Best Crossbody Bags for Summer

the best crossbody bags for summer - wardrobe oxygen 2017

First, I love your blog – I've been following you for years, and I find your style very accessible and relate-able. I received an Amazon gift card for Mother's Day, and I'd like to use it on a new everyday cross-body bag. I'm in the market for a cross-body bag that's big enough to carry my wallet, phone, keys, etc., but not overwhelmingly enormous. I currently have one cross-body that I hate (it's not deep enough), and another cross-body that's ok, but it's more like a wallet-on-a-strap than an actual bag. I also have a cross-body I used a couple years ago as a diaper bag but the bag is a little too big for everyday wear. What do you recommend?

Amazon is a great place for shopping for handbags because they have a really great variety of brands and often have colors and styles that are sold out at major department stores. I’ve also found Amazon often has the items for less than other retailers. A good percentage have Prime shipping and returns, so it’s quick and free delivery and returns so if it comes and isn’t exactly what you envisioned you won’t have any buyer’s remorse.

Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody Bags

You mentioned in your email that I like Rebecca Minkoff bags and it’s true. I have six of her bags, some I bought new (some that were purchased at Amazon!) and some I got used on Poshmark or eBay. I like that the bags are stylish but not so trendy they look tacky in a season. And while I’ve found a few of her bags to be impractical, the ones I have I really love for their design.


The Mini M.A.C. is the iconic Rebecca Minkoff bag. Some don’t like it for that reason, but I don’t care. I’ve had mine for several years and it’s still one of my most-used bags because of its perfect size and shape. It doesn’t have an adjustable strap so it can be long as a shoulderbag, but hits at the perfect place on me as a crossbody. In the bag I can easily fit my Ray-Ban sunglasses case, my long overstuffed wallet (I used to carry this one from Fossil but recently changed to this one from Brahmin), a small bag (one from Ipsy – my best friend has the subscription and gives me some of the bags) with basic beauty needs (lipstick, gloss, one of those little bottles of Advil, eye drops, a couple flossers, a pack of gum, a Tide-to-Go pen, a safety pin or two), and keys. It’s one large compartment with a small inside zip compartment and the outside pocket does work, though I hardly ever use it. Amazon has it at this link in five great colors; this link has 13 different colors and hardware options.

I have the Rebecca Minkoff M.A.B. Camera bag which is smaller, but gets a TON of use. In fact, it was the only bag I took on vacation this past weekend.  I have this one which is black leather with black hardware, so it’s blends into outfits instead of making a statement. The strap is adjustable and unlike the Mini M.A.C. it has a faux front pocket. Inside, I can fit my Brahmin wallet, sunglasses case, keys, and a few loose items like a pen, lipstick, gum, hand sanitizer. It’s my favorite for work when I am taking my laptop bag but know I’ll be heading out for lunch or errands; it’s also great for concerts, street festivals, and other events when I want things close but light and easy. Like the Mini M.A.C. it’s easy to access with one hand, and has a zipper top so I don’t have to worry about things falling out or pickpockets.

I also have the Rebecca Minkoff large Vanity saddle bag, which I bought purely for the shape and style. I first saw it in grey on Instagram and fell in love, though I found the oxblood color to be more versatile for my specific wardrobe. This bag is one that gets compliments from strangers… but it’s not the easiest bag to use when on the go. The front pocket has a zipper on both sides so if one is unzipped everything falls out. There’s a flap closure which is great for preventing pickpockets but it’s not as easy to access because it’s super long and the magnet closure is a bit tough to get with one hand. And the interior is very narrow so everything is stacked on one another, making it hard to get your wallet from the bottom when your makeup bag and sunglasses are on top. I do love this bag and use it often, but it’s not the one I reach for as often as others especially when I’m out all day with the family or at an event. This link has it in three classic colors.

I have the larger Vanity; there is also a smaller version; this link has it in four colors.

I almost bought the Rebecca Minkoff Dog Clip Saddle Bag when I got my M.A.B. Camera Bag but thought it was too much like the Vanity in shape and the Mini M.A.C. for hardware. But it’s a really cute bag in a great size. It gets great reviews for it’s perfect size for purse basics and how cute it is.

Leather Saddle Bags

I like to buy a bag that is in style, but isn’t so trendy you feel weird wearing it three years from now. Saddle bags are perfect because they’re a style that have been chic since… well the days before cars! Amazon has a good selection of saddle bags from great brands. A few of my picks:

  • ECCO Iola Small Saddle Bag – two great colors and I love how it’s treated to be water repellent
  • Same bag from ECCO, but a slightly larger size.
  • COACH Gloveton Saddle Bag – a replica of the ‘70s styles that made the brand famous, this is a classic bag but comes in five different colors.
  • Tommy Hilfiger Icon Saddle Bag – Chic color, chic silhouette, and amazing price.
  • MICHAEL Michael Kors Bedford Medium – I know many who have this bag and love it. While many of Michael Kors’ bags have huge gold hardware, this one is subtle and a classic.
  • I have two Loeffler Randall bags and think they’re really well made and designed. The brand’s large saddle crossbody bag is super elegant and a nice larger option that isn’t unwieldy. If this color isn’t for you, scroll down where there’s links to the same bag in different options.
  • They also have it in a smaller size, though I’m not sure if it’s big enough for both a wallet and glasses case. Again if this isn’t the color for you, scroll down for more options.
  • FRYE Claude Crossbody – Frye makes great boots and great bags! This is a classic look that comes in five great color options and gets fantastic reviews. Some colors are under $200.

Kate Spade Crossbody Bags

Kate Spade makes terribly fun bags, but they also make really practical ones too. They consistently get great reviews for quality, style, but also function. A few I found on Amazon that look awesome and are larger than your wallet on a chain:

Fossil Crossbody Bags

I’ve been a fan of Fossil for many years. Back in my retail days I almost worked for them as a visual merchandiser but got a better offer from another company. The bags are classic and well made; I have a duffle bag that’s almost a decade old that still looks fantastic. What I like about Fossil bags is that you can’t really tell the designer and the focus is more on the style. My picks from Amazon:

  • Fossil Corey Small Crossbody – Don’t let small in the name confuse you, this is a surprisingly roomy bag. The flat design is great for all-day wear, it comes in 7 different colors and the price is super nice.
  • Fossil Emi Saddle Bag – I love saddle bags, and I think the stitching and tassel on this one gives a classic bag a cool vibe – brown is more southwestern, black more rock and roll.
  • This is also the Emi, but with a metal clasp and smooth finish so it gives a completely different sleek vibe.
  • Fossil Piper Toaster Crossbody – This bag is made for travel. The classic shape, the variety of pockets, the low price, and the 17 different color options makes this a great addition to many wardrobes.
  • Fossil Harper Large Crossbody – If you’re looking for a larger bag to carry more without looking bulky, this is a great option. Seven colors to choose from, some well below $200.
  • Fossil Jules Octagon Crossbody – Darn it, after writing this post and seeing this bag I ended up putting this one in my virtual shopping cart. I mean, how freaking CUTE is it? It gets great reviews, and it’s under $100!

Hope that helps, and please readers, if you have a crossbody you adore share it in the comments!

9 Comments

  1. Karen Houser
    June 7, 2017 / 12:14 pm

    I would recommend any wallet on chain, particularly if traveling as it will easily tuck into your carry on.
    For me personally the best hands down don’t ever want to live without is the Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis, either the canvas or leather versions. It has the added bonus of also being top handle with a removable strap.

  2. Kathryn Braun Fenner
    June 7, 2017 / 11:18 am

    I have a Dooney and Burke marigold yellow with camel leather trim crossbody I scored at Marshall’s on clearance. It’s about 10 inches, almost square but with a built out bottom so it stands up on its own if needed. It’s big enough for everything but my water bottle, and has a handy leash inside. The color is not one I ever wear–which makes it a nice pop of color. I get so many compliments. It holds my iPhone, wallet, glasses case, makeup bag, and plenty of room for a small notebook and protein bars, without being so packed that access is a problem. There’s a half-way-up outside zip pocket that bisects the outer face. Zips across the top, plus a long horizontal slip pocket–I use for my phone, and two upright ones on the outside of the innter zip pocket, one with a snap. I love the red cloth lining.Very long, thin shoulder strap that can be adjusted to hit me at the hip worn crossbody (I am 5’10”) or shortened to be a shoulder bag, and many choice in between–two buckles with five holes each!

  3. Thomas Marsden
    June 7, 2017 / 9:25 am

    ANY AND ALL GREAT FOR TRAVELERS.

  4. LoriM
    June 6, 2017 / 1:06 pm

    Oh man, I had no idea Amazon had such a selection. I just bought a bunch (THREE) bags at a sale at Penneys! New winter, new summer, a wallet/convertible cross body (which I had hunted for ages)!

  5. Roberta Johnson
    June 6, 2017 / 8:18 am

    This winter I bought an Orla Kiely midi sling bag on eBay (they’re pretty spendy new) and found it the perfect thing. It’s canvas, so it’s light, but coated so it doesn’t stain. It’s got a wide, adjustable strap (the skinny straps hurt my back), and the print is cute without being twee. I bought it for a vacation but have carried it every day since. My favorite thing about it is that it has an attached elastic strap for keys inside. This means I never ever have to root for my keys and can unlock my door and then “drop” them. I’m currently looking for a similar bag in a light color for summer. And it has a bright interior so you can see inside it. My other bags are jealous!

  6. Amy
    June 6, 2017 / 7:57 am

    I have the Kate Spade Cobble Hill Ella (in the emerald green color shown) and I love, love, love it. It’s bigger than it looks – I can easily fit a large wallet, sunglasses case and a little makeup bag in it with room – and yet it doesn’t ever feel overwhelming. Easy to get into. It has the great cross body strap, but I also find that the short strap can be worn on the crook of the arm or over the shoulder with room to spare. The best part is that is has a zippered outside pocket for your phone – which is my requirement for bags these days. Great post, Allie!

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