Trend Test: How Does the Big Bag Hold Up?

Do We Still Need an Oversized Bag?

Fashion Blogger Caroline Daur, handbag detail, is wearing Balenciaga bag, St. Emilie pants and a ASOS coat on November 23, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.
Getty Images / Christian Vierig

Bag ladies — like us — are always packing oddball items in our handbags, like a camera or a hat or large scarf right alongside that compact Stila lipstick and sleek iPhone.

In the 1980s, the big bag of the moment was the Louis Vuitton bucket bag, and in the 90s came the ubiquitous nylon bags we saw everywhere. In the early 2000s, giant tote bags replete with designer logos were all the rage — and then suddenly they weren't. The past few years, fashion hasn't been too kind to the "big bag," instead of turning its attention to small, sophisticated crossbody bags and clutches.

However, there's something to be said for the oversized bag — especially the tote — simply because it's so darn useful. Here are 10 reasons we love the "big bag trend," even though it's hardly a trend anymore, but more like an essential piece in a bag wardrobe that necessitates a few different options.

10 Reasons We Love Big Handbags and Purses

  1. They aren't precious. The great thing about big bags is they are meant to be used. You can toss your bag in the backseat of your car or set it on the counter at the coffee shop without worrying you'll forget it or damage it.
  2. Any bag can technically be "oversized." A tote can be super-sized the same way a clutch can, and same goes for bucket bags and structured satchels. While a big tote may look more "average," a big clutch makes an equally big statement.
  3. They are incredibly practical. The truth is, the real reason to get a big bag is so that you can carry a lot of stuff. Whether that's hats and scarves and gloves in the winter, gym clothes for after work or all your baby's things, one big bag is pretty much essential for most women, no matter what their day-to-day life entails.
  4. Big bags are ideal for travel. A large tote makes the perfect carry-on companion, especially if it's soft and can easily slide under the airplane seat in front of you. (And it allows plenty of room for books and snacks.)
  5. You can find a big handbag at any price point. Your big bag doesn't have to be designer to do its job. Every store from H&M to Celine has a large bag to suit your needs, even if it's just a $6 canvas tote.
  6. A big structured bag is great for work. Clean lines and a sturdy look make your bag feel as professional as you do.
  7. A large, soft bag like a tote or hobo bag is great for weekend errands. Load up your favorite casual giant bag with farmer's market finds and that ugly plastic bag from Walgreens.
  8. You can find an oversized bag that works all year long. Brown and black leather make for seasonless, easy bags that can be carried from season to season, year after year.
  9. Big bags go with basically everything. Perhaps not your favorite formal dress or cocktail attire, but a big bag goes with your favorite casual outfits and weekend wear as well as what you'd typically wear to work.
  10. A large bag can make you look smaller by comparison. It's true!