Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What’s the Deal With Those Straw Bags All Over Instagram?

The summer accessory you can apparently use all year long.

Racked has affiliate partnerships, which do not influence editorial content, though we may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. We also occasionally accept products for research and reviewing purposes. See our ethics policy here.

Christy Dawn Petite French Market Basket ($75)

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Proper straw, wicker, jute, and raffia beach bags were everywhere this past summer, waterfront or not. Which makes sense, considering they were also all over the spring runways, from Philosophy to Dolce & Gabbana. Whether in the form of a bucket bag, tote, or easy top handle, the bags were the embodiment of a laid-back summer mentality, and the obvious lack of branding or over-the-top embellishments were a welcome change from the hardware-heavy purses of past seasons.

But here we are, at the tail end of December, and the style is still heavily infiltrating Instagram feeds with no signs of slowing down. While I’m generally all for switching things up — mixing textures especially — there’s something about holding a dainty straw market bag while wearing a winter shearling or parka that feels a bit strange.

Winter ⛄️ rg @jordanhenrion #london #adenorahxjonak

A photo posted by Adenorah (@adenorah) on

The bags aren’t new by any means, either (the style has been coming back into fashion since the ‘50s and has probably been around since Little Bo Peep), so one has to wonder why this year was the one we couldn’t pack them away with our floppy sun hats and flip flops until June.

It could be that the pom-pom trend is to blame, since pom-poms and tassels adorn many of the bags strutting across Instagram. Or maybe, just maybe, the world has finally reached its peak French Girl obsession, and the straw bags — of which more than a few are inspired by and branded as “French Market Totes” — are just icing on the cake.

Whatever the reason for this seasonally-backwards trend, it’s here. And admittedly, there is something about it that I’m into. I like that they feel simple and obviously different, but it’s the I’m-mentally-still-on-vacation vibe that has me saying carry on.

Below, check out some of the best styles to shop right now, whether or not you’re actually headed on vacation.

Samuji Circle Straw Bag, $300.

J.Crew Straw Market Tote, $49.50.

Sensi Studio Straw Bucket Bag, $270.

Everything But Water Mar Y Sol Tote, $135.

Kate Spade Cobble Hill Straw Bag, $178.

Michael Michael Kors Krissy Straw Backpack, $112.