Street style trend alert: Top handle bags are gaining momentum on crossbodys, backpacks and waist bags

Street style trend alert: Top handle bags are gaining momentum on crossbodys, backpacks and waist bags

Hands on

Text: Jolene Khor

Versatility may not be the top handle's strongest suit, though it makes up in spades, in style

'Look ma, no hands' is beyond a meme, it's a movement. It's why the speakerphone was invented. Come to think of it, it's likely the genesis of the backpack, the raincoat, perhaps the straw. To then commit to the top handle bag, a hands-on vintage silhouette in this handsfree life, feels a little like a regression. But since fashion is all about the amalgation of the done-and-dusted and the yet-to-be, we explore its stylings on Instagram's most influential feeds. The result are surprisingly refreshing, very Working Girl meets Roman Holiday.

Can you handle it?

1. OG really stands for Office Girl
Rejina Pyo's container shape Olivia bag draped in luxurious croc-embossed leather makes it an easy must-have. Hilda Sandstrom complemented it with an ombre tartan Acne Studios blouse and pinstripe Gestuz handkerchief hem skirt. Translation: Ladylike without the bore.


2. Don't mind me, I'm just having fun
A big fat thank you to stylist Hanna MW for putting handmade Italian bag label ATP Atelier on our radar, and for showing us how best to build an ensemble around it — with colour and gusto.



3. I'm into vintage... but not really
The beauty of the simplicity of the Circle tote by Mansur Gavriel is on display when it's craddled by the top handle and not hung on the shoulder strap. Also, Erica Cho's pastel prerogative punctuated with black works charmingly.



4. Fashion is art, right?
We feel you — the '50s wasn't the best decade for women's rights. Still, you can rock the retro. Molly Chiang vibes with Lauteem's architectural boxy carrier in a sexed up oversized suit. There's always room for irony.



5. Money right where you can see it
Glee is finding this "tai tai" satchel (a) in a shouty green and (b) with Balanciaga unapologetically slapped across the leather. Your fellow nine-to-fivers will give you the stink eye, but we say go. Get it?