Bags of summer

City of Vintage Pagsamo tote

BASKET, wicker, bayong—call it whatever you want, I just want to call it my ultimate summer bag.

This quintessential summer accessory takes you from the street to the beach, letting you master casual chic and resort style all in one go. From cute clutches, to roomy totes, to the more oversized mom slash my-family’s-whole-life-is-inside bag, these straw bags are all you need to refresh and summer-proof your wardrobe.

When the Bali bag trend took Instagram by storm last year, I just knew I had to get my hands on one (two or three!) round wicker and channel my inner Sincerely Jules all year round.

I lied through my teeth when my husband questioned my intent to go to Bali, telling him that we need the cultural immersion and that Vania needs
to see the sights before they’re filled to the brim with tourists.

That part was true, of course, but I had a hidden agenda that my husband eventually discovered when I planned our five-day itinerary highlighting a two-day visit to Ubud Traditional Art Market.

“You and your Bali bags obsession,” he said. Busted.

Ethics and aesthetics

But there’s more toit than just getting my hands on these sought-after bags.

In today’s burgeoning environmental problems, sustainability should be top priority and that puts these bags on the top shelf because they are made from natural ata vines andlovingly handmade by locals. \

One can never go wrong with local finds, right?

And yes, you’ve guessed it right, my half-truth is backed by research.

I came prepared.

Bali wicker bags

Love local

But one doesn’t have to go too far to snag the best beach totes to store all your seaside needs because ourlocal artisans are some of the best ones out there—producing high quality straw, raffia, and abaca basket bags that are at par with international brands.

So if you’re in the market for a new summer bag or are just looking into growing your collection, I’ve rounded up my favorite local shops selling some of the basket bags I’ve been eyeing on, or I already own.

City of Vintage (@cityofvintage)

Their best-seller Pagsamo round woven tote is an instant hit to me because the round design was love at first sight.

It is my everyday carry-all tote and I do not remember a time that I did not get a compliment while using it.

One might think that this is just another sandy accessory but I’ve gotten more mileage out of it than all of my other non-woven bags combined because of how roomy this bag is!

Cara Cebu (@caracebu)
If you’re from Cebu and don’t want to pay for shipping, then Cara Cebu is the one for you.

Their abaca totes can take you from office to bar, with their Leah big abaca bag as my top pick.

Wenya (
Nothing screams summer more than Wenya.PH’s Aby Tikog sling bag. They’re made by Tikog sleeves from Tacloban and are handmade by the Waray weavers in Samar. The craftsmanship is impressive.

Island Girl PH (islandgirlph)

Their hand-painted wooden clutches made from upcycled pallets are your best bets for formal occasions, while their handwoven pandan clutches disguised as fruits are perfect for afternoons by the beach or pool or grocery store!

Talk about a chic grocery shopping clutch!

Gypsy Stash (@gypsystash)

Need a good (and cute) substitute for plastic bags?

Gypsy Stash’s Sunday tote makes for a perfect eco-bag.

This carry-all is roomy yet it packs down easily when you need to bring it with you on trips as an extra/emergency shopping bag.

Like I said, ethics and aesthetics.

Basket bags are practical, versatile, and requires little to no maintenance.

When you just got back from a beach break and are about to tackle another workweek but can’t let go of the laid-back beach vibe just yet, just whip out your basket bag and brush off the sand and you’re ready to carry this arm candy with you anywhere and everywhere— just don’t forget to sunscreen.

TAGS: bags, Summer
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