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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 Saddle Bag in Red Agate, $850. Available at ToryBurch.com


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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