What's the difference between a satchel and a hobo bag?

Satchel and hobo bags are both popular styles of handbags, but they have distinct features that set them apart in terms of form, function, and style. Understanding these differences can help you decide which type of bag best suits your needs.

Satchel Bags

  1. Shape and Structure: Satchels are usually structured bags with a flat bottom. They maintain their shape whether empty or full.

  2. Handles and Straps: They generally have two short handles and may come with an additional long, often detachable, shoulder strap. This makes them versatile, as they can be carried by hand, worn on the elbow, or slung across the body.

  3. Closure: Satchels often have a flap-over closure or a zip-top closure, providing a more secure way to keep your belongings.

  4. Pockets and Compartments: These bags usually feature multiple compartments and pockets, making them ideal for organisation.

  5. Style: Satchels are often considered more formal and are suitable for professional settings, although they can be styled for casual outings as well.

Hobo Bags

  1. Shape and Structure: Hobo bags are characterised by their slouchy, crescent shape. They are usually less structured than satchels, often soft and flexible, and can look quite different depending on how full they are.

  2. Handles and Straps: Hobo bags usually have a single, wide strap designed to be worn over the shoulder. The strap length varies, but it is generally not long enough to be worn crossbody.

  3. Closure: These bags often have a single top zipper and are more open, making it easier to toss items in and out.

  4. Pockets and Compartments: While some hobo bags have multiple compartments, many have a more open, singular space with perhaps a few smaller pockets for organisation.

  5. Style: Hobo bags are generally considered more casual and bohemian, making them suitable for laid-back and everyday settings.
Vintage Fendi Zucca Hobo Bag

Vintage Fendi Zucca Hobo Bag

In summary, satchels offer a more structured and often formal look with versatile carrying options, while hobo bags provide a more casual, relaxed style with easy accessibility. Both have their own advantages, and the best choice depends on your specific needs and style preferences.

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Hi, I'm Danni, founder of The Hosta.

Each week I answer the most common questions about handbags

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