Indeed, like a crossbody silhouette or a fanny pack, a hands-free case has its value. But despite the gibberish surrounding this useful accessory detail, there’s something to be said for a good old-fashioned handbag that’s carried with — drum roll — your hands. The best top handle bags span multiple categories, from small party bags and charming buckets to structured shapes and elegant crossbody bags. The common denominator of an upright grip makes the art of carrying your handbag conscious and maybe a little more fun?
Expect some standout options in this category this season. On the summery side of the spectrum there are woven straw bags with top handles from Dragon Diffusion and Bembien (the latter is inspired by the French coast). There’s also a range of artisanal design details making their way forward, with beading, ruffles and macrame, like the artful pieces spotted on Chloé’s Spring 2022 runway. They also have your selection of refreshed classics that tick the polished style box pretty well. Ahead, 48 options to start your search.
A structured envelope bag is the foundation of sleek, professional style. Head back to the office with a top-handle bag designed with this sleek clasp – bonus points if it has a touch of sleek hardware.
What is better for a summer picnic than a bucket bag in the shape of a round lunch bucket? With the integrated top handle, a stroll through the park with swinging arms feels okay.
The Croc Effect
The clever ingenuity of croc-embossed leather translates to the top-handle silhouette with some of the season’s most charming handbag releases. Reach for brightly colored versions for a fête-ready staple or go for a neutral color for a demure look.
Bold bright colors can be a good time, but there’s something inherently romantic about a powdery pastel. Try out these desaturated hues with a whimsical handbag crafted in the top-handle silhouette.
An asymmetrical handbag is the accessory equivalent of a contemporary sculpture. With its ornate lines and unique design, this top-handle bag is the kind of piece that tends to start a conversation.
When it comes to the chain bag, a dainty detail on the top handle can balance the boldness of the chunky hardware. Choose this option if your wardrobe could use more texture.
Straw bags are the perfect gateway to warmer weather, and because this woven texture pairs so beautifully with a dainty top-handle shape, you’re spoiled for choice with this category.
Bamboo handles exude a resort vibe even when you’re nowhere near a beach, which is reason enough to invest in a top-handle bag made from this tropical material. Wear yours with a linen suit or floral midi dress; it’s a versatile choice.
Beading, crochet and other artful materials are an easy way to add some personality to your accessory collection. This season, reach for a top-handle bag with an artisanal, handcrafted quality.
Gathered fabrics resembling the beloved scrunchie feel like fodder for the nostalgic type. Show a nod to fashion’s early days with a top-handle bag that picks up on this design detail.
A suede cut in a 70’s-inspired color palette of camel and burnt orange is the perfect complement to other seasonal trends such as prairie dresses and crocheted separates.
While the backpack is traditionally carried on the back, you guessed it, some designers have also incorporated a carry handle to give a versatile update to this modern staple.