Size matters when it comes to this season’s arm candy, says Katie Wright.

When choosing a handbag, it basically comes down to one question: Fun or functional?

Do you want a massive tote that you can throw practically everything you own into every time you leave the house (because you never know when you might need dry shampoo, wet wipes or a European adaptor, right?) or do you want a tiny purse that won’t get in the way when you’re gallivanting around town?

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Surveying this season’s bag trends, they fall firmly in one of the two camps. But when you see how desirable they are, you might want to reverse your approach to these accessories – especially because you can now get the coolest catwalk looks on the high street, for a hell of a lot less.

So, which is the one for you? Find out with our guide to spring’s best bags…

Basket bags
While leather and metallic hardware usually dominate on the catwalks, for SS18, we saw the emergence of sweet, Seventies-style bags at Miu Miu, Giorgio Armani and even Alexander Wang (the latter in black, of course).

Ideal if you’re going to be wearing lots of floaty boho frocks and retro denim this season, take your high-street pick from literal basket bags or woven totes in summery hues.

Dune Doannee White Basket Woven Handbag

Dune Doannee White Basket Woven Handbag, €95

Natural Mini Circle Straw Bag

Next Natural Mini Circle Straw Bag, €35

House of Fraser
House of Fraser

Therapy Woven Mini Tote, £30, House of Fraser

Bucket bags
Bucket bags have been around for a few years now, but they’ve had a bit of a makeover for spring, with bright jewel tones seen at Emporio Armani and candy-striped box bags at Carolina Herrera.

Forget slouchy sacks, now it’s all about chic cylindrical bucket bags, in neutral tones with minimal detailing.

New Look

New Look's Black Woven Bucket Bag, €24.99


Adidas White Favorite Sea Sack, £44.95

Orchid Bini Bag
Matt & Nat

Matt & Nat Orchid Bini Bag, €130

Micro bags
Barely bigger than a fist, evening bags were seriously shrunken in the SS18 collections, from Fendi’s adorable top-handle miniatures, to Chanel’s egg-like hardcase bags.

You might think micro bags are only suitable for after dark – and certainly a tiny sparkly purse is a great cocktail companion – but a small, sporty crossbody bag looks great by day (as long as you can survive with only your keys, cash card and phone).


Monsoon Michaela Mini Camera Bag, £25

Micro Mini 80's Chain Strap Bag
V by Very

V by Very Micro Mini 80’s Chain Strap Bag, €15 (reduced from €30)

Trixie Mini Glitter Shoulder Bag
Trixie Mini Glitter Shoulder Bag

Simply Be Trixie Mini Glitter Shoulder Bag, €25

Bum bags
More designers than ever jumped on the bum bag bandwagon this season, with Balenciaga, Gucci, Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang all showing the hands-free pouches (many of them worn across the chest rather than around the waist).

If you want the practicality of a bum bag but don’t like the sporty throwback style, try a structured belt bag instead – a black leather version chimes in with the season’s cowgirl trend well.

Oasis Palm Beach Tee, £25; Lilac Isabella Jeans, £45; Metallic Blue Belt Bag, £26 (T-shirt available April; bag available June)


Accessorize Otto Multiway Quilted Bumbag, £22


Topshop Flava Chainmail Bum Bag, €32

Miss S
Miss Selfridge

Miss Selfridge Black Studded Belt Bag, €25