The Best Luxury Bags Worth the Investment
There are two of us, two groups of people who find any value in luxury handbags. The first group are committed fashionistas. They attend fashion shows, run social media blogs, and work in the industry, be it in a boutique or a magazine. They buy it-bags (or receive them from brands) every season. They buy and resell, and most often only keep a few of their favourite versatile bags, while others go in constant rotation.
The second group consists of people who realize the wearability, quality and worth of luxury purses, yet their lifestyle does not require funky accessories and continuous wardrobe refreshment. Today, I am primarily speaking to the second group.
Although luxury bags are not financial assets in their typical sense, they deserve such status, for a few fair reasons. Versatile, minimal or statement luxury bag, be it Loewe Puzzle or Hermes Kelly will accompany your every outfit (when in doubt), become a travel companion, and if you take a proper care of it, an heirloom to pass down generations.
Typically, those bags are made of high-quality leather, often handstitched and designed to never vanish out of style. Moreover, many luxury bags that withstand the test of time and trends go up in price on reseller platforms. In case you decide to resell your luxury bag later, such brands as Chanel, Hermes, Celine and others (depending on the model) can be sold at the profit. To conclude about bags observed as investments, there are two ideas to keep in mind, high-quality bags last (cost per wear) and one day you can sell them for almost as much as you paid.
If you are ready for your first luxury bag, or finally want to add one that would be a long-staying resident in your closet, go into the process of choosing with a cold mind, proper budgeting, and an understanding of brands, and designs. Although choices on the market might be overwhelming, this article will guide you through all there is you need to know before buying one of the best luxury bags worth investing in.
I will discuss brands that hold their values for decades, including most classic purses. Besides the most desirable (and expensive) luxury bags, you will find more affordable options that do not concede in quality to Chanel Classic 2.55.
Finally, scroll below to see not only useful information, but also a curated list of the best designer, timeless, and sophisticated bags on the market.
How to Pick a Luxury Bag
First, figure out is what style of a bag would fit best into your lifestyle. No doubt if you spend days at the office or work from home, and do not attend events or fashion shows, a tote, a shoulder or a cross-body bag should be the choice number one (compared to a small baguette purse). If you are a mom, you might opt for a spacious purse to fit all necessities, rather than a mini hand band. Well, you get the idea.
What also matters is the compatibility of a designer bag with the rest of your wardrobe. If you are already willing to invest thousands of dollars into a purse it only makes sense that later on, you would not have to think twice how to style it.
I suggest choosing one of the neutral colours, black, navy blue, brown or grey. If you, however, already own a basic luxury bag and looking to buy another one, get a colour that blends well with your outerwear and footwear. For instance, if your wardrobe mainly consists of black and beige coats, a purse in magenta or emerald green would be a noticeable colour accent. And of course, keep in mind timeless silhouettes.
Brand and value:
Chanel, Dior, Fendi and other brands everyone is aware of typically have a long history behind their fame. A few of them were founded in the 20s and 40s of the twentieth century. Hence, owning a bag (especially vintage) from one of those brands is similar to owning an artwork, (think Chanel Classic Handbag in lambskin or Lady Dior).
However, those brands do not only quote what their founders created. They offer many modernized versions that are more minimal than classic ones, and available in many colours and textures. Yet, if we observe bags as investment, there is nothing that could outweigh the elegance and versatility of bags that were part of history for several decades.
Besides long-loved and long-lived brands there are some fairly young names in the fashion industry that also have worthy of investment bags. (Think The Row Margaux).
Overall, if you want a luxury bag to hold its value, stay away from it-bags of the season (at least until it proves to appear for a few seasons, despite changing trends). That also includes considering practical aspects. The value of a bag might drop if it is made of fragile material and does not hold on well, for instance in rain, or while carrying heavier objects inside. Pay attention to leather quality, stitching and hardware.
Since the beginning of the pandemic many luxury brands, including Chanel and LV increased their prices due to the cost of raw materials, supply chain and other factors. Besides, bags from limited edition collections or vintage purses that everyone is after nowadays (quality and uniqueness be the reason) makes those bags more expensive. Yet, that also means if you get your hands on one of those limited-edition purses you have a higher chance to resell it for a profit later.
Speaking of reselling services, if you are looking to invest in a luxury bag, yet do not want to pay full retail price, check out such markets as Luxe du Jour, Vestiaire Collective, TheRealReal, VSP Consignment.
Why Trust Us
I think through every purchase for my wardrobe, especially when it comes to high-end shoes or purses. Frankly, making such decision as buying a luxury bag includes a lot of research. That is why when I made sure to include only the best designer bags that remained iconic throughout the years. That is number one: thorough research based on the currently available luxury bags.
Surely, I did not get a chance to wear or even touch every single bag on the list. However, previously working in the fashion industry, and then reviewing what editors of such magazines as Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue say about best luxury bags, I could withdraw a candid conclusion. That is two.
The third factor is the rating of those luxury bags. Unlike other products we discuss over here, this factor does not only include earned stars and satisfied customers’ reviews, but also the reputation of each brand and the actual time span of those bags in fashion circles.
Prada Cleo Brushed Leather Shoulder Bag
It won’t fit your laptop, yet this Prada Cleo shoulder bag is so sleek and minimal that it will easily match any outfit you wear. Its sophisticated design reinterprets an iconic look from the 1990s. Cleo features curved lines rounded on the bottom, and although it has a sort of hobo shape, the structure of the bag is durable and solid.
Brushed leather gives the bag a polished, and satin surface. Which also provides you with versatile options of styling this bag with many outfits, mixing and matching textures like leather pants, silk dresses, mohair sweaters and more. The only decorating metal on this bag is a triangle Prada logo.
One downside is an absence of a zipper. Although you might feel unsafe for your keys and a phone, many of those who chose this bag either add a little canvas pouch inside or make sure to carry it on a shoulder as close as possible.
Chanel 1985-1990s Classic Flap Shoulder Bag (Pre-Owned)
One of the best and most desired bags is the Chanel Classic Flap shoulder bag. This particular one was created in 1985-1990s. I suggest the vintage/reseller market when it comes to classic Chanel bags simply because the quality of the production was much better.
The Classic bag, introduced by Gabrielle Chanel, has always been an epiphany of elegance and guarantee of quality. Featuring original diamond quilting, chain-link shoulder strap and the iconic interlocking CC turn-lock, this navy-blue lambskin Classic Flap bag will never go out of style and can be easily worn dressed up or down.
Hermes Kelly 1994 Séllier 32 (Pre-Owned)
Hermes bags, particularly Kelly and Birkin, are two iconic designs, accessible to few, desirable by many. The reason is not only a steep price, but a necessity to get on the customer wait list at the boutique, and become a loyal customer until you will finally get your turn to buy the dream bag. However, there is also a reseller option, (f you do not feel like buying silk scarfs and riding boots until you get approved).
Now, back to Kelly. The bag was first created by Robert Dumas, the son-in-law of Emile Hermés, (the grandson of founder Thierry Hermés), for Hollywood legend Grace Kelly in the late 1950s. The design remains the same up until now: effortlessly elegant, simple yet sophisticated and conveniently spacious. Trends have no influence over this bag. No outfit would not look good with Hermes Kelly. And the fact that this bag only increases in value, especially on reseller platforms, only makes it more desirable among fashionistas, business women, celebrities and others.
This particular made-in-France bag features a trapeze shape, signature singles straps, twist-lock fastening, and gold-tone hardware.
Saint Laurent Manhattan Shoulder Bag
If you like the style of Hermes Kelly but are not willing to spend ten thousand dollars on it, check out this Saint Laurent Manhattan purse.
It also features a small flap on top, compression tabs on the sides and an adjustable shoulder strap. It is an elegant, yet minimal-looking purse which works for both, a corporate worker who primarily wears suits and for a mom who is running some errands and bringing kids to school.
The Row Margaux Belt 17 Bag in Leather
The Row brand has become a favourite among minimalists since the Olsen sisters established it in 2006. The impeccable quality, timeless silhouettes and precise tailoring of each piece speak for themselves, justifying the high price by considering that you will own each piece for a long time.
Although they have many bags to choose from, —where each bag is finely crafted and designed to withstand time and fleeting trends, —this particular one is a favorite among business professionals. The purse is softly structured with a top-handle which means you can fit in all your work necessities, and easily transport it wherever you go.
The Row Margaux is finished in polished saddle leather and features delicate belt closure detail, gusseted side panels and interior toggle closure.
Gucci Horsebit 1955 Shoulder Bag
It is quite strange, and not every brand is capable of doing that, but when Gucci uses their monogram all over a bag or a scarf it does not look outdated a few seasons later. In fact, it only increases the value of an item. Gucci Horsebit 1955 shoulder bag is one of those accessories.
Despite the classic GG-canvas, the bag looks minimal and sophisticated. Despite its compact size, it fits small objects like a phone, a tablet, a wallet and a lipstick and even more. It features three interior compartments, a web-striped shoulder strap, and horsebit detail on the front.
Loewe Puzzle Small Leather Bag
Relatively new Loewe geometric Puzzle Bag is not going anywhere. Designed by Creative Director Jonathan Anderson in 2014 its unique apperance keeps attracting more and more people. It is surprisingly versatile and impressively easy to wear in four different ways: shoulder, clutch, fold flat and crossbody.
The bag is made of buttery-soft calfskin, (yet the grain can vary from style to style.)
Moreover, the bag is available in a few sizes, but this small one can hold all your essentials with no issue: a mobile phone, sunglasses and a wallet. It features one exterior zip pocket and an interior slip pocket to keep your items accessible and secure.
Celine Teen Triomphe Bag in Shiny Calfskin
Although Celine Teen Triomphe is a fairly new bag on the market, with this brand you can be sure, you are buying something more timeless than another it-bag of a season. The brand’s designs always feel more discreet and no wonder they are chosen by those who prefer the effortless style and classic design. Celine masterly balances classic and contemporary in every piece they create, and this particular bag is not an exception.
Triomphe features clean, curved lines and art deco-style clasp closures. What is there to ever go out of style? This little purse will accompany your outfits for decades and later can be passed down as an heirloom.
It features a crossbody strap, which makes it easy to wear, a calfskin exterior and a lambskin lining. Satisfied owners of this bag say that it isn’t just beautiful, but practical too. The Triomphe has three inner compartments and an inner zipped pocket to keep your belongings safe.
Coach Pillow Tabby 26 Leather Shoulder Bag
Even though Coach Pillow Tabby was all over Instagram when it came out, it did not reduce the value of this bag. And, it is no wonder the bag also landed on this list of the best luxury purses.
The design is inspired by the structured silhouette of the archival 1970s. It features a fluffy cloud-like Nappa leather exterior and plenty of space for all essentials.
Although it is a puffy-looking bag, it does not look or feel bulky when you wear it under your shoulder. Besides, the style is so versatile, you can wear it with both jeans and hoodies, and suits and dresses.
Bottega Veneta Cassette Bag
My personal favourite is the Bottega Veneta Cassette bag. Those bags are available in various colours and is intricately woven from leather or suede. Those bags also come in a few different sizes, where a medium is the most versatile one.
The Cassette is functional as well: you can easily dress it up or down, and wear it on your shoulder or cross-body by using a narrow strap. It is a favourite bag of many fashion editors for its unique design, convenience of wear, and ability to turn from an it-bag of 2019 to one of the essential accessories.
Fendi Mini Baguette Brown Fabric Bag
Speaking of iconic baguette bags. Recently Fendi celebrated the renaissance of their ’90s and ’00s bags. No longer it was seen only in scenes of Sex and The City, but all-over social media on influencers and fashionistas.
This rectangular purse, although updated, remains recognizable, with the perfect shape that sits comfortably beneath your arm. The Fendi Mini Baguette also features gold logo hardware. Overall, the design is ideal for anyone looking to add some 90s touch to their outfits.
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