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A stylish summer is in the bag

Jun 11, 2023

One of the best things about summer is switching to accessories that just don’t fly the rest of the year. Case in point: the ultra-casual but ever-so-chic allure of straw bags. I love their freshness and hint at country romance and innocence. They complement everything from denim shorts and most maxi dresses to mini sundresses and linen jumpsuits to navy nauticals.

And then there’s their incredible utility: With their flexible material and variable sizes — these things can get huge — they range from demure little cases that stay buttoned-up for evening to big baskets that are so roomy I could fit just about everything I need for the day in them. So here, according to what I’m using them for, are my current favorites for the rest of the summer:

For the office: The Chloe Sense Woven Palm Basket Tote ($850 on is both a big statement and a big tote. It’s inspired by Spanish market bags, but sports big wide leather straps that keep it very much within the working world. It’s roomy enough to hold folders and a laptop, as well as a makeup bag and anything else you need to toss in.

For the beach: The Striped Seagrass Beach Bag ($79.99 on is an organic and pretty choice for any natural environment, but works especially well at the beach, since its boxy structure stands on its own. The fact that it’s handmade by a woman-owned and operated organization in the Philippines in an added bonus.

For weekend road trips: A little equestrian flair rears its head in the iconic logo and contrasting leather trim on Longchamp’s Woven Canvas Basket Bag ($235 on But beyond the style and design value, there’s the practicality factor: It’s got removable body straps and a snap closure, plus an interior slip pocket, so you can keep all kinds of things easily accessible inside.

For the farmer’s market: With its long handles and expansive interior, the Raffia Black Tote With Leather Handle ($79.50 on is a shopper’s BFF. Load it up with fresh veggies and flowers or artisanal cheeses — the strong handles can take it. There’s also an inside pocket for credit cards and your phone, and a cotton pull closure.

For lunch with the ladies: With its tidy leather trim along the edges, the Remi Tote ($321 on is a perfect happy medium between elegant and rustic. I love the slit that creates the handle and gold-toned signature on the side of the bag, as well as the generous size.

For gardening: When you need something sturdy and almost bucket-like, but that’s also going to look beautiful, reach for the Carol Straw Bamboo Handle Carryall ($69.99 on It’s extra large, too, and it stands on its own, so your hands are free to deadhead roses and collect geraniums. Meanwhile, it’s made with all-natural materials, so it’s every bit as plant-based as everything you’re putting in it.

For evening: You didn’t think straw was only limited to day, did you? The Petra Natural Pouch Bag ($750 on proves otherwise. The softly woven stunner features three natural stones hanging decoratively with natural jute, and a clasp that fastens to another small stone — it’s as simple and elegant as the breeziest of summer days.

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