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8 Trendy Purse Alternatives

It's time to leave your purse at home and replace it with a trendy purse alternative. A proper handbag is essential so check out our list of purse alternatives for what's functional yet fashionable.

A close look at a couple of women carrying purses.

We’ve all used a purse for carrying our belongings. It’s functional, accessible, and can dress up any outfit. But purses can also be outdated and unsophisticated. It can be too utilitarian and tend to be boring.

So if you want to ride on with high fashion or be more current but still need a handbag for, you know, storing your daily arsenal, check out our list of trendy purse alternatives below.

1. Backpack

A person in tattered jeans and white sneakers clutching a backpack in one hand while leaning against a brick wall.

One of the biggest advantages of choosing a backpack is that these items come in so many sizes, colors, and even shapes that it is impossible not to find one that is perfect for you. Backpacks can be small or large, black or neon-colored, and come with or without a dozen or so pockets that your belongings fit in perfectly.

Whether you need them for school, work, or a shopping spree, backpacks are perfect because they carry as many of your personal belongings as you like, are secure, thanks to their many zippers and compartments, and have all of the colors and designs that you could ever want.

Many backpacks are even shaped like animals and make a perfect carrying bag for children and young adults. Best of all, most backpacks are very reasonably priced, especially if you buy them at discount stores or while they’re on sale, making them easy on your wallet as well as accommodating.

2. Bucket Bag

A woman wearing a hat, shades, and bucket bag..

A bucket bag is a mix between a backpack and a purse. It is usually made of high-quality material such as leather, and it has a drawstring at the top for opening and closing the bag. There are straps that let you conveniently strap it around your shoulder or even across your body, and best of all, bucket bags go with everything you wear, regardless of how casual or formal it is.

They have very roomy interiors and keep everything inside secure thanks to the drawstring. In addition, the straps are usually adjustable, which means that your bucket bag is always going to be comfortable, regardless of how far you’re going.

Bucket bags come in a wide variety of solid colors and prints, and everyone from teenagers to older women loves carrying them around. Since they come in various sizes, you can find one very small or one that is much larger in size, so whether you want it to hold just a wallet and a hairbrush or everything you would normally carry in your handbag, the bag is able to handle it. They often come with decorations as well, such as tassels or fringes, making them a bit decorative.

3. Cosmetic Bag

A cosmetic bag with mobile phone, comb, and makeup brush surrounded by autumn leaves on wooden background.

Cosmetic bags are not just for cosmetics because they are made the perfect size to carry around with you when you only need a few items to go with you on your next outing. They are not bulky like many purses and handbags, and they are just big enough to carry your ID, some cash, and your cell phone.

True, some cosmetic bags are very large, boxed-shaped, and too cumbersome to carry around with you, but most of them offer soft and sturdy materials, and they are the right shape and size for your convenience. Since they usually have a zipper enclosure, they are very easy and quick to get in and out of.

Cosmetic bags also come in a wide range of colors and designs, so whether you like something standard and conservative or bright and bold, you can find what you’re looking for every time. You can hold the bag in your hand as you shop, and since it is small, you never have to worry about it being too heavy, meaning that it is just perfect when you’re looking for an alternative to a handbag.

4. Fanny Pack

Closeup of a person wearing a leather fanny bag.

Fanny packs may have been stripped off the list of current fads, but that doesn’t mean that they need to be relegated to the extinct pile. As a matter of fact, they make fanny packs in so many sizes and designs that they are always tempting to buy when you see them in a store, even if that isn’t what you were shopping for.

They have adjustable straps that go around the waist and fit every person who purchases one of these bags, and they allow you to shop hands-free while still having your valuables close by should you need them.

Fanny packs can also be worn by both men and women, which is one of the reasons that they come in so many colors, including black, navy blue, purple, and pink. Regardless of how many items you like to carry around with you while you’re out and about, you can find a fanny pack the right size, and they make any outing that you go on a lot easier on your part.

5. Phone Wallet

Hand holding a phone wallet and another placing a mobile phone inside.

These are cases for cell phones with a little extra room for things such as credit cards and driver’s licenses. They are perfect when you’re only planning to be gone for a short time and you only need to purchase a few things, especially if you do not need the many other items usually found in a purse to carry with you.

They usually have Velcro or something similar that makes opening and closing the pouch simple and fast, and they are designed for keeping various items, while at the same time not being too large to carry around with you. With some of these cases, you can see the front of your cell phone through the case, while others hide your phone altogether.

Many of them also allow you to hook them onto your belt, which means that you get a hands-free experience. The best part is, these cell phone cases are extremely reasonably priced, so unless you really want to, you’ll never have to pay a lot of money for them.

6. Tote Bag

Person wearing a white tote bag with flowers coming out from the bag.

Tote bags are perfect when you don’t have a lot of items to carry but you want something a little bigger than a wallet or a phone case. Tote bags are usually open at the top or made with zippers, and they can hold hairbrushes, wallets, cell phones, and even a small bag of makeup if you like. They fit over your shoulder and are therefore comfortable while you’re carrying them around with you.

They also come in a wide selection of colors and designs, and it is even common to see company names and logos on the sides of these bags. They are usually made of canvas or even neoprene because they are meant to be tough, so they are the perfect item to bring with you on a shopping trip or other outing.

7. Utility Belt

A utility bet with a mobile phone surrounded by earphones and running shoes on wooden background.

Utility belts come in two main types. The first is a type made for runners that hide your ID and cash on the inside of the belt so that no one knows it’s there, and the other is a type that essentially attaches pockets and other devices on it that you can place your personal belongings in.

They are similar to fanny packs except that instead of fitting around your waist, they are a part of your belt, and therefore, you don’t have to carry anything extra around with you. Their attached pockets come in various sizes, so whether you wish to carry just an ID and some cash or a little more than that, you can find something to accommodate you.

This isn’t to say that utility belts are especially large because they usually aren’t, but if you want an extra-secure pouch or pocket to carry around your ID and phone, these could be just perfect for you. They are safe and secure, and you can always trust them to keep your items hidden from others’ view.

8. Wallet

A person placing or pulling out paper bill from a wallet.

The best part about shopping for wallets is that there is such a wide selection of them that you can practically design the one you want yourself. Wallets can be large or small, leather or neoprene, solid-colored, or in bright designs. Some come with a checkbook section, and some include a pen. Some have several different pockets, while others have just one.

Regardless of what you’re looking for, wallet manufacturers likely offer it, and best of all, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get the one that you want. There are also wallets for both men and women, so they can come in black or brown, pink or red, or any color you desire.

Wallets can also be found at thousands of stores across the country, from discount stores to large department stores, so regardless of your personal budget, you are guaranteed not to spend too much money just to get something you love. Carrying a wallet to your next shopping spree is a lot more convenient than carrying around a huge purse, and it also makes it a lot easier to carry around those shopping bags that you’re about to acquire.