It’s an accessory favoured by glamorous stars including Meghan Markle and Gigi Hadid, but is the ‘bland bag’ the must-have wardrobe item for this season and beyond?
As purse strings tighten amid a cost-of-living crisis, fashion websites are reporting a rise in demand for functional bags that can be paired with any outfit, rather than statement items with ostentatious branding.
The Times reported that ‘timeless’ and multi-functional bags are more in demand as people live hybrid lives, working between home and the office and are more on the move.
Celebrity stylist Rochelle White told FEMAIL the shopping trends are a ‘reflection of the times’ as consumers become more aware of their carbon footprint and steer away from fast fashion.
She added that many classic bags from luxury brands cannot meet the requirements of our demanding lives – which is another reason why people are turning to understated designs.
Fashion experts are tipping the so-called ‘bland bag’ to be this season’s hottest fashion accessory. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has often been spotted out and about carrying chic and elegant bags with more functional designs, which don’t display ostentatious logos. Pictured: Meghan leaving Prince Archie’s christening in 2019 in New York carrying a Carolina Herrera tote
The Duchess of Sussex is often known to step out with stylish yet understated bags on her arm, making headlines in 2017 when she attended the Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada, carrying Everlane’s The Day tote in tan (which Angelina Jolie had also been pictured carrying months earlier).
Two years later, she attended her glitzy baby shower in New York while pregnant with Prince Archie carrying another understated cream tote bag from Carolina Herrera, in the Matryoshka design.
Supermodel Gigi Hadid has also been spotted carrying chic yet functional bags in public appearances, stepping out ahead of Milan Fashion Week in 2021 carrying The Row’s timeless Park tote.
Rochelle explained that, as people become more aware of the impacts of fast fashion, they are opting for products with more longevity.
Meghan Markle pictured with Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in Toronto, 2017, carrying Everlane’s The Tote bag in tan
Arket’s Landscape tote is a somewhat more affordable at £259 and is a simple yet versatile design, with a plain strap and a buckle on the top
Gigi Hadid, pictured in Milan in 2021, has been spotted carrying The Row’s timeless tote bag
‘There has been such a change in shopper behaviour and how they view brands and items,’ Rochelle explained.
‘Consumers are making more considered purchases and want to do their part for the environment.’
She added that, as well as considering the impact of fast fashion, consumers are choosing more modest options, even if they are spending lots of money on an item.
‘Having bags that are not heavily branded is a more modest look and can actually be more adaptable to outfits and environments,’ she said.
‘Sometimes it’s knowing that you have a luxury item either brand new or second hand, that you know is a piece that is worth something but not screaming it.’
Liane Wiggins, head of womenswear at Matchesfashion, said this season’s trend can be described as ‘luxury but almost unidentifiable’ as people opt for quality without caring to display logos on their items.
Rochelle further explained: ‘A lot of luxury bags with all the whistles and bells can’t hold much and these ‘everyday’ luxury bags are usually more practical for everyday wear and use. They are timeless and can last longer seasons.’
Of course, bags from luxury brands that aren’t bursting with logos can still be unaffordable for many – which makes way for another emerging trend.
The Times reported second-hand luxury fashion platform Vestaire has confirmed it has seen an increase in demand among its customer base for ‘less pristine’ bags, with searches tripling in the last year.
And for those who aren’t looking for luxury, there are plenty of high-end high street brands offering their answers to the ‘bland bag’.
Arket’s Landscape tote, made of leather, is a simple design which comes in neutral colours including black and burgundy, costing £259.
Meanwhile Osprey’s Primrose Hill tote, costing £175 at full value but currently on sale for £79.00, is a classic black leather option with crocodile print.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk