The funniest thing about autumn/winter 2017’s ruling handbag trend is most people didn’t realize these purses weren’t already a thing. In all honesty, they kind of were already a thing and had been since the late 1940s. What makes them worthy of note this season is that they’ve resurfaced as the favored style in an accessories world that’s been dominated by mini cross-bodies and bucket bags since February. After all, who really wants a classic top-handle when there are so many interesting new designs in the handbag industry? Yes. You heard us right. The vintage purse mounting its comeback is none other than the top-handle, that simple bag everyone tried once in their life before heading on to more innovative pastures. This year, turn back and embrace the perennial trend determined never to die. Here are some excellent versions of the classic for you to have a go with.
Chocolate brown and teal were always great partners. Work your outfit around these two colors if you plan to slip this bag over your arm.
Abstract cubism seems to be the pattern of choice for 2017 Prada. What do you think of a mod 60s top-handle?
Textured gingham works on more than Western chic shirts. Maybe a checkered bag will do the trick for your wardrobe.
A pronounced Puritan buckle isn’t what you’d expect to see adorning the outside of your top-handle, but it works. The metallic fabric on display here isn’t bad either.
Chunky woodgrain chains and black-and-white striped leather sure are an odd couple. Luckily, opposites attract in this situation. Don’t you agree?
Emphasizing the handle on your top-handle sounds redundant but looks brilliant. This leather and suede bag proves black and red don’t have to be vampiric or sensual.
Even the greats like Vuitton are incorporating classic top handles into their 2017 collections. At least the double flap design saves this bag from feeling like a total repeat.
Luxury is the name of the game for this textured Amberley bag. We kind of thought croc prints were over too, but apparently not when you ask the nostalgic handbag designers.
This baby sac de jour manages to feel busy while being quite simple. If you want the illusion of complexity lingering on your handbag, look no further.
A Runaway Small won’t leave you feeling empty-handed. It’s bold and chic as the scarlet red leather used to make it.
It forged a reputation as the duffle bag look-alike purse, but in the end, an Essential Boston handbag is simply a curved top-handle. Isn’t that fun?
DOLCE & GABBANA
Magenta is typically a color you see on your leopard print handbag, but this Small Sicily is an exception. If you’re feeling luxurious, this purse makes an excellent accessory.
Textured black calfskin and the finest use of logo adornment we’ve ever seen make this top handle all you hoped a 2017 purse could be.
Boxy is the optimal word for this sharply-shaped design from Hermès. If you miss the feeling of a lunch box at your side, here’s your chance to have it again.
Top handles may be nothing new in the fashion industry, but there are enough variations to make the trend seem fresh this year. Turn your fall into a comment on classic handbags and make one of these new designs your signature tote. It’s not a holographic bucket bag, but you do what you can.
— Julie Grossman