Have Shoulder Bags Surpassed the Crossbody Bag in Popularity?

Let's take a look...

We’ve been talking a lot, and I mean a lot about shoulder bags lately. From the big bag to the slouchy shoulder bags popularized in the 2000s, it is impossible to ignore that shoulder bags of every size reign supreme these days.

Gone are the days of functionality being king and a hands-free, no-fuss bag being the bag of the moment. Like it or not—the trend no longer leans towards crossbody bags, despite their ease of use. These days, it’s all about the shoulder bag, and you can thank the trend cycle for that.

The Ebs and Flows of Fashion

Fashion is cyclical, and just like in history, it has a way of repeating itself. And if you’ve ever studied fashion or read about fashion long enough, you’ve likely heard about the trend cycle. Simply put, any trend has its introduction phase, leading to its saturation, peak, and eventually its pit. The trend gets reintroduced somewhere down the line, and thus, it begins again.


Revivalism goes hand in hand with the trend cycle when it comes to understanding the inner workings of fashion. And while the trend cycle is shorter than ever these days, thanks largely to social media and consumers’ constant access to newness, revivalism is a concept that hasn’t changed.

Historically speaking, trends have nearly always referenced the past in one way or another, and while it seems like these days the obsession with nostalgia is at its peak, it’s not a new concept. The revival of trends dates back centuries, with one of the most prominent examples being the gothic aesthetic that’s commonly associated with the Victorian era. In reality, its origins date back to the 1400s, and only later in the late 19th century did it come into popularity again.

Prada Femme Shoulder Bag

The Shoulder Bag Returns

You can thank the concept of revivalism for the major return of the shoulder bag. As fashion’s obsession with the trends and popular fashion items of the 90s and the early 2000s continues, the handbag trends of those decades are primed for a return as well. Just look at the seemingly endless supply of re-edition bags that designers are churning out like the Dior Saddle, the Fendi Baguette, the Gucci Jackie 1961, the Prada Re-Edition 2000, and more.

Conversely, the crossbody bag had its moment in the 2010s, when many popular bags of the time were meant to be worn with a longer strap across one’s body. There was the beloved Chloé Drew, the Gucci SoHo Disco, the Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis, and more. The aforementioned icons were all released during the 2010s (here’s to hoping the bandage skirts of that era rest forever). Now, this is not to say that crossbody bags don’t have their time and place, existing still as part of a brand’s assortment, but from a demand/supply perspective, the shoulder bag seems to have taken over.

What do you think? Are shoulder bags reigning in popularity these days?

Gucci Jackie 1961 Shoulder Bag


Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments