Follow College Fashion on Twitter!

Back to School Fashion: 4 Fab Fall 2012 Handbag Trends


Girl holding a handbag
Photo Credit

With summer coming to a close and school back in session, we thought it was time to wrap up our annual back-to-school fashion guide with one final post dealing with a college girl essential — the handbag.

Whether you need a new bag to hold your textbooks, an off-campus carryall, or something compact you can take to parties, we’ve got you covered. Read on to discover four fabulous Fall 2012 handbag trends as well as a round-up of budget-friendly bags in each category.

Also, if you haven’t seen them already, be sure to check out our past back-to-school style posts on the season’s hottest fashion trends, color trends, shoe trends and denim trends.

1. Structured Satchels

If you’re a fan of clean lines and classic shapes, then you’ll love fall’s trendy structured satchels. These roomy bags have enough space to hold lots of schoolwork and although they’re “trendy,” structured satchels are also classic, meaning they won’t go out of style after just one season. So, invest in one you love and you’ll be able to use it for years to come. Here are a few of our fave fall-appropriate satchels:

fall 2012 handbag trend structured satchels
Product Info: Green Metal Tip Satchel- ASOS, Pink Doctor’s Bag- Forever 21, Structured Satchel Backpack- Urban Outfitters, Awtry Satchel- Aldo, Orange Structured Box Briefcase-, Leather Buckle Satchel- Go Jane, On the Polka Dot Bag- ModCloth, Jelly Satchel- Piperlime, Brogue Detail Satchel- Topshop

2. Fringed Detailing

Embrace your inner bohemian with this season’s popular fringed handbags. Made of faux leather or suede, these statement-making bags work well with everything from jeans and a tee to an LBD, making them the perfect pick for on-the-go college students. Want to buy a fringed bag for fall? Check out our favorite trendy and under-$50 picks:

fall 2012 handbag trend fringe
Product Info: Black Fringe Showstopper Bag- Wet Seal, Mossimo White Fringe Handbag- Target, Orange Fringed Suede Bag- Forever 21, Chevron Fringe Bag- Nasty Gal, Cognac Fringe Crossbody Bag- Charlotte Russe, Black Fringed Leather Crossbody- Steve Madden, Gray Fringed Bag- American Eagle Outfitters, Tan Fringe Handbag- Minnetonka, Fringe Shoulder Bag- DSW

3. Chic Backpacks

Like fashion and function? Then a chic backpack is for you! These bags offer all the sturdiness and roominess of your basic backpack, but are made of a luxe or unique material that makes them a practical and stylish choice. No matter what your aesthetic, there’s a backpack out there that matches your personal style. To see what we mean, just take a peek at this roundup of budget-friendly backpacks:

fall 2012 handbag trend chic backpacks
Product Info: Printed Chambray Backpack- Delia’s, Neon Yellow Backpack- Nordstrom, Aztec Printed Canvas Backpack- Target, Quilted Faux Leather Backpack- Forever 21,  Olsenboye Canvas Backpack- JCPenney, Gray Marled Backpack- Urban Outfitters, Black Lace Backpack- Macy’s, Canvas Cheetah Backpack- Charlotte Russe, Mint and Orange Backpack- Madewell, Wolf Print Backpack- ASOS

4. Studded Handbags

If you read our post a few weeks ago on fall shoe trends, you’ll know that studded shoes are super trendy, but studs aren’t only for your feet! Metal-adorned bags are also having a moment this fall. Just like their footwear counterparts, these handbags can add some edge to your everyday look. Whether you have a bold style or prefer more demure pieces, you’re bound to find you perfect studded bag below:

fall 2012 handbag trend studs
Product Info: Jett Studded Bag- Nasty Gal, Bow & Studs Crossbody Bag- Kohl’s, Gray Studded Tote- Urban Outfitters, Dark Gray Stud Clutch- Dorothy Perkins, Light Beige Studded Bag- H&M, Cognac Studded Crossbody Bag- Charlotte Russe, Dome Studded Bag- Target, Studded Backpack- ASOS, Studded Boston Bag- Forever 21

Your thoughts?

What do you think of these handbag trends? Which one is your favorite? Any trends you don’t like? Will you be buying a new bag or two this fall? As always, remember to leave a comment below and tell us what you think!

Posted on on September 2, 2012 / Filed Under: Trends / Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

14 Responses to “Back to School Fashion: 4 Fab Fall 2012 Handbag Trends”

  1. 1
    September 2nd, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Love this! I actually had to buy a new backpack because mine broke last year, but I also like the idea of a sachel and that will probably be what I get after this one “dies”. Great post!!

  2. 2
    September 2nd, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    The JC Penny backpack is perfect
    I love cute backpacks, but they ruin the back-view of my hair (i wear my wavy hair in a quarter pony)

  3. 3
    September 2nd, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Love it! I already have the structured satchel and chic backpack :)

  4. 4
    September 2nd, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    I love fringing, can you DIY fringe? If yes college fashion should totally do a tutorial :)

  5. 5
    September 2nd, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I think I might be orienting myself towards the satchels or the backpacks. Yeaaaah probably the satchels 8D

  6. 6
    September 2nd, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    Great article, except you guys forgot to put where the gray fridge bag on the down left is from on the “Fringed Detailing”
    I would appreciated if you would put the link :)

  7. 7
    September 2nd, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    @Ashley- Oops! Thanks for catching that. The bag is from American Eagle Outfitters and you can buy it here: Will update the post to include the link.

  8. 8
    September 4th, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    People are so scared of fringe and I don’t know’s so fun and boho! I don’t have a structured satchel yet but am planning on purchasing soon :)

  9. 9
    September 5th, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Ashley, All of these bags are adorable!! I’m more into the studded bags so I really love the black bag with the gold studs. I was hoping to see messenger bags on here, especially since this pertains to college. I’ve seen quite a few that are really cute, let me know if you’re interested and I’ll throw you the links!

  10. 10
    September 18th, 2012 at 4:39 am


  11. 11
    October 16th, 2012 at 7:39 am

    I like the studded handbag trend, but I don’t think there’s enough studs on the bags you guys showed…

  12. 12
    October 16th, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I love Boho Chic. Those bags are very glamorous. I love all them. ^^

  13. 13
    August 10th, 2014 at 10:13 am

    I love the the chic backpacks (blast from the past.) SO CUTE.

Links to This Article

Leave a Reply


* Comment Rules: CF is a positive place and our comments section is no different. Constructive criticism is fine, but if you're rude, we'll delete your comment. Please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name and do not put your website in the comment text, as both come off like spam. For more info, see our Comment Policy. Have fun & thanks for adding to the conversation!


* Want a custom avatar to show up next to your comments? Sign up for a free Gravatar.