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9 Must Have Bags for Summer

Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, so let’s discuss some must-have summer bags. 

While I’ll always advocate buying the best quality you can afford, especially for an everyday bag, I like to have a variety of bags on hand in the warm months. 

That means having to make my budget stretch by figuring out where to spend and where to save. Remember, I’m a fashion person but have bills to pay. So, I keep things practical and stylish. And while I may have been a designer bag girl in my youth, those purchases don’t give me the same thrill these days. 

Contrary to popular belief, being budget-conscious in your fashion choices doesn’t limit your options. In fact, it can lead to a more diverse collection of bags that enhance your look. So, don’t be afraid to explore different styles and brands within your budget.

You might be surprised by the gems you find. 

9 Must Have Bags for Summer

Straw Clutch, $27.99 | Rowen Raffia Envelope Clutch, $128 | Crystal Clutch, $39.99 |Carry Shoulder Bag, $395 |Italian Leather Quilted Convertible Crossbody, $119.90 | Berkeley Bucket Bag, $198 | The Brigitte Satchel, $108 | Boat& Tote, $35 | Bogg Bag, $90

Straw Clutch

Starting with one of my most used and loved summer occasion bags, this hard-case straw clutch is an absolute go-to.

I use it so much this time of year and am constantly asked about it. So imagine my delight when I get to tell people it’s under $30 on Amazon. I’ve had friends open their app while we’re out to buy one from themselves.


Straw Clutch



Rowen Raffia Envelope Clutch

Next, the Rowen Raffia Envelope Clutch from Tuckernuck. I can’t tell you the joy this bag brings me.

This is an ideal size, is beautifully made and the kind of bag you’ll enjoy for years to come.


Rowen Raffia Envelope Clutch



Crystal Clutch

If there is one area I wholeheartedly think you should view as a “save,” it’s evening bags. 

There are just so many options at fantastic prices, from vintage gems to Amazon finds. 

This simple crystal clutch, reminiscent of a cloud-shaped bag, comes in gold (featured) and silver for $40 (with an extra coupon at checkout).

Great for weddings, parties, nights out – whatever you haven planned.


Crystal Clutch



Carry Shoulder Bag

Next up a shoulder bag. I would spend a little more of your budget here.

Depending on your style, you can go with several color options, I’m showing one in white from Coach. I have this in black and carry it all fall and winter. It’s just solid, well made, high quality leather.

Available in four colors for under $400.

If you’re not into the white, consider something a British tan, a warm but light neutral that will go with everything and is less severe than black. Something like this splurgy option from Ralph Lauren is stunning. You could carry is all year.

Or this one from Clare V. is timeless and wonderfully logo free.


Carry Shoulder Bag



Italian Leather Quilted Convertible Crossbody

After having kids a crossbody became a must have. So much so that even now that I’m not always carrying their stuff around, it’s my preferred style for a busy summer.

This is a beautifully crafted bag that is amazingly under $150 , available in five color and hardware options.

Functional enough for a casual day out, sightseeing, shopping, or strolling around but still elegant enough to elevate your outfit.


Italian Leather Quilted Convertible Crossbody



Berkeley Bucket Bag

Bucket bags are a fun, and functional trending yet traditional style. And if I had to pick one to buy this year it would be the Berkeley Bucket Bag from J.Crew, mixing canvas and leather together for a sophisticated and still kind of preppy look.

This is a big bag and will be able to fit all of your essentials plus more.

And you can add your monogram – which you know I adore.


Berkeley Bucket Bag



The Brigitte Satchel

It’s always fun to see a trend become a new classic, and it’s safe to say that these woven detailed bags are turning into that. Made iconic by Bottega Veneta, we’re now seeing them move from “dupe” to something on it’s own, a standard style that adds texture, depth and interest.

The Brigitte Satchel, a best selling bag from Anthropologie, is a fun little bag for about $100, available in black, grey and tan.


The Brigitte Satchel



Boat & Tote

I love a Boat & Tote. They are great for so many things from luggage, to a go-to for a summer farmers market. I have a handful that I use consistently over the summer and really all year long.

You can play around with sizes and handle lengths to create a custom bag specific for your needs, your choice of 12 colors and endless options to have embroidered.


Boat & Tote

LL Bean


Bogg Bag

Finally, I’m the last person who thought I would buy what I always thought was a deeply unattractive bag. But I did last year, and while I still think it looks ridiculous, I love it. 

I carried this bad boy to the beach for a month straight, and I appreciated how it stands up straight, fits everything you could need, and can be hosed off when you get home. 

The only thing I don’t like using my Boat & Tote for is the beach because inevitably, sand gets stuck in the crevasses, and a kid spills something in it, and then it’s stained. 

Not Bogg Bag. Mine has seen popsicles and iced coffee mishaps all summer, and it looks as good as new. 

Available in a range of colors, I have the X-Large in Latte You Lots.


Bogg Bag

Bogg Bag


Related Posts

 Join Megan Kristel for a comprehensive, 3 hour long, LIVE Virtual Workshop sharing personal style and shopping tips for women over 40 on March 31, 2023.


Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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