I enjoy the romantic aesthetic of a basket bag as much as the next cottagecore fan, and no one can deny the everlasting allure of the now-classic raffia versions from Loewe. But when it comes to practicality during the warmer months, I'm often drawn to a similar but different alternative. The canvas tote has become my desired carry-all for summer 2021 because when it comes to schlepping around (of which I will be doing a great deal), this offers a very chic way to do it.
Lorna of Symphony of Silk carrying a canvas bag from Dior.
Yes, I'm happy with a basic fabric tote, and many of us wear ours as a key indicator of our likes and interests (indie-bookstore tote owners, I'm talking to you). But if you're in the mood for something more upmarket, I've noticed that designer canvas bag creations are everywhere at the moment, with styles coming in from the big luxury houses such as Saint Laurent and Chanel, through to more niche brands such as Delvaux and Demellier.
Firstly, they can offer an entry-level price point into the world of luxury and have done so for many decades now. You can pick up some great vintage canvas bags on Vestiaire Collective or Etsy, which proves this is no one-hit-wonder but a longer-term investment. Additionally, they are less formal and fussy than a traditional It bag, so I find that a good-quality canvas tote brings a certain casual nonchalance to any given summer outfit. Indeed, they go with almost all ensembles, from minimalistic tailoring through to boho dresses. And as well as better internal pockets or dividers than you'll probably find in a basket bag, you can fill them to the brim and still look slick. Keep scrolling to discover the designer canvas bags that I think are the best.
Chloé's Woody Tote bags are high up on the list of 2021's key designer bags, and you can see why, right? That retro Chloé logo ticker-tape is just so fun, yet the bags themselves are really quite versatile and easy.
Delvaux may not yet be a name on your radar, but this heritage brand has been going since 1829 and its quality leather-goods are definitely admired across the industry.
The day when a Chanel bag—canvas or otherwise—doesn't make my heart skip a beat is the day when I've fallen out of love with fashion. This Deauville style can be found secondhand at various pre-loved e-tailers.
This is for all the women out there who want something super unique.
Trust Marc Jacobs to come up with a very tongue-in-cheek version.
I'm enjoying the long and short contrast strap options here.
Another Loewe, but this has also become a staple part of its collections.
Not all canvas bags have to be serious and muted.
This has park picnic written all over it.
The Row is known for its hushed luxury, and it doesn't get any more under-the-radar than this.
This is more of a weekender, but what a great weekender!
For a bag that initially seems so simple, this actually has a lot of design-work going on—a real treat.
This brand makes its bags in Paris and you can almost feel the French charm exuding from this striped canvas tote.
Next up, the other summer handbags our editors love.