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The 12 Best Crossbody Bags of 2023

Sep 18, 2023

Versatile, reliable, and an instant outfit elevator, there's a reason the crossbody bag remains a closet staple.

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InStyle / Marcus Millan

Aside from sunscreen, we probably reach for our crossbody bags the most before heading out the door. The convenient accessory is multi-talented — not only does it provide easy access to all your essentials, allowing you to go hands-free, but it instantly adds a stylish touch to your outfits.

If you’re currently imagining a single strap attached to a small central bag, know that styles have surely evolved from the simplistic designs of yore. "In 2023, the rules aren't as cut and dry as they were in 2013," says author and fashion stylist Heather Newberger, explaining that a crossbody bag can refer to a sling, an oversized tote bag, or a small clutch — the options are truly endless. (No wonder they’ve taken over streetwear and become top travel companions.)

Before choosing one, however, consider a few factors, like where you’ll be wearing it and how much space you want. We did the research for you to find — luckily, many designers have options that encapsulate all your wishes and look good while doing it.


What We Love: The classic leather bag is versatile and just the right size to fit all your essentials.

What We Don't Love: You can't shorten the straps.

In case you had any doubts on whether or not Coach bags hold up, I still use my mom's Coach crossbody from the ‘80s. That particular style is no longer available, but this is a worthy substitute, in my opinion. It features all of Coach's most loved elements, like a slim rectangle shape, solid finish, and signature leather brand tag. Its contemporary touches, such as the clutch handle, monochromatic color scheme, and detachable chain link strap, herald Coach's recent rebrand to appease a new generation.

But aesthetics aside, the interior could rival any tiny NYC apartment for the way it makes use of the small space. Peeking inside, you’ll find three compartments, one with a zipper pocket, and eight credit card slots for optimal organization. (Yes, you could ditch your clunky wallet, thanks to this sleek bag.) There's even another outside pocket for easy access to your lip gloss or headphones. Honestly, we struggled to find a single flaw in this crossbody, but if we're really nitpicking, it’d be nice if we could shorten the straps.

Price at time of publish: $275

Material: Refined calf leather | Size: 7.75 in. x 4.75 in. x 2.25 in. | Colors: 4


What We Love: Affordable and waterproof, the round bag features a half-moon shape and eight colors to combine trend with practicality.

What We Don't Love: The new version uses polyester — a less durable fabric than nylon.

Between three-in-one makeup products and athleisure that doubles as streetwear, 2023 is certainly the year of efficiency in fashion and beauty, with sling-style bags leading the charge. Newberger tells us to "consider them a friend to oversized pieces," because they function as an extension of your outfit and can help create shape when there is none.

With a waterproof material, adjustable belt straps, and enough space to store a tennis ball or two, this Uniqlo bag, which we also named one of the best bags you can own, is sporty at the outset, but the half-moon design and eight-shade options transfigure it into a piece you’ll want to carry with you beyond outdoor activities. Although added piping gives the slouchy bag more structure, we do wish the brand would bring back the nylon version since polyester material isn't as durable.

Price at time of publish: $20

Material: Polyester | Size: 11 in. x 6.7 in. x 3.9 in. | Colors: 8


What We Love: The timeless style has lasted for decades, proving this is a classic bag you’ll have for a lifetime.

What We Don't Love: It only has one small interior pocket.

I bought my first Chloé bag a few years ago when I grew weary of repurchasing a new purse after only a few wears — and I’ve never been happier with an investment. The brand creates visual interest using suede and leather, while its foldover closure steals elements of a messenger bag. In a nod to menswear, the rounded square shape and top handle remind us of a mini briefcase. The brand's trademark gold circle hardware accentuates whichever of the five shades you choose — whether it's one of the darker deep khaki and gray colors or the brighter brown and nude ones. And because functionality is where it is at with crossbody bags, we don't want to dismiss the four protective metal feet and a slide-to-lock magnet closure that ensures your valuables are stored safely.

The only thing we’d change about its design is adding another larger interior pocket to help keep items separate, but two outside pockets and a small zippered one are still a bonus.

Price at time of publish: $2,050

Material: Leather | Size: 9 in. x 6.5 in. x 3.5 in, | Colors: 5


What We Love: The handwoven leather is woven into an eye-catching rattan pattern.

What We Don't Love: There are no interior pockets.

Woven styles have found their way into our closets with the help of crocheted clothing and hair accessories, but we might like the trend best sitting on our shoulders — especially when an intricate pattern is involved, like this leather crossbody bag.

In addition to this texture's visual interest, fashion stylist Samantha Brown says the bag stands out because it's "lightweight and comes in a variety of colors." (Six of them to be exact, along with the interchangeable straps that allow you to showcase your personality.)

If you’re a throw-and-go type of traveler, you’ll have no trouble tossing a granola bar alongside your other needs into the roomy interior. But, without any pockets, it's a free-for-all once they're inside.

Price at time of publish: $425

Material: Leather | Size: 9 in. x 6 in. x 3 in. | Colors: 6


What We Love: The washable material, compact size, and thick supportive strap make this the perfect bag for traveling and running errands.

What We Don't Love: It can't go in the dryer.

Take the hint from Jessica Alba, Meghan Markle, and our editors — Cuyana's effortless styles belong on your shoulder. This versatile small sling bag is my plus one to every event and errand I've embarked on recently. Between its exterior pocket, depth, and small inside pocket there isn't much you can't store in the bag (I’ve even snuck in a small book). If you do need a bit more space or want additional color options, the brand thoughtfully designed the same style of medium and oversized options.

The thick strap stays secure across my body while making grocery store runs, and its refined compact shape and muted shades allow me to tuck it under my arm, baguette-style, for dinner after. Through it all, the durable knitted fabric not only gives it a slightly slouchy look for an air of casualty, but the material is durable and withstands however many wet countertops or marinara spills it encounters.

Speaking of which, since Cuyana makes it with upcycled landfill plastic, it's a more sustainable option you can throw in the wash as well — just steer clear of tossing it in the dryer because this could damage the bag's integrity.

Price at time of publish: $148

Material: Recycled plastic | Size: 6 in. x 9.5 in. x 2.5 in. | Colors: 2

Brandon Blackwood

What We Love: With attention to detail, over 20 bright colors to choose from, and its micro size, you'll reach for this bag often.

What We Don't Love: The fold-over closure doesn't completely cover the purse opening.

From Lizzo's teeny, tiny Valentino bag at the 2019 American Music Awards to Jacob Elordi's frequent use of the small style, itty bitty bags always grab copious amounts of attention. While Agutu's recommendation nails the cuteness factor with its micro size, thoughtful design details, like a zippered front flap and rounded grab handles, make it stand out.

With dopamine dressing in mind, Brand Blackwood offers the adorable accessory in over 20 shades, including dazzling metallics, a pony hair material in a lavender and cow print finish, and several embossed crocodile prints. We want one of each, but no matter which color we choose, every bag is complete with four metal feet to keep it upright and luxurious microsuede lining.

We’d keep the detachable strap fashioned securely to your side as the fold-over closure gapes a little at the sides, meaning items could spill out.

Price at time of publish: $250

Material: Leather | Size: 7 in. x 5.51 in. x 3.15 in. | Colors: 22


What We Love: The unique accordion shape has room for three interior pockets without looking bulky.

What We Don't Love: It has a magnetic front clasp, which may not be the most secure.

Listen, with the number of items we’re schlepping around daily, a backpack or oversized tote certainly comes in handy, but they’re not always best for more formal occasions. With two inside pockets, a front pocket, and a zipper pocket in-between, separating the interior into three compartments, Newberger calls this crossbody an "organizers’ dream."

Equally important, the accordion-style design and smooth leather prevent items from bulging out at the sides. Plus "the raffia creates a great texture that looks chic without being obnoxious," says Newberger. Although the bag's depth and zippers should keep items from falling out, the magnetic front clasp may not be the most secure closure.

Price at time of publish: $1895

Material: Calf leather | Size: 7.1 in. x 9.1 in x 5.1 in | Colors: 1


What We Like: The brand uses transparent practices to craft this bag that's roomy enough to store larger items without weighing us down.

What We Don't Like: It's prone to scratches.

There's a lot to love about this mini tote, starting with how it uses upcycled materials and recyclable packaging and has a lifetime guarantee.

Also, if you’re what I like to call a non-committal commuter — someone who needs to carry a few items into the office but doesn't want to lug an oversized tote — this has your back. No bigger than a coffee table book, it's got space for chargers and tech, and you could possibly squeeze in a lightweight cardigan.

The distressed leather looks great in any of the five-color options and pairs well with T-shirts and dresses alike, but it can show scratches, so consider adding one of Able's leather conditioners for $15 to buff out any marks.

Price at time of publish: $180

Material: Leather | Size: 11 in. x 12 in. x 3.5 in. | Colors: Four


What We Love: The avant-garde style is loud enough to get noticed but is still comfortable and practical so you can wear it often.

What We Don't Love: The strap sits a little tight across your body.

Whoever said crossbody bags need to be small hasn't met the MAM bag. Agutu tells us this is her favorite tote, and we can see why — between the oversized baguette silhouette and luxurious recycled leather, you’ll be itching to show it off. Offered in an opulent black, creamy white, and a cozy brown shade, any choice will work well with what's in your closet.

This bag also deviates from your traditional crossbody in that it doesn't have a detachable or adjustable strap, so it sits pretty close to your frame. This is great for security, but know it may feel a little snug.

Price at time of publish: $375

Material: Recycled leather | Size: 19 in. x 25.5 in. x 2 in. | Colors: 3


What We Love: The sleek and compact saddle bag style hangs neatly against your side with enough space to fit your phone, wallet, and keys.

What We Don't Love: The interior pocket is a little small.

The camera bag will always have a well-deserved time in the spotlight, with styles from Marc Jacobs Camera Bag leading the trend, but our heads were turned once Agutu introduced us to the brand's saddlebag design. The thick branded straps and rounded bottom lean into a casual style that you’ll feel comfortable prancing around town in, but don't be afraid to choose one of the ultra-rich bright green or sunset-orange hues to punch up any outfit.

One chapstick-sized zip and slip pocket is found in the interior, and although we wish they were slightly larger, there's still enough depth to stow away other essentials.

Price at time of publish: $375

Material: Leather | Size: 8 in. x 3 in. x 6 in. | Colors: 4


What We Love: The bag has plenty of room to store a laptop, water bottle, and even a change of clothes without being too bulky.

What We Don't Love: You may need to purchase a separate strap for more support.

Some people keep their life in the backseat of their car or their desk drawer at work, but mine is in this tote bag. It has the Mary Poppins's carpet bag effect: This bag can seemingly hold anything you might need without ever growing in size.

It's deep enough to stash a sports bra and leggings for a post-work gym session, slip an umbrella into the large exterior side pocket, and store keys, sunscreen, or any smaller items in the interior zipper pocket. If you aren't toting super heavy items, the strap should be plenty sturdy, but if you plan to use this as an overnight bag, consider purchasing one of Madewell's sturdier straps.

Price at time of publish: $188

Material: Leather | Size: 11 in. x 12 in. x 6 in. | Colors: Four


What We Love: It's offered in over 10 patterns and colors for a stylish option to hold your phone so you can carry it on walks, runs, and while traveling.

What We Don't Love: The strap is a little short.

I initially scoffed at the idea of a phone crossbody bag — isn't this just a trumped-up version of a phone belt clip? The answer is yes, but that isn't a bad thing, as proven by celebrities like Blake Lively, who make the case for this practical accessory.

Thanks to Oprah's rec, this popular option earned rave reviews for its pleasing variety of colors and designs that add a certain charisma while you walk your dog or run an errand. With enough space to store some cash and a credit card too, you may be tempted to leave other handbag accessories at home. The strap is slightly short, but at least you know it’ll stay by your side while pushing through touristy areas or crowded sidewalks.

Price at time of publish: $59

Material: Canvas, vegan leather, leather | Size: 4.13 in. x 7.2 in. x 0.79 in. | Colors: 12

Typically, Newberger tells us crossbody bags are never larger than 15 x 15 inches but are often much smaller. However, what size you choose depends on how much you plan to carry in your crossbody bag. "I prefer to keep my bag roughly the size of a piece of paper (or a little bigger) so I can neatly tuck my iPad into one while I’m on the go," says Newberger.

Pro-tip: As a rule of thumb, Newberger says she looks for a size that can hold everything her old one does with a little wiggle room when buying a bag.

With compact sizes, pockets make all the difference in how much you can squeeze into your crossbody bag. Plus, Brown says easy access is key — so in addition to interior pockets, look for crossbody bags with front or back ones too, preferably ones that clasp or zip.

"I’m a big organizer, so I like to keep my smaller items, like lip gloss and AirPods, in the tiny inside pocket, use the main pocket for ‘bigger things; such as my wallet, a book, or tablet, and keep a top pocket flexible for things I need to store ASAP like packing slips and receipts," she says.

If you are considering a sporty, sling style that’ll need to brave all kinds of elements, Newberger suggests finding one with flexible material, like nylon. "A crossbody sling will often function as an extension of an overall outfit, so you want to be thoughtful about how long you may be wearing it, " she says.

On the other hand, you can have a little more fun carrying ones with longer or removable straps With these styles, Newberger looks for sturdy leathers paired with unique textures and constructions, like the Clare V. Marisol Woven Leather Crossbody Bag.

The answer is in the name: "A crossbody bag is a bag with a long shoulder strap so you can wear it across your body from shoulder to hip," says Brown. However, the definition has grown more nuanced.

A crossbody bag can include totes, clutches with detachable straps, and fanny-pack style sling bags, such as the Uniqlo Round Mini Shoulder Bag. "Crossbody bags utilize closures in a way that (most) totes don't, and they are designed to stay close or wrapped around your body for personal, but not public, use," she adds.

Newberger says the functionality, versatility, and size also define a crossbody bag. Where some can just fit your chapstick, wallet, and keys, others are large enough to store smaller tech like an iPad.

Let's look at the two different styles of crossbody bags: A sling and those with longer straps. "A crossbody sling often functions as an extension of your outfit, so you want to use it the same way you would use a belt — to create shape where none may exist," says Newberger.

When styling a crossbody bag with a longer strap, keep in mind that the star quality of these bags is their straps, which are often detachable and adjustable so you can "wear it at any length to fit your comfort level," says Agutu.

She also tells us to take advantage of the variety of colors, shapes, and sizes available today, recommending we play with the different strap materials, such as chains and leather, to enliven and personalize our look.

Anywhere and everywhere! The bags are a more secure option while traveling or navigating crowded areas, and they sit at your side without banging against your hip or sliding off your shoulders.

"I love that I barely notice that I am carrying a bag at all, but that I can have a crossbody bag to perfectly frame and compliment my outfit," says Agutu, who adds that she gravitates towards one with thicker straps to support the weight of items in her bag.

Brown opts for them during nights out and while running errands, too, as they allow you to go hands-free, and "you can hold your drink and don't have to worry about a clutch being misplaced," she says.

Irene Richardson is a writer covering fashion and beauty trends. For this story, she researched dozens of crossbody bags, tried a few out for herself, read reviews, and consulted three experts in the fashion industry — Achieng Agutu, Samantha Brown, and Heather Newberger.

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