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Item of the week: the oversized bag

By Rachel Douglass


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(From left) Image: Helen Kaminski, Na-kd, Karl Lagerfeld

What it is:

The handbag has taken on new forms in recent seasons, no longer restrained by standard sizing and instead assuming extreme silhouettes, from minute to bulky sizes. It is the oversized handbag that we will be exploring today, a style that has barged its way into the limelight with its voluminous appearance that demands attention. This supersized ‘it’ accessory has turned the tide on shrunken designs that ruled 2022, largely due to the resurgence of travel and, subsequently, the demand for more space and practicality – two factors the tiny trend could not cater to.

Image: The Dust

Why you’ll want it:

The oversized bag brings a refined, new meaning to handheld accessories, offering size and silhouette that undoubtedly stands out among the crowd. The biggest appeal for its ballooning shape is naturally the practicality that it offers, enabling buyers to fit just about their entire lives into the bag before taking on the world. Iterations of the bag also see it come in styles that can be suitable for a variety of occasions, with simple leathers available for daily wear and zhuzhed up embellishments perfect for the evening. Its presence among runways for the coming season further cements its place for the year ahead.

Image: Studio Eva D

Where we’ve seen it:

Louis Vuitton was at the forefront of the trend, displaying a wide variety of oversized bags that took on differing forms. While some were colossal iterations of its monogram clutch bags, others came in the shape of dollhouses and shiny, gold chained shoulder bags, each bringing a sense of surrealism to its line. Similarly humorous takes could also be spotted at the Moschino and Bottega Veneta shows. In its signature tongue-in-cheek fashion, Moschino’s oversized bag took on the appearance of a blow up object, while Bottega Veneta played with absurd shapes, albeit in elevated forms. Meanwhile, brands like Chloé and Dries van Noten opted for more classic styles, the former with bucket bags, the latter with the baguette.

Image: Michael Kors

How to style it:

The oversized bag alone is a statement piece, and can tie together just about any outfit in an elevated way. For day wear, the bag can work simply with any number of trousers or skirts, and can look cosy alongside other oversized items, like a jumper or button-up shirt. For the evening, add it to sequin or sparkly attire to dress it up, pairing it with simple accessories, like fine jewellery, so as to not to overburden a look. A key technique to adopting the oversized bag is to draw outfit inspiration from its colourings. If printed, use one or more of the colours to determine the final outfit. Muted tones can be paired with contrasting hues, while bolder iterations work best with more discrete undertones.

Image: Axel Arigato

The oversized bag is the daring replacement of the tiny handbag trend that took hold in 2022, providing customers with an option that comes in a more practical size and offers a useful variation. Designers experimented for the SS23 season with comical takes on the design, allowing for the style to be played with.

Image: Núnoo

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