When choosing a handbag, it basically comes down to one question: Fun or functional?
Do you want a massive tote that you can throw practically everything you own into every time you leave the house (because you never know when you might need dry shampoo, wet wipes or a European adaptor, right?) or do you want a tiny purse that won’t get in the way when you’re gallivanting around town?
Surveying this season’s bag trends, they fall firmly in one of the two camps. But when you see how desirable they are, you might want to reverse your approach to these accessories – especially because you can now get the coolest catwalk looks on the high street, for a hell of a lot less.
So, which is the one for you? Find out with our guide to spring’s best bags…
While leather and metallic hardware usually dominate on the catwalks, for SS18, we saw the emergence of sweet, Seventies-style bags at Miu Miu, Giorgio Armani and even Alexander Wang (the latter in black, of course).
Ideal if you’re going to be wearing lots of floaty boho frocks and retro denim this season, take your high-street pick from literal basket bags or woven totes in summery hues.
Bucket bags have been around for a few years now, but they’ve had a bit of a makeover for spring, with bright jewel tones seen at Emporio Armani and candy-striped box bags at Carolina Herrera.
Forget slouchy sacks, now it’s all about chic cylindrical bucket bags, in neutral tones with minimal detailing.
Barely bigger than a fist, evening bags were seriously shrunken in the SS18 collections, from Fendi’s adorable top-handle miniatures, to Chanel’s egg-like hardcase bags.
You might think micro bags are only suitable for after dark – and certainly a tiny sparkly purse is a great cocktail companion – but a small, sporty crossbody bag looks great by day (as long as you can survive with only your keys, cash card and phone).
More designers than ever jumped on the bum bag bandwagon this season, with Balenciaga, Gucci, Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang all showing the hands-free pouches (many of them worn across the chest rather than around the waist).
If you want the practicality of a bum bag but don’t like the sporty throwback style, try a structured belt bag instead – a black leather version chimes in with the season’s cowgirl trend well.