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Best Designer Handbags to Invest in Now: 12 Luxury Bags for Any Budget

Designer Handbags
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Updated June 9, 2024

A good designer handbag does more than just make a stylish fashion statement designed to withstand the test of time. It’s also a functional and well-constructed carryall that’s designed to get your daily must-haves from point A to point B. However, as with anything “designer,” the price tag can be high—from the hundreds to the several thousands—and sometimes, you don’t know whether you are paying for quality or just a name. We spoke to several fashion experts to help us create a list of top designer handbags that are worth the investment (and are functional as well). No matter whether you’re looking for a sizable day tote or a petite clutch to carry at night, our curated selection can help you find the best fit for whatever your day brings.

Our top designer handbags picks

Best affordable designer handbag: Kate Spade Bleecker Large Tote

Best affordable designer handbag
Kate Spade Bleecker Large Tote

Kate Spade Bleecker Large Tote

Coming in at under $300, the Kate Spade Bleecker Large Tote is an affordable yet stylish pick. “It's a classic leather tote bag, which can carry a lot,” says fashion and lifestyle blogger Titilola Sogunro of Titi’s Passion. “I like that you can easily add an organizer insert to increase its functionality.”

It is available in six colors that range from black to rose; the tote bag is large enough to house a 13-inch laptop and also includes a small interior zip pouch, making it one of the best work bags for women.

Specifications:

  • Material/s: Saffiano leather and faille lining
  • Care: Wipe gently dry with a soft cloth
  • Dimensions: 11.75 inches (height) x 13.75 inches (width) x 5.25 inches (depth)
  • Price at time of publish: $248

What we like:

  • Interior zip pocket included
  • Simple, classic design

What we don’t like:

  • Cannot fit laptops larger than 13 inches

Best black designer handbag: Chanel Classic Flap Bag

Best black designer handbag
Chanel Classic Flap Bag

Chanel Classic Flap Bag

Chanel’s Classic Flap Bag has somewhat of a cult following among fashionistas, many of whom opt for the traditional black color with an accompanying gold chain link strap. “This is a timeless style that will never go out of style,” says fashion and travel blogger Kat Jamieson. Thirteen years ago, Jamieson purchased her own Classic Flap Bag. “Not only has it significantly increased in value, but it still looks brand new,” she comments. “If you love it, buy it now!”

She recommends that those eyeing this purse opt for a vintage make, given that Chanel recently switched to gold-plated hardware in lieu of solid gold.

Specifications:

  • Material/s: Leather: Since this is an authorized resale site, the exact price will depend on the model/condition available.
  • Care: Wipe clean with a soft, dry microfiber cloth
  • Dimensions: 6 inches (height) x 10 inches (width) x 2.75 inches (depth)
  • Price at time of publish: $3,000 and up—since this is an authorized resale site, the exact price will depend on the model/condition available

What we like:

  • Recognizable and classic
  • Investment piece that will appreciate with time

What we don’t like:

  • Steep price tag

Best designer handbag for moms: Goyard Saint Louis

Best designer handbag for moms
Goyard Saint Louis

Goyard Saint Louis

Incredibly spacious and easily packable, the Goyard Saint Louis is a fantastic designer handbag option for moms, says stylist and fashion consultant Deborah Watson. “It comes in lots of beautiful colors, it’s seasonless, and you can clean it easily with just a simple baby wipe!”

We love that the St. Louis style is available in three sizes: The smaller PM, larger GM, and the ultra sizable XXL.

Specifications:

  • Material/s: Coated canvas with leather straps and trim
  • Care: Wipe clean with a soft, dry microfiber cloth
  • Dimensions: 13.3 inches (height) x 15.75 inches (width) x 7.87 inches (depth)
  • Price at time of publish: $1,050 and up—since this is an authorized resale site, the exact price will depend on the model/condition available

What we like:

  • Wide variety of colors to choose from
  • Foldable for travel

What we don’t like:

  • No interior pockets
  • White interior is stain-prone

Best designer shoulder bag: Brahmin Esme

Best designer shoulder bag
Brahmin Esme

Priced at $225, Brahmin’s Esme bags come in a wide range of vibrant colorways and are a go-to statement piece, says lifestyle influencer Greivy. “I have been wearing and collecting these bags for a few years now and I’m obsessed with the quality and colors that are released season after season,” she adds.

Specifications:

  • Material/s: Genuine croc-embossed leather
  • Care: Evenly apply leather conditioner
  • Dimensions: 8 inches (height) x 11.75 inches (width) x 3.25 inches (depth)
  • Price on publish: $245

What we like:

  • Fun, playful pattern
  • Accessible price point

What we don’t like:

  • Structured design is less packable

Best casual designer handbag: Clare V Grande Fanny

Best casual designer handbag
Clare V Grande Fanny

Clare V Grande Fanny

Jess Keys, life and style blogger at JessKeys.com, considers Clare V’s Grande Fanny bag to be one of her most worn items. “I love that the Grande Fanny comes in so many color options and that you can mix and match with dozens of strap options,” she shares. Better yet, Keys appreciates that the fanny pack is larger than most but lays flat against the body. “Day or night, it's stylish, on-trend, versatile, and comfortable at the same time.”

Blogger Katie Sturino, founder of Megababe, author of Body Talk, and body acceptance advocate, is also a proponent of the Grande Fanny bag. “There aren’t a lot of fanny pack straps that fit my body, so I’m glad I found this one,” she says. “The cream coloring is such a staple: It’s neutral and goes with everything, allowing me to mix and match with my straps based on the outfit and occasion.”

Specifications:

  • Material/s: Leather
  • Care: Have professionally cleaned
  • Dimensions: 8 inches (height) x 12 ¾ inches (width)
  • Price at time of publish: $325

What we like:

  • Strap is adjustable, detachable, and interchangeable
  • Array of eye-catching pattern choices

What we don’t like:

  • Larger size may overwhelm smaller frames

Best minimalist designer handbag: Cuyana System Tote

Best minimalist designer handbag
Cuyana System Tote

Cuyana System Tote

Those who wish to carry a logo-free designer handbag will appreciate Cuyana’s System Tote, which is my personal favorite option to carry while running errands, attending work meetings, or exploring the city. (It also made our list of the best travel totes for women.) Stylish and sleek, the bag is elevated yet comes at a manageable, under $350 price point. Those looking to customize the bag further can choose to add a strap, organization pouch, and other accessories, available directly from Cuyana.

Specifications:

  • Material/s: Leather
  • Care: Wipe clean with damp cloth
  • Dimensions: 11 inches (height) x 19 inches (width) x 5.5 inches (depth)
  • Price at time of publish: Starts at $328

What we like:

  • Compatible with many Cuyana accessories
  • Minimalist looking

What we don’t like:

  • Heavier feel, even when not fully packed

Best designer crossbody bag: Loewe Small Hammock

Best designer crossbody bag
Loewe Small Hammock

Loewe Small Hammock

Fashion stylish Hallie Abrams of The Wardrobe Consultant notes that Loewe’s Small Hammock bag, which is available in seven chic, neutral colors, “has a unique shape and can be both compact and large depending on the wearer’s desire.” It can be worn as a crossbody or shoulder bag or simply carried by its handles. The brand has made major waves in recent years and is part of what Abrams refers to as the “‘It Girl’ zeitgeist.”

Specifications:

  • Material/s: Leather
  • Care: Dab with soft cloth and let dry at room temperature
  • Dimensions: 5.3” width x 9.8” height x 11.8” depth
  • Price on publish: $3,100

What we like:

  • Can be worn in multiple ways
  • Timeless neutral options

What we don’t like:

  • Steep price point without instant recognizability

Best designer tote bag: Dior Book Tote

Best designer tote bag
Dior Book Tote

Dior Book Tote

The Dior Book Tote isn’t your average tote bag—known for its logo design and sturdy structure, it’s a favorite of lifestyle influencer Katelyn Sailor. “I've made the mistake before of purchasing smaller, trendy designer bags that I stop using after a year,” Sailor reflects. “I’ve had my book tote for four years now and it continues to be my most used bag whenever I need something to easily throw things in for travel or errands.”

Specifications:

  • Material/s: Leather
  • Care: Have professionally cleaned
  • Dimensions: 14 inches (width) x 11 inches (height) x 6.5 inches (depth)
  • Price on publish: Starts at $3,450 for medium size

What we like:

  • Vibrant patterns
  • Personalization options

What we don’t like:

  • Lacks interior pockets
  • Lacks zip top

Best designer everyday bag: Saint Laurent Baby Sac De Jour

Best designer everyday bag
Saint Laurent Baby Sac De Jour

Saint Laurent Baby Sac De Jour

Alison Bruhn loved her first Saint Laurent Baby Sac De Jour so much that she ended up purchasing another colorway of the bag a few years later. “It is deceptive in its size,” says the national style and image consultant behind The Style That Binds Us. “Even though it is relatively small, I can fit everything I need inside of it—including a small umbrella!”

Bruhn also appreciates that this bag is lightweight, can stand up on its own due to its flat bottom with small feet, and its versatility: It features handles as well as a crossbody strap. “During the day I can be hands-free, and in the evening I carry the bag using the top handles for an elegant, dressier look,” says Bruhn, who also loves that this bag appeals to her minimalist, understated aesthetic.

Specifications:

  • Material/s: Leather
  • Care: Wipe clean with a damp, soft cloth, cleaning in the same direction as the grain of the leather
  • Dimensions: 10.2 inches (width) x 7.8 inches (height) x 5.1 inches (depth)
  • Price on publish: $2,950

What we like:

  • Can be worn multiple ways
  • Sleek design

What we don’t like:

  • Cannot accommodate laptop

Best designer work bag: Senreve Maestra

Best designer work bag
MAESTRA BAG

MAESTRA BAG

Natalie Simkins, stylist and founder of Style by Simkins, uses the Senreve Maestra bag for work and appreciates both its structure and versatility—the bag can be worn as either a backpack or on the shoulder. “It has a laptop compartment and multiple pockets to help keep everything super organized,” Simkins says. “Most importantly, it's gorgeous and timeless.” Its versatility makes it one of the best travel backpacks for women who want a bag that can truly go from work conferences to brunch to cocktails.

Specifications:

  • Material/s: Leather
  • Care: Wipe dry with a damp cloth. Do not use soap.
  • Dimensions: 12.25 inches (width) x 10.25 inches (height) x 8.75 inches (depth)
  • Price on publish: $945

What we like:

  • Can be worn multiple ways
  • Hidden zipper closure

What we don’t like:

  • Must unbuckle to open

Best designer clutch: Chanel Black Quilted Caviar Classic Wallet on Chain

Best designer clutch
Chanel Black Quilted Caviar Classic Wallet on Chain

Chanel Black Quilted Caviar Classic Wallet on Chain

Chanel’s Black Quilted Caviar Classic Wallet on Chain can be worn as both a crossbody and a clutch and is “the best designer starter bag, in my opinion,” says Amy Littleson McNitt, founder of the fashion and lifestyle blog, Amy Littleson.

The bag features the luxury brand’s signature “CC” logo and is designed to serve as a wallet, with interior pouches for credit cards, while still being able to house other essentials, including a phone and keychain. “It’s a forever classic and, in most cases, is on the lower end of the dollar scale when it comes to Chanel’s current prices,” McNitt adds. “Black is also an all-year-round worn color in NYC, so I’ll have no problem getting plenty of use out of it!”

Specifications:

  • Material/s: Leather
  • Care: Wipe clean with a soft, dry microfiber cloth
  • Dimensions: 7.75 inches (width) x 5 inches (height) x 1.5 inches (depth)
  • Price on publish: $3,700 and up—since this is an authorized resale site, the exact price will depend on the model/condition available

What we like:

  • Compact and ideal for travel
  • Versatile color and shape

What we don’t like:

  • Minimal storage capacity

Best designer mini bag: Grace Mini Bag by A.P.C.

Best designer mini bag
Grace Mini Bag by A.P.C.

Grace Mini Bag by A.P.C.

One of Camille Carter’s most used bags is the Grace Mini Bag from the French label A.P.C. “It’s the perfect mix between casual and polished; you can wear it during the day with jeans and a t-shirt just as easily as you can at night to a nice dinner or event,” says the lifestyle blogger behind Charmed by Camille.

Carter appreciates the bag’s leather construction as well as its timeless look. “Right now, the quiet luxury vibe is in, but because this bag has a classic shape, clean gold closure, and tiny logo, it’s something that will last beyond just this trend,” she states.

Specifications:

  • Material/s: Leather
  • Care: Wipe with a soft, dry cloth.
  • Dimensions: 6.88 inches (width) x 5.51 inches (height) x 1.57 inches (depth)
  • Price at time of publish: $840

What we like:

  • Compact
  • Petite-friendly

What we don’t like:

  • Minimal storage capacity

How to choose the best designer handbags

Purpose

Not all designer bags are created equal. As evident based on the above, some are best for evening gatherings, others are ideal for the office or commuting, and additional options are useful for weekend activities or travel. Consider your day-to-day needs and lifestyle before purchasing a bag to ensure you will reach for it frequently and not simply leave it hanging in your closet.

Budget

Everyone’s budget varies. It is important to take into account your personal budgetary concerns when shopping for a designer bag. In doing so, you should also determine whether you wish to invest in one bag that you will reach for on a near-daily basis or if you would like to build a larger collection of bags that come in at lower price points.

Ask yourself: Are you looking to invest in a piece that will appreciate in value over time, or do you prefer to purchase bags without worrying about eventual resale possibilities? These are all important decisions to weigh as you prepare to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on a designer bag.

Personal Style

It is, of course, imperative to take your personal style preferences into account when shopping for a designer handbag. Are you drawn to logos, or does their presence bother you? Are you looking for a bag that will be instantly recognizable, or would you prefer something a bit more off the beaten path? Do you mainly dress in neutrals, or are you looking for a brightly colored bag to complement your bold outfits? These factors and more should all be considered as you embark on the shopping process.

How we selected the best designer handbags

To select the best designer handbags, we spoke with a range of experts who work within the world of fashion, including bloggers, content creators, personal stylists, and more. These individuals openly shared their favorite designer handbags and provided detailed explanations of these bags’ benefits.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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