Tiffany wears Bottega Veneta's Shell tote ($3100).
Ever see something so good you can't forget it? As a fashion editor, you can imagine that I see a lot of images of clothes and accessories each day, almost to the point that I've become a bit desensitized. Things really have to impress me to get to the point of memorability, and well, these bags have passed the test. I really don't discriminate when it comes to purses; from teeny tiny like Jacquemus's Le Chiquito to the XXL handbag trend dominating Milan right now, I'll take them all.
Bursting with color and made in a plethora of whimsical shapes, the purses that have managed to grab my attention also happen to be some of the huge styles making waves within the fashion crowd: Take Prada's Cleo bag or just about anything Bottega Veneta. A cute bag you'll love to wear time and time again is one of the smartest wardrobe investments you can make. For one, you can wear it unashamedly every day, and the right one adds instant elevation–even to an over-worn lounge set.
Below, I've listed all of the gorgeous bags that have made such an impression, they're practically seared into my brain. Whether you're in need of a classic black bag to start your collection, or are in the market for a trendy purse to add some spice to your outfits, I've laid them all out here. Chances are you won't be able to forget them either.
From rigid lines to bold geometric shapes, these bags are works of art in their own right. A sculptural bag will set the stage for a stylish outfit or shine against minimal separates.
One thing is for sure, these bags are guaranteed to sell out. Each of these styles has their own ardent followings, and are specifically loved by the fashion set. Designs like Prada's latest launch, the Cleo, Bottega Veneta's Jodie bag, and Telfar's shopping bag have all dominated my feed at one point or another. And a word of caution, if you're into any of these, act fast.
Bigger isn't always better, and we have these mini wonders to thank. You may not be able to fit a whole junk load of stuff in them, but that's precisely the point; nothing encourages you to edit like a delightful baby purse. Go as tiny as Jacquemus's Le Chiquito top handle which can modestly fit some cash and your MTA card, or step it up with By Far's Amber tote which can snuggly fit all of your (edited) essentials.
Handbag obsessed or not, a black bag is a wardrobe essential. And a great one instantly adds polish even if you're in a pair of sweats or your best little black dress. It's also a no-brainer when you have to run out the door, but still want to look put together. Whether your budget is $100 and under, or you have some funds to spend, these options won't steer you wrong.
The easiest to schlep around of the bunch, shoulder bags are practically made for long days running errands or just when being hands-free is of the essence. Staud's Moon bag has been on my personal wishlist, while Wandler's bags are a huge favorite amongst my editor friends. If you're going for the look for less, I highly suggest taking a look at JW Pei.
Indya Brown is a fashion editor, stylist, and writer living in Los Angeles. While going to school at Columbia University in New York City, she got her feet wet in the fashion industry interning at Elle magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and New York magazine's The Cut. After graduating in 2016, she joined The Cut as a fashion assistant, eventually working her way up to fashion editor. There, she worked on a multitude of projects, including styling inbook feature stories for New York magazine's print issue, writing and pitching market stories for The Cut, and serving as fashion lead for The Cut's branded content. While New York has been her home for over 10 years, she moved to Los Angeles in the midst of the pandemic in 2020 for a new chapter. Now she is a fashion market editor for Who What Wear, focusing on emerging designers, rising trends on and off the internet, interior design, and BIPOC creatives and brands. Aside from her duties as a fashion market editor, Brown is also a freelance stylist and writer, working on national print and video commercial campaigns for Sephora, The Independent, and Cadillac. Her bylines also include Harper's Bazaar, Vox, and The New York Times. But once the computer goes down and the emails turn off, she's likely eating her way through Koreatown, hunting down vintage furniture, scoping out new outrageous nail designs to try, or taking a hot cycling class.
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