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For Fall 2020, The Weekender Bag Has Become Fashion's Must-Have Tote

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Travel days aren't typically glamorous. Between throwing together a comfy outfit, last- minute packing, and frantically rushing to an early flight, most times the best you can hope for is to not forget your toothbrush on your way out the door. But, thanks to Fall 2020's weekender bag trend, a fashion moment is regained as you head out for your next weekend escape, business trip, or even an afternoon errand. While traditionally, luggage may not have been the most exciting bullet point on your shopping list, as of late, the fashion collective has found ways to make travel accessories feel like actual add-ons that can elevate your look whether you’re heading across town to visit family for the weekend, or actually hopping on a plane.

Among the new handbag trends and updates proposed on the runway for this season, designers’ fresh takes on the weekender bag are worth an investment. While teeny-tiny bags may have worked pre-pandemic, now something a bit more practical and long-lasting is necessary. At Bottega Veneta it was about slouchy, woven tote silhouettes and at Off-White, Virgil Abloh made a case for oversized styles, one variation incorporating a cool navy and white cow print. “[The oversized tote] silhouette has the same function [as a traditional weekender bag], but with a more relaxed, fashion attitude,” Ryan Kleman, Buying Manager of Non-Apparel at Moda Operandi tells The Zoe Report. “Plus, it doesn't scream 'I'm traveling.'”

Marni Fall/Winter 2020. Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
Bottega Veneta Fall/Winter 2020. Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

On the other hand, at Marni, Francesco Risso made it clear that with a little tweaking, the traditional duffle bag silhouette is not without the ability to serve as a statement. Replacing the nylon or coated canvas we typically see for travel accessories with fabrics such as suede or a velveted floral pattern instantly elevated the piece into trend-worthy, completed with a structured, clutch-like clasp.

At AREA, the idea was similar — models paraded down the runway carrying large, cylindrical bags almost identical to their respective outfits with fashion-forward finishes that suggested the bag could go wherever you wanted it to. “The shape pulls from many references,” Beckett Fogg, Co-founder of AREA tells The Zoe Report, “A classic travel bag, a sports equipment bag. .. at the end of the day it is open to interpretation, which is what makes it interesting. It’s not about one person in one circumstance, it’s about the diversity of our audience and how they choose to wear it.”

When fashion designers began preparing their Fall/Winter 2020 collections to hit runways this spring, they couldn’t have had any idea of the current state of the world. But now, small-scale travel is on the rise with 43% of people planning to travel in the next six weeks, according to a study by Longwoods International. “‘Nearcations,’ ‘staycations,’ and shorter trips to destinations closer to home are a recurring theme,” Elizabeth Monahan, Senior Manager of Communications at Tripadvisor tells The Zoe Report. “Possibly due to perceptions that such trips are less risky, since they typically involve contact with fewer people than other forms of travel.”

If you’re heading out for a retreat anytime soon, luckily these updated weekender styles have more than enough room for everything plus a face mask or two. And if not, they’re just as essential for a heavy workload day, a relaxing day at the park, or a couple’s staycation at a nearby hotel.

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Weekender Bag Trends: Top Handle

Burberry Fall/Winter 2020. Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

The structured nature of top-handle bags invites a sophisticated element into the realm of travel accessories. In everyday use, these are perfect for short-lived occasions, such as a picnic, where you'll need the space to carry more items than usual, but won't be toting the bag around for too long.

Weekender Bag Trends: Open-Top Tote

Off-White Fall/Winter 2020. Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

The open-top tote poses a super versatile weekender bag option, leaning more into handbag territory than traveling, but gets the job done on both occasions. Pair with a power suit for those work days that are a little busier than usual.

Weekender Bag Trends: Tall Carry-All

Off-White Fall/Winter 2020. Photo: Kristy Sparow/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Off-White's take on the weekender nails the concept of providing ample space without the duffel bag feel. Transcending seasons as well as occasions, this bag is your perfect companion to the beach in the summer or a much-needed vacay during the fall, and pairs well with anything from laid-back denim, to tailored leather trousers.

Weekender Bag Trend: Larger Than Life Handbag

Balenciaga Fall/Winter 2020. Photo: Estrop/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Kleman recommends opting for a maxi version of a handbag style for a travel accessory that doesn't read like luggage, but has the added room you need. All signs point to Balenciaga's super oversized City Bag as an ultra-chic option.

Weekender Bag Trend: Elevated Duffle

Givenchy Fall/Winter 2020. Photo: Peter White/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

On some occasions, perhaps the traditional weekender silhouette is welcomed, or even preferred. Brands such as Bottega Veneta do this well, using their intricate leather weaving technique for a luxurious feel, as well as Givenchy, whose latest weekender update incorporates sleek design elements from their well-loved Antigona handbag.

Weekender Bag Trend: Trendy Textures

MaxMara Fall/Winter 2020. Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

MaxMara debuted three variations of a teddy-textured tote for this season, and it's quite literally the epitome of a fall bag. Snuggling up with this roomy carry-all on a plane or for a long road trip is just as comfy as it is convenient.

Weekender Bag Trend: Out-Of-The-Box

Oscar de la Renta Fall/Winter 2020. Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Oscar de la Renta favored a less common, boxy variation of a weekender this fall, showcasing both a fabric option and an allover smooth leather option. Both command attention on their own, and Tibi's colorful version is all you need to take an otherwise muted outfit up a notch.

Weekender Bag Trend: Metallic Finish

Area Fall/Winter 2020. Photo: COURTESY OF AREA

Leave it to AREA to remind us that luggage can be just as fun as handbags, as they sent a metallic duffle bag down the runway in the spring. This foiled Proenza Schouler tote works on and off duty. Pair with a leather trench and booties.