The last time we saw the mania of the oversized bag so big as today was the early 2000’s. All the fashion-obsessed girls were waiting for new paparazzi photos of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen flooding the magazines. With a rocky reputation, now the twin-designer duo of the Row have been serving outfit inspirations and do so to this day. To no surprise, the oversized bags took a nickname from fashionista sisters. ‘Twin tote’ refers to every carry-it-all that shines out our regular and micro versions in size.
Known for their trademark looks – XXL glasses and total-black looks, they were often spotted carrying gigantic, bottomless vintage bags. From bags like padded Channels and Hermès Birkins to many other vintage finds. In fact, recently Fendi re-issued its’ iconic vintage crocodile tote naming it after sisters ‘Twin Tote’. Not only that, the Row louched smooth leather Margaux Large Tote bag in classic browns and creams this Winter 2021. The doctors’ bag varies in shades and sizes, giving a lot of choice for a customer. The timing for that smart move was not coincident.
When the oversized bag trend emerged earlier this year, I could not be happier. Although I am forever loyal to the micro bag trend, I like to spice things up sometimes. We all do. An exaggerated size bag seems like the cure to all of our everyday struggles that came with XS bag mania. Extra-large tote that actually can fit in everyday essentials while on the errands run.
It all started with the micro bag trend!
The tiny bag era is not over yet. Doubtlessly started by French designer, Simon Porte Jacquemus and his introduction of Le Petit Chiquito bag. The launching of Le Petit Chiquito bag also meant the launching of the French label further into the mainstream audience. Other fashion houses swallowed the hook and followed.
What does the small bag trend have to do with the mega purse hype booming?
Being known for his genius design language while experimenting with the sizes and proportions of the accessories, let us not forget about the giant ‘La Bomba’ straw hat that took the Internet by storm. In the same collection from Spring/Summer 2019 during Paris Fashion Week, titled ‘La Riviera’, we have been introduced to another unconventional in size bag. This time, the place of a micro bag took an enormous Le Baci straw beach bag.
The French label definitely reached the pinnacle and is responsible for putting a lot of spotlight onto both bag trends. I’m not trying to say that it all started with Jacquemus and his vision of diminutive and colossal bags. It has happened before. However, no one else took it to this level with such success. Well, maybe except luggage bag companies and the infamous Balenciaga Ikea bag from 2017.
La Bomba Straw Hat
Le Baci Bag
La Bomba Straw Hat
The Bigger, the better. The opposite end of the spectrum to tiny bag movement.
They come in different shapes and sizes. You can stick to classic carry-all like Gucci Diana Bamboo-Handle Leather Tote Bag. On the contrary, you may want to expand your comfort zone and go with the colossal size: look up the iconic Bottega Veneta and The Jodie Shoulder Hobo Bag. Rule ‘The bigger, the better!’ does apply. Choosing an astonishing in proportion bag is definitely a big statement worth looking into.
From my previous bag-related post about colourful bag trends, you know that saturated handbags are not going anywhere. So if you want to hit two birds (read: trends) with one stone, choosing a giant tote bag in a bright colour may be a good idea.
There is plenty to choose from texture-wise also. From wrinkly large leather pouches to braided leather popularised by mentioned above Bottega Veneta, to fur-like pillow bags.
Are oversized bags still going to be a trend in 2022?
Just like in the case of 2-inch diminutive bags, they came and they still make a big-small fashion manifesto to this day. You may go with the motto ‘the good things come in small packages’ when it comes to bags, but ‘the bigger the better’ slogan is also growing strong.
XXL bags become unshakable foundations of any capsule wardrobe, not only thanks to their functionality but also because they elevate and are a big statement (literally), turning every outfit into a head-turning look. What makes the XL (or XXL in some cases) bag different from the micro bag trend is that they fit more than half of the contents of the tic-tac pack. Undoubtedly, way more practical.
The times when fashion meets functionality (finally)
There is a reason why the mega purse trend quickly gained so many followers and it’s not only thanks to its’ travel-perfect size. Let us not forget that the boom of an XXL bag started at the beginning of 2021, the middle of lockdown, restrictions and panic. Seeing masked supermodels and fashionistas photographed by paparazzi in their off-duty looks running errands, almost overwhelmed by the company of their giant carry-it all totes made its impact for sure.
Because of the ‘latest’ situation, fashion is surely moving in the directions, where relaxed and comfortable choices overrule glamour and formality. Perhaps it’s us, consumers, especially women, finally demanding the functionality in fashion. With our denim jeans pockets being too shallow to fit a phone, AND bags being too small to fit more than a change and diary lock pad key, we may actually finally be listened to. Compromising fashionable with functional seemed like something ridiculous to combine back in the days when I was growing up and forming my vision of style. Now it’s time to break it.
How to style oversized bags in 2022?
Oversized bags look great with everything casual and work-related. As much as we would love them to be a go-to to formal events, it’s not going to work well. Luckily, they elevate everything slouchy and add an extra uplift to oversized fits, if you’re looking for added drama to your everyday looks. From masculine blazers and suits (perfect in the corporate world) to oversized wool coats and trench coats even to the slip dresses styled with flat sandals during summer.