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A Girl's Guide to Designer Bags

“I like my money right where I can see it, Hanging in my closet”. - Carrie Bradshaw.

Photo via @TheToastyLife instagram

It’s no secret that women (ehemm me) have a weakness for fashion, and for most this weakness gravitates more towards shoes and handbags (eheem again me). I am deeply affected by this #TheStruggleIsReal. Lately I have been asked about my handbags, especially by girls looking to buy their first “it bag” or wanting to finally get their hands on that designer bag that they’ve been crushing on over for years, so I decided to write this guide for those who feel lost on what to buy.

In recent studies it has been proved that handbags are one of the best investments when in comes to accessories, at times even more than jewelry, but not all bags are worth the splurge or investment. So here’s what I’ve learned, (sometimes the hard way)

Go Classic: If this is your very first designer bag, try to stick to the classic styles like Chanel 255 (classic flap) or a boy bag. A good classic that has a friendlier price tag is the Louis Vuitton monogram speedy. Avoid going for the trending bags. I know its hard to keep up since we see “it girls” storming through trends like crazy, by the time you’ve saved up for that really cool style that has been plastered on social media, a new “it bag” comes out (I mean come on!) So choose a designer you love and pick from their classic styles.

Go Neutral: Although I’m the first to fall for a bright pink bag, I have to confess the best investment you can make is a neutral colored bag (with some exceptions, which I’ll mention further on) such as black, brown, grays or ivory. If you think black is too boring, gray is a very original neutral color or camel, both these colors go perfectly with any clothing blacks and blues included.

Although some bright colored purses like the Boy bag are very coveted, in most cases the best way to start are with neutrals. Believe me, although you may love your brand new yellow cross body, you may grow tired of always having to match your outfit to it (this is only in the beginning while you grow your collection)

Pictured Chanel Classic in Sand Caviar Leather, Jumbo Size (Chanel Sizes compared under Chanel) Via @TheToastyLife - Instagram

Re-sale Value: I know it’s hard to imagine letting go of that gorgeous handbag you finally bought. But if you’re purchasing a good investment, you must keep in mind the brand’s and style’s resale value. This is also one of the main reasons I recommend a neutral color and a classic style. Both these categories will still be trending in a few years, if for any reason you feel the need to sell you handbag, whether for need or simply because you may want to trade up. It will be easier and better paid if it’s a classic.

No bags on Sale: I’m sorry to say but if a bag/designer goes on sale or has an outlet store, they are usually not a good investment. Again this is mainly thinking about the resale value of the bag. Think about it, if you want to sell your bag for good money, but that designer constantly goes on sale, why would anyone pay full price when they can get a brand new one on sale next season. Although if your collection is missing a new red handbag and you just need to have one, a good sale is the way to go (Saks and Neiman Marcus do it very well also Nordstrom but their products in stock vary too much, for example Nordstrom Miami sells YSL in store for shoes and bags but San Antonio doesn’t) Also not all designers on sale are a bad idea. Some only put on sale the basic lines of clothing. For example CH Carolina Herrera’s outlet store never has the classic bags on sale, they mainly move their previous clothing and shoe collection to make room for the new one.

Monogramming: Now this I’m a bit torn about, many classic bags offer monogramming when bought. Such as the Louis Vuitton and Goyard. I absolutely love how these two brands monogram, and if it’s going to be your forever handbag, go for it. But if, again in a few years you feel like you’re done with it and want to sell it or maybe pass it on to you daughter, well that’s going to be harder. It’s very difficult trying to find someone with your same initials to sell your bag to. If you’re set on having your bag customized but are hesitant about adding your initials, Vuitton’s “monogramming” doesn’t have to include any letters, you can simply add a strip of up to 3 colors on their bags and wallets.

So what are good designers to choose from? All lists in this article are in NO order in particular (so don’t think they are ranked)

Best Choices:

  • Chanel: Let’s be honest you can never go wrong with Chanel, but not all their styles are worth it (in my opinion) stick to their iconic Classic handbag (flap) styles or boy bag. Don’t worry this is what they do best and have many styles to choose from. I adore all their models but to start off we all need the classics (Below are the three sizes of the Chanel Classic handbag - flap ( Medium, Jumbo, Maxi - )

  • Louis Vuitton: I do believe LV is one of the best investments you can make, simply because their price tags on the classics are a bit more accessible than lets say Chanel, and they do maintain their resale value pretty well. If you’re buying a pre-owned bag, just make sure it’s not a fake. LV is one of the most counterfeited brands in the world. So before buying from someone compare it to an original, ask for all tags and if possible, receipt, and even stop buy a LV store and ask for the sales ladies advice, show them the pics, they’re very helpful. If you do purchase it online and it arrives and you just want to make sure its real, take in to the store and have them authenticate it. I would have to say that a must have in every purse lovers collection is a speedy! I actually have a Speedy 30 Bandoulier (Bandouliere= Shoulder strap) and I love it so much, the Bandouliere model is a bit more expensive than the regular speedy without the strap, but it all depends on how you wear it, I travel with mine a lot so a having a strap is much more convemient for me. The Neverfull tote is also a fan favorite, but keep in mind that it does not have a zipper and things tend to fly out in the car or on a plane #TrueStory ...

  • Hermes: Well Hermes is and will be the best investment you can ever make, their Birkins and Kelly bags tend to resale for just as much as the store price tag, sometimes even more! This is mainly because of the high demand and that many people are wait listed. The problem here is the price tag (new or used) brand new Hermes Birkin starts at around 10k. (Sigh) - Pictured Birkin 35 (not mine, on loan from very good friend <3 taken by me)

  • Goyard: This is a great investment and unlike others, Goyard Saint Louis tote bag is the exception to the color rule. People actually want and love to purchase this in bright colors even though they do carry black and white. The problem here is that their boutiques are harder to find. There are only 6 cities in the U.S that sell Goyard, One boutique in Mexico City and one in Sao Paulo Brazil, with the rest in Europe and Asia Check out their Store Locator HERE - (Pictured Large St Louis)