Handing It Off:

Handbag Trends Fall 2019

Fashion 1119

November 2019 Issue
by Sharon Mosley

With just one switch of a handbag, you can change your whole fashion outlook on life this fall. A new handbag is one of the best attitude adjustments you can make for yourself and your wardrobe. Here are some of the big switches for the season ahead:

Handbags are probably one of the first new purchases many of us make every season. Since we carry them daily, they are our best accessory friends. This fall, crossbody bags are still utilitarian favorites, in all shapes and sizes. Check out the new saddlebag designs. Let’s face it, these bags are a lifesaver, leaving hands free.

Belt bags (aka fanny packs) have come a long way, too, making appearances in designer collections from Chanel to Gucci. Many designers double up on smaller belt bags, giving us two bags hanging from the same belt.

Ladylike structured handbags are another fall accessory go-to that come in all shapes and sizes. The top-handle bags are back. Chain straps are making a return, too. Boxy cube designs are the trendiest silhouettes, but watch for square or rectangular handbags with flaps for easy accessibility with just one flip of the wrist. These bags may be one of your best bets for a classic look that you will have for years.

The new clutches are puffier than ever. Think sleeping bag pouches in bright, bold colors. Fun is the name of the game with these purses. Playfully shaped handbags also turned up in accordion-folded designs, half-moon shapes, triangles and circles. Retro-inspired book bags with one strap are a sophisticated update from luxury designer Hermes.

And don’t worry if you’re a pack rat who carries their life around in a big bag every day. We’re talking electronics, gym clothes, sneakers, etc. You know the routine. There are plenty of oversized totes and satchels available to stash all your valuables without sacrificing style. Slouchy bucket bags, duffels and doctor bags are back. Look for many of these supersize bags to offer smaller “micro-bags” attached for even more versatility. Remember coin purses, anyone?

Animal prints are serious contenders for the big bag that goes with everything this fall. These popular designs are all over handbags. Snakeskin is a number one hit, with embossed crocodile as a close second. Tiger stripes and leopard prints are also pouncing on purses. Thank the resurgence of the ‘70s blast from the fashion past. Textured animal prints in all colors and shiny metallics are the statement pattern of the year in accessories.

The textured vibe continues in faux fur handbags, too. Fuzzy is the name of the game ... from short shearlings to long, hairy designs, these purses definitely help you cuddle up to a new season with a whole new attitude.

Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.

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