Your guide to the season’s best bags

After you’ve picked out your coat and boots (we’ve got guides for those, too), it’s time to think about your new-season bag. We’ve searched far and wide to bring you the definitive round-up of AW19’s standout styles – from guaranteed Insta hits to timeless classics. 

Valentino Vring leather shoulder bag

Rockstud, what? The Vring is Valentino’s newest logo bag in over a decade and, boy, was it worth the wait. While the ‘V’ is obviously short for ‘Valentino’, it could easily stand for ‘versatility’ – the delicate rose hue is much more interesting than classic neutral, and the shoulder straps can be removed so you can carry it as a clutch via the gleaming gold wristlet chain. Handy.

Medea Prima Short suede cross-body bag

Named after Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1969 film about the Greek mythological sorceress, Italian label Medea was founded by design duo (and identical twin sisters) Giulia and Camilla Venturini. Elegant in its simplicity, the brand’s signature Prima is modelled on the humble shopping bag. A bag inspired by a bag? You know it’s going to be good – especially when it comes in vibrant bubblegum-pink, the defining colour of the decade. 

Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh XL Puffer tote

The puffer jacket has been a must-have cover-up for the past few seasons, so it was only a matter of time before bags pumped up. Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh pads out this black and white tote for that swaddled-up, wintery feel, without the risk of overheating on the tube. Win-win. 

Bottega Veneta - bag (available in woven leather)

Bottega Veneta Arco Trapeze leather bag

No guide to the season’s best bags (or best anything, really) would be complete without Bottega Veneta. Creative Director Daniel Lee has transformed the revered Italian brand into something that feels modern yet loyal to the signatures of the house’s heritage. This exquisitely crafted, tan Arco tote is that rare thing – so now and yet will always soar high above the trends. Carry it against louche tailoring for the full Bottega effect. 

Maison Margiela Glam Slam padded pillow tote

Inspired by the unconscious glamour of travel and comfort, Maison Margiela’s Glam Slam bag not only looks like it would hold everything you need on an aeroplane, but it would make a pretty good in-flight pillow, too. Avant-garde and practical? Only Maison Margiela. 

Stand Lolita faux-fur tote

With its cosy, snuggly teddy-bear coats, Stand is responsible for the season’s penchant for ‘duvet dressing’ – the trend for wearing, rather than hiding under, your comfort blanket. Now the Scandi brand is taking its fuzzy logic one step further with tote bag versions of its cuddlesome coats. We defy you to feel grouchy when carrying one of these strokably soft delights. 

1017 ALYX 9SM Anna leather shoulder bag

AW19 marked the first ever bag collection from cult New York brand 1017 ALYX 9SM, and it did not disappoint. The brand is known for its commitment to detail and innovation (including some pretty impressive sustainability credentials), and, with its signature rollercoaster buckle, handy external zipped back pocket and sophisticated diamond logo pattern, the Anna shoulder bag is streetwear at its most elegant. Oh, and did we mention it’s exclusive to Selfridges? 

By Far - bag (available in a selection of colours)

By Far mini croc-embossed leather bag

Tiny bags are big news this season. Shrunk for AW19, By Far’s croc-embossed version certainly has the novelty factor (read: instantly Instagrammable), but is also surprisingly practical. Stick with us, here. Yes, it may have room to hold little more than your phone and cardholder, but ask yourselves: what else do you need to carry? Think of it as an existential turning point, urging you to consider what’s really important in life. 

Fall back

The key pieces that will work hard in your autumn wardobe? Coats and boots. Get to know your new-season investments below.