It’s Time To Break Out Your Messenger Bags


Photo: Getty Images

Is there a bag that’s more Y2K than the giant messenger bag? The 2000s—which is all the rage in fashion right now—were a time of excess, and the decade’s humongous crossbody styles were a prime example. For some reason, we were all carrying around satchels that could fit an entire weekend’s worth of clothes in them. But, they looked cool—giving any outfit a casual, nonchalant feel. And while they did eventually go out of style—the late 2010s were all about mini bags—they now seem to be coming back with a vengeance. At least, this season’s runways and street style stars like Bella Hadid are pushing for a comeback. 

On the catwalks this season, we’ve begun seeing the crossbody messenger creep its way back into the fray. At Coach, the big, padded bags were in sleek leathers and paired with grungy dresses. At Max Mara, they were in supple suedes with leather straps. These designs are decidedly more sophisticated than the 2000s styles, which were often embellished, super bright, or zippered up (the bags at Louis Vuitton circa 2006 were all three). But it’s not to say kitschier messenger bags are totally off limits. During Milan Fashion Week last week, Bella Hadid was also spotted carrying a graffitied Chanel messenger bag from its spring 2015 collection. (It retails for over $16,000 now.) The punky style added a dose of fun to her casual fit, and also felt fresh. 

Coach spring 2023

Photo: Isidore Montag / Gorunway.com

Max Mara spring 2023

Photo: Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com

If you think about it, these messenger styles do seem like the ideal bag for right now. As we’re all returning to the office and engaging in a busy social calendar again post-pandemic, we suddenly need a lot of things again—and something to carry said things in. Mini bags simply won’t cut it anymore! Silhouettes in fashion have also been getting bigger overall—from baggy jeans to maxi dresses—so it only makes sense that bags are expanding, too. But the best part about the new crop of messengers is they’re more streamlined and just discreet enough to wear for any occasion. Just sling it over the shoulder, and head out the door with ease.

On board with the look? Below, shop four chic messenger bags. 

The Row Avery messenger bag

Coach embossed leather messenger bag

Prada Re-Nylon padded shoulder bag

Cuyana recycled sling bag



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