Bracelet Bags Are the Ultimate (Hands-Free) Accessory Trend
You’ve probably heard by now that small bags are on their way out and hobos, totes, and extra-large shoulder bags are in. After leaning incredibly hard into our mini bag era (moment of silence for all the micro bags that took over our feeds), it’s no surprise the tides are turning towards slightly bigger bag trends. While I’m personally here for the hobo bag revival, there’s still one mini silhouette I think will only get more popular, so I’m here to make a case for my personal favorite: the bracelet bag. Keep reading to learn all about our favorite styles and how the growing trend is revolutionizing the accessories world.
If you’re not well-versed in fashion’s newer offering of bracelet bags, your mind might immediately jump to the Chloé Nile Bag ($580). Released in 2017, this gorgeous calfskin crossbody has a detachable strap with a bangle-like hardware top handle. When the crossbody strap was removed, the handle could be worn as a bracelet.
If the whole idea of a bag-as-bracelet sounds bizarre, you’re not alone. I, too, thought they seemed strange and impractical—until I tried on Fendi’s Nano Fendigraphy ($1290) for myself. The smallest of all the Fendigraphy sizes, this baby is touted as a “bag charm,” but fashion week attendees in Milan and Paris say otherwise. The silhouette was spotted numerous times, and all the different styling choices proved just how versatile this little bag can be.
While the Nano Fendigraphy is stunning as a bracelet bag, it also looks incredible held in your hand as a regular mini bag. What’s more, I’ve found that clipping a gold chain to the purse allows it to function as a shoulder bag or even a crossbody, depending on the chain length. I’ve even taken to clipping it onto the straps of my less-glamorous tote bags for a little pop of luxe. Large enough to fit my cards, keys, lip gloss, and touch-up powder, it just may be the most practical bag in my lineup. Who would’ve thought?
As smitten as I was with my own bracelet bag, I didn’t realize a true trend was emerging until I noticed other brands with bracelet-inspired bag styles. Max Mara’s Teddy Fabric Clutch ($292) is a softer version in the brand’s signature teddy fabric, on sale now and available in black or red. Ralph Lauren also released a mini version of the Polo ID handbag ($498), with a foldable crescent shape and a bracelet strap to boot.
Another take on the bag-as-bracelet silhouette is Loewe’s aptly named Bracelet Pouch ($1600). The tubular lambskin bags feature plaques on either side, and the micro-duffle silhouette looks great as a shoulder bag. But true to its name, you can remove the strap and clip the bag together at the ends, making for a puffy, slouchy, clutch-as-bracelet style. The lack of structure certainly makes this one stand out in comparison to the other silhouettes, and I predict cool girls everywhere will soon gravitate towards it for its relaxed nature.
While the initial concept indeed seems frivolous, I can’t help but think the rise in bracelet bags stems from function and innovation. My favorite way to carry a handbag when I’m strolling past street style photographers during fashion week is to grip it effortlessly, but carrying a clutch (or holding any other bag clutch-style) becomes wildly inconvenient when I need to use my hands.
There aren’t a ton of bracelet bags on the market yet, but I foresee this trend trickling down rather quickly now that so many designers have given it the go-ahead. And I’m all for it—now that my bag is a hands-free non-issue, I’ve found myself able to get through the day much more efficiently. After all, shouldn’t a girl have the option to glide through the subway turnstile with a coffee in one hand and her Metrocard in the other?