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Chic Summer Handbags That will Elevate your Over 50 Style

As we age, our style may change and evolve, but that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice style. One key accessory that can make a big impact is a handbag. Let’s explore some chic summer handbags that will elevate your over 50 style. I am joining my savvy stylish friend Kim for our monthly Signature Style Series to weigh in on what is happening in the handbag world.

Do you follow bag trends? Do you favor designer bags in your wardrobe, or do you prefer something that evokes your own personal style? There are so many silhouettes and textural essentials from raffia to crochet, to straw bags. Are you ready to upgrade your accessories collection with a purse that takes your outfits to the next level?

The Cross Body

MZ Wallace Crossbody bag with eileen fisher dress and jean jacket

From commuting to traveling to running errands, there’s perhaps no bag better suited for a busy, on-the-go lifestyle. The crossbody bag allows you hands free independence. The freedom to toss it over your shoulders on your way out the door is key to making getting dressed a breeze. I personally prefer a substantial crossbody strap if the bag is larger. An adjustable strap is another bonus.

The Classic Tote

Frank and Eileen shirt dress with utility vest
Frank and Eileen Shirt Dress styled with Mersea Sweatr and Sneakers

You can’t go wrong with a tote bag. Pockets for your phone and essentials come in handy. They are spacious, can be work and travel friendly (you can stow your laptop), and they go with almost any look. For a summer vibe look for raffia, straw or crochet, or neutral leather tones.

The Timeless Shoulder Bag

The bucket bag is back according to the trend setters. Did it ever leave? If I have a bag on my shoulder I want it to be not too heavy but big enough to carry what I need.

black linen shirt with H&M jeans and janessa leone straw accessories
Sunshine Tienda Blue Blockprint maxi dress with hat

Shop Outfits

The Clutch

It is wedding season and the clutch is a great option to accompany your wedding guest outfit. Make sure it is big enough for your phone, a lipstick and sunglasses at the very least.

Very Chic Handbags for Under $50

I have to admit I am astounded at the prices of handbags. I found some great options for under $50. Enjoy! Here is the link to the Zara crossbody. The others are linked below the graphic.

Chic Summer Handbags That will Elevate your Over 50 Style for Under $50

Shop the Look for Less Handbags

My Favorite (if money were no object) Summer Bags

Chic Summer Handbags That will Elevate your Over 50 Style

Shop Chic Handbags

Hunting Season (a brand new to me) has beautiful classic bags. They are pricey but not as some comparitively. You might want to take a look. You can find some discounted here on the Real Real. You can also find several on eBay here, and a few on Poshmark here .

You might enjoy Nordstrom’s list of their favorite Summer bags here

It is always fun to keep abreast of summer handbag trends, but avoid trendy bag styles like overly unique shapes and mini sizes that are bound to go out of style quickly. Purchase as high quality as you can afford and want. If designer handbags are your thing shop resales shops and sites like eBay, Poshmark, the Real Real, and Thred Up for more price friendly options. Most importantly find a bag that reflects your unique style and you will carry it forever. It doesn’t need to have a designer label.

Thank you for reading Chic Summer Handbags that will Elevate your Over 50 Style. You might also enjoy my post Four Handbags Every Savvy Woman over 50 Wants in Her Closet here. Do you have a style of bag that you love? If so please share.

Let’s pop over and visit Kim. She always has the latest on her radar.


Reader Interactions


  1. Barb L says

    I like and use a crossbody often because I can have my hands free. For me its all about the functionality. But I love purses (big and small) and summer bags just seem more fun. Your outfits are all great – love the blue dress! Thanks for all the inspiration.

  2. gLORIA jANUS says

    Hi Cindy,
    What brand is the beautiful red crossbody bag that you are wearing at the beginning of your post?
    Thank you!

  3. Tara says

    Anyone carry a basket instead of purse?

    Bought my first basket ca. 1977, never looked back. Zero clue at the time, it would become a lifelong habit.

    Inherited quite a cache of purses from mom. Girl had great taste, and a friend working the purse counter at Neiman’s.

    Did buy a small Hobo purse, long strap adjustable to shorter, fits only phone, lipstick, ID, keys. Great for date nites.

    Need a ‘wallet’ for the baskets. Any ideas on wallets ? Using hideous, worn, fake leather, cell phone holder now, which is never used for the cell phone of course.

    Please, a post on wallets !!!

  4. Rita says

    Crossbody bags all the way for me. I need to carry many medicines with me – allergies and other conditions, so big bag it is. I don’t understand the reasoning of no zips on these designer bags.

  5. prue Batten says

    What a great post with such a huge collection of bags!
    I think I might be one of the few who don’t like crossbody bags. They have the knack of settling in places that one either A. doesn’t want to emphasise or B. ruining a perfectly good OOTD. That is of course only my opinion.
    Some years ago, I found Korean versions of the Hermes Picotin bag and I invested in quite a few colours. They’re elegant and fit my regulation 3 pairs of glasses inside quite happily. And they come with a quilted removal pouch lining. I always feel ‘finished’ when I carry one of them. For summer, I invested in a small straw bucket bag from China on ebay, for the princely sum of $A12. It’s a cute little thing which will last a long while.
    I have a collection of good quality clutches for formal and semi-formal occasions but to me, the Picotin is my regular go-to.
    Big pat for Scout!

  6. kim says

    Cindy this was really fun! You also found so many good bags. I like just as many in the affordable group as the more expensive! That white dress looks so cute on you with the vest and that beautiful bag. I love those. Is it a Dragon Diffusion? That seems like your style so much . The Bembien are lovely too! I knew you’d have more I’d love here! xo

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Kim

      Yes there are so many fun summer bags out there! I couldn’t begin to cover all of them. That bag is from Madewell and a great price!!

  7. Anna Bifano says

    Great post, Cindy, I was in Target last week and they have a variety of fun summer purses for reasonable prices! Great raffia bags with zippers on top and a side pocket for your phone. You can pull off a designer look without breaking the bank! Love your picture with the black top and jeans. Gorgeous, Anna in Arizona!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Nancy it is linked in the description because it is from Zara. They have a different affiliate, so they have to be linked separately. Sorry for the confusion.

  8. Glo Lyn says

    Cindy, I wanted to ask how it is you are only be inch taller than I am, and you look amazing in midi style dresses and I look like a bag lady!! I’m just a bit under your weight, so what’s my solution???
    Thanks GL

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Glo

      I struggle with dresses, that is why you often see me wearing skirts. I am extremely long waisted so any dress with a waist hits me wrong. I find if I belt them or in the case of the blue dress even draping the cross body bag mimics a waist. There are definitely tricks. Maybe we need a blog post on that!!

  9. Joanna says

    I need my bags to be both crossbody and handled. With some tops (cotton or linen) the crossbody strap leaves your shirt very wrinkled. I also require two zippered compartments to make it easier to find what you are looking for and to be somewhat secure. I stay away from big logos.
    My daughter bought a beautiful Michael Kori purse only to realize when she travelled that nothing was secure due to no zipper. She won’t make that mistake again.
    I purchased two straw bags while overseas only to find once I got home I never reached for them so I sold them. Now, I remind myself when I eye one that I’ll end up not reaching for it. They are pretty though and scream summer.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Joanna

      I like the crossbody’s with both handles if they lay down. If they stick up I find them to be a nusance. Do you?

  10. JB says

    Open tote bags are the worst! You can’t travel with them (contents can spill on x-ray conveyor belts at TSA checkpoints,) you can easily lose items if they fall over, and yet designers price them outrageously. I’m way over 50 and will no longer dig through oversize handbags. It’s possible to pare down what you absolutely need to carry and wear an attractive smaller bag. I try to buy logo-free bags (why should I advertise a designer for free?) but it’s becoming harder to do.

    • Kathy Grace says

      I agree wholeheartedly with you JB on all points. There are many nice smaller bags around now with various compartments to hold what you need..and with no logos!

      • Cindy Hattersley says

        Hi Kathy

        I have some big bags and some small. I love a big one to take to the beach or on the plane so I can stuff tons of stuff in it. I also don’t like them so small that you can’t get anything in them.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi JB

      I agree about traveling with open totes. I really don’t care for bags with logos either unless they are so small they are unnoticeable.

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