Splurge vs. Save: 2018’s Hottest Handbag Trends
The top designer bags of 2018 are finally here, and we can’t choose just one we want to wear. Between elongated fringe from Versace, quilted belt bags from Gucci, and stark white bucket bags from Marni, there’s so much to love. Check out our top finds for this year’s hottest handbag trends to rock your favorite style (or styles) without going broke.
Splurge: Slouchy Fur Tote, $1,282
Fur is usually reserved for the fall and winter months to help battle cold weather, but we’ve seen an uptick in ridiculously opulent fur bags for Spring/Summer 2018. We loved the fuzzy shearling crossbodies from Altuzarra and furry box bags at Marni, but we can’t stop thinking about the instantly iconic Slouchy Tote Bag by Italian designer Simonetta Ravizza. This luxurious mink fur tote has been sported by street style stars in classic brown and Kendall Jenner’s favorite, light pink. But we don’t all have a top model’s paycheck to drop on a genuine fur tote bag.
To buy: Simonetta Ravizza Slouchy Fur Tote, Farfetch, $1,282
Save: Slouchy Fur Tote, $12
We look to She In to bring us the hottest fashion trends before the designer versions hit the market, and they haven’t let us down this season. For only $12, you can rock this luxe-looking tote in one of four different colors. Choose between khaki, navy, beige, and pink (a close ringer for Kendall’s arm candy) to run your Sunday errands and still look totally fab.
To buy: Faux Fur Overlay Tote Bag, She In, $12
Splurge: Straw Basket Bag, $2,495
If you thought you’d seen the last of these woven wonders, you’re out of luck because straw is one of 2018’s top handbag trends. It’s an effortless transition to picnics at the park and seaside beach days that we’ve been waiting for. This Mark Cross basket bag is both elegant and light-hearted with its boxy silhouette, light wicker construction, and black pebbled-leather accents that’s perfect for summer days in the city or a breezy vacation dinner. Be prepared to spend a pretty penny on this charming style, but for all the compliments and Insta comments, it may be worth it.
To buy: Mark Cross Harley Small Wicker Basket Bag, Matches Fashion, $2,495
Save: Straw Basket Bag, $78
This Free People wicker bag is a near mirror image of its Mark Cross counterpart. From the timeless picnic bag design, gold lock closure, and matte black faux leather straps and details, it’s hard to tell the two apart. It even has the same interior red lining and handy zippered compartment for safely storing your keys during busy weekends. At such an affordable price, you don’t need to think twice about adding this straw bag to your collection.
To buy: Wicker Park Picnic Basket, Free People, $78
Splurge: White Bucket Bag, $2,280
This spring, a white bag is a must. In addition to light seasonal denim, white handbags were all over the runways: large hobo bags at Loewe, oversized clutches at Sally Lapointe, and our favorite, this small, slouchy bucket bag from Marni. Bring a minimalist edge to your most casual summertime outfits with a pop of stark white or look extra posh in a sophisticated dress with the simple black-and-white color scheme. And its bucket bag design knocks out two major handbag trends for 2018, making it well worth the price tag.
To buy: Pannier Bag, Marni, $2,280
Save: White Bucket Bag, $60
Sport this chic style for less than $100 with this mini top handle tote from Mango. Instead of calfskin and metal, you’ll find faux-leather and wood with the same modern look, and the bright white is the perfect way to punch up your spring and summer wardrobe, especially paired with an ultra feminine outfit. Just like the spendy version, you can bring this little bucket bag anywhere, thanks to a detachable crossbody strap.
Worried about getting all-white dirty? Try this similar crossbody from Forever 21 that’s even less of your paycheck.
To buy: Wooden Handle Tote Bag, Mango, $60
Splurge: Transparent Tote, $1,795
It’s no secret that transparent, PVC, and vinyl items are a key trend this season, and that includes every type of handbag, most commonly clear shopping totes like Altuzarra’s transparent Shadow Bag. This carry-all makes it easy to find your favorite lipstick rolling around on the bottom, but it also provides a medium-sized, cow-print pouch to conceal all your valuables. The vibrant red trim adds a fiery edge to your go-to jeans and white tee, revealing the true style star that you are. It’s the ultimate “what’s in my bag” for every trendsetter.
To buy: Shadow Bag, Altuzarra, $1,795
Save: Transparent Tote, $46
Sure, it doesn’t have a striking red appearance, but this transparent tote has the same basic structure as Altuzarra’s revealing carry-all—at a mere fraction of the runway price. Zara traded in the cow-print pouch for another one of 2018’s top handbag trends: a striped cotton drawstring sac that hides all your most intimate possessions from nosy passerbys. Not a fan of black and white stripes? With all your extra cash, you can swap it out with another patterned pouch to make this trend your own.
To buy: Vinyl Tote Bag, Zara, $46
Splurge: Over-Embellished Handbag, $4,890
Last year, Gucci’s signature print was every fashion blogger’s go-to, but this year it’s the brand’s over-embellished, logo-clad bags that are stealing the spotlight. This year we’re pulling out all the stops to make a statement. Between the beaded logo and floral appliques, you can check off three of 2018’s hottest handbag trends with this one can’t-miss investment piece. If you’re going to shell out five grand, at least it’s Gucci, right?
To buy: Gucci Dionysus Guccify Small Shoulder Bag, Luisaviaroma, $4,890
Save: Over-Embellished Handbag, $84
Without searching out a fake Gucci knockoff, this embellished bag from Aldo checks all the same boxes as Gucci’s coveted shoulder bag. The latter’s iconic “Guccify” logo and tiny applique roses switch for Aldo’s “Love Life” embroidery and big silky flower—but both are adorned with elegant pearl beads. If you’re looking to turn heads, this busy shoulder bag is a sure way to get attention without breaking the bank.
To buy: Aldo Top Handle Crossbody Bag with Love Life Embroidery, Asos, $84
Splurge: Fringe Shoulder Bag, $725
We saw fringe elements all over the runways, with designers like Alexander Wang and Calvin Klein sending fringe fashions down the catwalk one after the other. If you’re head-over-heels for these fanciful trimmings, then you just must splurge of this Versace Versus handbag. With black leather fringe more than a foot long, you’ll be hard to miss with this edgy accessory on your arm. Pair with a colorful floral dress and some chunky sandals to give some street cred to an otherwise girly outfit.
To buy: Fringe Iconic Buckle Bag, Versace, $725
Save: Fringe Shoulder Bag, $162
Of course the Kardashian-Jenner duo are all over this year’s biggest bag trends. If you want to test out the fringe benefits, save with this more budget-friendly, pared-down crossbody bag. This Kendall + Kylie purse trades in silver hardware for a sleek, angled front flap and edgy details for a more bohemian flair. But trust us, the fringe is just as long and just as fabulous.
To buy: Kendall + Kylie Ginza Fringe Bag, 6pm, $162
Splurge: Pastel Satchel, $1,395
Pastels are nothing new for spring and summer, but many designers made these cool colors an integral part of their S/S18 collections. Whether it was lilac suiting at Michael Kors, raspberry sherbert shades at Tom Ford, or an entire ice cream palette at Victoria Beckham, we saw these subdued hues take center stage from head to toe. If you have a tendency toward neutrals, tap into the pastel trend with a chic accessory in your favorite gelato shade. We adore this periwinkle purse from Dolce & Gabbana, not only for its ladylike elegance, but for the overlooked details like the embellished top handle and leopard print lining.
To buy: Dolce & Gabbana Small Dauphine Sicily Bag, Luisaviaroma, $1,395
Save: Pastel Satchel, $25
The Italian designer has some tough competition in this ice cream-colored satchel from none other than the bargain hunter’s paradise, TJ Maxx. Keep it in the pastel family with this lilac shade that’s just begging for sunny spring days. The playful color mixes modern trends with a classic, sophisticated silhouette that can outlast any season. And at $25, this structured handbag is a steal we just can’t pass up. #maxxinista
To buy: Isabelle Top Handle Flap Satchel, TJ Maxx, $25
Splurge: Quilted Belt Bag, $1,100
Meet the belt bag, the fanny pack’s more stylish sister. We adore the small waist bag trend because it’s much easier to style with light spring layers, making it your number one accessory for festivals, shopping trips, and nights full of dancing. All you need is a bit of cash, your phone, and maybe your current lip color. Against our bank account’s request, we are fawning over this quilted Gucci belt bag with the iconic double Gs—combining one of 2018’s top handbag trends with the logomania craze. We can’t wait to pair this hot item with dark denim and a light jacket, or cinch it over a summery mini dress, depending on the weather. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
To buy: GG Marmont Quilted Leather Belt Bag, Net-a-Porter, $1,100
Save: Quilted Belt Bag, $45
Aside from the absent Gucci emblem, Steve Madden’s take on the belt bag trend is spot on. Trading in upward-facing chevron for a downward quilted pattern and gold hardware for silvertone details, this waist pack gives Gucci an affordable run for its money. At only $45, we just might have to buy this bag in statement-making red too.
To buy: Steve Madden Quilted Belt Bag, Lord & Taylor, $45