I’m addicted to crossbody bags, along with basically the rest of Instagram and pretty much the whole world, to be honest. Ever since Uniqlo paved the way with their round mini shoulder bag, I’ve built up a small army of similar styles from various retailers – and I’m about to give you the low down on where to shop them for yourself.
For more than a year now, this seemingly simple accessory has stolen the spotlight and continues to capture the hearts and closets of fashion enthusiasts, pairing practicality with affordability without compromising on style.
These crossbody bags have several names, from ‘dumpling’ bag to ‘moon’ bag – whatever you call it, this pint-sized powerhouse (and erm, it does fit a pint glass in there) has taken the fashion scene by storm – and I don’t think it’s going away any time soon. So here’s where to shop the best picks.
When Uniqlo first unveiled their version of the dumpling bag in a vibrant spectrum of colours, they ignited a craze that quickly spread across TikTok and beyond. I found myself mesmerised as I watched videos of people showing off what was in their bag, pulling out books and entire packets of jam tarts like a magician pulling a rabbit from a hat.
I started off with just the light cream version of the bag, which is priced at £14.90. I had been working in Manchester at the time and quite literally every other person strolling around the Northern Quarter was wearing one and I admit, the FOMO got to me so I stomped straight to Market Street to get one.
Ever since, this unassuming yet incredibly stylish accessory has become a wardrobe staple, and an addictive one at that, having since snagged three more colours. These bags feature a curved design that is incredibly spacious and Tardis-like, with a single strap for wearing across the body, allowing for a hands-free and convenient carry option.The strap is also adjustable making it ideal for people of all sizes – and it’s unisex, so you can mix and match with your friends or partner, too.
After discovering how practical they really are, and how much I was wearing my cream one, I decided to add the pink and black versions to my Uniqlo collection. Their unique shape seems to hug the contours of the body so well, making them really comfortable to wear, while the colours definitely inject a bit of personality into an outfit.
What’s more though is how they are so customisable, with the bags now available in so many colours, patterns and even fabrics – yes, I’ve seen the corduroy ones and yes, I want one of those too, please. And because they’re affordable, buying them is easily justifiable, since their cost per wear ends up pennies in a matter of weeks.
But my most coveted Uniqlo bag is, of course, the one I got personalised. A select number of Uniqlo stores offer an embroidery service in store, and when I was in London for a work meeting, I popped in-store to see if any new colours were available and there was no queue at the embroidery station. I purchased the olive green crossbody and got ‘BEFF’ embroidered in gold thread on the strap, paying £22.90 in total for the bag and service.
While Uniqlo may have popularised this style of bag, it didn’t take long for other retailers to jump on the trend and cash in on the accessory, with Shein offering some styles for under £10. While I don’t make a habit of shopping with Shein, this bag has become a real go-to and the e-tailer is an accessible place for those on a budget to stay up to date with the latest lasting looks.
By comparison, the Shein bag feels a little more structured in comparison to the slouchy style of the Uniqlo bags, though from across the street you’d never notice the difference. Like its high street counterpart, it also has two inner pockets that are perfect for storing things like bank cards and Airpods, keys or lipstick.
While I don’t have the link for this exact bag to hand, they’re never too dissimilar and you can shop dozens of styles, including some for as little as £1.50. One tip for shopping on Shein though – check the individual product reviews to get a feel of how good the product you’re buying really is.
Then, there’s my Matalan Leopard Nylon Moon bag, which has fast become a favourite among my accessory army for it’s effortless versatility, making it suitable for a range of occasions from day to night, brunch to date night.
I had been hoping that Uniqlo would bring out a leopard print version of their bag, so when I saw this, believe me when I say I’ve never ordered anything faster. Priced at £11, it was very affordable, but what’s more is that it could be considered a dupe for the Half Moon Anita bag from AllSaints, which is an eye-watering £89.
The bag is slightly more padded than some of the other stores, the strap is thicker, and the zipper has a gold thread running through it to give it a bit of glitz. If you’ve been here a while you’ll already know of my leopard print obsession, and this bag allows me to inject a bit of my personality into any outfit.
For something a little more elevated, FatFace has the Jovie Half Moon Sling Bag. Brand new for 2024, the bag comes in four gorgeous and wearable colourways, including black and tan for the neutral lovers, as well as green and orange for those who prefer a pop of colour in their everyday style. Crafted from 100 per cent leather with a 100 per cent cotton lining (which features the cutest pattern), this hardwearing bag feels really premium. Soft yet sturdy and structured, it holds its shape and has plenty of space for all your essentials and more.
As well as its spacious Mary Poppins-equse centre, it also has an adjustable strap and internal zip for keeping valuables bank cards, as well as an external zip that adds interest and texture to the overall look and can store anything you need to keep to hand, like a trusty lip balm or chewing gum.
Versatile and chic, the Jovie Half Moon Sling Bag is the ultimate everyday accessory for when you’re on the go. Practical without compromising on style, it pairs beautifully with anything in your wardrobe, from jeans to satin skirts, dresses to jumpers, and can be worn both casually and for a more refined look, making it the easy choice for accessorising any outfit for a range of occasions.
Are you a fan of the crossbody bag trend? Let me know where you got yours from in the comments.