A little bag with a big personality, there are a surprising number of options for how to style drawstring bags. However, as the stylish wearer knows, this is only the first of many unexpected qualities possessed by bucket or drawstring bags.
The style is also surprisingly roomy in spite of its generally diminutive stature, and manages to be both secure and easy to access, thanks to its simple pull-top fastening. It’s really no wonder the drawstring bag trend is showing no signs of abating.
When charting the trajectory of any trend, it’s interesting to observe the way some emerge simultaneously, with myriad designers all hitting upon on the same idea at the same time, while others take a more vertical path, with a very clear point of origin. The latest bucket bag trend is very much a case of the latter. The starting point: Mansur Gavriel bag, the now-cult style which burst onto the scene in 2013 and immediately amassed a long waiting list. As popular as ever, the Mansur bucket has made the drawstring bag an essential component in any fashionable wardrobe.
Since then, however, the style has taken on a life of its own, proving that with a few tweaks of fabrication or detail, it can work as well as an athleisure accessory as it does as a must-have addition to a festival look. Here are five ways to style your drawstring bag, no matter where your tastes may lie.
For an 80s revival
There’s no getting around it: the 80s are back. If you’re not ready to commit to the full look of power suits and primary colours, take comfort in the fact that accessories are an easy entrée to the style – and the bucket bag trend is no exception.
Gold chain straps are a classic way to get the 80s look and proved to be a big street-style hit with show-goers for the AW17 collections. Unlike many drawstring bags, which are worn slung over the shoulder, the chain strap requires the bag to be held in one hand, so the length of this style is slightly shorter than the original. Serious hardware doesn’t end with the strap, however, as studs and gold logos also work. For a luxe approach, try the Rockstud style Valentino bag.
For an athleisure moment
Once you’ve hit upon the perfect outfits to go from yoga studio to street, all you need is the must-have drawstring bags to complete the look. Try a slightly oversized style of bag, one that’s big enough for all your barre-to-brunch essentials, such as facial wipes and makeup. Have fun coordinating the colour to your workout outfit, using bright shades to colour block against black tights, or a pastel to complement the softer, abstract floral prints that are coming through. Furla is one brand that has mastered the holy trinity of size, shape and colour, and its bucket bags come in a rainbow of delectable shades.
For a festival
Thanks to California’s Coachella and Australia’s own Bluesfest in Byron Bay, ‘festival’ is now a legitimate season on the fashion calendar. The key components: worn-in denim and suede, fringing and a wardrobe of vintage (or vintage-looking) floral dresses. How to style drawstring bags in all this? Just add one that looks like it might have been the spoils of a haggling session in a Moroccan marketplace.
Dodo Bar Or has weighed in on the bucket bag trend by applying its popular pom-pom-trimmed aesthetic to a drawstring style, with haute-hippie results. For something a little sturdier, a suede style in tan or navy is right in keeping with the festival look. Bonus points if it also features whipstitch embroidery, studded panels or tasselled pull-ties.
For the minimalist
For a fashion-loving minimalist, there’s practically no bag more perfect than the original Mansur Gavriel bucket bag. From its sleekly curvaceous style to its sturdy leather exterior, it’s almost entirely devoid of decorative details, save the way the drawstring straps are tied into a ladylike bow.
But for a minimalist look, how to style drawstring bags certainly yields other options that work just as well. The Soleil by 3.1 Phillip Lim is slightly squarer in shape, particularly when the drawstring is left loose at the top. Following in the footsteps of Lim’s popular Pashli and Alix bags, it’s destined to become a modern classic.
For an eclectic approach
The polar opposite of the minimal look, the 21st century eclectic loves to mix pattern with print and vintage with modern. Think of the way Gucci designer Alessandro Michele layers a dress over trousers or trims the heel of a shoe in pearls and you begin to get the idea. With their hint of nostalgia, the must-have drawstring bags are the perfect complement to such an eclectic style. In Moschino’s AW17 runway collection, graffiti-sprayed bucket bags were the finishing touch to matching ensembles in traffic-stopping electric colours. Wear the entire look top-to-toe or use the bag alone to inject some of that fun into a jeans-and-T-shirt combination.
True vintage-lovers will also make a beeline for the original source of this trend: the Louis Vuitton Vintage Noé bag. First designed in 1932 as a stylish way of transporting Champagne bottles, it’s since been rendered in myriad permutations of monogram canvas, Epi leather and everything in between.