Today I am joining my pals Sarah (Sarahlondonstyle) and Kim (NorCal Style) for our monthly style edit. The last time I wrote about cross-body bags was back in 2019 “In Search of the Perfect Crossbody Bag” I have to admit I have a love/hate relationship with them. What’s not to love about having your hands free while having all your essential items in arm’s reach, right? But, sometimes they are a little too teeny if you know what I mean? Let’s talk about Cross-Body Bags do you Love them or Hate Them?
If you want a really practical cross-body bag, you’ll opt for a larger version with multiple compartments and pockets. If you are a lipstick, credit card, and phone girl, well you have a lot of options. In an ideal world, this is what I want in a Spring/Summer crossbody bag.
ELEMENTS OF THE PERFECT SPRING/SUMMER CROSS-BODY BAG
A THICK STRAP
I don’t know about you but those teeny straps scare me. They look like they would give out if you carry more than your phone and a lipstick.
LIGHT LEATHER (OR FAUX)
I don’t really want to carry black this time of year unless it is macrame, straw or jute. I am a sucker for anything woven.
MACRAME, JUTE, RAFFIA, OR STRAW
Love these for Spring/Summer but many have flimsy-looking straps
NO DOUBLE STRAPS
Am I the only person that is bothered by this? I do not want two sets of straps. I don’t want all the bulk, and I don’t love the look of double straps. Is anyone else on my team on this one, or is it just a quirky pet peeve of mine alone?
For at least a wallet, phone, and small makeup case. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose of a bag in my opinion. If all I can carry is a credit card and a phone, I will not carry it, regardless of how great-looking it is. I have one from Rag and Bone that I absolutely love, but I rarely carry it because I can barely stuff a phone, wallet and glasses in it.
If you love interesting straps (or you want to replace your skinny shoulder strap and convert to a crossbody), Etsy has some great crossbody strap options here.
NINE CROSS-BODY BAGS THAT MADE MY CUT
Top Row Left to Right
Hobo-Love this bag wish the straps were a little wider and I would take off the tassel. I think the front stitching detail is enough. I love the Rothy’s bucket bag. I know I would carry this all the time if I owned it. You can wash it and your laptop will fit inside. Love the silver details on this Ted Baker bag.
Second Row Left to Right
I own this Rothy’s bag it was gifted for a paid partnership (I really wanted the bucket bag because I don’t love the two-handle thing. They always get in the way). Again this is just personal some may love this feature. That being said I carry it all the time (great for travel and running errands). I love the styling of this Bembiem for J Crew bag. Wish the straps were a little wider but it would probably ruin the design. Love the detailing on this bag from The Sak. They have good prices (and good quality) on all their bags.
Third Row Left to Right
This Everlane bag ticks all of my boxes (wish they would send me one) Another nice bag from The Sak, and on the end a wonderfully styled option from Sundance.
SHOP SPRING CROSS BODY’S THAT MADE THE CUT
NINE SPRING CROSS-BODY BAGS WITH GREAT DETAILS
I Love each and every one of these bags. The only reason they aren’t on my main list is either they are a little small, the straps maybe a little skimpy or just not a bag I would carry every day. I am lazy about changing my purses out, and in the summer I carry a lot of basket bags. That being said I love this group.
First Row Left to Right
Love this J Crew number but for me personally, it is a little too office-like. I dress very casually now, so I probably wouldn’t carry it. This Etsy straw bag is gorgeous. Love the details. Anything woven get’s my vote love texture, but the strap on this Sundance one is a little skimpy.
Second Row Left to Right
I Love this Bembiem/J Crew woven bag, but it is a little small. This Sundance Saddlebag is gorgeous but also a bit small for me. Love this woven Madewell bag. It gets great reviews.
Third Row Left to Right
Love this metallic number from Boden. The Madewell Transport Cross-body is well-loved. I personally don’t like gold hardware (just a weird hangup for me). I am crazy about this Latigo Leathers for Anthro bag. The details are amazing…the strap…the bag…very tempting! All items are linked below the graphic.
SHOP NINE SPRING CROSS BODY’S WITH GREAT STYLE
NINE CROSSBODY BAGS UNDER $100
Back in 2019 when I did this post I remember there being quite a few options under $75. In 2022 I find it hard to find good-looking bags for under $100. Mango and Etsy seem to be the best options overall.
SHOP SPRING/SUMMER CROSS BODY’S UNDER $100
You might also enjoy reading the articles below for more information.
16 Cross-body Bags that You Need on Your Radar for Spring-Pure Wow
The Ten Best Cross-body Bags to Wear With Everything
Birdie Best Cross-body Bags of 2022
The Best Cross-body Bags for Travelers-Travel and Leisure
That’s it for me. It is a beautiful day here in Templeton. Thank you for reading Cross-body Bags do you Love Them or Hate Them. I can’t wait to see what Sarah and Kim are sharing. It is always fun to find new Australian brands to love from Sarah, and Kim is just so darn fashion savvy. Pop over and visit them. Click on the links below.
Karen B. says
I love cross-body bags, but I have a hard time finding one that is large enough, but not too large. I don’t care for a second set of handles on my cross-body handbags. I have a Brahmin that is close to perfect, and a Kate Spade that is okay, not really as light weight as I’d like. I’m always shopping for the “ideal” crossbody bag. Thank you for giving me some additional sources.
Cindy Hattersley says
That is my problem. I carry three pairs of glasses, one for reading, my prescription & sunglasses. A small makeup case with blush and lipstick, a wallet, phone and keys. Some of those tiny ones are too tiny for even those items.
Barb L says
I use cross body bags often, love the freedom of having both hands. Single strap only, and I prefer a medium to larger size to accommodate wallet, sunglasses, keys, etc. What a great selection you’ve shared. Love the idea of having the option to switch out straps. I’d like to mention that one of your earlier posts on packing for travel you recommended a couple cross-body bags. I got the Neatpack Crossbody w/Anti Theft Pocket (from Amazon) and it was a perfect travel bag. I used it on our recent trip to Palm Springs and it was great- so thanks for the work you put into these posts. I couldn’t have been more pleased.
[email protected] says
Cindy, I love this series and this post! I personally love a cross body bag, with one strap only please . But not too small, on that note can someone explain to me the micro bag? And the prices of this tiny little bags that can only fit a credit card and a lipstick?
I am off to check out your selections, I think I might need a new one now that I have seen all these choices.
Cindy, I love a cross body bag … but it has to be substantial enough to hold my stuff. I’m not a credit card, lipstick and phone gal. It must hold my (little) wallet, make up, readers and a few other things. And, I don’t like to change bags a lot so it must work for everyday. That said, the right size and shape is crucial so its not to bulky. I like many of your options. And absolutely NO to a double strap. What’s that about?! 😉 xo
I personally love a good cross-body bag. I’ve been carrying one of several I own practically every day. They are mid-sized, leather, with medium width straps that don’t cut into my shoulder. I don’t like too many pockets but rather prefer a bag with one opening where everything fits, and a few interior side pockets for lipstick and phone.
I’ve been luck to find good quality Italian leather bags at Marshalls for under $50. I’m always drawn to the ones by The Sak because of the non-fussy design, and good quality. I have a few and use them on rotation all the time.
Now in the summer I’ll probably switch over to my straw carryall but it’s never quite as easy to carry as the cross body bags are. You’ve got some good ones here I’ll need to check out!
BTW my white sun hat from one of your last posts arrived today. The brim is wider that I thought it would be, but I think I’m going to love it!
Sheila-Merle Johnson says
I LOVE lightweight crossbody bags; it’s all I use. I decided long ago that for wallets and bags, function wins out over form, but within my strict weight limits, I still value style. I found a gorgeous very small wallet in New York years ago and bought a few. No checkbooks for me; just a few checks tucked into it for those rare times. And the bag has to be lightweight with smallish straps. I found a metallic leather bag in the street market in Aix en Provence for 20 euros 3 years ago and have been using it steadily since. even though I own many others. The small woven leather Madewell bag might work for me; none of the others, though. I don’t understand the love of clutches, or the people who schlep a huge shoulder bag; not only the weight but they rarely switch shoulders, which is a key to balance. No, it’s small shoulder bags and small wallets all the way for me. Enough room for wallet, cell phone, pen, lipstick and hearing aid case.
Crossbody bags are my absolute favorite style of handbag. I love having hands free and my purse hanging close to my body. However, that said, I also have a love hate relationship too. I’ve discovered there are quite a few things I don’t like about them. A double strap that neither of the straps is removable is one. I also don’t like the permanently affixed to the top, stiff, short handles to carry it as a regular purse. I don’t like a sack or hobo with a drawstring or a bag that’s too deep, too big and unstructured. I call them “dump” bags because everything ends up in the bottom and you can never find anything. I don’t like a bag with a flap either. So I think I’ve just about eliminated every crossbody bag out there. I have a Tory Burch, double zip top bag that I’ve carried for 3 years and it still looks like new that works well for me. So, that’s my take on the crossbody bags. Thank you for this post, you shared so many wonderful bags but not sure any of them would work for “picky” me!
Margarita W. says
I love the cross body purse with a wider bottom to fit my sunglasses, reading glasses, small wallet, and pocket for lipstick and a small retracting measuring tape( it comes in so handy) Also with easy access for phone & keys.
Sarah LONDON says
You’ve certainly shown us a lovely selection Cindy. Thank you. I personally love a crossbody, so really enjoy looking at all sizes, shapes, materials and colours! Great take on this topic 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
I personally love crossbody bags. When traveling I like a Baggalini bag with lots of pockets. They are lightweight and wash up nicely. My current favorite leather bag is the Cole Haan small “Turnlock”.
Nan of TN says
Not a cross-body bag fan… the strap cuts into the shoulder, awkwardly delineates the breasts, distorts the fit of clothing, and adds wrinkles. Last year I bought a metallic antique-silver leather small HOBO bag with a soft padded leather ring handle that can be worn on the wrist or carried by hand, with zippered top and holds a small wallet, phone, keys, lip stick, as an alternative. Pockets inside the bag allow for using without a wallet.
Gayle Miller says
I’m also not a fan, for all the reasons you stated. As a pear shaped woman, it is nearly impossible to keep a bag on my narrow shoulders, so a cross body should take care of that, but having a bag calling attention to my hips is not what I want. So, no for me.
Cindy you pulled together some great bags. I see we both love the Bembein ones! LOL. I loved the woven styles for summer and they ares so classic and chic. Good ones that will never look dated! xo
I love cross body bags. That’s all I carry these days. I’m a bit particular though. It must have a zipper to prevent thief or spillage, an outside pocket for my keys (so I don’t have to dig for them), a handle to carry by (if I have a top I don’t want to wrinkle), a decently wide strap and big enough to hold my phone, wallet, eyeglasses, Kleenex, hand sanitizer, lipstick, and sunglasses when required.
I’ve bought the straw/raffia ones but don’t tend to reach for them often. They almost seem too casual, too beachy, too ‘I’m on Vacation’. I know! My quirk!
Lovely selection Cindy!
LA CONTESSA says
I use them ONLY for traveling!
AS you say a bit too small and the bigger ones LOOK GAWD AWFUL ON ME!
My shoulder would hurt also with that strap……….not a good combo for me.
Me too Contessa! I have a Longchamp one for travel and that’s it.
LA CONTESSA says
Lori Schulte says
Love this article as I need a new bag! I have a woven basket bag that I love the look of but not always a good option as it sometimes snags my clothes. I like a crossbody but my current is too small. Now to decide which one from your list to try.
Also, while on this subject I have a small dressy designer bag in black and gold I’d like to sell. Now that I’m semi retired I don’t dress up as much and rarely need a fancy bag. Do you have a good recommendation for where to list designer handbags?
Love/Hate with then Nooooo Double thin straps either.
Have one by Sak, Like it, just really love big handbags, and Straw, always in Summer.
Selections are awesome
Bonita Gillespie says
I love crossbody bags. It’s all I have used for a few decades. I like having my hands free.,I started out with leather and continue to use leather or faux leather. I usually have a medium size. As ant larger hurts my shoulders. I have several Fossil brand ones which never wear out and Roots which may be a Canadian brand. I do agree with only one strap. I never have two. Great article,!
I’m seriously considering the woven Madewell bag in the 2nd section. I think having a more summery color and texture is right on the mark.
Nan, Odessa, DE says
I am a cross body gal. Like that my hands are free.
However, I appreciate all you and friends shared, there isn’t one that appeals to me. Come on it is summer. Go to Dooney and Bourke for color! Surly they have a cross body bag you would enjoy using. Hot pink, yellow, etc.
Mary Ann Pickett says
Wow. what an awesome selection. I like smaller to medium sized crossbodies as then I carry a backpack for my laptop and the bag can fit inside the backpack when traveling. I don’t think I can go back to not using a crossbody since they are so convenient!
Great ideas!! I too prefer a single thicker strap and a bag that can carry all that you mentioned! And they should ask us what we prefer…I’m a retired teacher and no one ever asked elementary teachers what would really work in the classroom…Thanks for the info!!
Good question. As someone who liked to travel and is an artist with a dog along I need my hands free and I don’t want a fussy bag. It needs to be accessible easily and not too big. But small enough to hold wallet, phone, keys, passport if needed and lipgloss. It also needs to be small enough to fit in my Rebekah Minkhoff nylon backpack that you can also wear over the shoulder like a purse. The small bag I love most is a Kate Spade cross body bag measuring 8” x 10” and flat. It has a sturdy adjustable strap that is long enough for cross body or can be tied shorter for use over shoulder and tucked under armpit to keep it from purse snatchers. It zippers closed on top. Has a zippered outer pocket for phone, keys or rail pass etc. inside it’s lined and has another good sized zippered pocket. Mine are both in black because they dress up easily somewhere like Paris or NYC. Never shows dirt but comes in a range of colors. I like purses that are hard for a thief to get into but not heavy. When not traveling abroad I have another favorite woven leather bag I purchased in Venice Italy on my last day of the trip. It’s made by Vera Pelle and made in Italy of soft woven taupe camel color leather One leather covered handle that can be worn over the shoulder. Or carried by handle. It also has a long 3/4” wide strap that matches that you can hook on or off to turn it into a cross body. Lined with fabric with zippered inside pocket it’s soft and fluid enough to go anywhere. Measures 14 x 13” x 5” on bottom. I went to that shop in a small alley almost everyday trying to choose which color. At the end I bargained with the owner for cash minus the VAT and got it for $175. I love this bag. Can hold a lot but isn’t heavy. While I like bucket bags and such they are often hard to get into or see what’s in them. I’ve seen this Italian bag online for more than double what I paid but they do go on sale. The tourist industry there has been hard hit by the pandemic so many sellers are discounting online. Don’t be afraid to make a good deal!
Cindy Hattersley says
You hit the nail on the head literally. I find I can get by with one of the smaller ones on a daily basis but for travel , I do not want to carry a bunch of different bags. I want something that is just big enough for my laptop an no bigger. Oh yes and your comment about being flat, very important. I am glad you brought that up. Who wants to lug a poofy bag around. As always you enlightened us.
I’ve never been one to travel light, no matter where I’m going, so I’d say I have a love/hate relationship with crossbody bags. My reason for hating them is what you said; most are just too tiny for all my “stuff!” The hands free aspect is wonderful, but I pack them so full, they’re still heavy to carry. I’m working on lightening the load.
I love the East/West SAC crossbody you show. Very chic
Cindy Hattersley says
We suffer from the same disease apparently. I am trying to reach a happy medium!
Love my crossbody bags because of the hands free option. I have several smaller ones that I use when going out to carry just a few essentials. Great post!
Cindy Hattersley says
Thanks for weighing in! I would say we are a crossbody group here!!
So with you on cross bodies – I love the hands-free option. However, most are too small for me. Also, agree about the single strap (2 straps just don’t look right to me) and the wider strap (much more comfortable). I have a Coach large duffle bag I got years ago that I swear by, but they don’t seem to have the larger size available anymore.
Cindy Hattersley says
Why don’t they ask us when designing them ha ha!!
I’m not a big cross body person. I need a medium/big bag and that’s just not comfy. Also…Must.Have.Pockets.
I usually like a more structured bag with pockets and compartments. No bucket bags or big baskets for me, as much as I like them. Of course the one I like that made the cut, is $425!!! 😜
Cindy Hattersley says