It’s hard to believe Memorial Day 2021 is already here. In the United States, we honor soldiers who have fallen in the line of duty. But, it’s also the unofficial start of summer. And for fashionistas worldwide, so starts a new season of chic. Remember the old adage “you can’t wear white before Memorial Day” (with which we disagree). Well, now you can without breaking any supposed fashion sin.
It’s time for a new season of style. For handbag lovers that means beach ready raffia designs, wicker bags as picnic baskets, and compact styles suitable for summer day trips. And heck, go crazy and carry as many white bags as you can get your hands on!
Whether you prefer big beach totes or smaller handheld designs, there’s a covetable bag, or several, on your horizon. Here are some of our favorites. Enjoy!
Prada Cleo in White - $2,250
This new bag from Prada burst onto the scene in the Spring/Summer 2021 ready-to-wear collection. Immediately there were rumblings about it being THE covetable new ‘It’ bag. With its sleek shoulder bag design and unmistakable triangular Prada logo, it veers near the Prada cult classic, the Nylon Shoulder Bag. However, the Cleo is noticeably distinct from the covetable nylon design and, we would argue, no less desirable. The bag’s smooth leather finish is dream worthy and the curved edges are a nod to the playful croissant-shaped bag trend popular in the early ‘00s. This bag is simply sublime in white. A version is available with a flap, however we prefer the design without for an overall more refined finish.
Chanel Mini Rectangular Flap with Top Handle in White - $4,300
Another lustworthy and popular design is the Chanel Mini Rectangular Classic Flap with Top Handle. New for Spring/Summer 2021, the top handle addition to this Chanel classic caused quite a buzz among bag lovers. It also includes a long crossbody chain interwoven with leather, so you have options. The style is perfect if you desire the Classic Flap’s iconic look but wish for top handle carry too. Popular from its appearance on the runway in white with gold tone hardware, this neutral shade remains a popular color choice. Since (as fashion law dictates) we can now wear white, why not make the most of this newfound freedom by toting this new Chanel beauty!
Fendi Sunshine Shopper in Woven Straw - $3,100
Nothing says summer bag quite like a beach tote in woven straw. First spotted on the Spring/Summer 2020 ready-to-wear runway, the Fendi Sunshine Shopper returned this year in a number of colors and materials.
For Summer 2021, this could be the perfect option. Woven straw in a sandy beige hue features ‘FENDI ROMA’ emblazoned in black across the front. Sturdy black plexiglass top handles allow you to stuff the bag to the brim and still carry it with ease. And the tote’s boxy structure maximizes capacity while the woven straw material gives it an overall relaxed finish. The Sunshine Shopper’s gold tone hardware features Fendi’s iconic FF insignia. Plus, a peek inside reveals hooks that can attach a shoulder strap if you desire hands-free carry for busy days sunning yourself silly.
Louis Vuitton Pochette Coussin - $2,530
Louis Vuitton’s Coussin is LV’s latest ‘It’ bag, spotted on the likes of just about every A-list actress and influencer imaginable. But have you heard about the smaller pochette version? Technically part of the Pre-Fall 2021 collection, it certainly works well for summer.
This pochette style sports the same ultra soft embossed lambskin and accordion style as its Coussin forebearer. However, the Pochette Coussin’s shape and size are akin to the house’s classic Pochette Accessoires. With a gold or silver chain decorated with an LV charm, it can be worn over the shoulder or around the waist in the covetable belt bag style. Alternatively, the bag can be carried as a clutch to elegantly complete a summer outfit ensemble.
Although offered in black, it also comes in a series of lively color combinations which are perhaps more suited to summer style than fall. In fact, many of the color pairings are giving off major Y2K vibes. Just look at the hot pink version above!
Valentino Roman Stud Shoulder Bag in Knitted Ivory - $3,250
Since launching the Rockstud line in 2010, the spikey studs have become part of Valentino’s brand identity. Every season, bags, shoes, and more are adorned with spikey studs, immediately recognizable to any fashionista. Now, for Summer 2021, Valentino introduces the Roman Stud bags. This bag collection features Valentino’s signature studs and maxi diamond quilting.
One of the standout bags is the Roman Stud Shoulder Bag. Spotted on Angelina Jolie and others, this bag, is hailedas one of the breakout bag stars of the year. The bag is available in an ivory knitted material for effortlessly chic summer style perfect for Memorial Day celebrations and beyond.
Hermès Osier Picnic Kelly
How could we compose a list of top summer bags and not include the gorgeous Hermès Osier Picnic Kelly? This limited edition beauty was first introduced in 2011 and instantly became a must-find gem for avid Hermès collectors. Indeed, even after all these years, the Picnic Kelly remains breathtaking and coveted.
The body is made from sturdy osier (wicker) while the flap and handle are made from soft leather. It is finished with all the hardware you would expect to find on a Kelly bag, including feet. The unique style fuses together the refined elegance of the Kelly design with the relaxed aesthetic of the wicker. The overall look is inherently summer in nature. The 25 is a great size for this summery beauty if you’re looking for the perfect accessory to don at a picnic or drinks beachside. That is, if you can find it!
Louis Vuitton Papillon BB - $2,680
Louis Vuitton’s summer bag offerings this year have not disappointed. One standout piece is the new Louis Vuitton Papillon BB. It reinterprets one of the house’s oldest bag designs – the Louis Vuitton Papillon. First introduced in 1966, the cylindrical Papillon bag’s unique shape made it a memorable classic. The new Papillon BB sees the Papillon shrunk down to a smaller size and paired with a thick guitar strap, one of the season’s hottest additions to any bag. The Papillon BB is not the only covetable new style which Louis Vuitton have added a chunky strap too, think the famous Multi Pochette bag and the Coussin. This new interpretation of the Papillon combines both the desirability of this modern trend with the age-old allure of an LV classic.
It features Monogram Giant in Empreinte leather in a striking gradient effect. Similar to the popular Multi Pochette, the thick crossbody strap makes the design extra functional – perfect for adventurous summer days when you need both hands free. Alternatively, you can remove the strap and carry the mini Papillon bag by its top handles.
Chanel Raffia Belt Bag in Blue and Beige - $1,375
In case there was any confusion, the belt bag trend is not going anywhere. In fact, the style is in hot demand for summer 2021. Just think of all the handsfree activities which would be a whole lot more stylish if done while wearing the Chanel Raffia Belt Bag!
This small and simple flap bag sports Chanel’s famous interlocking double C logo. A thin chain interwoven with leather (another Chanel staple) can be fastened around your waist. A double C charm loosely hangs from the belt giving the design an added touch of Chanel glamour. The bag is made from summery raffia and sports a blue and beige striped print.
So, which of these bags is on your summer list? Let us know.
Updated: May 31st, 2021