6 autumn/winter handbag trends 2023: the styles to add to your collection this season

After analysing the latest catwalk shows, these are the 6 autumn/winter handbag trends 2023 that are worth knowing about

autumn/winter handbag trends 2023 runway show imagery from Valentino, Prada and A.W.AK.E mode
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The autumn/winter handbag trends 2023 are the speediest way to update your wardrobe and bring it inline with current styles. After all, what elevates an outfit more than a shiny new bag? As autumn is in full swing, we take a deep dive into the bags we’ll all be coveting in the coming months.

The latest autumn/winter handbag trends 2023 are taken from the runway shows back in February, as fashion is always working at least six months in advance. Having watched hundreds of fashion shows, we saw a massive shift towards more muted classics but have no fear, the latest autumn/winter handbags are by no means boring. Highly wearable, the autumn/winter handbag trends 2023 are chic and timeless, evoking the best Quiet Luxury handbags and making them a worthy addition to your autumn capsule wardrobe. Think structured office-worthy bags, roomy bucket bags and the best tote bags in versatile hues. Dreamy!

While most styles felt elegantly paired back, for those after something a little more avant garde the shows wouldn't be the same without some outlandish designs and for the autumn/winter 2023 handbag trends, this came in the form of fuzzy textures and XXL silhouettes, giving handbags a tactile and comforting feel.

There will be some carry over from the spring/summer handbag trends 2023, as with fashion, a new season doesn't mean you have to restart your whole wardrobe, but adding in a few key accessories or clothing pieces will help to refresh old favourites in a jiffy. Luckily many of the autumn/winter handbag trends are pretty timeless and will likely make for great designer bag investments that you can wear for many years to come. We've rounded up how to get a runway worthy look at a fraction of the price.

1. Code red

A composite of models on the runway showing fall/winter handbag trends 2023 red handbags

Valentino / Gucci / Fendi

(Image credit: Getty)

Red really was the ‘it’ colour of the catwalks, and one of the biggest fashion colour trends of the season, covering everything from the best winter coats, to autumn/winter shoes and of course, handbags. If you find this fiery shade a bit too scorching for clothing, then investing in a red bag is the easiest way to subtly introduce the trend to your wardrobe. You don’t have to go big either - even a micro bag will have an impact, especially sat against a smart camel coat or a black two-piece. 

"Red is going to be the colour of autumn/winter fashion trends, however, if your personal style is more based around neutral and softer colours you can always incorporate this bold hue into your bag. Adding a pop of colour can really elevate your overall look and red will show off your style chops,” says Megan.

Alternatively, for a bolder look take note from Valentino and Fendi and team your red arm candy with an all-red outfit or a colour-clashing pink dress. A fun look to reach for when party season rolls around. Finish the look with a pop of red lippy to really highlight your bag.

What to look out for:

  • Clutches: A key silhouette for autumn/winter, a red clutch will really pack a punch against your LBD.
  • Chain details: A micro trend from the catwalks, chain accents will amp up the attitude.

2. Handle it

A composite of models on the runway showing fall/winter handbag trends 2023 top handle

Prada / Off-White / Christian Dior

(Image credit: Getty)

An overspill from spring/summer 2023 fashion trends, top handle bags are a mainstay for autumn and this ladylike style is a timeless staple. One of the best designer bags for work, this silhouette will add instant polish to your look with its clean lines and sturdy structure. Regardless of size, this design always looks prim and proper and whilst most of the catwalks opted for smaller silhouettes, you can go bigger if your lifestyle requires you to. 

“If you intend to wear bulky outerwear, balance this look with a top handle bag in a soft-matte black or chocolate brown,” says Natalie Robinson, luxury personal stylist and style expert.

For a modern update you can experiment with a print such as snake or leopard for added edge that still works well with your wardrobe.

What to look out for:

  • Neutral shades: A style that designer Prada always nails, keep it fuss-free and endlessly versatile in muted tones of tan and black. 
  • Long straps: If you prefer a hands-free style, look for boxy bags that have a top handle and an extra long strap so you can wear it crossbody too.

3. Finishing clutch

A composite of models on the runway showing fall/winter handbag trends 2023 clutch bags

N21 / Versace / Miu Miu

(Image credit: Getty)

Clutches made a big comeback on this season's runways and they’re sleeker than ever. More boardroom-than-bar-ready N21 and Miu Miu showcased high-end clutches in leather fabrications and block colours, perfect for tapping into that Quiet Luxury trend. With this in mind, don’t just save them for evening. Take note from Versace and wear with your best jeans and a relaxed shirt for an effortless high-low weekend look. The way you carry your clutch is key to this aesthetic too - a gentle tuck under the arm should do it. 

What to look out for:

  • Squishy pouches: Gone are the envelope styles of the early 00’s, instead, veer towards softer silhouettes with a more roomy interior.
  • Silver: Go big with that eveningwear as daywear vibe and add a splash of metallic to your clutch for a cool twist.  “Clutches are super chic and as they are usually small, you can make a statement with them. Look for clutches that have sparkles, sequins, and interesting shapes next season to truly elevate your date night or wedding guest outfit,” explains Megan.

4. XXL Totes

A composite of models on the runway showing fall/winter handbag trends 2023 xxl totes

JW Anderson / Jil Sander / Balmain

(Image credit: Getty)

Gym kit? Check! Laptop? Check? Change of shoes? Check! For those of us who like to seriously overpack, the XXL tote bag will be your new best friend, pushing those backpacks for work to the back of the style queue. From slouchy styles spotted on Jil Sander to giant shoppers at Balmain, these bags are as dramatic as they look and you certainly won’t struggle to cram all your belongings into this larger-than-life design.

"XXL tote bags are not only in with trends such as maximalism and oversized-everything, they are also extremely useful - they are able to fit pretty much everything you'll need for the day without looking overstuffed or frumpy. As the bag is already making a statement, I would suggest going for pared-back, classic outfits. Think loose-fitting denim, crisp white shirts and slim-fit blazers.This is a fail-safe work outfit that you can wear from Monday to Friday,” says Megan.

What to look out for:

  • Extra pockets: Save on rummaging time and slip a smaller bag inside to store easy-to-grab essentials - your phone, keys and the best wallets for women.
  • Leather: The perfect excuse to upgrade your old canvas bag, elevate your XXL tote and opt for a soft leather fabric for extra polish.

5. Hot fuzz

A composite of models on the runway showing fall/winter handbag trends 2023 furry bags

A.W.A.K.E Mode / Loewe / Off-White

(Image credit: Getty)

Cold weather calls for cosy fabrics and the runways were keen to show us that a cuddly bag is your fast-track way to warming up your wardrobe. As well as one of the key autumn/winter shoe trends 2023, shearling textures and fluffy finishes were adorning our handbags too, spotted at the likes of Off-White and Loewe in all shapes and sizes.

Cover two trends in one and opt for a fuzzy bucket bag, looking for chain details and metal hardware to toughen up the soft style. Avoid going full-on The Muppets and styling with a fluffy coat, pair instead with slinky dresses or the best wool coats.

“Fluffy or shearling bags, when worn with denim and floral outfit combinations, create contrast and fluidity. One styling tip to consider would be to avoid head-to-toe shearling, which can be stifling,” says Natalie.

What to look out for:

  • Shearling: A key winter fabric, a shearling bag will give your outfit a '70s inspired boho vibe and looks especially chic paired with denim.
  • Contrasting textures: "Texture will also be huge for bags this year. Mixing interesting textures is no easy feat, but going for a bag that is made from faux fur or shearling is an easy way to add dimension to your overall look. Pair your fur or shearling bag with a contrasting texture such as a silk or satin dress or leather jacket,” says Megan.

6. Bucket list

A composite of models on the runway showing fall/winter handbag trends 2023 bucket bags

Bottega Veneta / Etro / Loewe

(Image credit: Getty)

Compact yet roomy, a bucket bag has truly stood the test of time and is well worth having in your arm candy arsenal. Suitable for anything from coffee dates to cocktail hour, these drawstring pouches are fun and functional.

“Bucket bags with adjustable shoulder straps sit comfortably underneath your arms, complementing outwear jackets or coats. Bucket bags also have a large oval base, moulding well against your body,” explains Natalie.

With a laidback aesthetic, they’re a stylish choice for a boho capsule wardrobe. Designers such as Etro and Loewe added interest with braided finishes, cool hardware and studded accents. 

What to look out for:

  • Black: We love the powerful all-black outfit spotted on Bottega Veneta and it’s a super easy look to create. Especially as black coats are looking set to be one of the biggest fall/winter coat trends 2023 too.
  • Sculptural shapes: Get arty with your bucket bag and look out for designer-inspired pleating.

Mimicking the autumn/winter fashion trends we also saw a fiery red cropping up on handbags aplenty, setting the scene for this season's colour trends. Whether you decide on a head-to-toe red look or splashes of the hue, the bold shade will have instant impact. “An outfit is only complete with a handbag, and how you wear one will make a statement. For example, a large tote in Barbiecore pink or red would make any outfit pop with colour and accommodate large items like a work laptop,” explains Luxury Personal Stylist & Style Expert Natalie Robinson

One shape that really stole the show was the long-forgotten clutch bag, cropping up on the Versace and Miu Miu runways. A step away from the micro party bags we saw pre-pandemic, the autumn/winter clutches are crafted from buttery soft leather in slouchy silhouettes for a sleeker more grown-up aesthetic.

"Bags can often be overlooked when building an outfit, but this season bags will be a serious focal point. However, this doesn't mean you have to buy a different bag for every outfit - looking at current trends and choosing a few different styles will be able to see you through 'til 2024,” says Megan Watkins, Head Stylist at fashion destination SilkFred.

Investing in a new handbag as a way of instantly updating your seasonal wardrobe is a smart investment, with many of the best designer handbags retaining or increasing in value over time. Before purchasing, make yourself aware of common handbag mistakes and consider exactly how and when you plan to use your handbag. If you want maximum cost-per-wear, choose a bag that’s timeless, versatile and practical such as the best crossbody bags in neutral colours to ensure it goes with every winter outfit.

Trends are pretty cyclical, with many of this season's hottest trends rifts on past styles, so think about shopping hand as a means to shop more sustainably, whilst remaining bang on trends.

“When shopping for your next “It” handbag or new trend, take a second to consider whether you can actually buy it second-hand instead. The magic of looking to pre-owned items when shopping the latest trends is the abundance of choice for every possible trend you could hope for,” says Vinted's consumer lead Natacha Blanchard.

“You can shop trends easily on a second-hand platform like Vinted simply by using filters to narrow down your choices. You can even filter by colour, material and brand to really hone in on specifics. You can also shop specific trends by searching the most relevant hashtags such as #Y2K and #quietluxury. Another great tip for bagging the best items is to search for similarly phrased keywords such as “oversized tote” in addition to “XXL tote”.

headshot Megan Watkins
Megan Watkins

Megan Watkins is the Head Stylist and Shoot Coordinator at online destination for independent fashion brands, SilkFred. Megan has nearly 10 years experience in styling and has shot ecommerce campaigns for the likes of Never Fully Dressed, Dancing Leopard and Pretty Lavish. Prior to her role at SilkFred, Megan worked as an assistant stylist to Karl Willett whose clients include the likes of Amanda Holden, Kylie Minogue and Nicole Scherzinger. 

Charlie Bell

Charlie is the Deputy Fashion Editor at Future plc across multiple women’s magazines including Woman & Home, Woman and Woman's Own.

She bagged her first magazine job in 2009 and has previously written for titles including Stylist, Closer and Dare. Over the years Charlie has embraced anything that was thrown at her from styling celebrities to testing out the best jeans on the high street to writing about must-have beauty buys.

With a weakness for a printed midi dress, Charlie is on a mission to shop more sustainably and loves finding new ethical brands and second-hand buys.