Boxy, compact and very cute, the current crop of new season handbags are living proof that indeed, it is hip to be square. Like the LEGO of old – but the suitably grown-up, very chic version – bags are taking on boxy shapes, with cube-like iterations from Jil Sander, The Sant, Wandler and fashion’s brand of the moment, Bottega Veneta.

Recalling the hard cases of old, these modern iterations prove just the accessory to compliment both occasion and day-to-day dressing, adding a little jazz to a simple outfit with sculptural sensibility and a lot of panache.

Small but mighty, even if you are a softie, harden up with a boxy bag below.

Jil sander
An arbitrator of all things chic, German designer Jil Sander’s boxy case is even better in real life. Consider this an update on your new classic tan tote.

case mini leather cross-body bag, Jil Sander, $2573. shop now

Bottega veneta
It’s true, Daniel Lee can do no wrong, and this boxy case is no exception. In contrast to his soft, squishy, sell-out pouch, Lee went hard-nosed for Pre Spring 2020, offering this sturdy little case in brilliant bottle green with silver top handle.

mini trunk in padded butter calf skin, $3910coming soon

The Sant
Newly crowned one of Net-a-Porter’s Vanguard designers for the year, Barcelona brand The Sant offers beautifully classic hard cases and soft totes with an inventive twist. Inspired by the Japanese tradition of transporting gifts wrapped in rectangular fabric packaging, its scrunchy, supple handle makes this a statement piece that will most definitely attract a double glance.

furoshiki mini leather tote, The Sant, $515. shop now

Our favourite Amsterdam-based bag brand, Wandler (who also make great square toe shoes), present a cute quadrate satchel in olive green with a detachable gold chain.

yara mini leather box bag, wandler, $780. shop now

Drawing inspiration from the hanging plant pots in its Orchid House, Montunas’ marble-effect acetate in rich navy features a removable leaf-print silk-twill scarf strap, just the thing to add a little fun to a jeans-and-tee kind of combo.

Guaria mini leaf-print box bag, $599. shop now

sparrow’s weave
Local design darling Kirsty Siddle honed years-long experience in graphic design to present an impeccable range of quadratic totes. In the label’s signature wicker, we love the The Classic in delicious burgundy croc.

the classic wicker and leather top-handle bag, $965. shop now

A little box with a lot of personality, this compact tan tote is souped up with detail, accented with the brand’s signature tortoiseshell acetate and a detachable logo-embossed key chain for a little vintage-inspired fun.

smooth leather box bag, ganni, $455. shop now

Tile and Cover Image: Instagram, @jilsander