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The Surprising New Style Trend of 2020

From tote bags to fanny packs to cross-body bags, it was all leading up to the bag men really wanted: a purse.


Read the warp and weft of the 2020 fashion trends and you’ll find a handful of common threads woven throughout the runways and across designers, from the street to the atelier. Suits are back and so are the ’70s (and also the 2000s). Silhouettes are swinging back and forth all at once so that baggy is next to slim with flared in between. Crystals, embroidery and prints are touching anything and everything.

Ramping up over the past several seasons however is the purse. Yes, this is a site aimed at men. And no, we haven’t taken a detour to talk about women’s fashion.

Originally hugging the waists of countless hikers and backpackers, the fanny pack entered the fashion zeitgeist, migrating to the shoulders of stylish sets, slung across the body. People called them shoulder bags, cross-body bags, saccoches, side bags, even messenger bags. They were all variations on a theme, each with their slight differences. The worst was undoubtedly ‘murse’, an unnecessary portmanteau akin to metrosexual, used as a veil for phobias at worse and a dated term at best. Now, we’re fully where we need to be and we’re calling a spade a spade. Designers have really leaned into the aesthetic of a purse what we generally think of as a purse and they haven’t shied away from calling it just that. Acne’s version went from ‘Small Leather Crossbody Bag‘ to ‘Mini Purse Bag.’

Louis Vuitton, Spring/Summer 2020

Lemaire, Fall/Winter 2020

Dior Homme, Spring 2020

The runway shows had purses from every brand. From the workwear-infused newcomer Reese Cooper to French luxury designer Lemaire to streetwear’s savior/destroyer Virgil Abloh, purses were ubiquitous. I love it. And like I’ve said previously, why not? A core tenet of menswear has always been utility. Many canonized classics of men’s fashion were baptized in war where function was paramount. If not on the battlefield, certainly on the railroad, on the farm or anywhere hard manual labor demanded utility.

Purses are the same. They hold your stuff when you don’t want to toss your EDC in your pockets. They’re arguably more easily accessible than pockets and more modular and they’re less bulky than lugging a whole tote or backpack. It’s appeared throughout history and across every culture in one form or another for its utility. Today, they come in a range of styles from the tote to the bucket to the saddlebag and more.

Cella Near Here Bag by Nunc $85

Small Shopper Tote by Telfar $150

Black Small Leather Crossbody Bag by Acne Studios $420

Brie Bag by Alyx $740

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