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Item of the week: the hobo bag

By Rachel Douglass


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Moschino, Desigual and KL Jeans. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

What it is:

The first hobo bag appeared on the market in 1936, but only began to peak in popularity in the early 2000s, when they became the “it” bag among fashionable celebrities. While the actual name is hotly debated, many cite its origins to be rooted in cartoons, where characters would sport sticks with a crescent shape material tied to the end. This was ultimately mirrored in the shape of the hobo bag, which typically comes in an oversized form and, in place of a stick, has a shoulder strap that goes from end-to-end, creating the look of collapsing in on itself.

Ted Baker. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

Why you’ll want it:

The bag’s popularity in the 2000s means that it is not much of a surprise that it has once again made its way into the hearts of consumers, becoming yet another emblem of the Y2K trend that still doesn’t seem to be diminishing. However, while this bag does lean into trends that are currently relevant, it is a style that is favoured largely for its practicality – evidenced in its often oversized silhouette – and understated appearance, allowing for it to be suitable for day-to-day means. It is also well beloved by designers, who regularly return to the piece season-after-season as a reliable runway classic.

Oilily. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

Where we’ve seen it:

This rang true for SS24 collections, where the hobo bag reigned supreme as a must-have accessory for the season. For many designers, it was exaggerated shapes that led the way, with the likes of Rains and Patou going overboard on their bulky knee-length iterations, the latter selecting bold colourways to make the piece even more eye-catching. Others, however, took more discrete forms. Zegna’s minimalist hobo bags could be seen in light pastels, while Loewe elevated the look with metallic button detailings. At JW Anderson, the piece was created using a rigid mesh, making the shape more distinct in its form.

Madewell. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

How to style it:

The hobo bag is a statement in itself. Despite typically being found in more laidback designs, its general appearance means that it can tie together any outfit. This even includes the most casual of attire. Jogging suits, sweats and loungewear can immediately be elevated with the hobo bag, which is the perfect accessory for Sunday errands and swift supermarket trips, functioning both as a shopping bag and necessities holder. If the event calls for something more dressed up, the piece can also work alongside sleek co-ord sets and tailored wares, which give the bag a face lift for an evening out.

Guess. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

The hobo bag is the perfect accessory for those looking for a practical, yet stylish wardrobe addition. Next to falling into current trends, it is something that continues to recur each season as a safe bet for yearly collections.

Fossil. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

Similar items available for (pre)order can be found in the FashionUnited Marketplace. You can find them by clicking on this link.
Item of the Week