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For more than a decade, I got dressed in the same order: I’d head to my closet and choose a top, then pants, then settle on the right shoes and finish with a bag that complimented my outfit. But I found that I’d typically cycle between the same three or four bags that went with everything, and that meant that most of my bags never saw the light of day. Factor in a two-year-long pandemic, and I have bags in my closet that haven’t been outside since I lived in NYC.
But recently, I switched up my game and started getting dressed from the bag up, so to say. And what do you know: I feel more inspired to put together imaginative summer outfits that complement my accessories rather than the other way around. Plus, I get to enjoy an added benefit: All of my bags last longer when they’re in a steady rotation. That said, the best summer handbags aren’t your typical everyday styles. Sure, there’s room for a baguette or a top-handle bag here and there, but the best bags for summer 2022 have a bit more personality. They’re made to chill at the pool, head to an al fresco date night, or even go on vacation in the South of France.
Ahead, find 13 handbags that are perfect for no matter where you’re going this summer, including some that will garner more than a few compliments.
Summer is usually a time for squishy, hobo-shaped bags, but this season, I’m into silhouettes that hold their structure for a ladylike feel. It instantly dresses up any slouchy summer look.
Shop-Pêche Hana Bag, $105
BY FAR Baby Amber Bag, $564
Mango Braided Leather Bag, $79.99 (Orig. $129.99)
Vagabond Canberra Bag, $195
What is it about summer that makes us feel like we need to carry around every single thing we own, just in case? I like to indulge that impulse and opt for something that’s big enough for my wallet, keys, phone, two chargers, a bottle of water, a Polaroid camera, Band-Aids and three pairs of sunglasses. You know, the essentials.
Little Liffner Tulip Bag, $585
HEREU Calella Perforated Mini Bag, $300 (Orig. $600)
Stutterheim Svea Bag, $90
You won’t find me embracing color on the regular, but there’s something about a bright handbag for summer that makes me feel alive. Besides, I love how bubblegum pink or neon green looks against an otherwise minimal outfit.
Mango Raffia Shopper, $59.99
H&M Bowling Purse, $14.99
If you enjoyed this story, check out these workout clothes that hold up in the summer heat!
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