I love saddle bags, but I still have yet to find a version that actually reflects the easy, graceful lines of a beautifully made horse saddle. For me, there is nothing more effortlessly chic than the breezy spirit of a saddle bag. Sometimes, I feel as though the structured, iconic Kellys and Birkins look like they’re trying too hard. On the flipside, is the saddle bag. When done right, it possesses a relaxed brand of elegance. And not just in traditional brown leather, but in a myriad of colors and skins – with jeans or a tailored jacket and dress, the saddle is the evergreen option of bags.
I’ve been working with Hermès for almost two years on the “Tina” bag. I haven’t seen final result yet, but I think it will be the answer to all of our saddle prayers. For now, here are the top 5 saddle bags of the moment (though I’m still not completely satisfied!):
1. Alexander Wang Ivory Studded Stingray Leather Small Lia Saddle Bag: Thanks to his trademark chunky, oversized studs, you can spot a Wang bag a mile away. This buffalo-leather saddle style keeps the mood subtle. On Ssense for $975.
2. Ralph Lauren Equestrian Vachetta Saddle Bag: The timeless original obviously comes from Ralph Lauren, the refined cowboy king of Western Americana. At Ralph Lauren for $1,150.
3. Sophie Hulme Leather Shoulder Bag: A streetwise-tough mood and fluid lines come together with grainy leather, a shiny pop of armor-inspired plating, and clean front flap. On NET-A-PORTER for $860.
4. Chloé The Marcie Mini-Leather Shoulder Bag: The Marcie is a modern Chloé classic, and for good reason: the stitched horseshoe accent is cool, not kitsch. On NET-A-PORTER for $775.
5. Marni Adjustable-Strap Saddle Bag: Marni’s modernist punctuations of hardware lend a upgraded twist to the bag, while still managing to keep things casual. At Neiman Marcus for $990.