Not since the heyday of the Fendi Baguette bag and Dior Saddle bag, some twenty-odd years ago, has the shoulder bag been the
prevailing bag trend tucked under the arms of every model, editor, and street style fixture. Emphasis on the word “tucked” — the best shoulder bags right now feature compact shapes and relatively short straps to fit snugly under your arm, or else dangle effortlessly in the crook or from your hand. Shapes still trend toward what was popular in the ‘90s and early-aughts (think small baguette bags and streamlined silhouettes), albeit with hyper-contemporary twists, like leather ruching or architectural lines.
The trend is eminently democratic, too. No longer are quality shoulder bags the sole domain of Fendi, et. al. — the list ahead features a handful of entries from buzzy designers, both heritage and new-guard, but price points land below $500. (Amazon is a surprising resource for luxury and designer goods, in addition to indie brands.) But most are priced
well below that, including a little nylon number you’ll wear with every outfit, in every season, for under $20.
Regardless of your chosen shape or brand, looping one of the best shoulder bags over your arm simply telegraphs coolness. Scroll on to shop nine of the best styles that Amazon Fashion has to offer.
1 This Ruffled Tote From The Indie Brand That Should Be On Your Radar
JW PEI is beloved by influencers for its ’90s-inspired shapes, playful designs, and eminently affordable price points — though this
Gabbi bag looks like it’d cost several hundred dollars, it’s just about $70 on Amazon. Like all products from the Los Angeles-based, Asian-owned brand, it’s constructed of water-resistant vegan leather and recycled plastic, but it feels as buttery-soft as premium leather. With its cloud-like shape and ruffled strap, this cream bag would add texture and interest to a streamlined, all-white outfit (or literally anything else you’re wearing). This style is available in lavender, too. 2 A Minimalist Baguette Bag That’s Incredibly Versatile
simple tote is a dead ringer for the baguette bags beloved by the likes of Kendall Jenner, though this has the added distinction of costing $20 — a drop in the bucket, considering how much wear you’ll get out of this versatile bag. It’s made of PU leather and finished with a croc embossment; and though it looks nice and slim under your arm, the interior is surprisingly roomy. You have 13 colors and patterns to choose from, including the nude-pink shade featured above — a kicky alternative to white or cream in the summertime. Available colors/prints: 13 3 The 2021 Update Of An Archival COACH Bag
An updated interpretation of an archival design from the 1970s, the COACH Tabby Bag is another favorite among style insiders, especially in its
cushion-bag iteration. But this pebbled-leather version is arguably more timeless, and a bit sleeker. It features the brand’s signature gold hardware and a snap closure, though in a more modernized, compact size. The two straps offer lots of versatility — wear the short shoulder strap for a fresh take on the look, or the longer strap for a convenient, crossbody carry. Or, forgo both and tuck the whole thing under your arm for an editorial look. 4 An Understated Nylon Purse That Costs Under $20
Prada perfected the nylon shoulder bag, but if you can’t swing a big purchase right now, add this
simple, effortlessly cool bag to your shopping cart next. With its compact frame, sleek silhouette, and athletic nylon construction, this cuts a similar figure for a fraction of the price. The same style is available in five other colors and materials, including an equally relevant cow-print piece made of faux leather. Every style costs less than $20, so why not pick up a few? Available colors/prints: 6 5 This Modern-Meets-Classic Bag From A Cult-Favorite Brand STAUD has sustained a firm cult following among the impossibly stylish population (Alexa Chung is a fan) since their launch in 2015; and among their many hits, the Rey Bag has become one of their most iconic styles. The architectural shape is unapologetically modern, though the cognac, croc-embossed cowhide harkens to classic leather goods, striking that tricky balance between trendy and timeless. But there are plenty more styles available on Amazon, like a country club-esque canvas and leather version, or a mini crossbody in white or brown. 6 An Athletic Shoulder Bag That’s Surprisingly Chic
There’s something very “David Beckham landing at LAX in 2001” about this
adidas tote, a miniaturized version of the brand’s iconic Airliner bag. The croc-embossed finish elevates the functional, athletic silhouette, while that graphic printed logo is nothing short of inspired. Throw on a pair of coordinating adidas track pants, fresh white sneakers, and a bucket hat to go full-on Britpop style. 7 This Delightfully Puffy Shoulder Bag Made Of Buttery-Soft Leather
With its cloud-like shape and cotton candy shade, the
Vague bag from Elleme will make any ensemble (and its wearer) a bit more cheery. This voluminous pleated bag is a maximalist’s dream — it pairs naturally with a stack of candy-colored resin rings and anything taffeta or puff-shouldered — though it also adds a touch of humor to an otherwise simple, polished outfit. If you like the shape but prefer a more (relatively) understated aesthetic, see below for more colors. The bag comes in plenty of basics, like taupe and camel, either made of this ultra-soft leather or cowhide. 8 A Plush, Throwback-y Purse You’ll Have So Much Fun Wearing
Among the many recycled trends popping up this year, plush accessories are the most unabashedly ‘90s — this
fluffy purse would look equally at home on the shelves of Limited Too circa 1999 as it would a fashion girl’s Instagram circa last night. Which era (and age) you land in is dependent on how you style it, of course: You can easily elevate this playful purse with a slip dress, oversized white blazer, and a pair of square-toed strappy sandals. Opt for a solid or color-blocked hue if this graphic floral print is too cute for your taste. Available colors/prints: 26 9 This Woven Shoulder Bag You Can Carry Day & Night
A budget-conscious alternative to
Bottega Veneta’s viral Pouch and Jodie bags, this shoulder bag features that recognizable woven construction, knotted strap, and slouchy-yet-structured shape — all trappings of the ideal spring/summer bag, especially in this crisp white hue. This smaller size is just big enough to fit essentials like your phone, a small wallet or coin purse, and a lip product or two, whereas the large version (listed on the same page) can accommodate extras like a book or tablet. Either way, it’s a true wardrobe staple that takes you easily from day to night. Available colors/styles: 10
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