9 best bucket bags
Invest in a wear-with-everything bag in a classic shape
A bucket bag will quickly become the most hard-working handbag in your wardrobe. It will fit all your daily essentials – and often a bit more – and with most having a cross-body strap, it’s a super practical accessory. The drawstring closure tends to keep it at the casual end of the bag spectrum, but depending on the size, it can work for a day-to-night option that will fit much more than your phone and a lipstick unlike some teeny clutches. We’ve chosen a selection of leather bags from the latest collections to drop (with one vegan exception). Though these are all slightly different takes on the trend they’re variations on a classic and will work for seasons and years to come, trust us, it’s worth investing.
1. & Other Stories Sauvage Leather Bucket Bag: £105, & Other Stories
Scandi brand & Other Stories has become our go-to shop on the high street for well-priced, quality leather bags. This one in soft brown leather is as straightforward as bucket bags get, with its drawstring closure and simple styling. Inside it’s well thought out: there’s a pouch for your phone, a zip-up pocket for valuables and a d-ring so you don’t lose your keys at the bottom. It also comes in black.
2. Lost Property of London Rivington Bucket Bag: From £235, Lost Property of London
Lost Property of London makes its bags in the capital using traditional methods and tries to be as kind to the environment as it can in the process. Bags are in vegetable tanned leather and off-cuts used wherever possible. They've taken on the bucket trend with the pleasingly slouchy Rivington, which has a pared-back aesthetic, with no metal on the body of the bag. There’s a discreet blind embossed logo and inside, a zip up pocket for valuables. It comes in two sizes and you can choose from black, tan or this goes-with-everything grey.
3. Radley Chancery Small Grab Bag: £179, Radley
More structured than some on the list, this neat little bag from Radley’s autumn winter collection is small enough to work for day-to-night dressing. The smooth and grained leather panels, striped lining and gold-tone hardware give it a luxe feel. The adjustable strap means you can wear it as a cross-body bag or you can hold the grab handle, and there’s a zip-up pocket for valuables. Radley’s bags always get points for practicality and with metal stud feet on the base, it won’t get worn easily. This comes in four colours, including this shade the brand calls “orange”, but we’d say it’s more a reddy coral. Either way, it’s fab for hot summer days but isn’t too bright that you’ll want to put it away come autumn.
4. Topshop Patchwork Bucket Bag: £75, Topshop
This is a good price for a leather handbag and the mock python patches on the sides and zig-zagging on the handle make it stand out in a line-up of black bucket bags on the high street. There’s a detachable cross body strap and a zip-up pocket inside for valuables.
5. Cru London Charlotte Mini Bucket Bag: £95, Cru London
You won’t find brights or trend-led shades at Cru London. All its London-designed, Portuguese-made bags come in classic colours that will see you from season to season. Caramel, chocolate brown and black pieces all feature its trademark red zip. There are two bucket bags in the collection and we’ve fallen in love with the new dinky Charlotte. With smooth leather on the front and back, suede on the inside and sides, a knot tie on the drawstring and that poppy-red zip, it’s the little details that make it a cut above. You can wear it crossbody and there’s a caramel version coming soon.
6. AllSaints Freedom Bucket Bag: £178, All Saints
Think of AllSaints and you think of super-wearable leather pieces with an urban-cool aesthetic. But while the brand might be a go-to for biker jackets and the like, its bag collection shouldn’t be overlooked. This one is made from three contrasting fabrics – black leather, khaki suede and camel canvas – and in a twist on a classic bucket shape, it cinches in in the middle, with a magnetic closure at the top. With no metal hardware in sight, it taps into the boho look that’s everywhere this season. If you like the shape, the Freedom also comes in a brown suede version and there’s a smaller size with a longer shoulder strap.
7. Esin Akan Notting Hill: £499, Wolf and Badger
Here’s another London-based designer you should get on your radar. Esin Akan designs elegant bags for busy women. So, they’re made from gorgeous leather with an unfussy aesthetic and all are very versatile. The Notting Hill not only doubles up as a chic, on-trend backpack, but also unzips to reveal a contrasting side panel, which gives you more room in the bag – it’s big enough to fit a small laptop or A4 files – as well as giving it a bit of an edge with the exposed zip. Inside, there’s one zip-up and one pouch compartment and both the shoulder strap and the back straps can be detached. We’ve got our eye on this dark cherry and peach version for autumn, but it also comes in black/sand, navy/sand and grey hues. This one’s not cheap, but really it is two bags in one, and you’re supporting new talent, too.
8. Coccinelle Borsa Pel Camoscio Double/Pel.Vit: £225, Coccinelle
The bucket bag is a classic Seventies bag shape, so it feels appropriate that this from the Italian brand’s Autumn/Winter collection is in mustard, a shade synonymous with the decade. The over-sized tassels give it a 2016 update and it’s the little luxe touches that caught our eye – the fact its lined in a dark burgundy leather, also on the tassels, and the metallic suede embellishment on the handle. The shoulder strap is detachable and it also comes in burgundy or black.
9. Matt & Nat Livia: £105, Matt and Nat
Anyone after a vegan bag should check out Canadian brand Matt & Nat’s sustainably produced accessories. Its new bucket bag, the Livia, comes in five chic, shades. It’s roomy inside, with a pouch for a phone or smaller bits you need to easily access and a zip up compartment. The strap can be extended so you can wear it either cross body or on the shoulder, and like all Matt and Nat’s bags, the lining’s made from recycled plastic bottles. We like all the colours but if we had to choose, we’d go for this rich blue.
Our pick from the high street is & Other Stories’s super-useful bucket that will go with everything and is roomy enough to fit in all you need for the day. If you want a British-designed piece by an independent designer, we like Lost Property of London’s stylishly simple Rivington or Esin Akan’s two-in-one Notting Hill for daytime. If you’re travelling light – we’re talking phone, wallet, purse, lipstick– go for Cru’s small-but-perfectly-formed Charlotte with its distinctive red zip.
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