This past weekend my husband and I decided to be tourists in our own neighborhood. Not far from where we live is Brooklyn Bridge Park, which is a park along the shore of Brooklyn with piers containing all sorts of fun things to do, from kid activities, beach volleyball, roller skating, kayaking, sailing, ball courts, a carousel and even a pool. You could literally take a whole day to do a few of the activities or do what we did and just walk the path and take in the sights. It’s nice to have such a fun place we can just walk to.
As we were getting ready to leave, I realized I didn’t have a super casual handbag that I could carry the few things I needed. I didn’t want to lug a big tote, I didn’t need that much room, and I also didn’t want to take a structured handbag that I usually carry. I just needed a little bag that was durable and could keep my hands fee. I made note of this need and decided to look into this and share some fun casual summer handbags that you can consider for your own season of fun.
Casual Summer Handbags You’ll Want to Use this Season
Casual Summer Handbag #1
I started with this Tumi crossbody in a versatile shade that is roomy enough to carry what you need for your day out but not so big that it will drag you down. Plus, the crossbody element can keep shoulders comfortable and your hands free. Most people only think of Tumi bags for luggage, weekenders and work totes, but they also make a fine line of handbags as well.
In this outfit, I styled this Tumi purse with a printed top from Boden, a pair of white Bermuda shorts from J. Crew, a pair of pink flop flops from Nine West, orange Fossil watch and simple studs from LOFT.
On those days when you need more bag room but don’t want to be subjected to carrying a tote on your shoulder, a backpack may be the better alternative. Everyone loves the classic Longchamp Le Pliage bag, but a bag of that size may be too roomy for a day out. In this outfit I used their backpack style instead. Same look, more functional. With this bag, I added this cute French Bulldog t-shirt from LOFT (because I am obsessed with them), a pair of boyfriend jeans, Superga sneakers in peach and a woven bracelet from Banana Republic.
This nylon bag from Kipling is the bag I wish I had this weekend. Small enough to carry the few things I needed plus its in a neutral shade that can guarantee I’ll get the most use out of it. In the summer, many women wear more color and prints. A neutral casual bag may get you more wear. Here, for a slightly less casual look, I used this summer dress from Modcloth, a pair of coral wedges from Eric Michael and a turquoise necklace from JC Penney.
For a quick jaunt, or for times where you don’t need a bag but still want to carry a few things, a small wristlet, like this one from Sakroots, will come in handy. It can double as a wallet and can be pulled out of your larger bag when you just need your key items. There is room for a cell phone, some credit cards, keys, ID and some cash. I’m a big fan of the smaller bag within the larger bag during the summer for this reason.
In this outfit, I used this bag with an easy skirt from The Gap, a white tank from J. Crew, comfortable yellow Fit Flops, a teal scarf, Panama hat, yellow sunglasses from Ray-Ban and small gold stud earrings from Bauble Bar.
The only thing I don’t like about wristlets is that you have to carry them. Sure, they hang off your wrist but that’s not always safe or convenient. This is why I think this crossbody smartphone purse from LeSporstac is brilliant. With it you have room for the things you really need, it’s light and it keeps your hands free. It’s like a wallet on a strap…plus no need for an unsightly fanny pack.
With this bag, I added this super casual t-shirt dress from Athleta and finished the look with a pair of pink espadrilles, silver drop earrings from Bloomingdales and black leather bracelet from Macy’s.
Shop for casual summer handbags
If you feel like you need a casual summer handbag, be sure to check out these additional styles below.
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Two other brands that are more casual and not expensive are Bagglinini and Sherpani. I have a small plain grey crossbody from the first and a medium size beige patterned on from the second. Bonus is both are machine washable when your summer fun gets a little messy 😉
I enjoy toting a backpack which leaves both hands free and keeps both shoulders balanced. I find that finding designs that consider the security issues of having personal belongings behind and out of sight are rare. I did find one (no label) that can be carried as a double-strap bucket handbag. You can also slide a metal ring along both straps to elongate/separate them to create the backpack straps. The zipper to the bag is then securely enclosed and unreachable by prying hands. Hope that gives a visual.
I have a range of backpacks from Tignanello that I use as my everyday bags and have a couple of Clarke’s that modify from double strap to backpack.
The only casual style I don’t have is the backpack. It is just difficult for me to put on. But again, all my bags are small.