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The Bag Trends to Watch For 2022

Bags never go out of fashion. But the style of bags we favour changes with our needs and the seasons. For example, clutches and pochette styles fell out of favour in 2020 and 2021 because we didn't have a need for tiny night-out bags.

Meanwhile, we've seen a resurgence in larger bags and backpacks in the past year as hybrid working has us carrying laptops around.

Here, we cover the next evolution of bag trends and the styles you need to know for 2022.

Backpacks are back

Once upon a time, backpacks were solely for school playgrounds and hiking trips. But this certainly isn't the case anymore. Forget the shapeless rucksacks we shoved our textbooks into and the ugly-but-practical ramblers' backpacks that had elasticated pockets for water bottles and maps. Today's backpacks are streamlined, stylish, and desirable.

Even utility backpacks have had a makeover, with characterful prints and a more structured shape for added style. You can choose from larger backpacks that can fit in all your essentials for a day trip out with the kids, or a more compact style for work or when you want to travel light.

Smaller structured backpacks work well with smarter outfits, whereas larger, relaxed styles look great with a more laid-back look. Why not add some personality and fun to your everyday wear by adding a backpack in your favourite print?

girl wearing Dreamer Kids Backpack and woman holding Dreamer Pocket Backpack on her arm
Woman and girl in matching Cath Kidston Heart Cosy Fleece Fun jumpers both holding Cath Kidston Alphabet pouches

Small pouches replace boxy clutches

Interest in clutches and small handbags dropped dramatically over the past two years because we were unable to go out much socially. But now that we can go out with our mini bags again, many of us are opting for slouchier pouch alternatives.

These small pouches can be handheld or used to hold smaller essentials within a larger bag. Drawstring pouches are big enough to fit your phone, keys, and make-up essentials, but they are still small enough to be handheld.

Coordinate the print on your pouch with your outfit for a considered look or clash your prints and colours to stand out from the crowd.

Oversized totes are huge

The rise of hybrid working has seen many of us turning to larger everyday handbags that can fit in all of our essentials, including our laptops, between home and the office. As a result, many shoulder bags are now being designed with bigger proportions to accommodate all we need to carry with us.

We're also seeing lots of existing styles, from oversized tote bags to travel bags being used as an everyday handbag. For 2022, there will be no such thing as a bag that's too big.

Finally our dreams of having a Mary Poppins-style infinity bag have (almost) come true.

woman carrying two large Cath Kidston Love Letter Tripper tote bags. One styled on her shoulder and one held with her hand.
Woman holding Rose Dreamer Heartly Cross Body bag

Details are key

Handbags are now being designed with bolder details, and as we get into 2022, we will be seeing even more focus on trims and hardware on our treasured carry-alls.

Look out for clashing colours on the straps, colourful and eclectic prints across the body of bags, and tactile textures, such as quilting and coated cotton. Bags are becoming so much more than just something to keep our essentials in. They're becoming a style statement of their own and offer us the opportunity to be bold with our look.

How you wear it matters

Most of us simply carry our bags on our shoulders or in our hands, as that was how they were designed to be worn. But over recent seasons, designers have been re-thinking how we carry or wear our bags.

We've seen the return of the bumbag over the past few years, and this has evolved into the harness bag - think bumbag, but a little bigger and worn diagonally across the body. This versatile style, frequently seen at London Fashion Week, works well with both layered, printed outfits and more minimalist looks.

Crossbody bags are also a great way to carry all your essentials whilst keeping your hands free. The great thing about this versatile style is that it works in all sizes. Larger bags with a detachable long strap can be slung across your body with the bag at the back, while smaller bags can be worn crossbody-style to keep them secure and accessible with the bag at the front.

So there you have it - the biggest bag trends you need to know for 2022. Which one is your favourite?

closeup of woman wearing Forever Cami Dress, Endless Love Crossbody Bag and tote