Spring might still feel like a while off, but there is one way in which you can start embracing the new season now, and that’s by way of a beautiful bag. Whether you’re in the market for a new piece of arm candy or simply want to brush up on the styles set to dominate spring, identifying the best of the bunch can be tricky—there are so many out there to choose from it’s overwhelming. But that’s where I come in.
It’s my job to know what’s in (and, sometimes, what’s out) in the world of fashion, and having consulted both the runways and the intrinsic effect they have on social media, I can confidently say that the below seven spring 2022 handbag trends are the ones to know.
After a few years spent on the back burner, because, let’s face it, fancy new handbags weren’t exactly in-demand during lockdown, designers are relishing in making up for lost time. In most instances, designs are playful and bold—even the more timeless iterations have a fresh feel about them and provide a fun finishing touch to any outfit.
From the hue to prioritise to the “Is bigger really better?” debate, keep scrolling to see, read about and shop the handbag trends I know will be huge this year.
1. CRAFT CLUB
Photo:COURTESY OF CHLOÉ
Crochet fabrications and tassels dominated the S/S 22 runways, and one of the easiest ways to tap into the tactile trend is by way of a handbag.
Photo:COURTESY OF CHLOÉ
Chloé leads the way with its collection of covetable, crafty totes, some of which you can already get your hands on, but don’t worry if you’re on a budget. I have a feeling the high street is going to jump on this trend in a big way. In fact, Free People is already on it.
2. BARREL BRIGADE
Photo:COURTESY OF JIL SANDER
If you subscribe to a more minimalist aesthetic, rest assured you can still have fun with your handbags for spring. Focus your energy on silhouette—especially the barrel-shaped cylindrical bags, witnessed on the Jil Sander and Hermès runways.
Stick to neutral colours, and look for compact sizes to nail the designer aesthetic. For an affordable option, Ted Baker’s black handbag ticks off another major spring trend: quilting. Independent Scottish brand C.Nicol presents a premium alternative by way of its Evie barrel, which comes in a slew of chic colours.
3. MUPPET MOMENT
Photo:COURTESY OF LOEWE
Fur and shearling textures dictated the sartorial agenda this winter, but they are by no means disappearing now that spring is on the horizon. Shapeshifting from coats into bags, and now in an array of rainbow colours, handbags that resemble the cast of The Muppets are in.
So on-trend, Bottega Veneta has given its now-iconic Jodie bag a Muppet-like overhaul in bold and punchy shearling. Look for faux-fur options if you’re after a friendlier price point.
4. SHOULDER RUB
Photo:COURTESY OF ELLEME
Shoulder bags have been trending for a few seasons now, but in place of the beaded and sparkly styles that were evident last year, simple leather iterations are going to take centre stage for spring.
Photo:COURTESY OF BALENCIAGA
From Elleme to Balenciaga, no-fuss shoulder bags are the accessory of choice. Opt for a bright colour if you prefer, but personally, in the interest of being truly timeless, I’m considering investing in a cream or tan version.
5. DENIM REFRESH
We all love wearing denim, but how do you feel about carrying denim? Tapping into the Y2K aesthetic, which shows no signs of slowing down in 2022, designers are serving up denim arm candy like never before.
Photo:COURTESY OF ALEXANDER MCQUEEN
Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton, Prada… The list of fashion houses that have taken the casual fabric and have turned it into premium bags is never-ending. Me? I’m enjoying Coperni’s sculptural take.
6. XXL TOTES
Photo:COURTESY OF ISABEL MARANT
Speaking of tote bags, they were hard to miss in the latest collections, as models lugged gargantuan styles down the runway.
Photo:COURTESY OF MIU MIU
With the ability to hold everything from your gym kit to your laptop all the way to your beauty bag, I absolutely understand the appeal—a direct contrast to the mini bags that dominated before practicality became a priority for most post-lockdown. Although leather was a popular material on the runway, might I suggest looking into lightweight nylon styles for use in real life? Handily, the high street has plenty to choose from.
7. DREAM IN GREEN
Photo:COURTESY OF SANKUANZ
Easily one of the biggest colour trends of the S/S 22 season, it’s little wonder that grass-green bags are cropping up across high-end and high-street alike.
Use yours to elevate neutral ensembles, or take a leaf out of Sankuanz’s style playbook, and go for green on green.