What is Hobo Bag Style? Examples from Coach, Louis Vuitton and Gucci

A hobo bag is one of the most popular types of handbags. This article is a complete guide to hobo bags: we’ll discuss what is a hobo bag style, how big a hobo bag can be, take a look at how to style it and compare it to other popular handbag styles.

‘Hobo bag’: Pronunciation, Meaning, History

Hobo is pronounced as [‘həubəu].  The original meaning of this word refers to a homeless person, basically a tramp. Why would someone call a beautiful purse this way?

It turns out the purse is called hobo cause it resembles the shape of the bindle on a stick that poor people are portrayed with in cartoons or comics.

Hobo bags resemble the shape of that bindle on a stick

There must’ve been a fashionista who had that many things in her bag that she needed much more space inside. She fell into the charm of this small handkerchief and turned it into one of the most popular bag styles.

How Big is a Hobo Bag?

A typical hobo bag would have the following characteristics:

  • shoulder bag
  • usually a medium, large-size or XXL
  • made from soft material that slouches when it’s set down
  • crescent shape
  • slouchy posture
  • long strap designed to be worn over the shoulder

A hobo bag may also have a crossbody strap.

How to Style a Hobo Bag?

Hobo’s crescent shape makes the bag both formal and casual, so it’s perfect when you are traveling light. You can use the bag to bring all your personal needs:

  • While you are touring the city during the day (it’s wide, loose shape is just amazing, it gives you plenty of room to stash all of your belongings).
  • As an office bag, looking casual and pretty.
  • As a perfect travel companion/weekend bag that will fit everything you need during the weekend.
  • For a day of shopping (the body is expandable, so you can just stuff it with your shopping goods).
  • Turn it into a formal bag for a romantic dinner at the end of the day.
  • As a diaper bag, a hobo has so much space inside and is lightweight, you can easily carry anything your baby might need.

Overall, hobo is one of the most versatile bag styles. It’s great for almost every occasion. Due to its slouchy shape, it looks casual and you can combine it with almost anything, from a boho dress to a leather jacket.

Hobos look great with distressed shorts, relaxed jeans and frayed skirts. Keep it casual and add a bit of softer vibe to your look with a cardigan in a light shade, a structured jacket or button-down jacket.

Taylor Momsen with a YSL hobo bag from Gossip Girl

Shoulder Bag vs Hobo Bag

All hobo bags are shoulder bags, however, not all shoulder bags are hobo bags. If a shoulder bag has a crescent shape, is slouchy and made from soft material plus is quite spacious, you can call it a hobo bag.

If a bag has a structured shape, it’s not a hobo bag. Take a look at this Lady Dior for instance:

Marillon Cotillard with a Lady Dior shoulder bag
Marillon Cotillard with a Lady Dior shoulder bag

Hobo Bag vs Tote

What’s the difference between a hobo and a tote?

A tote is a handbag is a large bag with double handles and no zip.

The main difference between a hobo bag and a tote is the shape. While a hobo bag is slouchy and is usually made of soft materials, a tote is to the contrary made of rough canvas and is structured.

Another difference is that a hobo typically has one handle or shoulder strap while a tote has two handles.

Both bags may or may not have an additional crossbody strap.

Hobo Bags by Gucci

As an Italian brand, Gucci knows well everything about luxury leather. With their finest materials, the brand offers a wide range of hobo bags.

Gucci Soho Flame Soft Hobo

This pop of color can be an excellent addition to your outfit, whether you’re out with friends or going to a very special event. Gucci is a synonym of style and you can’t go wrong with a GG leather bag.

Hobo Bags Coach

Coach is known for providing great quality at a reasonable price tag. The core bags are made of genuine leather and are equal to high-end boutiques in terms of quality and craftsmanship.

Unlike Chanel or Louis Vuitton that never put their handbags on sale, Coach is throwing up sales from time to time, allowing you to save from 30% to 70% of the bag’s price.

Here are some of the most known Coach Hobos that are available through coach.com.

Coach Hadley Hobo

Coach Hadley Hobo offered in a color block version and in plain leather. The bag is lightweight and timeless. Retail is 395 EUR or $450.

Coach Sutton Hobo

Unlike the Hadley hobo, this bag is crafted of a more durable type of leather. Its grainy texture allows the leather to be worry-free and resistant to scratches.

Hobo Bags by Louis Vuitton (LV)

Louis Vuitton offers a range of hobo bags. From hundreds of hobo bags produced, we’d love to point out two.

Louis Vuitton Metis Hobo

Louis Vuitton Metis Hobo

Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis is one of their most coveted bags. Its predecessor is not that all over Instagram but it doesn’t mean it’s

Metis Hobo is a lightweight bag released in iconic Monogram canvas. The bag will fit documents and also offers a crossbody strap to free up your hands.

The Metis is discontinued, however, you can still find it on Fahionphile, Tradesy, Ebay, Bagaholic and many other preloved luxury websites.

Louis Vuitton Flower Hobo

Flower Hobo is a newer style that’s still available at the boutiques. Retail is $1,820. It’s also a canvas bag that’s lightweight and comfortable to ensure all-day wear. Dress it up or down, it’s good with a dress, jeans or shorts.

Where to Buy a Hobo Bag Online?

If you’ve fallen into hobo bags as much as we have, it’s time to find a reliable source to pick up the right hobo bag.

You may definitely check out all the luxury brands like Gucci or Louis Vuitton but our advice would be first go to Amazon and see if you can buy the bag you need for much less. Who needs to spend thousands when you can buy a high-quality bag for as low as $200-$300?

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