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2008 Summer Handbag Trends

I'm always excited to check out the latest seasonal trends to find out what colors, textures, fabrics and shapes are the most popular. While we can always look forward to an of-the-moment trend, each season ushers in many return trends -- and for summer this means oversized canvas totes and wicker bags, fun colors and a more casual look.

Classics like satchel handbags and shoulder bags will always have a place in the lineup. You should always have a tried-and-true handbag in your closet no matter what. With that said, let's take a look at this seasons hottest handbag trends.

Summer Clutches

For evenings clutches are the way to go -- unless you don't want to hold a bag under your arm or in your hand all night. If that's not an issue, then I've got good news. Pretty much anything goes this summer for clutches -- from tiny wristlets to elongated clutches to slouchy clutches to square clutches. Wicker clutches are hot right now, as are ombre bags (when one color fades into another), patent leather, and bright, bold colors like tangerine and canary yellow.

Nino Bossi Crunch Leather Full Flap Clutch in Tangerine

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Photo: eBags.com

Oversized Totes

Summer means trips to the beach, weekends at the lake and afternoons in the park. An oversized tote keeps your essentials close at hand. Wicker and canvas bags are beach favs but a more upscale tote is appropriate for shopping excersions  and  weekend air travel. Look for a sturdy tote made of durable leather.

Ava Travel Tote

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Photo: Belisi.com

The Backpack is Back!

These aren't the backpacks you remember from grade school. The so-called "handbag" backpacks are sleek, stylish and functional. Carry everything you need with you without having to lug a heavy bag.

Linden Backpack

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Photo: Belisi.com

Drawstring Handbags

Summer has a more laidback vibe. A drawstring bag is a great way to create a casual -- but not dressed down -- look. Drawstring handbags go with sundresses, jeans, shorts and t-shirts.

Sophie Drawstring

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Photo: Belisi.com

Ombre Handbags

Ombre is huge for spring and summer, for apparel and accessories. It's sort of like a more sophisticated tie-die. This is a fledgling trend and may not last for the long haul, so don't spend a ton of money on an expensive ombre bag. Buy a cheap one first and see if the trend takes hold. It's one of those materials that can be duplicated in less expensive versions (which may be one reason the trend doesn't last). But it's hot for now, so why not have fun?

Simply Vera Vera Wang Ombré Satchel

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Photo: Kohls.com

So let's recap. For clutches, anything goes. Go bright or stay traditional ... go small or big, structured or slouchy. Leather, wicker, satin or hard-cased. It's up to you! An oversized tote is a must for summer -- you choose how formal you'd like to go but generally for summer the look is more relaxed. Backpack handbags and drawstring bags are perfect for a more casual yet stylish accessory.

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