Getting away for a few days is always an appealing prospect – and one that calls for the most practical of accessories, the weekend bag. The best women's weekender bags have plenty of space to hold your holiday capsule wardrobe, yet are still petite enough to be stowed away in an overhead compartment or thrown in the back of a car.
Ladies’ weekend bags range from the classic to the contemporary, with something to suit every trip and every traveller, whether you're treating yourself to a rejuvenating spa break or jetting off to more exotic climes.
The overnight tote
Sometimes, the best women's weekend bags are, at heart, basically oversized handbags – which is why the travelling tote is ideal for an overnight stay.
If you're planning an evening in a spa or chateau, look to women's designer weekend bags such as those seen at Michael Kors or Kurt Geiger. Both labels champion the leather weekender bag for women as a sturdy yet stylish accessory. A Michael Kors bag in a rainbow-bright hue adds a striking splash of vibrancy to your UK staycation.
The classic weekender
For a slightly longer getaway, women's designer weekend bags by Everlane are created in a variety of understated shades of grey, black and white – as well as a handful of more unusual hues, such as minty greens and pastel pinks. The label designs a selection of coordinating styles, so you can incorporate matching backpacks, purses and magazine bags into your travel arsenal.
Vanessa Paradis carried her voluminous Chanel Vintage Cocoon series bag with an effortless air of grace while heading to Paris Fashion Week via LAX in 2015. Her quilted bag in deep burgundy would easily hold everything needed for a weekend away, while simultaneously evoking the nostalgic romance of the golden age of air travel.
The throwback backpack
No longer the preserve of student travellers, backpacks have been enjoying a renaissance on the catwalks. These designs are among the best weekender bags as they're so easy to carry around – whether you're hopping off planes or taking in a new city by foot, your backpack will store your essentials without slowing you down (or ruining your outfit). Emma Stone wears her brown leather Madewell backpack nonchalantly slung over one shoulder, and teamed with a perfectly curated outfit of skinny jeans and oversized blazer.
The autumn/winter 2016 designs were sleeker and neater than their school-days equivalents, and were seen everywhere from Burberry to Ganni. Both labels referenced the practical nature of rucksacks, fashioning them from water-resistant materials in army prints. Mansur Gavriel bags also offered ideal options for grown-up mini-breaks, with leather backpacks in an array of elegant neutral hues and sleek, deep tones.
The ultimate: the mini suitcase
If there's no way you can fit all your essentials into a backpack or a tote, the mini suitcase on wheels can come in extremely handy. Easy to transport from your airport to your boutique hotel, these women's designer weekend bags are the perfect choice for the traveller who can't live without at least three pairs of shoes.
The Chanel spring/summer 2016 collection focused on 'chic travel', with Karl Lagerfeld transforming the Grand Palais in Paris into a pristine white airport. Models carried quilted mini suitcases in white, red, blue and metallic hues and proved that the journey can look just as good as the destination. Gucci has also given its take on the women's weekend bag with a black fabric carry-on – androgynous enough to work if you're hoping for a chivalrous male companion to take over the wheeling.
Designs by The North Face are more practical still, made from waterproof materials that will bend and stretch with your clothes and fit into the tightest spaces. They may be located in the men's department, but since when has that ever stopped us?
The romantic choice
Summon the old-school romance of the grand tour with a carry-on suitcase by L/uniform. Made from sepia-toned fabrics and featuring understated accents, these classic women's weekend bags effortlessly express the aura of a seasoned traveller.
For a quirkier nod to bygone days of travel, the House of Hackney collaboration with Globe-Trotter provides ample inspiration – think vintage-look square suitcases, with eye-catching linings featuring the vibrant botanical prints typical of HoH. A women's weekend bag with a structured shape is a timelessly stylish (and surprisingly spacious) choice.