Normally, when you think of winter fashion, handbags aren't the first things that come to mind. Boots, outerwear, and dangerously soft accessories maybe. But purses? Not so much. Nonetheless, many of us will carry one or more every single day of the season, just as we all in the other three. And while some people might be okay with ignoring our handbags from now until spring, I'm not, and neither are my fellow editors.
In an effort to draw some attention toward handbags this winter, I called on said editors to find out which styles they're planning to let hibernate throughout the colder months and which will become their new go-tos. And just as I suspected, they each had plenty to say. See? I'm not the only one ready to rally behind the handbag space during its off season.
Keep scrolling for the inside scoop on all the winter handbag trends Who What Wear editors are passing on right now and which ones they'll be carrying instead.
Passing: Messenger Bags
Grabbing: Bowler Bags
"Though they absolutely serve their purpose, messenger bags just aren't for me anymore. Maybe I'm just off of them because of how often I carried one in high school, lugging my books around on one, very tired side. So, despite the fact that they fit nicely around a large puffer coat, I'm giving up my messenger bags for now and opting for a style that's more fun and still spacious instead: Bowler bags. Ever since I spotted Prada's fall 2022 Supernova bag on the runway I've been absolutely smitten. I got one for NYFW in September and fell even harder when I saw it in real life, thus permanently fusing me to the bowler-bag trend." – Eliza Huber, Editor
Shop Eliza's bag:
Though the green color is sold out, this absolutely gorgeous baby-pink alternative is still very much in stock.
At the opposite end of the price spectrum is this simple but equally alluring shoulder style from H&M.
Why do I get the feeling that Devon Lee Carlson would absolutely love this bag.
Passing: Patchwork Bags
Grabbing: Shiny, Patent Bags
"While I love a good print trend like anyone else, I'm finding that as of late, I'm most excited about bags with a shiny, patent finish. It just feels like a fresh take on adding visual interest to any ensemble without overdoing it." – Jasmine Fox-Suliaman, Editor
Shop Jasmine's bag:
Passing: Fuzzy Bags
Grabbing: Pillow Bags
"While there's no denying fuzzy textured bags had a presence on the fall/winter 2022 runways, I'll personally be skipping them this winter in favor of a trend that's just as whimsical but more practical for everyday wear: pillow bags. Between Coach's beloved Pillow Tabby bag and Loewe's puffed-up Goya style, there's no shortage of fun options to be found." – Anna Laplaca, Editor
Shop Anna's bag:
Find me a fashion girl who isn't carrying Coach's Tabby bag this winter. I'll wait.
This bag is practically the handbag version of hot chocolate with marshmallows and you won't be able to convince me of anything else.
The standard, braided Jodie bag is chic and all, but this puffed-up take feels far more fresh for winter.
Passing: Micro Bags
Grabbing: Briefcase Bags
"While I'm starting to see super microscopic bags slow down, back-to-work bags are the trend I'm predicting big things for. With brands including Prada, Miu Miu, and Tory Burch endorsing structured, briefcase-style bags, now is the time to invest in the cool silhouette." — Kristen Nichols, Senior Editor
Shop Kristen's bag:
This bag, the original of which was beloved by the late Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, is one of 2022's most-wanted.
Passing: Embellished Bags
Grabbing: Timeless Crossbody Bags
"I'm personally storing away my embellished handbags because I'm all about utility and practicality right now. I don't want to worry about ruining a precious bag, so I'm gravitating toward minimal, timeless crossbody bags whether I'm going to dinner or running errands." – Erin Fitzpatrick, Senior News Editor
Shop Erin's bag:
This bag is just flashy enough to evoke envy but low-key enough to be wearable forever.
Passing: Bucket Bags
Grabbing: Sculptural Bags
"Recently I've been feeling like it's time to retire my bucket bags in favor of more interesting, geometric bags. I'm currently eyeing brands like Coperni, Loewe, and Mlouye that are experimenting with shape and structure to create mini sculptures, in the form of bags." – Copelyn Bengal, Associate Shopping Editor
Shop Copelyn's bag:
Passing: Chain-Strap Bags
Grabbing: Suede Bags
"This isn't to hate on the look of chain-strapped bags, but I've always felt they were uncomfortable to wear as they never sat right on my shoulder. It's also extremely hard to find affordable chain options that have the luxe feel of designer options, so I chose to opt-out of that trend for my wardrobe personally. I much prefer suede handbags, as they're comfortable to wear and are easy to find at many price points. I love the Khaite and Staud styles, but I've been wearing my suede tote from J.Crew nonstop as of late." – Yusra Siddiqui, Assistant Market Editor
Shop Yusra's bag:
Eliza Huber is a Chicago-born, New York City–based fashion editor who specializes in trend reporting, plus-size fashion, brand discovery, and celebrity style. For the last year, she’s been covering all of the above for Who What Wear, where she first got her start as an intern and later a freelance writer in 2017.
Upon graduating with a marketing degree from the University of Iowa in 2018, Eliza moved to New York City full time and started at Refinery29 as a fashion market writer, focusing on SEO-optimized market roundups. Later, she transitioned out of just market and began covering the site's fashion news beat as well as writing features pertaining to plus-size fashion, sustainability, adaptive fashion, need-to-know brands, and the latest runway and social media–driven trends. In 2021, after almost four years at Refinery29, she moved on to Who What Wear, where she continues to be a trusted source for fashion news, trends, and more. In her first year at Who What Wear, Eliza has profiled Dakota Fanning and Diane Kruger, two of the site's 2022 cover stars, and launched her own monthly column titled Let's Get a Room, where she heads to dressing rooms around New York City to show the site's readers what new items are just as good IRL as they appear online. Eliza also curates market for Who What Wear's email newsletters.
Eliza currently lives in SoHo, in far too close proximity to Lower Manhattan's bevy of shopping destinations. When she’s not popping into stores for inspiration (or more), she's probably running on the West Side Highway, watching a Formula 1 race, sprinting at Barry's, or sitting outside at one of SoHo's many cafés.
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