Your Ultimate Guide to Crossbody Bags

Can’t decide which handbag to buy? Are you confused by the millions of choices available to you right now? Don’t worry, we’ve got you! Learn all about the crossbody bag and why it's the next bag you need to add to your closet right now.

We’ll cover what defines a crossbody bag and its best features, including its hands-free functionality, security, ease of use, and more. We'll also be your shopping assistant today and guide you through making the right choice. Oh, and did we mention bonus styling tips at the end? Let’s dive in!

What is a Crossbody Bag?

Crossbody bags are a type of bag that you wear across your body from your shoulder to your hip. The best ones are equal parts stylish & functional. You can comfortably wear them hands-free across your chest, torso, or hip simply by moving the long, adjustable strap. This convenient positioning enables you to keep your items secure while using your hands to send a text, drink a coffee, or perform other daily tasks.

The crossbody is hands down the most versatile bag in the fashion world right now. The wide variety of styles, shapes, colors, sizes, and materials ensures there's something for everyone and all occasions. They have gained immense popularity in recent years among both men and women, owing to their functional design and fashion appeal.


This is a bag that has lived many lives. The earliest form of the crossbody originated centuries ago, when people would tie cloth together to create pouches they could wear across their chest to help them carry tools & food. Then came shoulder bags & messenger bags, which bicycle courier boys used to carry mail. 

It wasn’t until the 19th century that crossbody bags became a staple of the fashion world. In the 1950s, designers recognized their appeal beyond practicality and began incorporating them into their collections. The introduction of materials like leather and suede, along with different colors, patterns, and embellishments, transformed them from practical bags into must-have fashion items.


Today, crossbody bags continue to dominate the women’s and men’s fashion scene owing to their versatility and many practical features. Why are crossbody bags so popular? Below are some of the top reasons this bag has continued to become famous.


One key reason for their popularity is their practical design. Crossbody bags allow you to carry your essentials while keeping your hands free for other activities. This makes these bags both stylish and convenient, whether you’re on the go with a tiny tot, traveling, or shopping.


The long strap across your body keeps your phone, wallet, and other necessities close to you. And with zippers, straps, and buckles to keep everything secure, the risk of theft or loss decreases significantly.


The crossbody comes in various shapes, sizes, and materials, meaning there’s an option for everyone. From compact versions for an evening out to larger ones for everyday use, these bags effortlessly combine practicality with a fashionable edge. They come in casual, formal, or high-fashion designs, making them suitable for various outfits and settings. Their versatility allows them to seamlessly transition from day to night, making them a go-to accessory for many.


The crossbody style offers easy access to your belongings. The bag rests conveniently at your hip or torso height, making it easy to retrieve items without removing the bag entirely. This accessibility makes them practical for everyday use, as well as on long travel days through airports & on road trips.


The crossbody usually has one roomy main compartment for essentials, multiple zippered, hidden internal pockets, and external flaps. You can easily slide things in & out without having to sort through unnecessary clutter, saving you time when you need it most.


There are several factors to consider when choosing the right crossbody bag that will fit your style & needs.


Like any other accessory, you must determine the purpose & occasion for wanting a crossbody bag. Are you looking for an everyday bag, a travel companion, or a statement piece for special occasions? Understanding your requirements will narrow the options and make your selection process easier.


Consider the essentials you want to carry. A smaller bag will do if it’s only your phone, car keys, or wallet. But if you also plan to bring sunglasses, tissues, and makeup, you may need to choose a larger one with organized pockets.

Choose one with a broader strap if you need to carry more weight so that it doesn't dig into your shoulder and the weight is more evenly distributed. Chain straps like those on the Tati crossbody are sleek and elegant and stand out from the crowd, but they are best suited to small—to medium-sized crossbody bags.

Here's a general guide on what size of crossbody bag might be best for various uses:

For everyday use: A medium-sized crossbody bag is ideal for carrying daily essentials such as a wallet, phone, keys, and a few small items. It should be big enough to hold your essentials but not too bulky to carry around comfortably.

For traveling: You may want a slightly larger crossbody bag that can accommodate essentials like a passport, travel documents, a small water bottle, snacks, and maybe even a small camera. Look for a medium—to large-sized crossbody bag with multiple compartments for organization.

For shopping or errands: A medium-sized crossbody bag with enough room to hold your wallet, phone, keys, and some shopping items like a small notebook, pen, or snacks would be suitable. It should be convenient to carry while leaving your hands free to browse or carry shopping bags.

For outdoor activities: For outdoor activities like hiking or sightseeing, consider a compact and lightweight crossbody bag that can hold essentials like water bottles, snacks, sunscreen, maps, and maybe a small first aid kit. It should be durable and comfortable to wear for extended periods.

For evening events or a night out: Opt for a small crossbody bag or a clutch-style bag. It should be big enough to hold your phone, wallet, keys, and maybe a lipstick or compact mirror. Look for something stylish and sleek that complements your outfit.

For work or business: Depending on your profession and needs, a medium-to-large crossbody bag with compartments for a laptop or tablet, documents, notebook, pens, and other work essentials would be appropriate. It should be professional-looking and well-organized.

For gym or sports activities: A small to medium-sized crossbody bag that can hold essentials like a water bottle, towel, change of clothes, and toiletries would suffice. Look for something made of water-resistant or easy-to-clean material.


The material of your crossbody bag is significant in its durability and aesthetics. Choose high-quality, sustainable materials like leather, nylon, or another durable fabric that can withstand everyday use.

At Latico Leathers, we make our artisanal crossbody bags using high-quality, sustainable leather. These durable, handcrafted bags can withstand daily wear & tear, maintaining their quality & appearance for years to come. 

And over time, they’ll develop a leather patina, a natural process that adds beauty & character as it’s exposed to dirt, sunlight, and oils. The leather is also inherently resistant to dirt & water and is easier to clean & maintain than other materials like nylon, making it the preferred choice for many.


Look out for features that will help you stay organized, comfy, & stress-free. Crossbody bags often come with exterior pockets to hold your phone, glasses, & keys for easy access. These pockets are either hidden, zippered, or slits. Pick an option with snap or magnetic closures if the main or side pocket has flaps and leather or fabric pulls if it has zips for easy opening & closing.

Go with heirloom creations like the Pippa or the Bianca if you want a fine-tuned interior organization with divided sections, credit card slots, pen holders, & back-wall pockets. If you’re a minimalist, less is more in sleek designs like the Miller or the Ezra, which have just enough space to hold your basics.


Crossbody bags come in various styles, from classic and minimalist to bold and statement-making. Once again, it comes down to the occasions you plan to use the bag for and your taste. Opt for versatile designs and neutral colors like black, brown, or tan to complement a range of outfits and settings. At the same time, don't shy away from exploring bolder hues or unique patterns to add a pop of color to your ensemble and make a statement.


Here are some top tips and ideas on wearing and styling crossbody bags for different occasions and outfits.


When it comes to casual, everyday outfits, choose a medium-sized crossbody bag in a neutral color. You can easily match it with various outfits, making it the perfect choice for shopping, a night out, and everywhere. Pair it with a simple jeans-and-tee combo or a flowy dress for a relaxed and effortless look. Adjust the strap length to ensure the bag sits comfortably on your hip, allowing you to move freely throughout the day.


Crossbody bags are excellent companions for travel days. Keep your hands free while navigating through airports or exploring new destinations. Select a lightweight and compact option with multiple compartments to keep your passport, boarding passes, and cell phone organized and secure. Pair it with comfortable travel attire such as leggings, a cozy sweater, and sneakers, and you’re ready to take on the world.


The golden rule to follow when styling a crossbody with dressy outfits is to choose a bag that complements your ensemble. Opt for a smaller leather handbag with metallic accents or a sleek quilted pattern. Pair it with a sophisticated cocktail dress or a floor-length gown for a formal event. You can also make it a statement piece by wearing a bag with bold colors, unique textures, or eye-catching prints. Rock the classic little black dress with a twist by throwing on a vibrant red or yellow crossbody bag to create a stunning contrast.


Choose a structured crossbody bag that can easily hold your daily planner, makeup, and snacks to rock a chic office look. A high-quality leather crossbody will turn heads in every workplace, setting you up for your daily girl-boss moment. Pair it with tailored trousers, a blouse, and heels for a polished and sophisticated look.

Equally suited for men and women, the crossbody bag has evolved into a fashion industry staple, offering hands-free functionality, enhanced security, effortless versatility, easy access to belongings, and organized compartments. When shopping for your perfect crossbody, consider the occasion, size, material, functionality, and style. Opt for full-grain leathers, multiple pockets, and neutral tones that match every style on any occasion. Whether traveling the world or dominating the boardroom, the crossbody bag will go with you, transitioning seamlessly!