That’s a wrap! 2021’s bag styles reviewed

The regular Bagwhispers readers amongst you will know that each month, I share my favourite five bags from instagram, in ‘something for the weekend’. They are favourites for various reasons: channelling a key shape or colour of the season or just being fabulous at standing out. I’ve reviewed each month’s round-up and picked one stand out bag from each month’s instagram edit. If you’re sitting comfortably, let’s celebrate the bags of 2021 that made an impact. Here are top 12 bags of 2021.


The puzzle bag from Loewe has been around for a while but the start of 2021 saw this iconic bag introduced in a much smaller size. The nano sized bag is pictured here as a top handle option.

Nano Puzzle bag from Loewe


The shoulder bag started to make it’s way back on the scene with the revival of the baguette bag, the season before. And the Taco bag from Yuzefi combined the long shape of the baguette with a new structural form.

Taco bag from Yusefi
Taco bag from Yuzefi


By springtime we were anticipating lockdowns lifts and we began to start dreaming of a holiday. Thanks to Cult Gaia and the Yasmina bag, we started to get excited about the beach times ahead.

Cult Gaia Yasmina bag


With an increasing number of ethical and sustainable bag brands emerging, there’s one brand that never fails to catch my eye. And the Luciana bag from Bottletop was in the season’s key pastel colour and could be carried three ways, shoulder, crossbody or clutch. Love the 3-in-1 options.

Shoulder bag from Bottletop
Bottletop’s Luciana bag


Staying with the ethical theme, a social community brand that produces wonderfully bright bags is Nannacay and the Carlina bag did not disappoint on the fringe embellishments.

Carlina bag from Nannacay


This edit isn’t all about the small bags, the backpack made it too. With businesses opening up their offices and a break from WFH had us looking to work bags. From Canada, the sustainable brand Matt and Nat showcased the Brave backpack. This bag brings modern minimalist lines to a stylish backpack that can transport a laptop. Perfect heavy lifting!

Brave backpack from Matt and Nat


Not just for the stunt – an ‘oversize’ bag which travelled down the River Thames in London. But hats hats off to the Burberry Olympia bag as this half moon shape bag, with its curved edges began to appear on various bag designers’ collections later in the autumn.

Olympia bag from Burberry


When New Yorkers leave the city for a break, we can still show our love for this fashion capital of the world. The city’s bag brand Kate Spade celebrated the city’s iconic logo on a tote. A classic!

Tote bag from Kate Spade


As the season’s change the autumnal/winter colour palette rolls in. And the love for a camera bag did not wain in 2021. We look to the Italian brand Coccinelle and the Beat bag to give this crossbody a fresh look.

Camera bag from Coccinelle
Beat bag from Coccinelle


Textural additions to a bag come in various forms. And one of the most popular options this year was quilting. The panel stitching popped up across many brands’ bags. The Gum Design Cloud bag range brought quilting to 100% recycled bags.

Cloud bag range from Gum Design


The curves seen earlier in the year, courtesy of Burberry, were taken even further by many brands. And stand out, pretty in pink, was the lightweight Primavera bag from Furla.

Shoulder bag from Furla
Furla’s Primavera shoulder bag


Last but by no means least, a bag that’s a wardrobe staple, the tote bag. And thanks to Dagne Dover who are all about bringing good design to everyday life, whilst being kind to Mother Nature. The Tokyo tote bag is perfect for those who love to adjust the handle length in a stylish way.

Tokyo tote bag from Dagne Dover

There you have it, the bags that don’t necessarily have the awe of the Valentino Garavani Stud, La Medusa from Versace, or the baguette or Peekaboo from Fendi, but deserve a shout out.

That’s a wrap for 2021 and here’s to 2022, however you may be marking the new year. Best wishes to all!

And those looking for 2022 fashion inspiration, check out these two:

Thanks to Engin Akyurt on Unsplash for the header image.

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