What is a Bucket Bag: Everything You Need to Know!

What is a Bucket Bag: Everything You Need to Know!

You might be thinking a purse is just a purse, but when you really start paying attention to style, there's so much more to it than that. Take the bucket bag, for instance "What is a bucket bag?". This simple yet stylish purse has a distinct shape and has become a fashion staple. 

 What bucket bags should you buy? And why should you add one (or two, or three…) to your collection? We're about to unpack all that - and more.

The iconic shape of the bucket bag is tough to miss; it’s usually round or cylindrical with a flat bottom. Take a look at Eric Javits' mini bucket bag: this design, combined with a drawstring closure, makes the bucket bag instantly recognizable and emphasizes why it earned its name.

Table Of Contents:

A Blast from the Past: The History of the Bucket Bag

What is a bucket bag’s origin story? Although its popularity has recently resurged, the bucket bag isn't new. You may be surprised to find that it actually has quite a rich history dating back as far as the 1930s.

Believe it or not, it all started with…well, an actual bucket. Back in 1932, Louis Vuitton created a sturdy and practical bag called the "Noé" as a convenient way to carry Champagne. This mini bucket bag was crafted from sturdy leather with a drawstring closure. The Noé was a far cry from the delicate handbags of the day, but it quickly became a classic and set the standard for all future bucket bags.

It wasn't until the 1960s that the bucket bag really took off as a fashion statement. Designers such as Bonnie Cashin recognized its unique aesthetic and embraced its ability to make a bold statement. Throughout the late ‘60s and ‘70s, celebrities and style icons started sporting these small bucket bags and sealed their fate as a must-have accessory.

While trends come and go, certain styles just never fade into the background completely - and that’s definitely true for the bucket bag. It remained a mainstay on runways and city streets all the way into the 1990s and saw a significant resurgence in the 2010s. Brands like Mansur Gavriel brought it back, adding contemporary minimalist details like cinch closures and sleek cotton linen canvas, and it's been a huge hit ever since.

5 Reasons Why You Need a Bucket Bag

There’s a reason the bucket bag has been popular for literal decades. Its timelessness lies in both practicality and undeniable chic. 

1. Bucket Bags are Incredibly Versatile

When it comes to accessories, finding pieces you can dress up or down is crucial. One thing I love about bucket bags is how easily they transition from day to night. I've taken my bucket bag straight from brunch with friends to dinner and dancing, effortlessly blending into both my daytime look and evening outfits.

Explore how you can choose the perfect bucket bag for you. Some come with a single strap, while others, like the convertible bucket bag in tan saddle brown, come with two straps, allowing you to wear it crossbody, over the shoulder, or even as a top-handle bag. Your options are only limited by your imagination and the versatility of these bucket bags.

2. Bucket Bags Offer Effortless Style

Let’s face it. Life is better when you feel fashionable. Thankfully, bucket bags combine practicality with style. The cylindrical shape, whether it's a cinch bucket bag olive or a bucket bag chocolate brown croc, is striking without trying too hard, which is why they continue to be incredibly trendy even now.

3. Bucket Bags are Roomy (But Not *Too* Roomy.)

Ditching the overly structured handbag doesn’t mean resigning yourself to an unorganized purse - although most of us probably have at least one of those tote bucket bags floating around anyway. Think of bucket bags like that friend with the perfectly sized home: it’s not so massive they’re afraid to get rid of things, and it’s not so small that it's jam packed with clutter.

Although typically small or medium-sized, the bucket bag is big enough to store all of your necessities: phone, wallet, keys, and tech accessories. However, because the bag isn't structured, it molds to your body, so it never feels bulky. This goods cotton canvas cinch bucket bag is both stylish and functional, making it a favorite among fashion-forward individuals and sustainability advocates alike in the fashion industry

4. Bucket Bags Come in Seemingly Endless Styles

I love that you can find a bucket bag for just about any preference. What is a bucket bag if not totally personalizable? Want something boho? Try a cotton linen canvas bucket bag. Something a little more glam?

You can easily find one with luxe details like studs or fringe, whether it's a bucket bag beige croco or a chic navy blue option. The versatility of bucket bags ensures there's a perfect match for every style and occasion

5. Bucket Bags are Great for Travel

A bucket bag is great for running errands or hitting the town for a fun night out, but this purse also happens to be great for travel, it almost works like a tote bag. Why? They're light, like the everyday bucket bag or the versatile cinch bucket bag cream, but they hold a surprising amount, so you'll be able to fit your essentials while you travel.

For this reason alone, every woman needs a bucket bag in her collection, whether it's for everyday use or those special travel adventures. 

The Many Materials of Bucket Bags: A Breakdown by Fabric

So, now that you have a better understanding of the question "what is a bucket bag," you probably realize there are tons of them out there. Deciding which one’s best depends a lot on your preferred style - but you’ll definitely want to consider material first. Whether you opt for sustainable materials like waste leather or the classic appeal of leather goods, choosing the right material can elevate both the look and longevity of your bucket bag. 

Leather Bucket Bags

From sleek to rugged to bohemian, leather bucket bags, like the bucket bag collection in tan saddle brown or bucket purse bags in various colors, never go out of style. While leather bags require a bit of care, the investment pays off with their durability. You can usually find one at every price point, making them accessible to a wide range of shoppers in the fashion industry.

Suede Bucket Bags

You can easily take any look to the next level of luxe with suede. This napped leather has a luxuriously soft and fuzzy surface and pairs perfectly with dressier events or more polished casual attire. When thinking about what material to get, you can find many suede bucket purses, like the convertible bucket bag in yves blue or the suede bucket bag beige croco, in various styles to suit your personal taste and occasion.  

Canvas Bucket Bags

You'll love a canvas bucket bag if casual, laid-back styles are your jam. It's lightweight, breathable, and perfect for everyday use, whether you're running errands or exploring new places. The canvas material also develops a beautiful, vintage-like patina as it ages, adding character to your accessory collection.

Straw Bucket Bags

Whether you're going to the farmer’s market or lounging on the beach, straw bucket bags, like the mini bucket bags or small bucket bag options, just scream summertime. Embrace the warmer weather and have fun incorporating one of these casual and breezy bags into your warm weather wardrobe. They're surprisingly durable and add an easy breezy touch to any outfit, making them perfect for relaxed summer days.

Faux Leather/Vegan Leather Bucket Bags

Love the look and feel of real leather but also mindful of ethical manufacturing practices? Vegan leather bags, such as the bucket bag chocolate brown croc or the bucket bag beige croco, often have a very similar look and feel to real leather and come in a huge range of styles to complement your vibe. Faux leather offers versatility at a lower cost and can mimic everything from pebbled leather to exotic crocodile skin.

Plus, opting for cruelty-free options means no animals are harmed in the production process, aligning with your values as a sustainability advocate in the fashion industry.

Bucket Bag Styling Tips: Finding the Perfect One (or Two.) for You

While the thought of owning a timeless bucket bag, like the classic bucket bag purse or the everyday bucket bag, probably sounds tempting, with so many styles and materials such as mini bucket bags and small bucket bags, you may need a little help narrowing things down. 

Start With Size: Finding What Fits Your Needs - and Your Style.

Do you want to make more of a statement? A large bucket bag offers that boho chic, slightly slouchy look while still holding everything you could need. On the flipside, maybe a mini bucket bag will offer that pop of personality while letting you easily carry the bare minimum, making it perfect for those on-the-go moments. 

Choosing a Strap Style

Bucket bags can be found with adjustable straps that convert to different styles, like the convertible bucket bag in tan saddle brown or the cinch bucket bag olive. Alternatively, you might opt for something super specific. A short strap adds a sophisticated touch, but maybe a longer crossbody strap is perfect for keeping your hands free, whether you're running errands or exploring the city.

Selecting a Color and Material

Maybe a sleek black leather bucket bag is your go-to everyday bag. But it’s also completely reasonable (and understandable) that a vibrant suede version will beckon for special occasions. Similarly, a classic brown leather bucket bag will last you years. It’s all about considering your current wardrobe - and of course, adding pieces you truly love, like the bucket bag collection in navy blue or the bucket bag chocolate brown croc.

When shopping for handbags, it is also a good idea to check if the brand offers free returns in case you don't end up loving your new purchase and want to send it back. This ensures a stress-free shopping experience and lets you experiment with different styles and colors of bucket bags, whether they're tote bucket bags or shoulder bags, without any hesitation. 


For those of you who were wondering “what is a bucket bag” - by now, you've hopefully realized bucket bags are really all about personality. Few handbags, like the bucket bags women adore for their versatility and style, have managed to remain effortlessly stylish and totally practical across changing decades the way the bucket bag has. Whether you're looking for a casual bag, a stylish statement piece like the convertible bucket bag, or a travel-friendly option, the bucket bag has something for just about everyone in the fashion industry.

FAQs about Bucket Bags

Why are bucket bags so popular?

Bucket bags have surged in popularity due to their unique blend of versatility, practicality, and fashion-forward design. They offer a spacious interior that can accommodate daily essentials, making them highly practical for everyday use. Their stylish yet straightforward silhouette appeals to a wide range of fashion tastes, from casual outings to more formal occasions.

Why should i have a bucket bag?

Having a bucket bag is a versatile and practical addition to your wardrobe. Its appeal lies in its functionality and fashion-forward design, making it a versatile accessory for various occasions. The spacious interior of a bucket bag allows you to carry all your essentials effortlessly, from everyday items like a wallet and phone to additional necessities like cosmetics or a small notebook.

Are bucket bags still in style?

Yes, bucket bags continue to be in style and remain a popular choice among fashion enthusiasts. Despite evolving trends in the fashion industry, bucket bags have maintained their appeal for several reasons. Their timeless design and practicality make them a versatile accessory that complements a wide range of outfits and occasions.

With their blend of style, functionality, and enduring popularity, bucket bags continue to be a staple in modern fashion, making them a worthwhile investment for anyone looking to elevate their ensemble with a chic and practical accessory.

How do you wear a bucket bag?

Wearing a bucket bag offers versatility and style options that cater to different preferences and occasions. One popular way to wear a bucket bag is crossbody, where you adjust the strap to comfortably rest the bag diagonally across your torso. This method keeps your hands free and distributes weight evenly, making it ideal for busy days or outings.

Alternatively, you can wear it over one shoulder for a classic look, adjusting the strap to a shorter length so the bag hangs at your hip. This style is convenient for quick access to your belongings and suits a variety of casual and semi-formal settings. For a more polished appearance, carry the bucket bag handheld or in the crook of your arm, showcasing its design and adding an elegant touch to your outfit.

Some bucket bags also offer the option to be worn as a backpack, providing practicality and comfort for activities like travel or commuting. Ultimately, how you wear a bucket bag depends on your personal style, the occasion, and your comfort preference, making it a versatile accessory for any wardrobe.

Are bucket bags a classic?

Yes, bucket bags can be considered a classic in the realm of handbag fashion. They have endured changing trends and remained popular over decades, which is a hallmark of a classic accessory. The origins of the bucket bag date back to the early 20th century, particularly with Louis Vuitton's iconic "Noé" bag introduced in the 1930s.

Since then, bucket bags have been reinterpreted and adapted by various designers and brands, evolving in materials, sizes, and styles while maintaining their essential characteristics—typically a bucket-shaped silhouette with a drawstring closure.

shipping delivery Eric Javits

Free shipping

Free shipping over $150 USD

Eric Javits newsletter


Subscribe to get special offers, free giveaways, and once-in-a-lifetime deals.