When I first became interested in handbags, hobos were huge. I mean that both literally and figuratively; not only was the style super popular, but the most popular versions were enormous. A recent wave of hobos from The Row harkens back to those days (The Olsen twins were, of course, infamous for carrying bags big enough to live in during those years), and it has me feeling pleasantly nostalgic for the mid-2000s.

There’s a lot from that era that needs to stay in the past: low-rise jeans, track suits with things written across the butt, barrel-curled hair extensions. Huge hobos are, arguably, on that list. For one thing, they’re black holes made portable, with the ability to gobble up and hide forever anything you put inside. If that’s your stance, I get it. I just don’t agree.

Hobos are great casual bags, and with the right minimalist rendering from a brand like The Row or Céline, they might even feel fresh again. After all, we’ve all see enough bucket bags, saddle bags, micro bags and wannabe Birkins to last us a while; the time feels right for a new structure to ascend. If a brand can come through with exactly the right version to capture the hearts and minds of the public, at least. That The Row seems committed to hobos is good news for people like me, though; the brand was way ahead of the curve on that whole backpack thing.

So, really, I guess I have two questions for you today: do you want more hobos in your life, and if not, which bag thing needs to make a return post-haste?

(Psst: you can pick up The Row hobo above for $1,190 via Neiman Marcus.)

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Bir

    I miss true top handle bags before it became “chic” for these bags to hang on ones shoulder i mean the days when the Kelly the Speedy the alma were made to fit on the hand and arm. the shoulder strap was an option for times of need but not the defined structure so i think the Hobo does have a chance since so many bags now including Birkin shape imitations like the Diorama or the saint Laurent versión actualy have shoulder straps. so i welcome the rise of the hobo again !! maybe Gucci will make the one bag i always wanted and never actually got the horsebit all leather super size !

  • Lily

    Hobos will never look fresh again, nor were they ever an attractive silhouette.

    What purse trend would I like to see return? I guess, just well-made bags that are actually worth their price.

  • Y Ajayi

    I didn’t realise hobos were out…LV makes a lot of money selling hobo style bags to avid fans. I still carry my brightly coloured mulberry ones on occasion. I love the ease of use and the lack of fuss. To me any good sized bag is a potential black hole.

  • Lori

    I would like to see the “trend” of purses priced more reasonably. I feel like they are all ridiculously expensive at this point. Even the Row bag shown here is $2K and it’s a few pieces of suede stitched together.

  • Amazona

    LOVE hobos! My favorite, a Pure Collection hobo actually is not a black hole – it’s somewhat structured and it has great pockets inside. And yes, I need at least one more hobo in my life. Well, want. Not need. But I love the way a hobo is easy to carry and never looks out of place.

  • Gpc

    I actually like hobos, esp. single strap, but I have become spoiled by cross body’s. Who could not like the Bottega Veneta cervo hobo – buttery leather and exquisite construction. it is like carrying a pillow…

  • Yoshi1296

    I LOVE hobos! The Bottega Veneta hobo and the sling 15 hobo from The Row are my fave! I have the sling 15 hobo in black suede and it is one of my best investments!

    I loved the “hardsided clutch as a day bag” trend LOL!! Remember when the kardashians and other celebs carried nothing but the Bottega knot clutches everywhere they went? Lmao I hope to see that come back!

    • Vbogaert

      I have a Bottega Veneta hobo and I love it! I love hobo bags, so long as they’re quality leather, otherwise they look cheap.

  • FashionableLena

    Isn’t the Falabella a hobo? Both basically make you feel as though your stuff is in a trash bag.

    • Kate

      So true. The Falabella is one of the ugliest bags I’ve ever seen. A trash bag with chains is the best way to describe it.

  • lavinia

    flat hobo all my life, they are practical beautiful, easy to wear :)

  • Smithy

    Simple designs that do one thing. They are either hand carried or shoulder carried. No more long dangling messy looking shoulder straps ruining the look of a lovely bag.

  • HelloHappylife

    No keep them in the past. They remind me of those sling wrap carriers people put their babies in.

  • Rashmi

    I agree with the comment about the trend of “reasonably priced” bags ought to come back. It’s high time!!! Give us reasonably priced handbags not the overly inflated just because of the IT factor priced bags

  • Ramona Daniela

    I am a uni student about to graduate this autumn, luckily without debts. Although I don’t have the money to purchase almost any of the IT bags advertised on this blog, I have an opinion on this topic. There is one trend I would adore to make a comeback, and for this I am linking one of your earlier posts: https://www.purseblog.com/prada/fashion-week-spring-2010-prada-handbags/ Hope you will enjoy it! Some reasonably-priced versions (given the low cost of the material) wouldn’t hurt, though! :)

  • Imgoingbroke

    I love my hobo bags. I tend to carry them a lot, especially my amazingly beautiful Gucci Ostrich Diana Bamboo Hobo and my beautiful Gucci New Jackie Diamante hobo. Things aren’t always as organized in my hobo’s as I’d like them to be, but then again, my satchels, totes and shoulder bags are a mess too!

  • edessastudio@hotmail.com

    Vintage Coach. Not the junk that is out there today.

  • Sabrina Abbas

    I’d love to just see bags priced to match the quality. So sick of status-induced price inflations coupled with decreases in craftsmanship.

  • cat

    East west bags with the main compartment that zipped and 2 side sleeve compartments. Shallow enough so when you open it you can see everything in your bag with the handle drop long enough to actually put on your shoulder. With craftsmanship that lasts forever and price that is not ridiculously inflated.

  • Aliza Zibkoff

    I like hobos as long as they have some good organizational pockets on the inside and out as well. Cellphone pockets near the top zip a must. A few patch pockets and a generous back wall zip all the better. I hate having my important stuff get lost in the void of a huge bag whatever it is. Personally I love the vintage look of the 50’s with those larger framed alligator bags, so elegant…but that ain’t happening. I can alway have mad men dreams though! I do think that a update of those looks would be amazing. Of course in a more practical size for todays subway crunch commuting situations.

  • Anne Ashburn-Leazar

    I adore the Coach Girlie bag that’s a huge trend back in early 2000. That bag is my absolute favorite that should come back with a cell/tech pockets as a medium-sized bag.

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