Winter can feel like one of the most difficult seasons to make a fashion statement. A cute outfit is usually hidden under layers of heat tech and the big black puffer jacket becomes our collective signature style by default. When putting a cold-weather look together, it’s what is on the outside that counts—and in this case, it’s the perfect opportunity to make your bag the main attraction. Cue the winter bag trends!
A winter bag serves two main purposes. The first is to carry your essentials (obviously), which seem to multiply in the winter. If a bag can’t fit chapstick, gloves, a mask and optional hand warmers, it won’t survive the season or a style roundup.
The second purpose of a winter bag is to elevate your look. If you only have three seconds to make an impression, your bag can help you make a good one! Your bag should feel like an extension of yourself and something that you’re proud to carry. I’m not guaranteeing that a killer bag will lead to a Hallmark movie romance, but it could definitely help if your bag makes you stand out amongst a crowd of down jackets.
The micro shoulder bag dominated spring and summer and while the silhouette really is the accessory equivalent of “that girl,” the small silhouette realistically won’t stay on your shoulder with lots of layers on. Pack your smaller bags away for some much-needed time off until warmer weather returns and indulge in a new shape instead.
This season’s winter bag trends are functional and, dare I say, more interesting! Shearling, sequins, and shapes you probably only remember from geometry class are amongst the standout styles this winter. Zip up your pockets, throw on a pair of leather gloves and get your hands on one of the trending winter styles below.
The shearling-trimmed bag trend quickly took off following Telfar’s incredible collaboration with everyone’s favorite cozy brand, UGG. While the UGG x Telfar tote bag is only available via resale at the moment, brands like Stand Studio and Marc Jacobs took notice and came out with their own takes on the trend.
Shopping Tote Shearling Small
Add this Telfar bag to the “Most Wanted,” list because you’ll have to buy resale from sites like Rebag in order to get your hands on it. @UGG, give us a restock!
Medium Lolita Faux Shearling & Faux Leather Tote
If you’re braving cold temperatures to head into the office, this shearling tote will keep your laptop warm and your outfit fire.
Marc Jacobs Mini Leather Traveler Tote
The leather and shearling contrast on this tote is so chic and I love that it can be worn as a top-handle bag or crossbody thanks to the removable strap.
If you’re having a hard time letting go of your shoulder bag, let me introduce you to the style’s more interesting cousin: the cylinder bag. This shape holds much more than a classic flat shoulder bag and is a great shape to look for when shopping vintage or new.
Rubberized Cylindrical Crossbody Bag
If you’re trying to look fashionable in a snow storm, this bag won’t disappoint! The rubberized finish is water-resistant and will be sure to keep your things dry.
Nobody does the cylinder bag shape quite like Louis Vuitton. This shape was discontinued for years before being re-released in 2019, so I recommend finding a vintage version of the bag on a site like Fashionphile.
Cylinder Shoulder Bag
The thick gold chain on this cylinder bag gives the sweet shape a hardcore touch. The detachable strap also guarantees that this bag will lay nicely over a thick jacket.
One of the most exciting (OK, the only exciting) parts of the winter season is getting dressed up for holiday parties. Prada seems to agree, with its full F/W 2021 collection decked out in sequins and crystals. The Prada Cleo bag is the literal shining example of the perfect winter bag, but if the price tag dulls the sparkle, there are plenty of glittering options available at Zara.
Cleo Satin Bag with Apliqués
This Prada big is the blueprint for sparkly accessories this season. The unique silhouette is beautiful and will bode well as an investment piece.
Sequin Shoulder Bag
The green sequins on this bag are so festive for the holidays. Pair with a little black dress and heels for an easy party look.
Mini Bucket Bag
If sequins feel a little too girly for you, this mini bucket bag is a great grunge alternative. The studs-and-sequin combo dresses the style down and makes it a day-to-night bag with some edge.
A version of this article previously appeared in December 2020.