I love my crossbody bag and have a number of them in various styles and colours. Walking about shopping centres, around the city and at markets where we hold our stall, I'm still amazed at how popular this style of bag is.  I really shouldn't be though, as this style of bag has many advantages and it is incredibly versatile.

But before I go into the benefits and when and where to wear the crossbody bag, let's begin by defining what it is. 


What is a Crossbody Bag?

A crossbody bag is a type of purse or handbag that is designed to be worn across the body, with a strap that runs diagonally from one shoulder to the opposite hip. This style of bag is sometimes also referred to as a shoulder bag or messenger bag.

The defining feature of a crossbody bag is the way it is worn, which frees up the wearer's hands and distributes the weight of the bag more evenly across the body. This makes it a practical and comfortable option for carrying essentials while on the go.

Crossbody bags come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, from small and compact designs to larger bags that can hold laptops or other bulky items. They are typically made of materials such as leather, canvas, or nylon, and may feature additional pockets or compartments for organisation.

Some crossbody bags have a more structured, formal look, while others are designed for a more casual, bohemian aesthetic. Many bags also come with adjustable straps, allowing the wearer to customise the length of the strap to suit their individual needs.

While crossbody bags are often associated with women's fashion, they are also popular among men as a practical and stylish option for carrying essentials. 

In recent years, crossbody bags have become a staple accessory in the fashion world, with designers offering a wide range of styles and designs to suit different tastes and occasions.


When to opt for the crossbody bag?

The appeal of this style of bag lies in its versatility, ability for you to go hands free and it suits our on the go lifestyles. For me, it's the perfect combination of function and style.

The crossbody bag is designed with convenience and a hands-free experience in mind. Most styles come with functional pockets in the interior and/or exterior. 

Here are a few suggestions as to when a crossbody bag is better placed to serve you:

1. Running errands - when you're on the go and need to have your hands free to run about town, this is a great bag. Errands can be a quick shopping trip to your local store, post- office, picking up kids from school or sport, going to the bank or picking up dry-cleaning.

2. Travel/Sightseeing - you want to be comfortable and be able to carry your essentials. Its diagonal strap distributes the weight of the bag evenly making it more comfortable to carry for extended periods. It also makes it harder for pickpockets to snatch your bag as you typically have the bag positioned in front of you

3. Evening events - while this style usually lends itself to a more casual feel, opting for luxurious materials, such as velvet or vegan leather, and a sleek design will elevate the look. With the strap, if you don't like the crossbody application and feel it wouldn't suit the more formal outfit, you can always wear if over the shoulder.

4. Everyday bag/casual catch ups - this is the ideal bag to use everyday for its practicality and functionality. When you're going out for a casual dinner and don't want to carry a large bag, this style is a great option for carrying your basic essentials:- wallet, phone, lipstick etc.


How to wear the Crossbody Bag & What is the perfect length?

Crossbody bags

Finding the perfect length

The most important feature of a crossbody bag is the strap, in particular the length of it. If it is too short or too long, it can be inconvenient, uncomfortable and unflattering to your body shape.

Ultimately, the perfect length for a crossbody bag is one that feels comfortable and secure and that allows you to carry your essential with ease.

However, the general rule for finding the right length is to adjust the strap so that the bag sits on or just under your hip. 

This is where you'll usually find the bag feels most comfortable and when your arm is extended, you can easily reach right down to the bottom of your bag. 

From a style perspective, it tends to create a streamlined look and can balance out your body proportions. It draws attention to your waistline, which is flattering for many body types.

What is the perfect size of bag for me?

One thing to consider when searching for your next crossbody bag is the size. Generally speaking, if you have a larger frame or if you are taller, then choosing a larger bag will help to balance out your proportions.

Conversely, if you have a smaller frame or if you are shorter then, choosing a smaller bag will help to balance out your proportions.

How should I wear it?

Given the versatility of the bag, there are multiple ways to wear this style.

You can wear it on the front or move it more to the side or back, depending on where you find it most comfortable and of course what outfit you're wearing. I personally like to wear it on the front as it is easily accessible and feels more secure than having it on the back.

If you are not a fan of the having the strap sit crossing your body, you can always wear it over the shoulder. This is definitely an option for you and might be the right choice, if you opt to buy a more luxurious style to wear on an evening outfit.


Benefits of a Crossbody Bag

I've spoken about some of the benefits above but it's worth mentioning again in this concise list:

  • Hands-free. This design allows you to have your hands completely free which is one of the biggest appeals of this style of bag. There are times that having a bag on your shoulder or arm is not practical. This style of wearing gives you a lot of freedom that more traditional pieces will not do.

  • Slip free. Another advantage of a great design. This won't keep slipping off your shoulder requiring you to keep readjusting.

  • Reduces strain. Most of the tote bags we carry around today are often too heavy and places strain on our necks, shoulders and back. In addition, they impact our posture as they are carried on one side of our body.

  • Customisable. They can be worn on the front, side or back and their length can be adjusted to suit your needs.

  • Versatile. What I mean by this is that you can take it from day to night, from cafe to dinner. They suit most outfits and are on trend. There are many styles to choose from

  • Price. Although price points can vary, most often crossbody bags are more affordable and because of their versatility, you're able to splurge on one as you don't need to buy multiple bags.


Karuna Dawn's Vegan Crossbody Bags

Our range of crossbody bags are simply gorgeous and made from either Leaf Leather or Up-Cycled Denim.  All styles below are handcrafted using sustainable materials and have provided employment and opportunity to marginalised women and village and rural communities. 

Check them out here:

Leaf Leather Handbag

Leaf Leather Clutch

Leaf Leather Unisex Messenger Bag

Up-Cycled Denim Sling Bag