What is a Saddle Bag, And Why Should You Add It To Your Wardrobe?

by Sara Wennerstrom / Sep 20, 2022

Saddle bags are back in a big way, and we aren’t talking about a bag you attach to a motorcycle when going for a joyride. We’re talking about the saddle bag — first introduced by Coach in 1972 and made popular in the early aughts when Dior debuted its version. The brand’s curved silhouette drew admiration at the time, and it’s still popular to this day.


So what is a saddle bag, how does a bag fall into this style category, and why should you invest in a saddle bag? Buckle up and come along for the ride as we take you through the ins and outs of styling a saddle bag.


What is a saddle bag?


A saddle bag in the fashion world is typically a crossbody bag with a curved bottom — either exaggerated like Dior’s famous “Saddle Bag” or more of a half moon shape. The bags often have a flat edge at the top and a flap covering with a buckle closure.

Historically, the saddle bag in fashion was inspired by the saddlebags that attach to a saddle while horseback riding. These bags had a similar shape, and the utility element of the original design transitioned into the everyday, horseless version seen today. Since saddle bags are crossbody bags of a fairly good size, you can carry what you need on your person whether you’re traveling or spending the night out with friends.


4 reasons to own a saddle bag


With the style lasting decades of wear on and off the runway, there are a few reasons why the bag is a staple piece.


  • They’re timeless. Just like the LBD, red lipstick, and good-quality denim jeans, saddle bags look good anytime, anywhere. And whenever you invest in a timeless piece, you invest in a bag that you can wear time and again. Your saddle bag transitions seamlessly between seasons and styles, a staple in an ever-changing fashion landscape.


  • They’re built to be practical. Since the style evokes the usefulness and utility of traveling on horseback, bikes or motorcycles, you can trust the design’s function and its form. With the flap enclosure and the large rounded bottom, you can easily store all of your essentials in the large main compartment without taking up room needed for movement. Plus, the bag can also feature internal organization with zippered pockets, depending on the brand.


  • They make a great travel companion. For women on the go, finding the right travel accessories presents a unique challenge. Whether you’re searching for the right-sized luggage for all occasions or the ideal carry-on bag, the struggle to effortlessly pack it all in style is universal. But as you select your luggage, don’t forget your day-to-day purse for sightseeing and evenings out.


The saddle bag is that hands-free crossbody style that lets you keep your belongings in front of you and has enough room for your necessities, like your phone, keys, wallet, and passport.


  • They are versatile and go with everything. A saddle bag pairs with a wide range of outfits, especially if you opt for a neutral color bag. With a classic silhouette and crossbody style, this bag is the right size for walks on the beach and date nights in Manhattan.


Model in white dress holding white saddle bag

The Cavalla Saddle Bag in Piatta Ivory


Saddle bag style tips


So now you know why a saddle bag is worthy of your attention, but how can you style this essential to make it unique to you? Here, we’ll explore styling tips to help you take this classic up a notch.  


Adorn the bag’s handle with a printed scarf

If your bag features a top handle as well as a crossbody strap, then dress it up with a printed silk scarf woven around the handle. The printed scarf adds a layer of intrigue and a pop of color to a more basic bag hue. You can do this with a longer strap as well or shorten the adjustable strap to a shoulder strap to make a statement.


You can’t go wrong with a silk scarf like Senreve’s Women of the World scarf. It’s a mark of sophistication, empowerment, and femininity. Hand-stitched in 100% Italian silk, the bag is decadence reimagined, and when you aren’t accessorizing your bag, tie it around your ponytail holder or wear it around your neck. It’ll seamlessly elevate your everyday look, and a powerful statement in support of strong female leaders.


Senreve bags with scarves around handles

The Women of the World Scarf on the Maestra bag


Introduce a statement strap

If the bag allows you to swap out straps, then try another strap — maybe, in a bright color or one that features an exciting pattern. At Senreve, most of our bag styles allow you to swap out straps to try alternative chain and strap options. Our Statement shoulder strap in various colors features a playful pattern that still provides support.


Made from handwoven cotton jacquard, its wide design distributes weight evenly across your shoulder for increased comfort. You can also dress the bag up or add a little of an edge with our Long convertible link chain.


Fasten a bandana to your bag

If you’re looking to add a pop of color or pattern, but you want another option beyond a statement strap or a silk scarf, then simply knot a bandana around the strap of your bag. You can tie the bandana anywhere on the strap for a splash of color. Plus, you’ll have an extra hair accessory to play with if you need to tie your hair up out of your face when going for a hike.


Add a keychain

Keychains for your bag are another fabulous accessory to help take your saddle bag of choice to the next level. They can act as little charms for your bag to add a dash of character. It’s also an excellent and easy way to make a bag your own as you explore new places and meet new people. That added personality is another way to introduce color and pattern to your sidekick.


Our Globe Keyring in Vegan Terra signifies our dedication to the planet and to crafting sustainable products. It can be worn as a keychain for your keys or clipped onto the interior keyring of a Senreve bag.


Attach a smaller bag to your bag

Why not accessorize a larger bag with a smaller bag? It’s not a bag-ception for the sake of doing so: It’s a practical way to keep your smaller items in reach.


Pairing a bag with Milli or Mini bag lets you add another splash of color and personality while also giving you separate organization for your AirPods or lipstick. With a removable key-ring and shoulder strap, our Milli Maestra can keep up with your busy lifestyle — transforming from an in-purse organizer to a belt-loop or bag accessory.


Just like the other members of the Maestra family, the Milli is made with our high-quality Italian leather and lined with 100% microsuede to protect even your tiniest of essentials.


Neutral colored big bag with smaller bag attached

The Milli Maestra in Pebbled Noir attached to the Maestra


Saddle up with a new forever bag


The saddle bag is firmly rooted in function and form, so you can’t go wrong with its classic silhouette and spacious main compartment. They’re optimal for different occasions and seasons, so you can conquer anything in style and have the confidence to match. And with Senreve, you can explore all of our accessories for chains, straps, and keychains that let you play with almost any bag style.

Plus, Senreve’s collection of crossbody bags features bags made for everyday adventures. So saddle up and be prepared for your day or night ahead.