With their hefty price tags and variety of designs, splurging on a handbag can require some pretty serious considerations and thoughts. If you feel like you’re ready to invest in your very first designer bag but feel overwhelmed with all the available options from bag styles to colorways, then you’ve come to the right place!
Our handy guide covers all the basics that you need to know about top designer brands and handbags. We’ll talk you through the top designer handbags for women and why they made our designer handbag list. From everyday designer tote bags to investment-worthy handbags, read on for our list of top-rated designer handbags that every woman should own.
The Investment Handbag: Hermès Birkin
When you think of designer handbags, French luxury label Hermès is likely the first to come to mind. Founded by Thierry Hermès in 1837, Hermès handbags are considered as some of the most coveted accessories in the world.
Named after the French actress and style icon Jane Birkin, the Hermès Birkin is notorious for its years-long waiting lists and all-around exclusivity. With Birkin bag prices starting at around $9,500, owning a Birkin isn’t just a status symbol, but it’s also regarded as a smart investment. After all, it’s known as the world’s most collectible handbag, with a staggering value increase of 500% in the last 35 years.
The Classic Flap Bag: Chanel 2.55
Introduced in 1955, the 2.55 bag is the most popular handbag style created by the French fashion house. Coco Chanel famously said: “I got fed up with holding my purses in my hands and losing them, so I added a strap and carried them over my shoulder.”
Characterized by its distinctive quilted leather exterior and versatile chain straps, the 2.55 has gone through many reiterations and reinventions since it was launched, yet it remains as one of the most beloved designer handbags in the world.
The Everyday Tote Bag: Louis Vuitton Neverfull
Though the Neverfull has only been around since 2007, it’s become one of Louis Vuitton’s most successful and top-selling handbags of all time. With price points starting below $1,500, it’s a great designer bag since, as its name suggests, it has the unique ability to fit all of your everyday essentials and more.
Ultra-durable and versatile, you can use it for everything from work (it fits most laptops) to travel. It’s available in a variety of materials from the iconic Monogram Canvas to classic Damier Azur, so there’s a style to suit everyone’s personalities and lifestyles.
The Elegant Satchel: Saint Laurent Sac de Jour
A modern and inherently elegant handbag that’s reflective of the Saint Laurent brand’s design ethos, the Sac de Jour is a great addition to your handbag rotation. Its boxy yet structured silhouette looks effortlessly cool with any outfit, plus it has a roomy interior that can store all of your valuables and everyday staples.
Saint Laurent’s Sac de Jour comes in a range of sizes from nano to large. It’s such a popular handbag style with a huge celebrity fan base, including stars like Angelina Jolie and Margot Robbie.
The Day-to-Night Bag: Hermès Constance
Though the Birkin and Kelly are inarguably some of the most famous Hermès bags, the Hermès Constance is also one of the most sought-after handbags. Created in 1969, the Constance handbag is known for its structured shape and front flap with an iconic ‘H’ clasp closure.
Since it was introduced, the Hermès Constance has been carried by style icons and celebrities such as Jackie Onassis and Mary Kate Olsen. The Constance is especially beloved for its versatile straps, which allows it to be worn as a crossbody bag or slung over the shoulder.
The On-Trend Handbag: Christian Dior Saddle Bag
One of Christian Dior’s most iconic handbags, the equestrian-inspired Saddle Bag was introduced in the 2000s. Known for its unique silhouette and logo magnetic clasp, the Saddle Bag recently became very popular again and is considered as one of the year’s must-have It bags.
The Saddle Bag is available in two sizes: the mini and the regular. There are a lot of materials and styles to choose from, from the classic Dior Oblique print to sheepskin. Whether you carry it by hand, as a crossbody bag, or over the shoulder, don’t be surprised when the compliments roll in.
The Versatile Wristlet: Louis Vuitton Pochette
One of Louis Vuitton’s most timeless and versatile pieces, the Pochette Bag was introduced in the 1980s. The intention for the Pochette was for its removable strap to be attached to larger handbags, but in the ‘90s, it became fashionable to wear the Pochette as a shoulder bag.
Undeniably adorable, the Pochette may be small in size, but it’s a bag that you’ll get a lot of use out of. Some use their Pochettes as evening bags, while others keep their essentials organized in their Pochettes. The Pochette is a great option for your first foray into the designer handbag world as it’ll set you back around $600. It’s available in a variety of classic and newer prints, such as Damier Ebene.
The Bucket Bag: Fendi Mon Tresor
Embrace the bucket bag trend in style with the Fendi Mon Tresor Bag. Introduced in 2018, the bag has an adjustable drawstring fastening and a spacious interior, making it an ideal every day or travel-friendly bag. It has two detachable straps, giving you the option to carry it in a number of ways: by hand, over the shoulder, or across the body.
The Fendi Mon Tresor comes in mini to regular sizes. There are a lot of colorways and designs to choose from, such as calfskin leather and canvas fabric. You can get a brand new Mon Tresor for under $1,500, making it an excellent choice for a starter designer handbag.
The Structured Sophisticate: Prada Galleria Bag
Launched in 2007, the Prada Galleria Bag features a classic silhouette and a timeless design, ensuring it’s a bag that won’t go out of style. Made from the luxury Italian label’s renowned Saffiano leather, the bag has multiple interior compartments, keeping your essentials and valuables organized while you’re on-the-go.
Choose from six different sizes and a beautiful selection of neutral shades and vibrant hues. Prices start at around $2,300, so it’s a little more on the pricey side, but it’s undoubtedly a bag that you’ll love and get a lot of use of in years to come.