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Giddy Up! — Saddle Bags Gallop Their Way To “Must-Have” Status

 As fashion’s playful dalliance with the Bohemian aesthetic of the 1970s evolves into a fervent, all-consuming, rapturous love affair, the structured satchels and top handle purses of yore are taking a backseat to a handbag style beloved by Bohemian style icons like Ali Macgraw: the saddle bag.  As its name suggests, this handbag was originally designed so as to attach to a horse saddle — typically, it was strapped on either side of the cantle so as to hang above the horse’s hips. Historically, these bags were crafted out of leather and featured rounded silhouettes and top flaps shaped like half moons and secured with buckled front straps (and, later, concealed magnetic snaps).  As they trotted their way into the fashion mainstream in the 1970s, however, saddle bags became increasingly stylish, with a number of embellishments, materials, and colors available that helped them transcend their utilitarian equestrian roots. Now, as the style is revived for the millenial set, we’re seeing luxurious pieces crafted out of exotic crocodile and python skin; city slick renditions with stud accents, woven patterns, color-blocked motifs, and oxidized chain details; and upscale Boho numbers with suede insets, tassels and fringe, whipstitched piping and elaborate cut-outs, and Moroccan-inspired mahogany agate stone ornamentation.

Below, check out 15 saddle bags that will make every gal improve her gait. Time to get on that horse!

tory-burch-embellished-small-saddlebag

Tory Burch Embellished Small Saddle Bag in Red Agate, $850. Available at ToryBurch.com

salvatore-ferragamo-rosette-small-saddle-crossbody-bag

Salvatore Ferragamo Rosette Small Saddle Bag, $1290. Available at NeimanMarcus.com

street-level-tooled-saddle-bag

Street Level Tooled Saddle Bag, $72. Available at US.Asos.com

chloe-drew-small-python-saddle-bag-nm

Chloe Drew Small Python Shoulder Bag, $3990. Available at NeimanMarcus.com

rebecca-minkoff-saddle-bag-cherry

Rebecca Minkoff Unlined Saddle Bag in Cherry, $295. Available at RebeccaMinkoff.com

ralph-lauren-purple-fringed-suede-crossbody

Ralph Lauren Fringed Suede Cross-Body, $298. Available at RalphLauren.com

frye-parker-saddle-bag-burgundy

The Frye Company Parker Field Small Bag, $298. Available at TheFryeCompany.com

zara-leather-messenger-bag-with-tassels

Zara Leather Messenger Bag with Tassels, $49.90. Available at Zara.com

she-and-lo-make-your-mark-leather-saddle-crossbody-bag

She + Lo Make Your Mark Leather Saddle Crossbody Bag, $84. Available at NastyGal.com

nancy-gonzalez-crocodile-cross-body-saddle-bag

Nancy Gonzalez Crocodile Crossbody Saddle Bag, $2450. Available at BergdorfGoodman.com

aldo-rodriguez-saddle-bag

Aldo Rodriguez Saddle Bag, $50. Available at AldoShoes.com

warehouse-stitch-detail-saddle-bag

Warehouse Stitch Detail Saddle Bag, $58. Available at Warehouse.AndOtherBrands.com

coac-small-shadow-crossbody-in-racing-green

Coach Small Shadow Crossbody in Pebble Leather, $350. Available at Coach.com

old-navy-saddle-purse

Old Navy Saddle Purse, $18. Available at OldNavy.Gap.com

nine-west-thayer-crossbody-bag

Nine West Thayer Crossbody Bag, $69. Available at NineWest.com

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