The trending oversized tote bags to be carrying this fall
Go big or go home
Oversized totes never had the best of reputations. They compete for space during an already-packed commute, require their own seat at the dinner table, and – we say this literally, are an extra weight on the shoulders. Not to mention how, when it comes time to find an item of importance, they can mysteriously convert into a blackhole where all wallets and keys go to vanish, and what’s left to thrive are age old faded receipts and “in case of emergency” paper napkins you once thought were sensible to keep. It’s no wonder micro bags gained overwhelming favour amongst the fashion crowd; they’re compact, chic and limit you to mere essentials. In an age of minimalism and Marie Kondo-lism, it was clear for a brief moment that excessively spacious, overpacked XXL bags were out – and micro was the way to go.
Though it recently seems like the tides are shifting in favour for supersized roomy schelpers, and the Fall 2019 presentations were without a doubt a clear indication of that. Designers from Lacoste, Jil Sander and Proenza Schouler delivered a convincing argument on behalf of the oversized bag. Instead of dowdy and unorganised, the “new look” given to these oversized bags is polished, sleek and contemporary in an effortless way: A key aesthetic popularised by Phoebe Philo’s iconic reign at Celine. Whether tucked under one arm, shrugged over a shoulder in a slouchy fashion, or held by the handles, oversized tote bags looked like a modern day woman’s weapon of choice.
Large handbags were styled alongside tailored separates that were cut to an oversized, slouchy fit at Acne Studios, teamed with a weighty, well-cut coat with a sturdier silhouette in contrast at Bottega Veneta and anchored a pair of relaxed free-flowing pyjama pants at Lanvin. The lesson we got out of all three cases was clear: There is no one “right” way in which to style these oversized bags, we’re free to experiment with as many silhouettes as we’d like – and it’ll still work.
We picture an XXL hobo bag slung over a white tee and relaxed-fit denim, or a huge cushy tote folded and clamped under an arm with an oversized floor-grazing dress, or even a capacious structured handbag worn casually with a soft knit dress and bulky coat – and they all make sense. Thus concludes the versatility of this season’s XXL tote. Not only does it play well with others, it also does it with a modern edge: A form of laidback femininity that doesn’t try too hard, yet gives off an urban air that infects others with “I wish I were her” musings.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite oversized bags to own right now.
1. Michael Michael Kors Eva Jet Set Girls Tote, $228
Logomania is everywhere and Michael Kors’ signature monogram, a geometric pattern featuring the designer’s initials is now on it’s crowd favourite tote bag.
As part of it’s holiday 2019 gift guide, this piece features brightly colored images of two contemporary ladies riding in the opposite direction. Perhaps hinting at the idea of individualism in our own journeys. The pop of colour is a pleasant surprise to brighten any outfit.
2. Victoria Beckham houndstooth wool-blend tote, US$1,690 (S$2,302.12) from Net-a-Porter
Seen rendered in a bright yellow and midnight blue houndstooth print, this large tote bag from Victoria Beckham’s Fall 2019 collection is finished with statement chain-link straps – another on-trend detail for this season’s bags.
3. Lauren Manoogian Calabaza cotton alpaca and wool-blend tote, US$390 (S$529.51) from Net-a-Porter
Lauren Manoogian, a Brooklyn-based label known for its artisanal, ethically crafted knits, remains true to its roots with this minimalist hobo-inspired tote. It collapses and folds away easily, making it perfect for travelling, or transitioning from your “work outfit” to “party time” on Friday evenings.
4. Wandler Mia large shearling and leather tote, US$1,110 (S$1,507.06) from Net-a-Porter
Another trending bag detail for Fall ‘19 we’d like to point out: Cozy shearling tactile. What better way to indulge in the season of comfort than with a plush, oversized bag that’s soft to the touch? Big enough to stow your laptop, this trapeze-shaped handbag will look great next to contemporary kitten heels and knit dresses in neutral hues.
5. The Row grey bindle two tote, US$1,690 (S$2,294.53) from Ssense
Featuring knotted details at the handles, a zippered pocket and a relaxed hobo silhouette, this number from the Minimalist Queens, the Olsen twins, at their label The Row will make an excellent and practical everyday tote.
6. Bottega Veneta Basket leather tote, $3,820 from Mytheresa
Made from smooth tan leather and inspired by the iconic silhouette of Sicilian coffa bags, this structured large tote comes with a detachable pouch that will keep all your trinkets and cards organised.
7. Loewe bow oversized nappa-leather tote bag, $3,135 from Matchesfashion
Capturing the brand’s knack for whimsical and modern style, this deep steel blue nappa leather bag features a knotted shoulder strap that gives it a casual feel. The devil’s in the details: Its edges are hand-painted in tonal blue, and the Loewe logo is embossed on the strap.
8. Jacquemus oversized shoulder bag, $2,655 from Farfetch
This oversized shoulder bag from French It-brand Jacquemus is made from buttery cream leather and features three tiny compartments at the front for extra utility. No more digging around for your essentials, we say.
9. Jil Sander oversized smooth-leather tote, $1,400 from Matchesfashion
The ultimate XXL bag for minimalists, this structured square-shaped tote may look like a chore to haul considering its extra large size, but it’s surprisingly lightweight due to the fact that it was intentionally unlined. We’re pairing ours with oversized tailored trousers and a lightweight knit tank top.
10. Staud Rey large crocodile-embossed leather shoulder bag, $625 from Matchesfashion
LA-based label Staud is known for its quirky, contemporary bags that instantly hit the charts as It-bags and this particular croc-effect leather shoulder bag is no exception. Crafted to a structured trapezoid shape and a retro oval shaped opening and top handle, this bag features playful lines that is anchored by the sophisticated deep chocolate brown hue.
11. Giambattista Valli Flore big tote bag, $4,227 from Farfetch
As seen on the Fall 2019 runways, this oxblood red oversized bag from Giambattisa Valli is a standout piece that caught our eye from the very first glance. It comes with double compartments too, a plus point for those of us who like keeping our belongings organised.