Handbags

We're in Love with Box Bags

The resurgence of smaller, structured handbags has us dreaming of a carefree spring

Model with box bag, Italy, 1955; Photo by Getty Images

Model with box bag, Italy, 1955; Photo by Getty Images

If you’ve ever wondered about a viable, cute alternative to carrying a week’s worth of gear slung over your shoulder, consider the box bag. Throughout the ’50s and ’60s, women certainly did. From woven rattan to engraved Lucite to Enid Collins’s playful wooden creations, box purses in a range of colours, patterns and materials swing on the arms of über-chic—and unburdened—It girls everywhere.

This spring, you can revitalize your wardrobe (and lighten your load!) by taking advantage of the box bag’s triumphant return. While fun ’50s and ’60s originals abound in thrift shops, we equally admire the new designer versions in eye-popping brights or go-everywhere neutrals. Yes, there is a practical and utterly fetching alternative to your stuffed-full satchel: all you have to do is think inside the box.

Vintage Finds

Photo by Brian Sano

Photo by Brian Sano

A Fine Weave: Woven straw paired with metallic fittings strikes the right note between Etsy and elegant.

Tan woven-straw box bag, $36, Woo Vintage Clothing, Vancouver.

Photo by Brian Sano

Photo by Brian Sano

The Minimalist: Hold on to just the essentials with an uncluttered take in cream and tan.

Beige box bag with tan leather straps, $65, Gadabout Vintage, Toronto.

Photo by Brian Sano

Photo by Brian Sano

Blue Rodeo: We love this navy leather pick’s monogram and bold, Western-inspired stitching.

Navy monogrammed box bag, $42, Woo Vintage Clothing, Vancouver.

Brand New

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Kate Spade New York, $455, katespade.com.

Photo by Brian Sano

Photo by Brian Sano

Winners, $150, winners.ca.

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Asprey, asprey.com.

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Gaya, $130, gaya.ca.

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Lulu Guinness, $560, luluguinness.com.

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Sneha Varma, $215, snehavarma.com.

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