7 Chic New Handbag Trends That Get the French-Girl Stamp of Approval

Imagine the archetypal Parisian uniform. Did bouclé jackets, fine knits, cardigans, slim jeans and ballet flats immediately spring to mind? I thought so. Although the French wardrobe is incredibly diverse, we often see Paris' best dressed reverting back to these staples. But what of the accessories? Every outfit deserves a good bag, and whilst French women are known for carrying quilted bags in autumn and winter (likely Chanel) and basket bags for spring and summer, they also have the same eye for trends as the rest of us; and if there's one easy way to bring an outfit up to date, it's with a new handbag trend.

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(Image credit: @tamaramory)

The S/S '24 runways were awash with pops of colour, bucket bags and ludicrously capacious clutches, but what shoppers are actually wearing on the streets of Paris is a little different. These smart dressers look for styles with longevity above all, so you can trust French influencers to spot the bags that are truly worth a space in your wardrobe.

So, if you're looking for a new-season buy that'll still look good tucked under your arm in a years time, there's no better place to search out styles than French street style.

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(Image credit: @lenafarl )

To save you from hopping on a plane (or trawling through thousands of Instagram pictures), I've done the research and found seven French-approved handbag trends that are about to be big news in 2024. From big, roomy totes to "ladylike" shoulder bags, keep scrolling to see the arm candy that French women are adding to their wardrobes now. Believe me: they're all trés chic.

1. MOCK CROC

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(Image credit: @iamzoefoster)

Style Notes: There's just something timeless about an animal print, and when mock croc looks this good there simply isn't any need to buy the real thing. Premium, polished and always effortlessly elegant, this glossy bag is the secret to dressing up even the most simple outfit. 

SHOP MOCK CROC:

2. SLING BAGS

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(Image credit: @theblab )

Style Notes: If the "throw on and go" attitude was a bag, it would be a crossbody sling. These surprisingly roomy hammocks are perfect for the days you need to carry everything plus the kitchen sink but a bulky backpack just won't cut it in the style stakes. From The Row's canvas banana bag to Arket's suede iteration, if you're in need of a bag that does it all, a sling may be just the thing. 

SHOP CROSSBODY BAGS:

3. '90s MINIMALISM 

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(Image credit: @lenaherrmann)

Style Notes: This one is for fans of quiet luxury, as this minimalist bag trend is so understated it practically whispers. The mini baguette, simple clutch and sleek shoulder-bag styles of the '90s are back, and in the same timeless neutrals as the first time around. These are the perfect bags to accompany a statement outfit that does all the talking. 

SHOP MINIMALIST BAGS:

4. SLOUCHY TOTES

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(Image credit: @pia_mbd )

Style Notes: If the sling isn't quite to your taste, how about another French favourite, the slouchy tote? Buttery-soft and generously proportioned—unlike the typically structured top-handle bag—these bags are so laidback they're practically horizontal. Wear thrown over your shoulder or scooped up under your arm, with jeans and a white button-down or an easy midi dress à la Pia Moubayed (pictured above). 

SHOP TOTE BAGS:

5. LUXE SUEDE

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(Image credit: @sabinasocol)

Style Notes: Sophisticated, supple and strokably soft, although we aren't about to trade in our glossy leather bags any time soon, suede is back in the spotlight, and it's a welcome return. There's something about this rich fabric that feels, well, rich, and if the success of The Row's Margaux and Khaite's Lotus tells us anything, it's that you can make a good bag even better by reissuing it in suede. 

SHOP SUEDE BAGS:

6. BURGUNDY

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(Image credit: @slipintostyle)

Style Notes: We already called it; burgundy is the luxe new colour trend of the season. For S/S '24, designers presented a united front on a fresh evolution of the red theme that played out on the street style scene. Our favourite way to introduce the colour to our wardrobes is with bags in black cherry, burgundy, oxblood and merlot, and these shades ooze an aura of wealth, status, and power.

SHO BURGUNDY BAGS:

7. BUSINESS BAGS

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(Image credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

Style Notes: And to finish on a classic, the business-class bag that you can take everywhere from breakfast to the boardroom; a handbag-meets-satchel-meets-briefcase that always rises to the dress code. Outfit-elevating bags don't get better than this, and although they're often a little pricier than the other trending styles on this list, this is one bag you know you can confidently carry for the next decade without worrying that it'll go out of style. 

SHOP TOP-HANDLE BAGS:

Next Up: 8 Timeless and Elegant Outfit Formulas French Women Will Rely on in 2024

Remy Farrell
Fashion Editor

Remy Farrell is a London-based shopping editor with nearly 10 years of editorial experience covering fashion, beauty and lifestyle. After graduating with a journalism degree and working on the editorial and fashion teams for titles such as Grazia, Elle, Cosmopolitan and British Vogue, she moved into the luxury e-commerce sector, working as fashion assistant at TheOutnet.com styling for the social media channels and helping to develop the collections for the in-house brand Iris & Ink. After expanding an assisting and styling portfolio that includes shooting talent such as Gigi Hadid, Victoria Beckham and Miquita Oliver, she also branched out into beauty, creating tried-and-tested reviews and diverse beauty content.

In her role as shopping editor at Who What Wear, Remy is interested in discovering new and exciting brands to share with the Who What Wear readership and particularly loves uncovering hidden gems at affordable prices to make shopping accessible to everyone.

Born and raised in Sheffield, Yorkshire, Remy moved to London in 2014 and lives in the Docklands with her partner and pug Billie.