A bag, if chosen wisely, can last a lifetime.
While our style and needs may evolve, the right investment can save time, money and years of buyer's remorse. Not to mention that shopping smarter is the key to a more sustainable wardrobe.
But at the end of the day, we love to mix up our looks and have our share of options, so, just like shoes, starting with basic styles is the best way to create the ultimate accessories wardrobe.
While you can easily find these styles at all different price points, there is something to be said about the lasting value of a good quality bag. With sites like TheRealReal and Vestaire Collective pioneering a resurgence in consignment and the re-sell market, designer bags hold worth long after purchasing, and sometimes they even become more valuable over time.
So, if you're looking to get started on your handbag capsule collection, here are the styles that we would opt for.
The Quilted Bag
A trick to discerning an investment from a fling is looking back at styles that still resonate with you today. For many of us, even paired with some truly disturbing outfits from the '00s, a Chanel quilted bag still stands out as a must-own.
'Flap Bag' in Navy Blue, $6,960 at Chanel.
The Carry-All Tote Bag
A must for anyone that is never without their essentials. Whether it's a book you can't put down, a spare jumper or your keep-cup, these are the bags that you're always going to be glad you bought. Because of their size, they can sometimes swamp your frame so opt for either a pop of colour or a textured leather.
'Muse Texture Square Tote', $375.20 at Oroton.
The Mini Bag
A good mini bag has the capacity to see you through a myriad of occasions, offering enough size and space to stash essentials while maintaining a compact frame that won't overwhelm your ensemble.
'Signature Mini Bag' in yellow (available in multiple colours) by Tod's, $2,860 at Tod's.
The Shoulder Bag
The perfect everyday bag for both work and play. This is the bag you'll likely spend most of your life using so we recommend putting a little more thought and investment into this one. Neutral colours or designer monograms are always reliable.
'1995 Horsebit GG Shoulder Bag' by Gucci, $3,155 at MyTheresa.
The Evening Bag
Depending on your lifestyle, an evening bag is always a good investment to keep in your closet. Although, with more and more brands blurring the lines between day and evening wear, these styles no longer need to be restricted to special events, meaning more bang for your buck.
'1969 Nano Small Chain Shoulder Bag', $737 by Paco Rabanne at Matches.
The Bucket Bag
So many designers play around with their take on the bucket bag, but it's a classic that has always had a place in our wardrobes. The beauty of the bucket bag is that, not only do they fit everything you need in them, but they generally have adjustable straps that make them as functional as they are chic.
Bucket Bag S Talco H, $599 by Furla.
The Canvas Bag
Not only are these incredibly comfortable and low-maintenance, but designer brands are jumping on the bandwagon and gifting us with some seriously elevated styles. Wear down to the beach or even fold up and pop in your shoulder bag for a last minute grocery shop.
'Miller Standard Tote' by Saturdays NYC, $25 at The Iconic.
Thanks to Daniel Lee at Bottega Veneta, the pouch has been inaugurated as the new clutch bag. Tuck a brightly-hued style—the slouchier the better—under your arm to instantly glam up any outfit.
'The Pouch Large Clutch Bag', $3,730 by Bottega Veneta at MatchesFashion.
The Crossbody Bag
Arguably the most versatile bag there is, the crossbody bag seamlessly takes you from day to night and most styles work for both formal and informal outfits.
'Medium Bobby Bag' in Blue Dior Oblique Jacquard, $POA by Dior.