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timeless handbags

6 Fashion Buyers Share Recommendations for Timeless Handbag Styles

Pro tip: You’ll want to wear them way longer than just one season.

By: Camille Freestone

We’ve already established handbags as good investments, but this rationale rings true in more ways than just resale value. Unlike most clothing, a handbag is something you can literally wear Every. Single. Day. Therefore, the cost per wear decreases at an exponentially quicker rate than most items.

Think of cost per wear as the initial purchase price divided by the number of times you’ve worn it (i.e., the more you wear the item, the lower the cost per wear). For example, I bought a black A.P.C. Gabriella bag roughly three years ago and have worn it at least 200 times since then. With a purchase price of around $500, the cost per wear boils down to less than $3 per wear. On top of that, I still love the silhouette, which makes me much less eager to shop for the season’s latest handbag du jour.

Between working from home and limited social gatherings, our handbags are getting less wear these days than they would have in previous years. This presents us with a great opportunity to think objectively about a bag that we will still want to wear six months, a year, even five years from now—something that supersedes trends and fads without sacrificing style. To make this process a little easier, we consulted six buyers from various esteemed e-comm platforms to recommend timeless handbags that you’ll want to wear for years.

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Ryan Kleman, Buying Manager of Non-Apparel at Moda Operandi

Prada Logo-detailed Nylon Wristlet

$420

“Nylon is synonymous with Prada! Perfect for times where you don’t need to carry much. And the pricing seems almost too good to be true!”

Buy

Alexander Wang Wangloc Crystal-embellished Mini Top Handle Bag

$595

“This bag is an instant mood changer. Perfect for a quick run to the coffee shop or the most formal of occasions. A lot of sparkle never hurt anyone!”

Buy

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Loewe Woven Leather Basket Top Handle Bag

$3,750

“The world’s finest leathers combined with exceptional Spanish craftsmanship is the textbook definition of timeless. Having this bag certainly qualifies as a family heirloom.”

Buy

Cassie Smart, Head of Women’s Buying at Matches Fashion

Métier Perriand Large Linen-canvas Weekend Bag

$3,150

“This Métier weekender is great for ‘staycations.’ I also love the lightness of this bag, the relaxed silhouette—it can actually be used as an oversize day bag.”

Buy

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Jil Sander Tangle Small Knotted-strap Leather Cross-body Bag

$850

“This knotted-strap, tan cross-body bag is a timeless investment from the established fashion house Jil Sander. With a classic shape and an easy color to match with any outfit, it will last for years to come.”

Buy

Paco Rabanne Iconic Mini 1969 Chain Cross-body Bag

$790

“Paco Rabanne’s 1969 chain-mail bag is an iconic piece ideal for evening events. Unusual in styling and material, it is a conversation piece that adds some glamour to any look.”

Buy

Celenie Seidel, Senior Womenswear Editor at Farfetch

Paco Pabanne Iconic 1969 Bag

$635

“Creative Director Julien Dossena’s playful continuation of the design hallmarks of Paco Rabanne, namely, the brand’s signature retro-futuristic chain mail, make pieces like the Iconic 1969 bag forever new.”

Buy

Staud Quilted Leather Tote Bag

$350

“Staud’s paneled leather tote bag is elegantly understated—the unique shape distances it from recognizable trends, giving the piece a truly timeless quality.”

Buy

Fendi Baguette Monogram-print Shoulder Bag

$2,190

“Fendi’s famous Baguette style has seen thousands of interesting iterations over the years. Vintage originals and new interpretations alike have endless, lasting appeal.”

Buy

Tiffany Hsu, Fashion Buying Director at Mytheresa

Bottega Veneta The Chain Leather Tote

$4,980

“The Bottega Veneta chain leather tote is the perfect work bag that carries enough, but is not too basic. It’s functional, but also a great statement piece.”

Buy

Saint Laurent Kaia Medium Leather Shoulder Bag

$1,750

“Everyone needs a good cross-body bag in their life, and this is just the right upgrade to a camera bag. Your everyday around-town bag in natural black leather, which will age perfectly for someone who doesn’t want to have a serious bag.”

Buy

Jacquemus Le Chiquito Mini Leather Tote

$509

“Mini bags have been a trend and will continue to be—Le Ciqito by Jacquemus is the perfect iconic bag that’s going to be an evergreen style.”

Buy

Heather Gramston, Head of Womenswear Browns

Bottega Veneta The Shoulder Pouch Leather Bag

$3,700

“This slouchy brown oversize Bottega bag is simply perfection and roomy enough to fit all of my essentials in.”

Buy

Balenciaga Hourglass Mock Croc Sling Shoulder Bag

$1,560

“I absolutely love this white embossed shoulder bag from Balenciaga. It’s perfect for summer transitioning into autumn and can be worn day to evening. White is a modern update on a classic neutral color palette.”

Buy

Osoi Peanut Brot Leather Belt Bag

$410

“This Osoi camel-colored belt bag is the perfect addition for hands-free ease on summer vacation or in the city.”

Buy

Victoria Slane Associate Buyer at Nordstrom

Bottega Veneta Cassette Intrecciato Leather Crossbody Bag

$1,900

“The marriage of the old-world aesthetic of handwoven soft leather with a modern sensibility of the vibrant color palette, the Cassette from Bottega is both a must-have and timeless. From the practicality to its exciting pop of color, it can be worn with just about anything.”

Buy

Saint Laurent Medium Kate Leather Wallet on a Chain

$2,350

“The Kate bag will stand the test of time. Worn from day to night, the pristine and durable Grain de Poudre leather, accented with a striking gold chain tassel and strap, is the epitome of stylishness and quiet luxury.”

Buy

The Marc Jacobs The Mini Cushion Leather Shoulder Bag

$395

“Mixing structure with simplicity, the chain-link strap and soft grained leather of this Marc Jacobs shoulder bag translates to a graceful and functional accessory, one that can be carried year-round and with any outfit on any occasion!”

Buy

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