As much as we may love a gorgeous leather bag, they're not always so practical during the summer season. Having the weight of a leather bag on your shoulder along with leather against your skin during 80+ degree weather is an uncomfortable feeling. An ideal alternative is a raffia handbag. It's lightweight material, smooth texture and a hint of sheen gives a handbag a casual yet sophisticated feel. Raffia handbags most commonly are available in various shades of brown with leather or exotic skin accents to add texture and color, but dyed raffia handbags are becoming just as popular. With its malleable properties, raffia can be easily and thoroughly dyed without losing it's integrity and cheapening the overall look.
Featured above is the Large Basket Classic Bag by Balenciaga which beautifully combines two summer staples - raffia and stripes. The Basket Classic has a roomy interior to fit your necessities and features a leather double handle and leather accents with aged gold hardware, a front zippered pocket, and a leather framed hanging mirror. Price: $1015.
View our gallery of raffia and straw handbags to find your next must-have summer accessory.