anderson (see here) and Peter Pilotto (see here) are some of the other fashion houses that have hopped on this multi-bagging train. Though the style availability is limited right now, expect more retailers to pump out this design as we head deeper into 2020.

Larger-Than-Life Bags

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

The itty-bitty bag had its moment. and now it's time for the extra large ones to have some fun. From Opening Ceremony's super large tote, which could probably stow away a human, to the huge croc-embossed ones on Sies Marjan's spring 2020 runway to Longchamp's fall 2020 offerings, big bags are flaunting their sizes and popularity. Even Jacquemus, who gave us the beloved "chiquito" minis, upgraded their bag dimensions for 2020, proving that the theme is: the bigger, the better. Fingers crossed you won't run into trouble carrying your oversize tote in pesky situations (like NYC's subway turnstiles).

Bamboo Handles

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

For spring 2020, designers have been looking for ways to incorporate more natural elements into their accessories. One such earthy material we spotted on the runways was bamboo, fastened into handles on the runways of Miu Miu, Gucci (pictured above), and Prada. The detail is unique, but wearable, and offers a textured look to your handbag. Sign me up for this design, please. I will happily part with my regular ol' leather strap crossbody bag.

Puffy Pouches

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Overnight, it seemed like every fashion girl had Bottega Veneta's gathered leather bag under their arms. It's cool, minimalist, and tasteful—everything you want in an It accessory. The fervor for this style will only continue to grow in popularity as more designers create variations of these cloud-like pouches in different colors and sizes. Tory Burch sent a vibrant red pouch down her spring 2020 runway, while Louis Vuitton opted for more ornate options.

Rope Bags

Photo credit: Courtesy of Ulla Johnson
Photo credit: Courtesy of Ulla Johnson

For their spring/summer collections, designers always seem to alternate between nautical-inspired details, crochet, or raffia for accessories, so it's no surprise we've all landed back on the rope theme again for spring 2020. This summertime-appropriate design was present in the spring 2020 runway collections of Ulla Johnson (pictured above), Givenchy, and Valentino. Style these handbags with your favorite espadrilles and maxi dress on vacation.

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