The Fashion Memo

The Best Bags To Buy Now And Carry All Season

L-R: Khaite; Bottega Veneta; Jacquemus

From galactic shine to ’90s nostalgia – make a sartorial statement with this season’s most-wanted bags

Photography Kenny WhittleWords Billie Bhatia

The color-pop hit

As the season warms up, so does the color palette, with rich tomato reds, royal purples and buttery yellows making up the SS23 moodboard. Whether you consider yourself a minimalist or maximalist, a shot of bold color will bring a jolt of joy to your closet. For those looking for minimum input with maximum output, get your hands on a Bottega Veneta mini ‘Jodie’ in orange, or Jacquemus zesty-green style. Team with your favorite black dress for a modern take on a staple look.

L-R: Valentino Garavani; Chloé

The bucket bag

There are few accessories that work harder than a bucket bag, and this style stalwart is back on the fashion radar for SS23. Part elegant, part durable, the sturdy bucket bag is a fail-safe choice when you’re on the move, thanks to its sleek cross-body strap. Seek out natural colorways such as Valentino Garavani’s dark leather, or Chloé’s classic tan for an investment piece that will last well beyond the season – ideal to swing over a trench coat now and carry via its top handle with a breezy maxi dress come summer.


In the spirit of nostalgia, denim bags have come full circle. Once reserved for iconic pop-culture moments, the neutrality of a denim bag makes it easier to style than you might think. Mugler’s denim and leather shoulder bag, for example, has shot to the top of every insider’s wish list. For those seeking a soft launch into the trend, try Acne Studios’ distressed denim tote – carry with sporty separates, or to offset crisp tailoring.

The slouchy tote

Consider the slouchy tote the do-it-all bag: it seamlessly carries everything you could possibly want, and it looks impossibly chic. Luxe fabric is key, so rely on brands that do it best: The Row, Loewe, Toteme and Khaite bring you the crème de la crème of slouchy totes. The nonchalant, off-duty nature of this style makes it a go-to for effortless chic – you’ll want to wear it with everything, and luckily, you can.

The high-shine finish

This season’s high-shine trend is a reminder that you might well be carrying the focal point of your look. Nostalgic in notion, with magnetic sparkle and a playful spirit, these pieces are set to bring your closet staples to life. Paco Rabanne delivers avant-garde cool with its signature chainmail ‘Pixel’ bag, while JW Anderson serves up a silver version of the ‘Bumper’ bag. Let the bag take center stage, or amp up the sparkle by pairing it with megawatt jewelry.

The ’90s shoulder bag

The structured, tuck-it-under-your-arm ’90s shoulder bag is here to stay – and this sleek silhouette delivers grab-and-go appeal for day or night. Gucci, Valentino Garavani and Saint Laurent excel at modern classics – think clever fabrications and neutral colorways – while Jacquemus adds fresh personality to a timeless design. Pair yours with sharp tailoring for instant put-together polish.

JW Anderson

The raffia refresh

Immediately reminiscent of carefree beach days and a free-spirited mood, raffia bags are a go-to vacation accessory. For SS23, these styles have a city-ready sensibility, thanks to considered leather trims and smart silhouettes. Bottega Veneta’s classic basket comes with black leather straps to ensure it works as well for commuting as sightseeing, while Loewe’s structured top-handled book bag will bring welcome texture to an urban aesthetic.

How to take care of your bags

Ensure your bags last longer with expert advice from repair-and-alterations service The Seam:

1) Store handbags to maintain their shape and protect the fabric

When they’re not in use, leather handbags should be stored away from any light source to protect the pigmentation and finish of the leather. You can achieve this by storing it in a dust-bag when it isn’t in your regular wardrobe rotation.

It’s important not to store handbags hanging by their handles, as this can distort the handle’s integrity over time. Structured handbags should be stored empty – even ones you wear frequently – to give them the opportunity to air out. Less structured bags can be stored with crumpled paper inside to help maintain their shape and avoid creases.

2) Use maintenance products with caution

Leather cleaners and moisturizers can be an effective way to renew handbags at home and preserve them over time. That said, it’s important to ensure that the product you’re using is suitable for the treatment, pigment and finish of any given bag.

You should never use leather cleaners or moisturizers on ink or grease stains, as these products can make them worse. When in doubt, enlist an expert at The Seam. For bags that you use regularly, an annual professional clean is a good idea.

3) Don’t wait around for needed repairs

When handbags begin to show signs of wear, acting quickly on these services can reduce the cost. Some of the most common handbag services performed at The Seam include refinishing scuffed leather surfaces and repairing cracked piping.

The sooner the damage is addressed, the simpler the fix. It’s also true that scuffed leather is more prone to permanent stains, because the seal on the leather finish has been broken, so bringing it to a specialist before continuing wear is advised.

Find out how to extend the life of your clothes and accessories with our Repair & Rewear service, powered by The Seam