How to Wear Spring 2012’s Bright Bag Trend

Spring runways  saw bright color from nearly head to toe, but working a bright bag into your everyday wardrobe is a heck of a lot easier, not to mention more feasible, than, say, working an all-over color frock into the big picture. The bright bag trend spanned all sizes of the purse spectrum from over-sized hobos to structured satchels, mini-backpacks to small shoulder bags. We’ve got the lowdown on how to incorporate this trend into your wardrobe.

Bags have become as much of a statement piece as a great dress, and can speak volumes about the fashionista carrying them. Daring color lovers can look forward to pairing a bright bag with an equally bright ensemble, while fans of a more subtle P.O.C. (pop of color) can use bags to liven up a more quiet outfit.

Spring 2012’s Bright Handbag Trend


Karlie Color Block

Karlie Color Block Small Shoulder Bag, $98 from Banana Republic

Pair color with color to create a multi-dimensional color-blocking look. Where a neutral bag may get lost amongst all-over color pieces, an all-over color bag in a contrasting shade gives a simple outfit bold depth and layers.
Many designers have assisted in the color-blocking process for you, creating bags with contrasting flap colors, stripe designs and more. These are best when worn against a single color like a single-shade dress and when used as a pop in an otherwise basic denim/tank/sweater type pairing.


Wayuu Taya II

Wayuu Taya Foundation Susa Bag, $175 from Shopbop

While we’re all for a bold statement, when you’re mixing both big color and pattern into a handbag, we find it’s best to keep the rest of the palette neutral. Let your wardrobe serve as the canvas for which your artistic accessory is to be displayed upon.

Look to an item you’d like to jazz up and complement with a printed bag. Simple tunics blazer/denim or leather/denim combos are a great start to creating a base for patterned bags. Use the bag as the focal point and centerpiece of the outfit, working around it to accessorize other small pops of color in the form of jewelry, scarves, socks or a hat.


Columbia Uptown Voyager Tote

Columbia Uptown Voyager Tote, $62.99 from Zappos

A great rule of thumb for getting away with the bright bag trend, is to stay true to your own aesthetic. If you have a rocker edge to your style, be on the lookout for bright bags with fringe or stud embellishments. A large envelope clutch may do the trick for a sleek gal, and a versatile tote shape may be where it’s at for the sports star.

Trends are all about adapting what you see on the runway into your own reality, so finding a bright bag that suits your personality and present wardrobe is the best way to measure success.


Melissa is creative communications professional with 9+ years of experience writing for the beauty and fashion industries.