This is why you can have nice things. A designer handbag is the best investment piece, one of my styling staples, and a secret to high-low styling success. Every outfit needs a handbag so you’ll use yours all the time. Here I share my favorite purse styles from brands like Chanel, Dior, YSL, Chloe, and Gucci. Check out my full list of the Best Bag Brands A-Z HERE. Before you buy a designer bag consider the 4 L’s. We all know to evaluate diamonds based on the four C’s; cut, color, clarity, and carat. There are 4 things in this post to consider before you buy an expensive handbag.
“Every outfit needs a great handbag. With all the things we juggle your bag doesn’t have to be one. A crossbody bag is light weight and keeps us hands free. I advocate for a luxury label. This little piece makes a big difference to your style, making it the most popular choice this winter. “Jennifer Sattler Stylist for Who What Wear Nov 11,2021
BEFORE YOU BUY A DESIGNER HANDBAG | THE 4 L’S
We all know to evaluate diamonds based on the four C’s; cut, color, clarity, and carat. Here are a few things to consider before you buy an expensive handbag. I’m calling them the four Ls.
1. LONGEVITY– Does this style have staying power?
2. LOOK– Is the print or color one that goes with most of your clothes?
3. LIFESTYLE– Size matters. Is this shape one that suits most of your activities?
4. LOVE– Do you love it? If all the above apply except for this, it still should be a no-fly!
CURATE YOUR DESIGNER HANDBAG COLLECTION
As a personal stylist, these are the bands I’ve been collecting and suggesting to clients for years. They are well made, will increase in value, and are proven to be the most versatile in your wardrobe.
Saint Laurent makes several styles that make them great go-to’s. With such a wide variety of sizes and colors, you can see why they are so popular.
There is a style for everyone. Pay close attention to the size before you buy. The online photo can be deceiving. The YSL camera bag and Loulou small chain bag in quilted “y” leather are the most popular bags I suggest. My personal favorite is the small shoulder bag because you can wear it cross-body too!
YSL Matlasse Medium Verses Small
Online Shopping Secret – To get a better feel for how the scale and size will look on your take a piece of plain printer paper (8.5″ x 11″), note the actual dimensions, then look in the mirror and hold the paper as a reference.
YSL Camera Bag
I love the size of the camera bag. It’s not too small to fit all the essentials. To give you an idea of the size and scale I’m 5’4″ and a size 2. It’s also a great choice because it works just as well with a casual outfit as it does with a dressy one.
KATE REVERSIBLE SHOULDER BAG
If you’re a fan of Chanel then you probably like Chole too. Karl Lagerfeld was appointed head designer for Chloe in 1966 before he turned into his own superstar.
The two straps make it super versatile.
I love that it features the Chloe “O” signature in its design too.
This is my most recommended Chole bag. The style is great for someone whose aesthetic is a little more earthy and rural. The small is the best size and is hard to come by. Chole makes the best brown on the market. It’s a beautiful cognac that pairs nicely with any color, especially black. The cashmere grey is another stunning color choice. The soft grey leather with brass hardware reads as silver with gold or mixed metallic, so you can wear it with a ton too!
SEE BY CHLOE
See by Chloe is one of, if not my favorite bridge brands. These styles and sizes all look a lot like Chloe and have my stylist’s vote of approval.
Online Shopping Secret- Sometimes a bridge designer can pass as the real one if you can find the same design detail on both. For example, Chloe’s signature “O” ring can be found on Chole and C by Chole bags.
Designer Handbag Styling Sets
When you’re looking to invest there are so many color combinations to choose from it can be hard to know where to start. The top of that list should be nude. As a matter of fact, a set of nude accessories, like a shoe and matching bag are some of the best styling staples you’ll ever own. See some sets I put together here.
Remember a colorful designer handbag can be a neural too. My favorite neutral is red, especially if you wear a lot of neutrals. It could be just the thing your wardrobe needs.
Gucci has been a go-to for my clients and me forever. Their styles and fabrications are so diverse, yet stand the test of time. The fashion house’s most defining codes—the GG motif and Web stripe, make all these styles a good wardrobe investment.
Online Shopping Secret- Buy direct from the Designer when you can. You won’t beat the selection and packaging. Gucci takes the cake when it comes to service and package presentation. Every item comes boxed, wrapped, and with a dust bag! If you’re interested in a Gucci belt I wrote a blog post with outfit ideas and online shopping tips HERE.
I saved the best for last. Chanel is the one piece any woman would run back in for if her house were on fire. If you know then you know. If not, start researching one now. It’s a big wardrobe investment and probably the one you’ll love the most. I do. Investing in a great designer handbag is one of the secrets to high-low styling. This was my first Chanel bag. I bought it vintage from my favorite shop Panache. Since I bought it, it’s gone up in value. I love it! Like all my big purchases it has a memory attached. I bought it when I started this blog. Ironically it was made in 1989, the same year the Nordstrom store I had been working at for 20+ years closed for good, and I started Closetchoreography.com.
These are the two Chanel styles I recommend most. The classic flap and the boy bag.
If you want to know what the deal is with Chanel accessories, as well as if you getting a real one, read this post. Find some trustworthy preloved Chanel bags online HERE.