Cross Body Bags in Fashion

Perfect for a woman on the move, cross body bags are a hands-free, fuss-free accessory, ideal for a day out or when travelling. Plus, they have the added benefit of never going out of style – what more could you ask for? The perfect size to carry all your essentials and keep them safe, our designer cross body bags have a wearable asymmetric strap and they’re versatile enough to take you from day to night.

From structured and boxy shapes, to relaxed and slouchy designs, you can accessorise for any occasion with our collection of cross body bags. When you shop from our collection of across the body bags here at Radley, you’ll find beautifully crafted pieces made from the finest soft leather. Explore our range of versatile leather cross body bags and you’ll discover a stylish, functional bag that you’ll wonder how you lived without!

What is a Cross Body Bag

A cross body bag is one which you wear across you body, it often features a long strap to allow this. The bag is designed to sit around the hip area on one side of the body, with the strap looped over the opposite shoulder. The cross body bag is incredibly popular for people on the go because it offers the opportunity to go hands free whilst still carrying a bag.

In terms of shape, sizes and colours the cross body bag does not discriminate, there are grey cross bodies all the way to gold cross body bags. Many add an extra decorative element through the cross body bag strap. Not only is the cross body stylish it also has health benefits, the cross body strap helps to distribute the weight, reducing the risk of damage to the users neck, shoulder or back. However, for those who still just want to carry their daily essentials there are many small cross body bags.

Where did the Cross Body Bag originate?

The main reason that the cross body bag was created was to allow people to go hands-free whilst still keeping their personal items with them. The first situation the cross body bag was seen was when telephone linemen carried them whilst climbing the poles whilst still keep all their tools on their person. However, whilst that is a modern-day example the cross body bag can be seen as far back as the 19th century when postman would use messenger bags to carry their letters and parcels door to door.

It wasn’t until the 1960s that designers saw potential in the cross body bag as a fashion women’s item. A reason for the sudden increase in popularity was the comfort of the bags strap- which come in many different options from oversized to a decorative strap and also the hands-free element. Nowadays the cross body bags is the go to for many, it comes in many different shapes and sizes to fit everyone’s needs.

Global Trends of Cross Body Bags

The versatility of the cross body increases its popularity amongst both designers and consumers. They may have begun as more casual bags that were favoured by workman, however, in more modern times they have now evolved into the everyday bag of choice for the masses. There are now cross body bags for all occasions, from work, to everyday, there are now evening party cross body bags.

Whilst traditionally it has been women who have carried bags, the cross body bag is popular with men too, as a way to carry more of their possessions whilst still remaining hands free. Due to the industrial revolution, modern cross body bags saw a huge popularity growth which was due to the increase in travel. Women and men were now able to travel up and down the country much more freely and needed a functional, practical and stylish bag that would have space to fit their belongings and was easy to travel with.

The cross body bag is hugely popular amongst students. This is because many cross body bags are spacious enough to fit multiple books and a tablet or laptop. Many cross bags are designed to keep the user organised and as such feature multiple sections which enabled students to segment their different books or personal possessions and were then able to easily find them when they needed.

The men’s cross body is also increasingly popular because of their easy to wear components and cross body straps which make carrying their essentials easy. The nature of the cross body is very gender neutral and as a result is carried by everyone. However, due to the advances in technology and the increasing need to buy a bag with enough space for your laptops or tablets, has meant that men who previously would just carry their wallet in their pocket now have a need for a bag.

“A perfect handbag is both functional and stylish. Of course, you want to look cool, but you also want a bag that is going to work with you, not against you.” - Stella Maxwell

Radley Cross Body Bags for Women

Selby Street- Small Zip-Top Cross Body Bag


Need to make a striking statement this festive season? Then a beautiful embellished cross body bag is you ultimate arm candy. The Selby Street Cross Body Bag is covered in luxurious velvet and has an extra element on the front which is covered with beaded detailing. It’s adjustable cross body strap enables you to be completely hands free and stylish which means you can easily party the night away without worrying about dropping your phone!

Radley to the Core- Medium Drawstring Cross Body Bag


This fun bucket bag take on a cross body is so playful, the apple hanging charm combined with the iconic scottie is full of personality. This nude leather cross body features a matching strap and orange and yellow accents.

Alba Place- Medium Zip Around Multiway Bag


The Alba bags is an iconic Radley style that comes in many updated prints and colours. The ink blue patchwork details on this predominantly navy cross body bag is outstanding. With multiple interior pockets and a wide shoulder strap it easily stores all your essentials and keeps your organised.

Magpie- Medium Zip Around Cross Body Bag


A vintage cross body bag with a twist. The Magpie Lane Collection is inspired by traditional vanity cases and our Seaweed faux croc textured leather cross body bag is a timeless and stylish take. The woven leather hood handle and the double tassel zip adds an element of glamour, making it the perfect evening companion.

Patcham Palace- Medium Zip-Top Cross Body Bag


The Patcham Palace grainy leather cross body bag holds a roomy interior inside, perfect for keeping all your essentials and more organised throughout the day. The snow leopard interior prints adds a fun and on trend element to the classic cross body design.

Love Radley- Small Zip-Top Cross Body Bag


The Love Radley Red Cross Body design adds a fun element to a classic silhouette. Bright claret red combined with silver front accents create a stand out accessory that will make any outfit that bit brighter.

Taylors Court- Medium Zip-Top Cross Body Bag


This metallic silver cross body bag is completely on trend. Taylors Court offers a practical spacious design that provides plenty of interior space and external pockets to keep you organised 24/7. The metallic cross body is the stylish option to your everyday or evening needs.

Radley Cross Body Bags for Men

Cannon Street- Medium Zip-Top Cross Body


The Cannon Street Cross Body Bag for men is the accessory equivalent to razor sharp tailoring. The spacious interior allows the user to separate their papers from their tech and the padded interior will ensure your tablet remains scratch free. This men’s leather cross body bag is made extra stylish with the contrasting cobalt blue trim.

Redchurch Street- Medium Zip-Top Tote Bag


The Redchurch Street Tote features an oversized strap enabling a cross body use. The canvas exterior offers this mens cross body bag an edge and the room interior makes it the perfect travel cross body bag for weekends away or just those days when you need some extra space.

Cannon Street- Large Zip Around Multiway Bag


The Cannon Street Sling bag features a smart and removable strap for those crossbody moments. The interior is split into multiple sections, so all your technology is padded and safe and keeps you organised. There’s enough interior space for a 15 inch laptop too! This mens cross body is so stylish but also has that professional feel perfect for the office.

Different Types of Cross Body Bags

Bucket Bag


This type of cross body bag is round and shaped like a bucket. It is usually a medium to large size, with shoulder straps. It is common for bucket bags to be open or have a drawstring closure.

Camera Bag


This is a cross body bag that was designed to be compact enough to fit a handheld camera. It was created for people who wanted a more stylish way of carrying around their camera.

Canteen Bag


The Canteen Bag gets its name from the traditional canteen bottles that were used for drinking. Typically made from leather today, this cross body bag is a round handbag that often features a tassel and strap.

Drawstring Bag


This type of cross body bag closes with a drawstring at the top. The strap on this type of bag can either be shoulder or across the body. It is usually used as an evening bag, however there are now more commonly designed to be everyday bags.

Messenger Bag


This is also known as a courier bag or a sling bag. It is a type of sack, usually made of cloth that is worn over one shoulder with a strap that goes across the chest resting the bag on the lower back. It is favoured by couriers, but now a fashion icon.

Saddle Bag


A small, horseshoe-shaped cross body bag with a flap cover. Traditionally used as a pouch that would hang from either side of a saddle on a horse, The Saddle Bag’s iconic shape remains the same today.

Satchel Bag


Originally designed for students, a satchel bag has a simple pouch with a flap over front with buckle style fastenings, usually designed with an across the body strap. Leather satchels are usually soft.

How to Choose the Right Cross Body Bag for You

What are you using it for?


Before making any purchase it is important to think about its use – are you going to be using the crossbody bag for work or school, does it need to have extra interior space? This is because a work bag might have a different purpose, you might want more interior compartments that enable you to be organised and keep your technology or papers in different sections. It would also then be preferable to invest in a high-quality bag that is designed in a long-lasting material such as leather. On the other hand, smaller more fashion focused cross body bags then you want to take style and on trend colours for example leopard cross body bags or silver cross body bags.

How much will you need to put in it?


The more you will need to carry the more space you will need in your bag. If you need a lot with you, then a cross body bag is a good option because of the adjustable thick strap can help distribute weight more evenly across you shoulders and as a result reduce the risk of any injury.

Try it on


Take what you will carry in the cross-body bag with you and try it on with everything inside. That way you can see how heavy the bag will be when it’s on your shoulder. You will also be able to work out if it is a comfortable fit on you.

Where are you taking it?


If you’re going to be taking the bag outside, it would be better to go for one that is made of a waterproof or water-resistant material to protect it from rain or snow.

How to wear a cross body bag

Hook the long strap over your shoulder so that the bag sits comfortably in front of your waist.

Adjust the strap so that the bag is the right length for you.

Do not put too much weight into the bag to reduce the result of any neck or shoulder pain.

Put your hands in the air to celebrate the fact you are now hands-free!

Fun Facts about cross body bags

Cross body bags come in all shapes and sizes.

Cross body bags were originally designed for everyday use, however more commonly now bags are being designed with chain style straps to make them more of an evening style bag.

Cross body bags are popular with models such as Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner.

Wearing your cross-body bag in front of you indicates a more cautious personality, someone who is reticent or shy, whereas, wearing your cross-body bag behind you indicates a more confident personality.

From School to University to Work, The cross body bag will carry you through

Using a cross-body bag for school, university or work is a great idea! With advances in technology, many people now have to carry a laptop or tablet with them to and from their jobs or school. Using a cross body bag is good for this, as many have compartments which allow you to separate your laptop, documents and personal items. Cross-body bags will protect the contents of you bag but also allow you to look stylish at the same time.

It is likely that a school, university or work bag is going to be heavier than an everyday bag, because you are likely to be carrying a lot more. Using a cross-body bag with a thick, adjustable strap will help prevent shoulder and neck strain. a target="_blank" href="https://www.radley.co.uk/handbags/cross-body-bags/">Cross body bags also come in water-resistant materials to protect everything inside, and many also come with zips for that extra bit of security on your commute.

How a heavy cross body bag can affect you

As a rule, the bag that you are carrying should always weigh less than 10% of you body weight. Carrying more than this could cause strain and possible damage to the neck, back and shoulders. Over time your muscles your muscles may fatigue which can cause you to have poor posture, muscle imbalance and risk of injury. To avoid any damage to your body, it is important that you do not put too much weight in your bag, choose a bag with a thicker strap so that the weight can be more evenly distributed, and adjust the strap so that the bag sits in a comfortable position around your hip.