I remember the heyday of the hobo. Back when I first got into handbags, circa 2005, hobos were just as popular as crossbodies are today; they weren’t the flashiest It Bags on the scene, but they were the thing everyone had in their closets for when they needed to, you know, actually carry something functional. Then, of course, the era of the “optional crossbody strap” dawned, and after that, the straps weren’t so optional anymore – if you were carrying a shoulder bag, it had a long strap, with few exceptions. Trends are inevitably cyclical, though, so is it possible that hobos are ready for a comeback?

A couple of people have mentioned to me recently the idea that maybe hobos are ready to make a big splash, and I can’t help but think that I heard the same chatter a few seasons ago, to little avail. There will always be a market for hobos in the classic Gucci vein, but if women are used to having their bags a little further away from them – either crossbody or on a long shoulder strap – I doubt many will want to go back to stuffing a hobo in their armpit. (Seriously, why couldn’t those strap drops ever just be a little longer?) Every now and then, I break out a beloved Balenciaga Day Bag from 2007, but it rarely replaces my standard PS1 for more than a day or two – a longer shoulder strap just feels more modern and versatile, not to mention ideal for public transportation.

That last part is important, though. I seem to remember caring less about a bag’s structure when I drove myself everywhere, which is what the vast majority of Americans do, so my current existence in the bubble of New York City might be skewing my perception of the relative hobo-readiness of the rest of the country. At this point, I defer to you, our lovely readers: do you wish designers offered more exciting hobo options?

If you like the Gucci Emily Hobo Bag above, you can pick it up for $1,590 via Neiman Marcus.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • I’ve never liked the hobo bags, so that trend is long gone in my book. Nothing can replace a functional and visually more appealing cross-body bag! Even if it is doomed to return, I wouldn’t follow and neither would the fashionistas, I presume.

  • renyoj

    I have a Reed Krakoff Hobo that also has a crossbody strap, which is the best of both worlds. It’s my most worn bag. I think hobos are amazingly practical and comfortable.

  • FashionableLena

    Not a hobo fan. I like a bag with structure and not feeling like my stuff is in a black hole. I wouldn’t jump on this trend.

  • 8Lovelee .

    I think cross-body bags are practical but only flattering if you are thin. As a plus size woman I prefer a nice big hobo or tote. :)

  • Guest

    Comeback? I’ve been carrying hobo bags since college (which was not yesterday.) Never knew they went away.

  • Amanda

    I’ve always carried hobos. It’s my favorite shape!

  • Jennifer

    When I first got into designer bags (early 90s), long straps were thing. You couldn’t find a short strap. Then they went away & short straps were the things (Not a huge fan); I think we’re at a place where there’s room for all types -to reflect everyone’s personal style (lifestyle, too) & taste.

  • janenuqui

    I have just bought a hobo bag. I thought they weren’t coming back though, so I haven’t used my bag yet :p

  • Cheryorchard

    It’s been only recently that I’ve realized the hobo style is the one for me. Crossbody is OK for smaller bags, even my huge Lumi bag every now and then, but my body shape (hourglass) likes hobos the best. The shoulder strap drops are mostly too short, though.
    Dreaming of a Day in a 50% larger version so I could carry all my stuff in it!

    • Dylan Propst

      The men’s courier bag is about 50% larger! Try that:)

  • RoseDahlia

    I think satchels and cross bodies are popular because the are pretty convertible. You can carry them so many ways. At the moment I personally am loving boxy sholder bags, if they come with an extendable strap all the better.

    Hobos are great but i think that the slouchy bag has had its decade. For some reason anything without structure seems increasingly dated to me. I blame the Celine and Hermes fad. But i can’t say i dont love it.

  • Mya

    Hate hobo’s, can never find anything in them!

  • Seher

    This is my favorite shape!