If we told you this summer’s most sought-after handbag style was only $20, would you believe us? The affordable crescent-shaped Uniqlo bag is the hottest crossbody bag of 2023, according to the fashion trend-spotting site Lyst Index. It’s got the viral chops to back it up, too — amassing more than 2.4 billion views on TikTok.
The Uniqlo bag’s skyrocketing popularity has it joining the ranks of other coveted nylon bags like retro Lesportsacs, reissued Pradas and the hard-to-get Lululemon Everywhere bag. After sifting through rave reviews, we snagged the small but mighty Uniqlo shoulder bag to try for ourselves.
Why is the Uniqlo bag so popular?
To determine the world’s top fashion items, Lyst analyzes more than eight million items, factoring in things like social media mentions, searches and sales as well as the global demand for the product versus the volume of stock available. After going viral and selling out multiple times, Uniqlo’s unisex Round Mini Shoulder Bag took the top spot early this year, beating out trendy designer clothing and accessories to become the cheapest product ever to be featured in the Lyst Index.
Our honest thoughts
As an on-the-go New Yorker, I was amazed at how much I could fit inside, thanks to a gusseted design that features a sturdy zip closure, an interior pocket and piping around the edges to help the bag hold its structure. Its ample room meant I could fit a beverage and a snack inside the bag without having to leave my hand sanitizer or phone charger behind.
Other staffers found the bag just as effective, especially for travel. “Since it’s small and worn close to the body, most airlines won’t count it as your personal item,” says Senior Commerce Editor Heath Owens, who just took this olive green colorway on its maiden voyage to Puerto Rico. It lifted the burden of carrying essentials like a phone, a wallet, a passport and keys, for hands-free travel.
TikTokers and GH editors alike love the webbed nylon shoulder strap, which lets you switch from a crossbody to a fashionable sling bag or mini hobo with a few quick adjustments. Firstfinds’ Social Media Manager Steven Morea, also known by his TikTok handle @aprilf00lsday prefers it to tote bags because it means less aimless digging.
“The Uniqlo bag is smaller and sits closer to my body, yet fits the same amount that any tote would,” adds Morea. “It’s cute, stylish and comes in many different colors, so it can match any outfit.”
Is the Uniqlo shoulder bag waterproof?
Lightweight yet durable, the nylon material holds up well to daily wear and tear. Though not 100% waterproof, the fabric is treated with a water-resistant coating that protects your belongings from rainstorms, coffee spills and other everyday inconveniences. Reinforce it with waterproofing spray every so often to help repel dirt and water.
Can I wash the Uniqlo shoulder bag?
According to the label, the Uniqlo crossbody bag cannot be machine washed or dry cleaned. While many on TikTok claim it can survive a trip through the gentle cycle, we recommend spot cleaning it regularly with a laundry detergent pen and a damp cloth.
Is the viral Uniqlo bag worth buying?
Yes! We agree that the humble nylon handbag is 100% worth the hype. If you’re looking for a simple, practical and affordable crossbody, the unisex Uniqlo shoulder bag falls in the center of that Venn diagram. After trying the bag for ourselves, with the fashion trend data to back it up, we found that you can’t beat the basics. No matter the colorway, this versatile $20 bag is a worthy addition to anyone’s arsenal of accessories.
Check out Firstfinds to discover the Internet’s next favorite fashion items before they go viral.
Sarah Maberry is a Firstfinds Commerce Writer at Hearst Magazines, covering trending products in fashion, beauty, lifestyle and beyond. She’s obsessed with being the first to wear, try, watch and buy what’s going viral.
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