Subliminal Style
Effortless. Authentic. Professional.

Catching Rae

Parsing Trends: Saddle Bags

APC Bag, Image from Purseblog

APC Bag, Image from Purseblog

Continuing the series from last week, I've got a couple more trends I'd like to cover - and this time, it's all about accessories! It seems like you can't spit without hitting a saddle bag these days, so it's the perfect time to think about whether or not this style is right for your style. 

Saddle bags evolved from - you guessed it - bags attached to saddles. They were big before motorcars, they were big in the free-love-anything-goes-peace-and-freedom '70s, and they're big again today. So let's examine what toting horsewear around says about you...

  • Hue - Varied. Brown and black are more rugged, traditional, adventurous, masculine, outdoorsy, casual.
  • Value - Varied, but mostly medium-dark. More on the serious, bold, earthy, side.
  • Saturation - Varied.
  • Contrast - Mostly low-contrast seen in saddlebags. 
  • Fit - Crossbody or shoulder. Practical, traditional, nostalgic, functional, utilitarian, hard-working, adventurous. The flap closure also speaks to security and forethought.
  • Hand - Structured, can be supple or more boxy. Boxier styles skew more pragmatic, rough-and-tumble, sturdy, hardy.
  • Weight - Visually on the heavy side. Substantial, laden, solid.
  • Luster - Low - mid shine, although I think I did see a couple metallic ones. Less shine will feel more practical, normal, and fundamentals oriented. Shinier bags convey more attention to detail, higher maintenance, ornamentation.
  • Texture - Varies. Distressed bags feel more masculine, adventurous, tomboyish, free-spirited. Glossy bags temper the rugged history of the bag with a touch of elegance, privilege, and luxury.

Saddle bags aren't just for cowboys and bohemians anymore - these days, the glossy, minimal, and more refined versions on the market combine an adventurous, get-your-hands-dirty attitude with a dash of maturity, stability, and success. 

Mine is a little leather and calfhair number rescued from a flea market in Rome.  :) Will you be wearing a one?