Guide to Hobo Handbags

When it comes to handbags, designers have given us a lot of designs to choose from. But among the abundance of beaded clutches, shoulder bags and totes, there’s a bag trend that’s been gaining popularity once again – the hobo bag. It’s the oversized, slouchy, 2000s-era style bag. But of course, they have gotten a makeover. The latest versions of hobo handbags are cooler and look edgier, available in on-trend colors, and comes with convertible straps.

What is a Hobo Bag?

A hobo bag is a type of handbag or purse that is usually large in size and comes with a crescent shape. It has a slouchy posture and a strap designed for wearing the bag over the shoulder. Hobo bags are usually made of soft, flexible materials that tend to slouch or slump when the bag is set down on a surface. Back then, most hobo bags are made of canvas, cotton, and polyester, but modern hobo bags are made of leather – usually softer leather materials.

What’s with the Name?

The hobo bag got its name because it resembles the shape of a bindle on a stick that hobos are portrayed carrying over their shoulders in cartoons and drawings. The bindles in cartoons usually have a polka-dot or bandana design. Hobo bags are obviously more sophisticated than that, and it doesn’t have a stick, but the shape is similar.

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History of a Hobo Bag

The term “hobo” was first used to describe migrant workers in the US at the end of the 19th century. Hobos were generally homeless and rode freight trains to look for a job. They carry their belongings on a sack tied around a bindle stick, and the sack becomes slouchy.

The first hobo bag was created in 1936 and was sold for only 35 cents. The handbag was made of a flexible fabric, and the structure wasn’t fully defined. During the Great Depression and after it, the hobo population in the US grew significantly.

Early advertisements for hobo bags appeared about ten years after the stock market crash, and since then, these bags never went out of style. When designer purses became popular in the 1950s, many designers like Gucci made their own varieties of the hobo bag.

In the 1960s, the hippie movement helped increase its popularity. Patterned textile hobo bags were popular, and sometimes the bags come with leather and suede on the other side, making the purses more elegant.

The 1970s hobo bag was aligned to the retro style dominant during the era. There was a little decline in its popularity until the hobo bag was redesigned in 1999 and became popular in the 2000s.

The hobo bag received attention once again in 2017. Hobo bags were made with a firm base and soft leather as a body. Karl Lagerfeld released the first modern hobo bag, and similar models appeared after that from Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Bottega, and many other brands.

Why do You Need a Hobo Bag?

A hobo bag is perfect for everyday wear. Its casual appearance makes it easy to pair with your casual attire, but it’s also easy to dress up if you want to. Hobo bags are spacious enough for all your daily essentials, unlike the structured purse, you just spent half of your paycheck on (no judgment, though). It’s perfect for everyday walks or for a relaxed night out.

Fashionable Hobo Bags

There are many great hobo bags you can find in the market, but here are some fashionable ones:

Rebecca Minkoff Michelle Hobo

This bag from Rebecca Minkoff has a classic hobo shape – not too big, but not too small, just the perfect slouch. Its style, along with the pebbled leather material, gives off some major Olsen-twins vibe. The outer zipper pocket on the side is perfect for stashing your keys or gum for easy access. It’s available in versatile, neutral colors such as black, white, sandrift (grayish brown), and doe (pinkish light brown).

Frye Melissa Leather Hobo

This hobo handbag from Frye has a perfect size for everyday use, and it’s of ideal weight that is not cumbersome to bring anywhere. Plus, it’s made of durable leather that can survive wear and tear. It comes with interior zippers, and wall pockets inside. It comes in a variety of colors that can surely match your casual wear.

JOYSON Women Handbags Hobo Shoulder Bags Tote

A large capacity hobo bag, this purse is made of high-quality PU leather that is designed to last for a long time. Unlike a typical hobo bag wherein your belongings can get lost in its wide and deep space, this large-capacity bag comes with dividers and multiple inner pockets, so everything has a place to be. It comes in colors such as black, blue, dark brown, apricot, and coffee.

FashionPuzzle 2pc Set Faux Leather X-Large Hobo Bag with Pouch Purse

This two-piece bag and pouch set is made of faux leather with fashionable gold-tone hardware. The bag is large enough, and the matching pouch makes it easier to organize your everyday items. It has a good texture and is sturdy and smooth. It has lots of pockets inside and out for better organization. It even comes in fun and vibrant colors, not just the usual neutrals.

Dasein Women Classic Large Hobo Bag Rhinestone Chain Shoulder Bag Top Handle Purse

Made of soft pebbled leather, this bag from Dasein is slouchy yet glamorous-looking, thanks to its shiny gold-tone hardware, rhinestone hanging chain accent, and weaved leather strap decoration. It’s the perfect dressed-up hobo bag if you want to look extra. It comes with multiple pockets to keep your stuff organized. It’s available in colors such as gray, black, brown, coffee, and wine.