From oversize totes to mini box bags.
Words by Ella Alexander
The versatile straw bag is a spring/summer staple, as wearable in the city with jeans as it is on the beach. While this warm-weather favourite might have been around for centuries, it’s a style that has never lost its relevancy or fuss-free cool. And unlike many It bags, they’re also pleasingly functional – roomy enough for beach towels, holiday reads and sun cream. Their honest, handmade quality also adds to the appeal – there are stories behind even the most basic of straw bags. This is about style over fashion and taste over ostentatiousness.
From oversize totes to mini box bags and versatile baskets, channel your inner Jane Birkin with our guide to the best in show. And remember, if you’re planning on only using yours on holiday, there are plenty of designer rental options, from Loewe to Chloé, that will help achieve the same breezy, laidback look.
The prettiest of straw bags, Heimat Atlantica’s Shella style is hand-embroidered with shell flowers from the Galician coast.
A raffia bag with leather strap will ensure extra comfort and minimise any scratchiness when swung over your shoulder.
The ultimate It straw bag, Loewe’s cult classic is the perfect accompaniment for balmy holidays, city strolls and market days.
Muuñ’s beautiful basket bags are made via Ghana and Paris. Created by artisan weavers in Nyariga, Northern Ghana and dyed using traditional herbs, its collections are then transported to Paris where fabrics, leather and ribbon details are added.
Loeffler Randall’s mini raffia bag can be worn across the body by day, then as a clutch as evening draws in.
Marni’s pink raffia tote is a chic way of adding colour to your summer wardrobe.
Filipino label Aranaz specialises in handmade bags made in natural shades and materials. This sweet bucket style is just the right size for everyday use.
The oversized shape and inner pockets of Khaite’s Osa tote makes it a chic carry-on luggage option and a luxe beach bag.
Small but perfectly formed, DeMellier’s faux raffia cross-body bag features a plaited, chunky leather braid – a modern twist on a classic.
Give summer shopping trips an elevated update with Saint Laurent’s generously sized raffia tote.
For added sunshine energy, choose a basket bag in yellow like this one from Sensi Studio.
A colourful raffia bucket bag is the ultimate day-to-night summer accessory. Paco Rabanne’s chainmail style is ideal for twirling on dance floors.
Sustainable accessories brand Stelar takes its impact on the planet seriously. Each of its bags are handmade by Balinese artisans using local materials and heritage techniques.
Be the envy of every discerning beachgoer with Prada’s vintage-inspired raffia tote decorated with colourful wooden beads.
If you only want to wear your basket bag on holiday, then consider renting one of the many designer options at By Rotation. This Chloé style is versatile, chic and roomy enough for everything you’d need for a day at the beach.
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This story originally published on harpersbazaar.com