Closet 101 Style

Reader Question: Cross-Body Bags

Recently I’ve received a few questions about cross-body bags – here’s a sampling:

Via Jackie: I was wondering if you could recommend cross-body bags? I want to invest in one (maybe up to $2000 USD) that will go with everything, casual to dressed up, and also will last a while – like something I could use for at least a decade and then eventually pass down to a daughter or a niece.

Via Petti: Just wondering if you can recommend a crossbody bag? Can’t be too small as I have a small kid so more things to throw in. Let’s say budget is not the main concern..Just try to look for a stylish yet practical crossbody bag and it seems hard to find…

via Purseblog

via Purseblog

I love cross-body bags myself (except when I have to keep getting in and out of cars). Otherwise, they are one of my favorite styles – hands free and so easy to wear. In my opinion there are a few must have attributes in a cross-body. They should have a comfortable strap, be able to hold at least sunglasses, wallet and keys, and not be too wide (a fat, structured bag + wearing it hip level = difficult navigation, in my books).

To that end, here are some of my favorite cross-body bags, in all kinds of shapes, sizes and price points!

1. The Longchamp Le Pliage Cuir


I’ve probably mentioned this bag 10X times on the blog now. I love this bag from Longchamp. I think it’s a fabulous cross-body option, comes in an array of colors of sizes, is from a brand known from good sturdy quality, and would work for a variety of occasions (work, travel, dinner and drinks). The strap is also removable! Here are some photos showing the different sizes.

cuir longchamp

Liu Wen

Prices range from $480 to $630.

Small size (in a variety of colors): $480

Medium size in red,  tan,  indigo : $555

Large size (in a variety of colors): $630.

2. Chloe Marcie

Like the Le Pliage Cuir, the Chloe Marcie (cross-body) comes in quite a few shapes in sizes. I’ve always have a special spot for this bag. It’s a classic style by Chloe that is brought back each season, and I love that the top flap has a little pocket where you can keep say, your work badge or MetroCard. The designers really put a lot of thought into this bag and I’ve always found it very utilitarian, not to mention chic!

Prices range from $550 to $1650.

Smallest crossbody size (not shown above), in light pink : $550

Small leather crossbody (first photo above), in black, red, pink, blue, tan, white, off-white : $795

Larger crossbody size (second photo shown above), in black, gray and nut, an array of rainbow colors : $1395

Small crossbody style with handles, in black, yellow, gray, tan : $1650

MZ Wallace Paige Cross-body.

A friend with young children uses this “Paige” cross-body bag from MZ Wallace, and I’ve always admired it on her. It’s super light, easy to clean (nylon with leather details), and has a ton of pockets inside and outside, as well as a cheerful red lining. It’s perfect for travel and quite secure, but not too casual that it wouldn’t work in a professional situation. And, the price is more reasonable compared to designer options, at $300.

Hermes Evelyne Bag.

A small secret: out of all the Hermes bags I own, I probably wear my Evelyne the most. It’s just so easy to throw on for any casual outing, and the dark color makes it low key enough for work.

My Evelyne is the PM III size and style, and you can read my original review for more details.

FEED Functional Tote.

All right, so this isn’t leather and probably won’t work for all occasions (in particular professional dress) but I had to give a shout out for this bag that also supports a good cause. I love this cross-body FEED tote and I have a smaller version that I use all the time. The best part? You can find this colorful version above on sale at Bloomingdales for under $100. Plus even though you pay the sale price, the full donation amount still goes to the FEED organization.

I could probably blather on about more cross-body options and continue to discover more great styles for hours – but these are a collection of some of my favorites that I can personally vouch for. I hope that this is helpful for those looking for a nice cross-body option out there, and please share your own favorites! I am sure there is a perfect style for everybody out there.

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  • Ella Pretty Blog
    June 2, 2014 at 8:49 am

    I’m a HUGE cross-body fan…I prefer having a hands-free bag for when I’m shopping or out with my kids.

    I’ve tried several over the years, including the Minkoff Mini-MAC (very light and easy to wear) and Coach Mini-Tanner (cute structured bag). But my absolute favorite is the Pashli Mini – SO light but you won’t believe the amount of items you can fit in…adorable shape and never any shoulder pain…it’s LOOOVE!

    (Here’s a pic of what it looks like and can fit inside:

    • Katherine
      June 3, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      The Pashli mini is gorgeous! Glad to hear that it is really light as well!

  • Belen
    June 2, 2014 at 10:08 am

    One day I’d love to have a personalized Le Pliage Cuir. So many color choices and still less than your average high end purse:

    I recently bought a small functional crossbody from a brand I never thought I’d own: the Vera Bradley Mini Hipster in classic black (why, oh, why did it have to be called hipster?). It looks a lot nicer in person, feels very sturdy, has a LOT of pockets and a very slim profile so I can stuff it in my laptop bag when I travel. Perfect size to keep my ID, credit cards, hand sanitizer and other small items handy. Haven’t tested it yet, but will do soon.

    On another note, I once sat across Kelly Rutherford at LAX. We ended up on the same flight. I couldn’t remember her name so all I could think of was “IT’S THE MOM FROM GOSSIP GIRL! IT’S THE MOM FROM GOSSIP GIRL!”.

    • Katherine
      June 3, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      I just Googled the mini hipster and it looks great! Looks like the perfect travel bag too.

  • Pret a Porter P
    June 2, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    I have a Kenneth Cole “camera” bag that I don’t use much on a daily basis (easier to carry totes), but always travel with. It’s utilitarian with multiple compartments: can fit an umbrella, water bottle, sunglass case, subway map (I’m still stone age!!), tablet, change of shoes, etc… And it’s small enough to fit in the amusement park lockers. And then I have a Kelly style bag, I can’t cram in as much though.

  • susan
    June 2, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    I’d love an Evelyne – so practical and chic. Being a bit ‘busty’ and short, a lot of cross bodies feel a bit too bulky and I prefer shoulder bags for comfort. I think Coach do some nice shoulder/cross body styles at affordable prices, especially the vintage ones. I have a Court bag from Coach which I bought for a song on eBay which is easy to wear and always elicits compliments. Susan, London

    • Katherine
      June 2, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      I have a vintage that I love too! I wonder if it’s the same one. The only reason I didn’t include it is that it is a bit small for all of my daily goodies 🙂

  • zc
    June 2, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Hi Katherine – what size do you think Kelly’s Evelyne is?

    • Katherine
      June 2, 2014 at 8:45 pm

      I think it is the GM but honestly it’s a bit hard to tell from the angle 🙂 They are only an inch or so off.

  • Donna
    June 2, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    I’m usually a lurker but I just had to share my latest cross-body bag find from Coach. I absolutely love the Coach Bleecker Mini Riley in black. It’s perfect to use for work to hold my sunnies, wallet and planner for NYC subway commutes. It’s also small enough to fit inside my Longchamp tote with my gym clothes and sneakers on the days that I gym. It’s a small bag but it fits a lot due to the wider base. The leather is also soft so it slouches and softens up the boxy look. I actually saw it on a girl that was on the same train as me and stalked her to ask where her bag was from. I never would have guessed it was from Coach since the logo was on the back of the bag.

    I love your blog and enjoy all of your entries.

    • Belen
      June 3, 2014 at 10:50 am

      That’s a beautiful bag. I would have never thought it’s Coach either!

    • Katherine
      June 3, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      Hi Donna, thanks so much for your kind comments! I love this bag! I remember seeing it in a Coach store now, it’s profile is very slim and minimal but it’s proportions seemed like it would fit a lot. Thanks for recommending it!

  • kitty
    June 2, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    How about the Chanel WOC? I know its a bit small, but I just brought one and I think I’ll be able to fit sunglasses in it (small raybans without a case). I hope it’ll work as my new mommy bag since the tote I use as a diaper bag tends to get heavy.

    • Katherine
      June 3, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      I love my WOC but it can’t fit my sunglasses – I need them in the case in case I sit on them 🙂 I can see it as the perfect hands free little mommy bag!

  • Reader Question: Cross-Body Bags » Feather Factor | My WebsiteMy Website
    June 3, 2014 at 12:43 am

    […] Here is the original post: Reader Question: Cross-Body Bags » Feather Factor […]

  • Petti
    June 3, 2014 at 1:30 am

    Thank you very much for the suggestions. I’ll sure look into those options. Btw, I visited the local Hermes store (they had a sales last couple weeks) and try out Evelyn III. I believed they have 2 sizes I guess they are PM and MM? The SA is so kind and actually show me all the colour that they have. I wasn’t considering black but looking at your picture I changed my mind. The black Evelyn looks so good on you. And you are right, it’s probably more “work appropriate” as it’s “low key” compare to other colours. But Evelyn’s price certainly goes up a lot it is now $32xx Cdn before tax.

    • Katherine
      June 3, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      The MM size is rare! Which one did you like better? I never thought I’d like black for this bag either but it’s really low profile and easy to wear 🙂

  • Jackie
    June 3, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Thanks so much Katherine! I think the longchamp would be great for everyday errands. Time to go shopping!

    • Katherine
      June 3, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      You’re welcome, I hope it was helpful!

  • Julie
    June 3, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I love cross-body bags and the Louis Vuitton’s Metis Pochette is one of my new favorites, especially if you are partial to structure. It’s beautifully made and has a removable strap so it can be carried as a top-handled satchel. It doesn’t hold as much as some but the compartments and zippered pockets make it easy to find everything.

    • Katherine
      June 3, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      This is one of my favorite LV styles. I love how it can easily be converted into a clutch/satchel too!

  • a
    June 3, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    I like the Marcie! I would love to get one at some point.

    When I was a student, I lived on Mandarina Duck which is mostly available in Europe and Asia. Good prices. Many kinds of leathers and fabrics. Very light and kind of chic but still casual. They do many cross-bodies and messenger styles as well. I have a duffle bag from 2000 that’s still holding up well and I toss it into the washer if it needs cleaning. Cool colors too.

  • guest
    June 4, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    thanks for such a great post! I’m now contemplating on getting the Longchamp bag!

  • Susan
    June 6, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    I just got a Jypsiere 34 cm and am loving it! Some people commented it to be heavy on its own, but I think the bag is quite nicely designed that the weight is nicely distributed when you carry it as a cross body or on the side.

  • Julie
    June 6, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    I am a huge fan of body cross bags for I find them so comfortable to wear. I usually use these kinds of bags when I am wearing casual wear. I do not like handling bags all the time.

  • Michelle
    June 10, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    I am so with you Kat! I use my Evelynes the most, just LOVE THEM! 🙂

  • Tanya
    March 8, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Hi Katherine! do you still recommend the longchamp le pliage cuir as a good crossbody bag? Or do you have new ones to recommend?

    • Katherine
      March 8, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      Still one of my favorites in that price point…I also love my new Belvedere! 🙂