Trendy handbags are sometimes irresistible, but there's no denying that there are benefits to rocking an old-school grandma purse — that is, a handbag inspired by the mature babes in your life. Perfect for all the fashionistas who have old sartorial souls, purses that look like they belonged to your granny can be chic, playful, and timeless. From classic textures to that quirky floral print you have always secretly loved, your grandma's purse may just be the inspiration behind your next accessory investment.
It can be both exhausting and frustrating to keep up with the ever-changing style trends in the fashion-sphere that we live in today. When it comes to handbags in particular, there always seems to be a new it-item to have. So I decided it was best to stay out of the whole cycle, and opt for the granny style route instead. Grandma bags — which I identify by their classic shapes, top handles, quirky textures or prints, and mature, upscale detailing, are chic yet functional. Plus, they're totally unexpected alongside a modern wardrobe. Get ready to make your #OOTD posts on Instagram that much better with a granny update.
Here are 21 classic purses you'll want to add to your arsenal. From top handle bags to that beloved crocodile-esque texture, there's no denying they have an alluring old school charm to them.
1. Flower Embellished
Kimchi Blue Estelle Wooden Cross Body Bag, $69, Urban Outfitters
The adorable floral embellishments paired with the wooden feature of this bag make it so totally grandma. This one would be the perfect playful accessory for everyday use.
White Noise Studded Vegan Leather Bag, $48, Nasty Gal
The studs on this bag make it look modern, but don't be fooled. The bucket-like shape along with the long crossbody strap take on a vintage silhouette that your granny would totally rock.
3. Pastel Pink Crossbody
Faux Leather Crossbody, $23, Forever 21
Top handles? Pastel pink shade? Gold details? This bag screams grandma and would look spectacular with tweed and kitten heels.
4. Satchel Bag
Smart Satchel Bag, $60, Top Shop
A satchel bag is one of those items everyone should have in their wardrobe. This version, in a dark tan shade with metallic buckles and studs, is the perfect grandma-esque choice.
5. Crocodile Embossed
ASOS Croc Embossed Suede Tote Bag, $77, ASOS
My grandma loved crocodile prints, and I'm sure she wasn't the only granny who felt that way. This faux croc bag has an undeniable air of elegance and maturity to it, so prepare to feel regal with it in the crook of your arm.
6. Floral Tote
Floral Tote, $158, Banana Republic
Nothing says grandma more than a bold, floral print. And this one, with turquoise flowers on a cream base, couldn't make for a better-looking tote.
7. Saddle Bag
COACH Designer Crossbody Saddle Bag 23, $395, COACH
A classic saddle bag in a bright, poppy color is guaranteed to be a grandma-approved purchase. So feel free to splurge on this one.
8. Basic Tote
ASOS Tote Bag With Removable Tassel, $42, ASOS
You can't go wrong with a basic carry-all. This one, with top handles and a detachable tassel, even has extra space to store homemade chocolate chip cookies in it, too.
Tuft Love Top Handle Shoulder Bag, $83, Betsey Johnson
A quilted, top-handle, black purse with gold accents is the epitome of your grandmother in a handbag. And this one is absolutely gorgeous.
10. Cat Bag
Cat To The Chase Bag, $40, Mod Cloth
This may not be a grandma bag, per se, but I know my nana would get a kick out of the little kitty as a hold-all. And let's be real: Its cheesy and playful nature is beyond adorable.
11. Woven Basket Bag
Isla Beach Basket, $138, Anthropologie
It may be a little too early in the year to break out a summer bag, but this colorful, tasseled purse is so cute that it may be worth planning for spring/summer a little early.
12. Kantha Bag
Vintage Kantha Crossbody, $98, Free People
This little purse looks like it came straight out of the wardrobe of a Harry Potter character. Reach inside and you'll find a tent, a car, and every potion you might ever need. OK, just kidding, this bag doesn't do that. But it's super cute and granny-ish, no?
13. Patchwork Tote
Keep Calm And Carryall Weekend Bag, Mod Cloth
I can definitely imagine my grandma fawning over this bag. You can't deny that it would look cute with a denim on denim ensemble and some colorful flats.
14. Tasseled Tan Crossbody
Tasseled Metal Clasp Crossbody Bag, $21, Charlotte Russe
Maybe this bag is a little more Western than grandma, but its shape and details are definitely old-school. It's chic and ideal for casual-wear.
15. Bowler Bag
Dooney & Bourke Pebble Bitsy Bag, $178, Macys
I don't think there's a grandma in all of the land who doesn't appreciate a bowler bag for its shape and functionality. There's no arguing with them, either. These bags make super useful and cute accessories.
16. Drawstring Patchwork Bag
AmeriLeather Qmetal Patchwork Leather Mini Shoulder Bag, $52, Kohl's
This bag may look like a mish-mash of style genres at first glance, but its boho-granny vibe makes it a perfect accessory for more whimsical dressers.
17. Beaded Clutch
Beaded Clutch, $29, Dress Barn
The ring handle of this bag, along with the silver sequins and the lock top closure, reminds me of picking through my mom's closet and finding my grandma's old bags. They looked just like this one, and I would feel like I had just found a pot of gold. While some may consider them outdated, I consider them optimal.
18. Printed Pouch
LOFT Beach Rainforest Pouch, $24, LOFT
If you're more of a clutch kinda gal, then then this printed paisley pouch is for you. It kind of looks like those musty couches at your granny's place, and makes for a sweet yet retro item thanks to its fun colors and embellished tassels.
19. Dome Satchel
Women's Large Dome Satchel Handbag, $35, Target
Classic bag shapes have great styling potential, and they're even more amazing in exciting prints like this one. Rock this bag with jeans and a T-shirt and let your granny style flag fly.
20. Polka Dot Satchel
Dawson Satchel, $148, Fossil
Made of denim featuring white polka dots, this leather-detail satchel has everything you could every dream of. Plus, it would look great with that vintage grandma sweater you hardly ever take off.
21. Graphic Tote
My Other Bag Jackie Carry-All Tote Classic Black, $55, Bluefly
If you wish your grandma bag was designer, but you just can't afford it, this one will be your saving grace.
These 21 chic, quirky bags have hopefully convinced you to try out a grandma-inspired purse. I promise that your style will appreciate the timeless shapes and eccentricities of these accessories. Plus, you'll make nana proud.
Want more style tips? Check out the video below, and be sure to subscribe to Bustle’s YouTube page for more hacks and tricks!
Images: Courtesy Brands