Satchel Bags: Latest Trends and How to Choose (Updated 2021)

A satchel bag, by general definition, has a strap, normally used for storing books. The strap is often worn so that it diagonally crosses the body, with the bag hanging on the opposite hip, rather than hanging directly down from the shoulder. The rear part of the bag expands to form a flap that folds over to cover the top and fastens in the front. Unlike a briefcase, a satchel has a soft-shell. 

There is no known time as to when the first satchel was invented but it was most commonly used by English students as a must-have accessory for centuries. Before that, something similar appeared to be carried by Roman soldiers, called a “loculus” – meaning, little place – and was used for storing rations and personal belongings. It is often made out of leather since the material is strong and durable enough to carry weight without tearing. The leather material also makes it susceptible to the rain. 

The leather satchel might have been for practical uses back in the days but when it was introduced to the world of fashion in the 17th century, it became more than just a “simple bag for carrying things.” All of a sudden, it’s an accessory that stayed in the limelight for years. It was even commonly seen in the mid-20th century as a practical smart school bag and no schoolboy or girl would be seen without a leather bag. 

No doubt the current styles of vintage school bags were influenced by the satchel trend. With everyone desiring after the vintage look, the leather satchel is here to make its comeback. You will be investing in the perfect, timeless fashion accessory that will fit in with every fashion season and will last you for many years to come.

The forms of satchel bags have evolved, with present styles providing a more modern shape for women of modern times. The following are new trends of the satchel. 

In 2020, fashion people are gravitating towards satchel bags in miniature and more structured shapes. They focus more on the handles on these bags which gives any outfit a sophisticated polish. With the right shade of color and materials, it works well with all outfits. 

Designer satchel bags like those from Louis Vuitton have been around for a while and continue to be relevant. The structured look of the bag gives the user a more put-together outfit while still looking professional and conservative. Organizing your everyday essentials are easier because of the solid structure of the bag. 

A top-handle bag is the ultimate modern satchel because of its petite structure and its wide range of trendy and playful prints and colors with retro theme bags making a rise this year. People are leaning more on nostalgic elements and incorporating the said style into their daily outfits. 

Choosing the right bag is important, especially when it’s one of your biggest wardrobe investments. However, it can be difficult to pick that “perfect bag.” 

Tips and Tricks: How to choose the right bag?

The Style

satchel

There are a million styles of bags available in the market, but the question is ‘do you need a shoulder strap?’ 

If you are an on-the-go busy individual who often finds herself with hands full of documents, then a cross-body bag might be perfect for you. Cross-body bags are the type you can put over your shoulder, leaving your hands bag-free. But, if you’re just going from point A to point B, with little to no additional baggage such as documents and books to carry, a bag with a regular handle will do just fine. 

When it comes to choosing the right style of bag, make sure that it fits your personality and is perfect for your lifestyle. 

Size

Before purchasing a bag, think about your everyday essentials, such as the things you bring with you to work and to school. Do you only carry your phone, wallet, and keys with you? Then opt-in for a smaller bag and love the freedom of carrying a non-existential weight. If you are a student with school supplies such as books, binders, pens, or even a make-up kit, consider upgrading your bag to one with more storage and organization spaces. 

If you do carry your laptop or tablet with you, a tote bag provides a more safe compartment for your valuable gadgets. But, there are always working and studying individuals who seem to carry their whole office and the entire library with them. It is highly recommended to either carry two bags or invest in one large and durable bag for practicality. 

Tip! Don’t cram everything in one bag as it is going to wear and tear more quickly. 

Colour

You can never go wrong with a black bag but it won’t hurt to try and purchase one in a different color. First, know what’s missing from your collection. If you have a black bag that you love so dearly, try a bag with a neutral shade or in a grey color. 

If you want to experiment, don’t be scared to purchase a new one with a unique texture, a quirky design, in an unusual shape, and even with bold colors. There are tons of room to explore and increase your options. You’ll never know what looks good on you if you don’t try everything. It’s always a trial and error process. 

Hardware

Know what color hardware you want and stick to it. A whole outfit can go wrong if your hardware is clashing with the look. Everything will start competing with each other and nothing will stand out. 

If you prefer to have a golden clasp, don’t purchase one with both silver and gold accents to it. If your tastes change now and then, depending on your mood or outfit, it might be better to purchase different bags with different hardware. Remember to keep them minimal to compliment the overall look. 

Remember, a bag is a vital accessory that will make or break your outfit. 

Price

Live and spend within your means. But if there is a specific bag that you’ve been liking but is unsure because of its price then don’t lose hope but save money and purchase it in the future. There is a big chance that by the time you’ve saved enough, the bag price would have depreciated. 

Expensive bags are a huge investment but the best thing about bags with a heavy price tag is that they are durable and will last you a long time. Too durable that you can even pass it down to your children! 

Choose leather

Leather is a great fabric because it ages so well. It is one of the rare things in life that gets better with age. Except with wine of course. That is why it is an amazing choice for an investment bag. You can have this piece for years and it will only get better. Leather also has a durable element so it can withstand heavy items and constant use. It doesn’t just look aesthetically pleasing but it is versatile as well.

Keep it structured

No matter what style you gravitate to, a geometric, linear, organic, structured satchel bag is always the best choice. It will resist daily wear and tear and it will easily retain its shape. The last thing you want is a saggy satchel so opt for a structured style that will last you for a long time. 

It is also easier to organize your thing when a bag has a solid structure. It would look more professional and fashionable at the same time. 

Avoid large logos

Like anything in fashion, trends come and go. When you plan on purchasing a satchel bag you, want to think long term. Still lean for a statement piece or pick a reputable label, but try to avoid large logos that will scream the place of purchase. Subtlety is always elegant and you can pair it with more outfits in the future.

The bag and your body

The basic rule in choosing satchel bags is the opt for the shape opposite of your body. If you are thin and tall, choose short and slouchy shaped satchel bags. It is recommended that your bags should be wider and try to avoid bags with short straps. 

If you are a petite person, avoid oversized and bags with long straps as it will overwhelm you. If you are plus-sized, pick a more structured bag to balance out your curves and steer away from small bags with tiny prints. 

Occasion

Always consider the type of lifestyle you have, make sure your bag purchase would fit the routine you are leading. It should provide comfort and versatility while not compromising the trendy style. 

If your days are filled with work, invest in bags that are functional and practical. On casual days, you have more freedom and your bag of choice can range from street-style to chic bags. For night outs with friends, a little bit of bling wouldn’t hurt and make your bag stand out in the dark. 

Duration of use

If you want to purchase a bag because it’s the current trending piece (which we are all pretty sure will last only for a season), opt-in for the more affordable ones. It is perfect for short-term use and will most like won’t break your bank. 

However, if you are looking for a bag that would serve you for years to come, invest in the more classic and expensive ones. You have to consider the quality and price and lean more to classic style as it provides more versatility. 

Now that you have gained knowledge on how to choose the perfect satchel bag, it is important to know how to take care of it too. The end goal is to keep your satchel bag in perfect condition and get your money’s worth. However, this can prove to be challenging. 

Below are simple tips you can use to take care of your bag. 

  • Never put your satchel bag on the floor. There is a whole universe of germs and nastiness on the floor, so why place your prized possession down there? Always try to place it on the back of your chair, on your lap, or a neighboring seat. One option is to buy a table hook for the bag to help keep it off the floor.
  • Handle your satchel bags with clean hands as much as you can. Avoid getting dirt, natural oil, and grimes on it as this will prompt you to clean it often. Over-cleaning your bag is not good for its quality. Your cleaning materials consist of chemicals that will build-up in the bag and will contribute to its easy wear and tear. If you must, opt-in for more natural sources such as clean water. 
  • Find out what type of material your satchel bag is made out of because it may require different instructions and chemicals to clean and preserve it. If the satchel bag is made of leather, which it most probably will, you might want to invest in a leather cleaner, which is an affordable leather-safe option that will maintain the bag.
  • Use the purse insert for support. This is important to keep the structure and shape of the bag 
  • Use a dust page to cover and protect it from unwanted dirt. Upon purchase, most bags will come with a dust bag so make sure to keep it and don’t throw it away
  • Install a hanging bag organizer in your room or closet
  • Never store your satchel bag in plastic or vinyl. You can stuff it with plastic to retain its shape but never store the bag with plastic. Let your bag breathe. 
  • Be sure to zip or fasten the satchel bag and overlap handles on top of it. Leaving handles with heavy hardware to hang on the side may cause the bag from tearing. Simple mistakes like this can damage your bag in the long run.
  • Do not wait until the last minute to make repairs to your satchel bags. At the first sign of damage, immediately visit your local seamstress or a leather repair shop and have it repaired as soon as you can. 
  • Store your satchel bags in an upright position. Make sure to place the bags upright inside a cabinet or on a shelf to maintain its shape and structure.

To invest in a high-quality satchel bag is a big decision, both for your bank account and wardrobe. You wouldn’t want to purchase a bag so expensive, only to find out that it doesn’t suit your taste and lifestyle. That’s why it is important to know the important tips and guides on choosing one. 

Always remember that it is far better to have one (or few) high-quality bags than have tons of cheaper ones that will only last you for a couple of months. Be informed and be a smart shopper because the money you’d be spending is something you’ve worked hard for. 

When it comes to owning a leather satchel bag, it is essential to know how to properly care and store for them. 

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