When my Filipina mother found out I was thinking of getting a faux pearl beaded bag, she laughed in my face and told me she couldn't believe they were coming back into fashion. For her, beaded bags were something she used to make as a kid back when she was living in the province and it was hilarious to her that I was off Pinteresting them decades later. There's no denying that this year, the beaded bag trend has well and truly exploded and it seems like it's going to be continuing well into 2019 if the high street has anything to say about it.
In fact, beaded bags were so popular this year that fashion search engine Lyst revealed that "searches for beaded bags were up 40 percent" in their annual report. The most viewed bag, the Shrimps' Antonia Queen Bag, in particular sparked a lot of attention and high street imitations. It's endured as a fashion influencer staple with different colourways coming out recently, while other brands have tried to capitalise on the hype. I managed to nab one below and my face basically sums up all my feelings about it.
Although there's a number of gorgeous faux pearl beauties out there (Topshop's below is a real winner), the trend has since exploded in different directions. Chunky beaded bags, drawstring pouches, and intricate seed beaded stunners have hit the market and the likes of Topshop, Zara, and my new favourite Free People have brought some awesome styles to the table.
There's a few options here that'll become your go-to accessory for the festive party season and a couple you'll want to bust out for literally every occasion: brunch with the girls, the office, and even a trip to Tesco. Here are a few of my favourites below.
The moment I set eyes on this beauty, I had to keep myself from buying it immediately. Miraculously, this elegant faux pearl bag is currently on sale and it's a total style steal. Given that other faux pearl bags I've seen on the high street can go for as much as £50, this one gives them a run for their money and plus it's a really unique shape which will set you apart from the crowd. Pair with a red maxi dress and big gold statement earrings and you're set for the inevitable slew of Christmas parties.
There's nothing like a drawstring pouch to make any outfit both chic and whimsical. This cutie from Topshop comes with a detailed floral bead pattern for a splash of colour and it's just about big enough to fit your phone, wallet and other essentials in it. You can wear it two ways, either by holding it by its drawstring straps or cross body with a chain strap.
Ever since influencer favourite Cult Gaia came onto the scene, there's been a renewed interest in bags made from natural wood textures like bamboo. Although buying a bag from them might be a little out of your price range (especially during the Christmas season), this sweet bag from Mango channels a similar feeling and is one that I bet you'll still be using in the summer. Just bear in mind that as the beads are quite big, that also means that the spaces between them are too. As there's no lining, you might want to keep tinier things like stray earrings in your pocket.
Before this gallery, I'd never heard of Free People and I am now forever thankful this bag has shown me the light. This twist on a tote bag is a total heartbreaker and comes in four different colours, including this clear and blue combo, a red and pink one, mermaid green and a opalescent black.
Two winter trends in one? Count me in. This tortoiseshell box bag comes with an adorable clear beaded handle, which brings a sprinkle of playfulness to a retro piece. Whether you're pairing it with a pair of jeans and chunky sweater or a slinky occassion dress, it's a versatile fashion forward piece that's hit the AW18 nail on the head.
Nothing like a bit of houndstooth to jazz up a winter wardrobe. This cute crossbody takes the classic autumn/winter print to the next level by creating it out of sparkly little beads. It's one of the more convenient bags to carry on the list as it comes with a chain strap, leaving your hands free to pick up your last minute Christmas shopping.
I'm of the opinion that tote bags don't get enough love and this beaded version is the chic upgrade I've been looking for. Urban Outfitters created a miniature version in lilac, black and clear beads and I'm personally a big fan of this black version. The best thing about this one is that it comes with lining, so you don't have to worry about your things valuables slipping between the cracks.