The Best Raffia And Straw Bags For Summer: Invest or Pay Less?

Every spring and summer season I get so excited to see the amazing designer raffia and straw bags when they hit the stores. It tells me the warm weather seasons are coming and it’s time to lighten up! But then I think it seems so stupid to spend so much money on a bag you can only carry three to four months out of the year. I envision the bags at the end of the season, sad and useless in a pile on a clearance table. Or should I think again?

Why You Should Invest in Designer Straw Bags

Spending a lot of cash on a raffia or straw bag for spring and summer may not be as dumb as you think. Here are some reasons why.

1. An Instant Transition to Spring and Summer.

A beautiful straw bag will give an instant lift to your wardrobe basics. It is light and airy and when it replaces your fall and winter “work bag” it will give you an entirely new outfit that is just right for the spring and summer seasons. Wear the same t-shirt, jeans and a blazer you do all year long with a straw bag and now you’re summer-ready.


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2. Designer Raffia and Straw Bags Stay in Style.

The designs don’t change much from year to year. Most of these bags are not super-trendy so they will not go out of style. If you carry a straw bag 3 months out of the year for 10 years, your cost-per-wear will decrease.

Allow me to simply explain cost-per-wear, if you carry your straw bag 20 times per month X 3 months X 10 years that equals 600 times you wore it. If the bag costs $2,000, divided by 600 times you carry it, your cost per wear is $3.34. If you get a $40 straw bag and only carry it 10 times, your cost per wear would be $4. Get it? We call that fashion math (or justifying throwing your credit card down!).

3. Designer Bags are High Quality.

You may think that a straw bag is not durable, but typically it’s the cheaper ones that fall apart quicker. Designer raffia and straw bags are constructed much better. Some have linings, leather trims, and better quality materials that won’t fall apart. On top of that you will find beautiful details, leather trims, logos, topstiching, hardware and unique designs that are not on less expensive bags.

4. You Can Sell It!

If after a few years you find you are not carrying the bag as much, you can sell it. Since it is a designer bag, it is in higher demand in resale outlets and you can recoup some money.

Raffia And Straw Bags for Less

Back to the thought of not spending much on a bag (you will only carry for a few months), you may still opt for a look for less. I have indeed found many very similar shaped raffia and straw bags to the designer versions, but buyer beware, they won’t be of the same quality. However you may not care or want carry it very often anyway, and when it comes to low-priced versions you can pick up a several bags and still be below budget.

It all depends on if you like to have one good quality designer bag or lots of different bags to change up your outfits all season long. You decide.

Splurge or Steal: Raffia And Straw Bags for Summer

That’s why I’m giving you the option to splurge on a high-end designer straw bag, or get a somewhat similar style for a steal. Here is what I found.

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Large Straw Beach Bag

The simplicity of this SAINT LAURENT Panier leather-trimmed raffia tote for $1,100 makes it an ideal investment bag. The large size will take you from the beach to the streets. Or you can pick up this less gorgeous YXILEE Large Straw Bag for $38 from Amazon.

Straw Bucket Bag

A small decorative bucket bag can spice up a simple dress, pants and blouse or casual denim outfit. This Valentino Garavani Roman Stud raffia and leather bucket bag has leather trim, a drawstring and a bit of bling for $2,850. But you can pick up this NIBD Flower and Pearls Rattan Drawstring Straw Bucket Bag for only $40.

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Medium Size Straw Tote Bag

A more practical approach to a straw bag is a small tote or medium size that you can carry every day. This LOEWE Small leather-trimmed woven raffia tote for $590 is 14″ X 7″ and will hold everything you need without being overwhelming. You can also pick up this similar (but not as cool) Amazon boshiho Retro Straw Woven Handbag for only 30 bucks, sans the real leather trim  and embossed logo.

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Stripe Straw Bag

I adore this Altuzarra Watermill large leather-trimmed striped raffia tote in a rainbow of colors for $545. It will surely make you smile. Wear it with solids or prints. If you don’t want to spend over $500, This Walmart (US) EDFRWWS Stripe Rainbow Straw Tote Bag is only $22!

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Structured Straw Chain Bag

A box style small bag on a chain is a summer staple. This Valentino Garavani raffia shoulder bag with a single rock stud closure is a work of art for $3,550. However, this Frances Valentine Paige Wicker Box Clutch is also very well made for only $198. Francis Valentine is a line of vintage-inspired pieces from Kate Spade.

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Organically Woven Raffia Bag

Straw and raffia can also be woven in more organic ways. This Oscar De La Renta O Pochette embellished raffia clutch is worth the splurge for $1,190. It has a wavy woven texture in tonal natural colors punctuated with a golden “O” hardware. But for a fraction of the cost you can get this Patricia Nash Penley Small Crossbody Bag with scallop woven treture on the flap for $189.

bun shaped straw evebing bag splurge or steal ountainof30

Hard Case Straw Clutch Bags

Last but not least is the woven hard shell clutch bag. You can carry this Rafe Joanna Straw Clutch Bag w/ Chain Strap for $445 day or night. It can be worn as an evening bag with your little black dress or as a fun daytime clutch with a sundress. Not as pretty but for a lot less cash is this Boutique De FGG Casual Straw Clutch Evening Bag from Amazon for only $26.

Are you going to invest in a raffia or straw bag for summer? Will you splurge or steal?


Carol Calacci

You may also like to read Make a Statement With The Pearl Jewelry Trend for Spring 2023 and New Color Trend To Try: Warm Neutrals With Pops of Bright Colors.

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