Timeless totes, handbags, and clutches.

Sipping coffee outside at the Royal Poinciana Plaza on a stunning day in Palm Beach, I was intrigued by the ‘simple’ straw bags which many women carry.  They are casual and neutral with a carefree, ‘This old thing?’ attitude – but each one has a personality and style.  Paired with white or black – they look timeless and chic.  Add a scarf for color.

It turns out that ‘straw’ bags can be made of raffia, regular straw, jute, cornhusks, bamboo and even seagrass. Rattan and wicker bags give a similar, timeless natural look.

This Straw Cabana Tote has ‘saddle’ leather handles, and it also comes with navy and white handles.  $295

Eric Javits makes tailored, well-made ‘straw’ bags (and hats).  I have one which must be 20 years old, and I love it.  The secret is Squishee® which is a man-made material that resembles raffia but has advantages in flexibility and durability.  It is lighter weight than straw.

This Squishee Bardot Straw tote comes in natural/black and shell/white.  It can be rolled up if you can bear to put it into your suitcase. It has two inside patch pockets and a key clip holder.  13½” L x 10½” H X 7″ W.  $295

 

This Squishee® Bel Air natural bag has a zipper top, an outside leather pocket for easy access, a sidewall zipper compartment, dual patch pockets, and a key clip.  12″ L 11″ h 5.75″w. $350.

 

This Squishee® straw Lucy Bag has an inside zipper pocket and a detachable cross-body strap.  Length 10.5” x Height 7.5” Width at bottom 5”.  $295.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Laurana Raffia Top Handle Tote has bamboo handles. I like a bag which stands up and the detail on this one set it apart.  It is a carryall with one big open compartment. 16.75″ Top Width (13.25″ Bottom Width) x 12″ H x 5″ D.  $298

 

 

 

This woven rattan tote with leather trim from Bembien’s Valeria has a snap closure. 17.75″ W x 11.75″ H x 4″ D.  $290

 

 

 

 

 

Aerin Lauder has introduced several distinctive raffias and wicker bags into her collection this year. This Amelie Wicker bag has bamboo handles and a PVC lining to keep your belongings from escaping through the cut-outs.  It has a detachable strap. 10.6″l x 2.4″w x 8.7″h.  $380

This large raffia Aerin bag has an interior zip pocket.  19.6” long. $340.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Aerin Canasta Mejicana handbag is made of toquilla straw. It is an elevated version of the market baskets found in Mexico and Ecuador. 6.7″w x 12.6″l x 9.8″h.  $260

This Carrie Forbes Raffia tote comes in kraft (shown), cognac, and black.  It has a magnetic enclosure and two slip pockets. 16″W x 10″H x 6″D. $384

This handwoven Caitlyn seagrass tote has faux leather straps. 12” h x 18” wide and 5.5” deep.  A portion of profits goes to the Areeya Scholarship Fund, benefiting Thai weaver communities by providing financial means for young women and children to attend school.  $142.  A larger Camryn seagrass tote is $151

This simple, chic, raffia moon tote has a magnetic closure and an interior zip pocket. 11.5″W x 13″H x 3″D.  It also comes in black.  $295.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giulia Star Wicker Top-Handle Bag. 7″ H x 8.6″W x 3.4″D.  $398

 

 

Handwoven straw tote bag. L15.8″ x H11″ x W4.5″.  $43.99.

 

This Crochet Raffia Tote has metallic threads.  The top handle is a 5” circle.  The brand, Flora Bella, was founded by a Dallas-based husband-wife-daughter trio. It comes in Almond/Silver and Natural/Gold.  $220

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This raffia zip pouch from Aerin can help organize the inside of your bag and double as a clutch.  It comes with hearts in natural, chartreuse and denim and closes with a zipper. 10.0″h x 13.0″w.  $70

 

 

 

 

 

 

This AERIN small striped raffia pouch has a cotton lining and a zipper. 6.0″h x 8.5″w

$50

This Allegra raffia pouch has a cotton lining and a zipper closure. 8″h x 11.4″w

$65

 

Raffia fibers come from leaves stripped from Raffia Palms.  The strands are dried in the sun resulting in a warm sand color.  The fibers are graded and sometimes dyed. They contain a resin that makes the fibers flexible and resilient and somewhat water-resistant.  Raffia harvesting is considered a sustainable practice.

An investment?  This HERMES 35cm Barénia Fauvre Straw Kelly Picnic Bag Natural is currently listed on 1st Dibs for $75,000.  Choose your new straw bag well and maybe it will become a classic.