I’ve always been rather picky about my handbags. I have maybe three or four handbags at a time. All carefully curated to go with everything and anything I own.
Currently, my handbag collection consists of two small, burgundy across-body bags and two leather backpacks. All my bags are incredibly functional and somewhat casual. I no longer need to lug around a laptop so my old, sturdy leather laptop bag has been sent to the charity shop. The handle was flaking a little bit from excessive wear and I just don’t need a large bag anymore.
This leaves a big gap in my wardrobe for a handbag that is a little sleeker. A little more sophisticated. And little more wow.
My wardrobe is naturally minimalistic. My colours, for autumn, are mostly neutral. Black, tan, beige, white, navy. There may be a pop of red or royal blue, but neutrality reigns supreme in my clothing choices right now. Even leopard classes as a neutral. Therefore, it is down to my accessories to make a statement. And none of my current handbags shows that wow factor. And they’re certainly not investment pieces.
Vogue has many features on ladies handbags and, pouring through their latest articles, I know what I’m looking for. I want something bold in colour but classic in design. Something that will stand out against my autumn uniform of a biker jacket and skinny jeans. The bag also shouldn’t be burgundy … I have enough of those already.
Tips for investing in a handbag
Now investing in a handbag can be daunting. They’re not cheap items as most designer handbags will set you back at least £300. A good high-street handbag, in leather, will start around the £80 mark.
So I have three very simple questions that I ask myself when buying a new handbag.
Is the leather soft?
A leather handbag should be soft and supple. I can’t stand stiff leather. On a handbag, stiff leather will mean an uncomforatble handle or shoulder strap and it will also mean the leather is more likely to crack and flake with wear. Unless, of course, you’re willing to put time and effort into moisturising the leather to make it soft and supple.
Is the handbag lined?
And just as important, what is it lined with? A handbag should always be lined and that lining should be soft, easy to wipe clean, and not of an abrasive polyester that will snag easily on your keys. Satin materials are my favourite linings but I’ve also got had some really lovely cotton-lined bags too.
Is the stitching well done?
I always check for loose threads or stitching that feels gruff, or abrasive against the skin. The last thing you want is for a stitch to come undone and the handle to drop off. We all know how disastrous that situation is!
So, the only question that remains is, what bag will I buy?