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Spring & Summer Handbags – Save, Spend or Splurge

March 18, 2021

Hello and welcome to Dressed for My Day! Today’s post is going up a little late because I was sick yesterday and decided not to write this post with a fever. Ha! Don’t worry, it was totally NOT Covid related. I went to the doctor, got an antibiotic to treat my infection and am feeling so much better today. Anyhow I’m so excited to finally put together today’s Spring and Summer Handbags collection for us. I love, love, love handbags! Let’s get going!

Spring & Summer Handbags

This spring and summer look for handbags to be fun! The colors, shapes and styles reflect a desire to get out and go. Hmm, I wonder why that is? We’re seeing lots of hands-free options like backpacks, crossbodies and even more belt bags. Although I think the latter is being replaced by the former.

But, while I love having a handbag that looks fashionable and current, I do think these accessories are highly personal. A woman can live out of her handbag. Amiright??? And we each have features that are important to us. Maybe you prefer lots of pockets and zippers or maybe you like a streamlined bag. Perhaps you want your bag to be big enough to pack your lunch, sneakers and umbrella in or maybe you want something small and compact. And you could want a colorful bag that reflects your sunny disposition or you could prefer to stick with neutrals.

So, while I’m sharing the latest and greatest spring and summer handbags, I suggest that you do you! And I’m providing lots of options in each of the major categories that are currently fashionable: totes, satchels, crossbody bags, shoulder bags, backpacks and special occasion bags. Oh, and I’m also sharing some beautiful straw bags because those are my favorite for this time of year, especially as we get closer to summer.

Spring & Summer Totes

I love carrying a tote bag for travel or for a full day of being out and about. It provides the room I need to carry all those things! Plus, I’m 5’8″, so a large tote bag looks very proportionate for me. But if you have a smaller frame, I suggest sticking with a smaller size tote or other bag.

Modern Barn Coat Outfit
My tote no longer available; see original post

My Everlane leather tote above is no longer available, but I’d say this Rebecca Minkoff unlined tote at Nordstrom Rack is pretty close. But my Madewell Transport tote below is still available. And I’ve included plenty of other options in the shopping widget below.

For each category of our spring and summer handbags I’m providing a shopping widget with options in the save, spend and splurge categories. Just as our bags are personal, so are our spending preferences. I personally don’t mind investing in a quality handbag that I’m going to use for at least several years. I carry a bag every single day that I go out, and I know it can drastically affect my appearance. So I like carrying bags that are high quality, but not extravagant. That said, I also appreciate the value of buying a bag in the “save” category when I’m trying out a trend or looking for a color that may go out of style the next year.

Casual Jeans Outfit Without a Tee
Madewell Transport Tote (similar kerchiefs not included)

The links in the shopping widgets and throughout this post are affiliate links. If you shop through them I potentially earn a commission on your purchases, but at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting the work I do here by shopping my links. I really appreciate you!

Pro Tip: Don’t be scared away by the openness of a satchel. You can also find satchels that zip closed or that have at least a few zipper pockets for safe keeping of things. Choose a satchel that works best for your frame.

Spring & Summer Satchels

I personally love carrying a satchel, but I know some women don’t like having to hold their bag in their hand. But nothing elevates a look quite like a satchel. It just generally looks very ladylike and intentional. I also like the size of a satchel and they generally include lots of internal compartments and zippers.

Casual Spring Look
Yellow Magnetic Closure Satchel from Target; See the original post

I know several of my readers have already told me that they purchased the Yellow Magnetic Closure Satchel above and like it. I’m so glad to hear that. I purchased it to add a splash of the trending yellow to my wardrobe without having to wear a lot of it. It does indeed have several compartments and zippered areas. And the faux leather feels convincingly supple and soft.

But I also recently purchased the Coach bag below. A sweet friend had given me a sizable gift card to Nordstrom, so I wanted to purchase something meaningful and special. This Coach Cassie Leather Top Handle Bag (not included in the shopping widget below) is currently sold out at Nordstrom, but it’s still available at Coach. I love that it comes with three completely detachable straps for very different looks, but I plan to carry it by this top handle most often.

Coach Cassie Top Handle Bag
Coach Cassie Leather Top Handle Bag

Do you enjoy carrying a satchel? I have selected a variety in a full range of prices in the shopping widget below. But remember, my Coach Cassie Leather Top Handle Bag is not included in the widget.

Pro Tip: Satchels come in all sizes, so choose one that works best for your frame and personal preferences. But also look for a satchel with interchangeable straps that provide for different functionality.

Crossbody Bags

Crossbody bags are continuing to trend this spring and summer. And I think the silhouette that is most on trend is the camera bag. This style is defined by its fuller rectangle shape, similar to the size you would use to carry a camera. I love this size of bag because it provides so much better functionality than a flat crossbody.

J.Crew Canvas Camera Bag; see original post

I’m already loving my J.Crew Canvas Camera Bag and I’m carrying it a lot. It’s the perfect size for my Vera Bradley coin purse (that holds my credit cards), glasses, keys, small lotion, lipstick and mask. This bag is also available in several shades of leather and they’re actually marked down 38% today.

Leopard Print Tee
Brighton phone organizer; see the original post from September

Of course a lot of bags, including many of the satchels I shared above, can be worn as crossbody bags. But I love having a small camera bag like this because it doesn’t weigh me down and gives me true hands-free functionality. Likewise, I also enjoy the performance of my Brighton phone organizer for the same reason. In this bag you insert your cards directly into sleeves in the bag.

phone organizer
Brighton phone organizer; see the original post from September

Pro Tip: To carry a smaller bag like a camera bag, keep your contents pared down. I like to carry a mini size lotion and a change purse (if necessary) to carry my essential cards.

Spring & Summer Shoulder Bags

Of course, any number of bag styles could fall into the shoulder bag category. But here I’m sharing those mid-size bags that truly work best on your shoulder. Think hobo bags, saddle bags and such.

These Heels Were Made for Walking
Ted Baker London Amali Leather Shoulder Bag only in other colors ; see original post

I’m so glad to see that my Ted Baker London Amali Leather Shoulder Bag above is still available. I can’t find the bag in my color anymore, but those sold out early last spring. This year the Ted Baker London Amali Leather Shoulder Bag is available in an absolutely lovely brown, ivory or red. I think this is such a nice smallish shoulder bag for wearing with dresses or when you want something that doesn’t overwhelm your look.

Also trending in spring and summer handbags this year are baguettes and other bags that are worn even closer to the body, like the beautiful bags from Michael Kors below. I’m so in love with the colorful selections in these bags. And right now they’re having their Spring Event, so you get 25% off your purchase.

Michael Kors Shoulder Bags
Bags top to bottom: Bradshaw Small Woven Leather Shoulder Bag // SoHo Large Quilted Leather Shoulder Bag in lime and other colors // SoHo Large Quilted Leather Shoulder Bag in luggage and other colors

Of course, I’ll still be carrying my favorite shoulder bag, my Tory Burch leather hobo. In fact, I have three of these in various shades. My black Tory Burch leather hobo bag is probably my single most used bag, but I expect I’ll carry the others more this summer.

Denim shorts
Tory Burch Leather Hobo Bag; see original post

You’ll see some crossover in the bag in the shopping widget below. Yes, some are in my crossbody section, but that’s because they have multiple or adjustable straps and can also be worn that way.

Oooh, and I am majorly crushing on this Kate Spade Roulette Hobo bag in peach melba. It also comes in a lovely blue glow here.

Kate Spade Roulette Hobo bag in peach melba

Do you prefer a shoulder bag? I have lots to choose from for this spring and summer in the shopping widget below. You can save, spend or splurge!


Now these are REALLY trending. I’m seeing backpacks everywhere for spring and summer. And I’m all in.

Switch to Sneakers
Tumi Patricia Voyageur Backpack // see original post

I purchased my Tumi Patricia Voyageur Backpack to use on our frequent daytrips, but I find myself using it most every day lately. I took it just yesterday to the doctor and then the pharmacy. It’s so nice to have the handsfree functionality. And this backpack includes an outside pocket for your phone at the top, but it has a magnetic closure for safekeeping.

My Tumi is not on sale anymore, but this similar Tumi is 20% off. But don’t fear, I’ve got plenty of other great backpacks to choose from in the shopping widget below at all price levels. We’re seeing backpacks in leather, faux leather, vinyl, canvas and other fabrics. The sky’s the limit!

Special Occasion Bags

I know, I know. Who’s going to special occasions these days? Well, maybe this year we will. I absolutely hope we all get to attend a wedding or other special affair very soon.

Style and Etiquette Tips for the Mother of the Groom
similar Nina clutch; see the original post

Many of the bags I’ve already shared would be perfectly lovely worn with a nice dress. But if you’re looking for something a little more refined and elegant, I’ve got several lovely choices at all price ranges in the shopping widget below.

Spring & Summer Straw Handbags

I would wait until closer to summer to share a full post on straw handbags like I did last year, but that might be too late. Last year I discovered that the selection had been quite picked over by the time summer arrived. So if you, like me, love a straw purse for the summer, now might be the time to snag one. So I’m including these quintessential bags in our spring and summer handbags review.

Brighton Straw Satchel
Brighton Dune Straw Satchel

I purchased the above Brighton Dune Straw Satchel during a rare sale at the end of the summer last year, so I haven’t actually carried it yet. But I’m chomping at the bit! This is my straw “dream bag!” Brighton is never inexpensive, but I don’t know anyone who does straw or raffia bags better either. This Brighton Dune Straw Satchel was an investment that I hope to carry for many years to come.

But I’ve found a lot of other beautiful straw bags to choose from, too. And I’ve loaded so many of them into the shopping widget below. Enjoy!

Well that’s a wrap! Or, shall we say, this post is in the bag! Ha! Okay, obviously my fever may have returned. Hmm. Thanks so much for stopping in today. I hope you find a pretty bag to celebrate spring and summer with, whether that’s here today or somewhere else soon. I hope you enjoyed our spring and summer handbag review. Have a lovely day, sweet friend.

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Blessed for My Day

Hope is so important to our well-being. It picks us up off the floor, dusts us off and squares our shoulders to keep moving forward. Hope reminds us that things are not always as they appear. In fact, it assures us that we can’t possibly see the reality of our promised future, but we can know that it is for sure and amen.

If you need a little hope today, I pray that God would fill you with His joy and peace. I pray that He would restore your perspective and give you fresh vision for what lies ahead. And I ask that He would assure you that He can do what He has said He will do. Allow God to give you renewed hope today, sweet sister. Do not despair; trust in Him.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. ~ Romans 15:13

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xoxo, Kay
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37 thoughts on “Spring & Summer Handbags – Save, Spend or Splurge

  1. Sorry, you are feeling under the weather, hope the meds work fast and you can enjoy the Spring weather. I really like this article, about different purse options and when to use/wear the purse. I change over to a satchel purse for church type events, it feels like it finishes the outfit/dress. I am fortunate that I collect evening bags, so when something super dressy occurs I normally have the purse. I have also gifted some of my evening bags to younger friends to finish out their outfits for weddings, both as maid of honor and for the bride. Gifting the bags is a good way to cull some bags out to make room for new discoveries. Hope you feel better soon, I look forward to your articles/emails.

  2. When I carry an evening handbag, I always have trouble as to what to do with it if I’m at a dining table? What is the proper thing to do with it? Put it on the floor? Leave it on the table ? Put it in your lap? What is the proper way to do it? I especially have trouble with clutch styles . Please help me . I have an event in June hahaha

    1. Hi Donna. Great question. If possible I put my bag behind me on the seat. But if the seat has a bare back of course you can’t do that. Sometimes there is room for it on the table, but not always. And you definitely don’t want it to be in your dinner partners’ way. So then I would keep it in my lap under my napkin. Of course that’s why it’s even more important to keep the bag small and compact. I carry as little as possible in my bag. If needed I even leave my reading glasses at home and my husband and I just share his. ?

  3. Are you familiar with Lo & son? I have the Pearl & love it. Great size with different handles. Pricey but I watch for sales.

  4. Thank you for your post. Glad you are feeling better today. I especially enjoyed the inner beauty and prayer.

    God bless you!

    Beth Harris

  5. Hi Kay. Purses are one of my weaknesses. Are you familiar with the Spartina 449 brand. Their signature purse is linen and leather. They also have straw bags market totes, beach bags and accessories. Being from the South you are probably familiar with them. I think the brand is my favorite. I have a couple of designer bags, 1 Gucci and 1 LV, but I don’t carry them much. Guess I am saving them for my daughter and soon to be daughter in law! Anyway, I loved this post. Have a great evening.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post Peggy. Yes, I’m familiar with Spartina 449 but I’ve never purchased anything from them. They do have beautiful things.

  6. Hi Kay,
    Sent an email earlier in the week about a different subject, but now I have another question.
    Did /could you do a video about the best way to store our collection of handbags
    Thanks so much

    1. Hello Jean. I can work on a post about storing and caring for accessories after I get moved. Meanwhile my biggest suggestion is simply to keep and use the dust bags that most finer bags come with. But yes, I’ll work on that. ?

  7. I love you!
    I love that you put Christ first in your life
    I love that you have a joyous and teachable spirit
    I love that you are teaching me to be the best version of myself
    I love that that you are teaching me it’s not vanity
    I love the effort you put into your posts
    I love that you love and respect your husband and family
    I love that you get the most out of every day
    I love your biblical snippets at the end of each post
    I love that you can laugh at yourself and your sense of humor
    I admire you stand firm
    I have found a good friend in you
    Janet (California)

    1. Oh Janet. That is so lovely. No pun intended. ? Thank you so much. I really do esteem my readers and seek to honor you as well. You’re a blessing to me. ?

  8. Love this post; I love purses. I’m going to a black tie wedding in May and found the Nina evening bag you’re holding at a thrift store this week. Score! It’s in perfect condition. It doesn’t look like it was ever used.

  9. Kay, glad you are feeling better. Don’t worry if you post later. We’re still reading them all! I recently purchased a small Michael Kors satchel online and a larger one, brand new with tags, at a consignment shop. Also, I do really like the yellow faux leather bag from Target I bought last week. Picked up some Talbots scarves (neckerchiefs) for the handbags, and I am set for spring! Love all your posts!

  10. I can’t tell you how many packs of A-zone standard I’ve been through in my life for bladder infections. Anything to do with kidneys is uncomfortable and painful. Get well quick.??
    I love bags too. I have two things the bag needs to do. Hold my glasses and hold my phone. Some crossovers have a place for glasses on one side and zippered pouch on other side, when I find one like that, I grab it. My favorite here is the yellow bag. It’s just so pretty and cheerful.

  11. Kay, I am so sorry that you had to go to the doctor to get an antibiotic yesterday. I do hope that with each day you will feel better and better. Thank you for all of the research you put into this very informative post. I received the Universal Thread cheetah print satchel today, like the yellow one, and love it. Because I am expecting to be in a hard cast with crutches next Monday, I recently purchased a backpack handbag. It was very challenging finding one the size I was looking for and that didn’t look like a regular backpack, but I finally found it online at DSW. Enjoy the rest of your day.

    1. Wonderful! I hope you enjoy that backpack. I bet it will be so useful when you’re on crutches. Prayers for a speedy recovery! ?

  12. I hope that you are feeling better. Drink lots of water. I like the pocket books but many of them are well over my budget! Thanks for including more affordable ones.

    1. Thanks so much for reading today’s post Rory. Many are out of my budget too! But that’s exactly why I shared a variety. Hopefully we can all find something that works for us. ?

  13. Kay,
    LOVE the save-spend-splurge format! Hope you will consider doing that with outfits, too. It would certainly give anybody great ideas for high-low dressing.
    Thanks for the extra effort involved in this type of post.

    1. Wonderful! I’m really glad you enjoyed the post. I do try to provide some options when clothing items are a little on the expensive side, but unfortunately there is no way I could provide a full spectrum of price options on every outfit post. I’m still a one woman show here for now, and the time it would take to do that is way beyond what I can give. I’m trying really hard to provide outfit posts in a variety of price points but I really hope my readers can give me a little grace and trust that I’m doing all I can. Again, thanks so much for reading today’s post and for sharing your thoughts. ?

  14. I hope you are feeling better! Thank you for your spring/ summer bag information. Very well writtem.

    1. Thanks so much Janet. Yes, I’m feeling a good bit better. I’ll probably be late with tomorrow’s post too, honestly. Once I get behind in a week it’s hard to get caught up. ?

  15. Kay, loved the post today. I always look forward to your emails.
    Sorry to hear you weren’t feeling well. Drink plenty of fluids. Rest when you can.
    Take care.

  16. Love the blog on the bags. There are some really cute ones. Now I have to make my mind up if I need a new one and which one. Hum? lol
    loved the BFMD. Missed it on Wednesday. God Bless.

  17. I hope you’re on your way to recovery and will be well soon! Thank you for today’s post and “Blessed for my Day”. So sweet and fun and just what I needed today! Happy, early Easter! 🙂

  18. Kay – I love that you showed purses in several price points. I worked in the accessories department of a major department store when I was in college. The lead sales person told me that a quality “vinyl” purse is better than a cheap leather purse. Your post on spring handbags is the most comprehensive that I have seen thus far! Thanks for doing the legwork for us!

  19. Absolutely love BFMD. If you ever decide to write a daily devotional book I’d be first in line to buy one.
    I love the outfit you wore to the park on Tuesday. I’m really enjoying your white tennis shoes and enjoying mine more this year.