What is a Crossbody Bag?

Women’s Charlot tweed bang in multi - CHARLES & KEITH

A crossbody bag is a type of purse or handbag that is designed to be worn across the body, with the strap resting on one shoulder and the bag resting on the opposite hip. This style of bag is typically smaller and more compact than a traditional shoulder bag or tote, and is often used as a practical and convenient option for carrying essentials while on the go.


What is the difference between a crossbody bag and a sling bag?

Although both crossbody bags and sling bags are designed to be worn diagonally across the body, there are some key differences between the two types of bags. Crossbody bags typically have longer straps that can be adjusted to different lengths, allowing the bag to be worn higher or lower on the body depending on the wearer’s preferences. Crossbody bags are often smaller and more compact, with just enough space to hold your essentials, making them perfect for traveling or running errands.

On the other hand, a sling bag typically has a shorter strap and is worn over one shoulder, with the bag resting on the lower back. Sling bags are designed for quick and easy access to your belongings and are often used for outdoor activities or sports. Unlike crossbody bags, sling bags usually have a larger capacity, making them ideal for carrying bulky items such as camera gear and water bottles. They are also often made from durable materials, such as nylon or canvas, making them a popular choice for hiking, cycling, and other outdoor activities where convenience and functionality are essential.

Overall, while both types of bags share some similarities in their design and functionality, the differences in strap length and storage space make them better suited for different activities and occasions.

What is the difference between a crossbody bag and a shoulder bag?

The main difference between a shoulder bag and a crossbody bag is their style of wearing. A shoulder bag is carried on one side of your body, nestled between your arm and your chest, while a crossbody bag is designed to be worn across the body, with the strap resting on one shoulder and the bag resting on the opposite hip. This allows for even weight distribution and a hands-free way to carry essentials.

Another key difference lies in the strap length. Shoulder bags tend to have a shorter strap length, as they are not designed to fit comfortably across your body, while a crossbody bag strap is longer and made for that purpose. Shoulder bags tend to be smaller in size too, as they have to fit comfortably under your arm. On the other hand, crossbody bags are bigger and offer more space and convenience for carrying your essentials.

One thing to note is that shoulder bags require more attention to security, as they can easily slip off the shoulders. In contrast, crossbody bags are more secure, as they are less likely to slip off and can be worn closer to the body. Ultimately, the choice between a crossbody bag and a shoulder bag comes down to personal preference and intended use.

Impact of Crossbody Bags on Our Shoulders

Although crossbody bags are highly sought-after for their style and practicality, they do come with their own set of drawbacks.

One shoulder problem

While crossbody bags provide a more balanced weight distribution compared to shoulder bags, their single strap design places the load on just one shoulder rather than two, as in the case of a backpack. This can lead to discomfort and strain on the shoulder and neck if the crossbody bag is used for an extended period of time. Prolonged use of a crossbody bag in this manner can result in muscle aches and potentially lead to poorer posture.

But, fret not! This does not mean you have to give up your favorite crossbody bag just yet. Here are some useful tips that will help you enjoy and carry your crossbody bags without compromising on style or comfort.

Tips to alleviate the problem

Using a thicker strap ensures that the bag’s weight will be more evenly distributed and well-balanced overall, while an adjustable strap allows the bag to be worn at an ideal length for your height.

If you plan on carrying your bag throughout the entire day, it's best to avoid using chain straps. Instead, consider a bag with interchangeable straps. This way, you can effortlessly switch between a chain strap and a regular strap, providing your shoulders with some relief.

Last but not least, ensuring your bag is not overly heavy from unnecessary bulk is one of the easiest ways to reduce strain on your shoulder. So, clear out your bag every once in a while. On a day-to-day basis, you should also consider carrying only the essentials that you will need on a particular day — keeping it light goes a long way.

Styles and Types of Crossbody Bags

Messenger bags

Messenger bags have roomy interiors and a practical design. They are a great choice for individuals who travel heavy. With a sleek silhouette and functional features like multiple compartments, adjustable straps and secure front clasps or buckles, messenger bags offer both style and functionality. Their versatility effortlessly caters to office days and weekend outings alike.

Women’s Duo double chain hobo bag in black - CHARLES & KEITH

Hobo bags

Hobo bags are great for achieving an effortlessly stylish and laid-back look. They sport a half-crescent silhouette that is both structured and relaxed, possessing the finesse to enhance casual outfits or infuse a hint of relaxed charm into more sophisticated ensembles. Their broader base translates into roomy interiors that can easily accommodate everything you will need in a day.


Women’s mini Danika chunky chain padded bag in dark moss - CHARLES & KEITH

Mini crossbody bags

Mini variations of crossbody bags are also available, catering to those who favor compact accessories. Despite their small size, these pieces exude significant style and ensure your essentials are always within reach. Whether adorned with trendy embellishments or boasting a minimalist design, mini crossbody bags make an excellent choice for evenings out, brunches, or any event where you wish to flaunt your fashion prowess without sacrificing convenience.


Women’s Gabine leather saddle bag in black - CHARLES & KEITH

Saddle bags

Defined by a graceful curved silhouette and classic front flap closure, saddle bags find their inspiration in the world of horse riding. The ideal size to accommodate your daily essentials and embellished with distinctive hardware accents, these bags blend elegance with practicality. Their enduring charm will add a refined touch to any outfit.

Women’s Micaela quilted card holder in blue - CHARLES & KEITH

Chain wallet crossbody

Crossbody styles also encompass wallet designs, often featuring chain straps that infuse a stylish touch of glamor and offer hands-free convenience. These chain straps are detachable, allowing for creative styling options. Crossbody chain wallets’ versatility enables them to seamlessly transition from day to night, effortlessly elevating your outfit for any occasion.

How to choose the right crossbody bag for you?

Finding the perfect crossbody bag can be a game-changer for both style and functionality. With its convenient hands-free design and versatile nature, a well-chosen crossbody bag can effortlessly elevate any outfit. Below, we explore the essential factors to consider when choosing a crossbody bag that suits your lifestyle, personal taste, and practical requirements.

Features & functionality

When it comes to choosing a crossbody bag, you'll encounter two main types: those with a front flap design (featuring push lock or magnetic closures) and those with a zip closure. Front flap designs often feature striking embellishments giving them an elegant and eye-catching appeal.

Conversely, zip closures offer greater convenience, allowing you to access your belongings quickly and securely. Some front flap bags even feature a back pocket, providing easy access to small items. With these options in mind, you can select a crossbody bag that not only suits your style preferences but also aligns with your practical needs.

Size & capacity

Crossbody bags are typically designed to be small or medium-sized, ensuring that the bag is not too heavy on your shoulders and doesn't hinder your movements when worn across the body. Determine the appropriate size by considering your day-to-day essentials. Assessing the items you typically carry will help you select the perfect crossbody bag that accommodates your necessities.

Some individuals find comfort in a larger, more relaxed crossbody size, while others prefer a smaller structured bag. Most crossbody bags come with adjustable straps, allowing you to customize the positioning to suit your body shape and size. While adjustability is a convenient feature, it is of lesser importance compared to finding a bag that is just the right size for you.

Materials & durability

Women’s Gabine leather saddle bag in sage green - CHARLES & KEITH

Crossbody bags can be crafted from a variety of materials, including leather, canvas, nylon, and faux leather. Leather stands out as one of the most popular choices due to its durability, stylish appearance, and luxurious feel. However, leather crossbody bags tend to be more expensive.

Women’s Charlot canvas crossbody bag in chocolate - CHARLES & KEITH

For a more budget-friendly option, consider canvas or nylon bags. These materials offer lightweight durability and easy maintenance, making them ideal for everyday use. They have gained popularity recently due to their utilitarian aesthetic. If you're looking to add an interesting textural element to your outfit, consider materials like tweed, jacquard and raffia. These textures can enhance the overall look and are often popular in specific seasons.


When selecting the perfect crossbody bag for yourself, color plays a significant role, not only in reflecting your personal style but also in terms of functionality. Neutral colors such as black, white, and brown are highly versatile and can complement a wide variety of outfits. Their timeless appeal ensures they will remain fashionable for years to come. Additionally, if you plan on using the bag frequently or for travel purposes, it's worth considering that bags in dark neutral tones are less likely to show dirt or stains, maintaining their pristine appearance. However, if you wish to infuse your outfit with some flair, opting for a crossbody bag in a bright or pastel color can be a great choice. These vibrant shades add personality and make a statement, elevating your overall look.