In my experience, I’ve found that there are typically two camps regarding designer handbags. You either LOVE designer handbags, or you think they’re cool but would rather have something else. Neither camp is good, bad, right, or wrong. I could do a whole post on that subject alone… Anyway, I digress. As a stylist, I am trained to have my client’s style in mind when shopping for a designer handbag for them. When I was sourcing for this post, it was hard for me to pair down bags because I knew some of them could be perfect for someone else’s style. Then I realized there was certain criteria I wanted all the designer handbags to meet, regardless of style.
Functionality– I learned this one the hard way. My husband purchased a Louis Vouitton handbag for me years ago. It’s a bag you can’t wear on your shoulder or across your body. You can only hold it in your hands. Well, then I had kids, and I needed to use my hands (Ha!.) So…. I haven’t worn it in years. The good thing is that the bag is classic, so I hope to wear it again eventually.
I now know to look for ease of use. Can I wear it on my shoulder? If so, is the shoulder strap long enough to get my arm through? Can I wear it across my body? Is the capacity big enough for my current life? I needed a big bag when I had small kids, but now I’m ok with a medium. However, I know myself, and I like to cram a lot of stuff in my bags so I always keep that in mind.
Sustainability– Is it good quality? Will it be OK on the floor of a restaurant? Is it comfortable? Will it stand the test of time? Is there a big colorful pattern that’s going to date it?
Wearability– To me, if you’re going to spend a lot of money on a bag, it’s important that it’s versatile enough to potentially wear every day. Can you wear it with work clothes, casual clothes and workout clothes?
Versatility– What color bag will go with the majority of things I have in my closet?
Budget– Is it in the budget this year? If not, there are a ton of great bags that look designer but don’t have designer price tags. Check out my steal vs. splurge post here.
Ok, so here’s what I keep in mind when looking for a designer bag for myself: Black goes with what I have in my closet. I like both a shoulder bag and a cross-body bag. Remember, I need my hands. Hahaha! I don’t like to have a bag everyone else has, or a bag that has a big logo (it’s not my style). I like my designer bags to be unique and excellent quality. Picky much?
So, based on my criteria and my style, here are the designer bags I’m into these days:
Here are the bags that met my criteria but weren’t black:
If you are not a designer bag person, check out my steal vs. splurge post!
Picture by Traci Ling