Just because something's a trend doesn't mean it's something that can be widely adopted into the lives and wardrobes of actual women. Lots of trends are nonfunctional, too formal, too juvenile, too prohibitively expensive—fashion has whims, and they don't always line up with reality. At first, that was my thought with the basket bag trend. Last year, the stylish and unencumbered were carrying literal baskets as handbags, which seemed both a little silly and completely irrelevant for women who want to do more with their bag than pose for an Instagram. I was unimpressed.
That trend quickly transitioned into retailers carrying the next best thing that they could find, which was a bunch of straw totes, usually big and beach-appropriate. And those are fine—I have no problem with them. Usually, though, they looked a little too much like literal beach bags to look at home anywhere but on a deck chair. This summer, though, the trend has finally moved into a spot where I think it can be widely appreciated: chic little basket bags (emphasis on bags) are everywhere.
Instead of oversized beach bags or difficult-to-use baskets, these bags employ straw, wicker, rattan and raffia to make cute little bucket bags, mini crossbodies, clutches, mini totes and everything else you could imagine. They range from aggressively summer-feeling and heavily embellished to understated and trimmed with exotic leathers, and some are even finished so precisely that you might not notice they're woven raffia without an up-close inspection. They're all great day bags for casual activities that don't take you anywhere near a pool, and several of them just might be sleek enough for a summer night. Check out our picks below.