Appropriate Young Professional Handbag Brands

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  1. Hi ladies,

    I believe image is very important in the office. Looking nice is important, but not too nice. I am in my mid-twenties and work in marketing. I manage 20-30 employees. I don't report to anybody in my company on a state level, but I have a regional director that I meet with. She and I are friendly and generally dress informally. I do have meetings where I need to dress at least business casual and I do travel for work sometimes. I have a collection of high end handbags, but since my regional and national directors do not have such expensive bags I don't think it is appropriate to carry mine to work.

    Please suggest some appropriate brands. I know that Coach is in line with what I should be wearing.
  2. I think you can wear any contemporary designer (kate spade, tory burch, rebecca minkoff, MBMJ, Michael Kors). Cole Haan and Furla are also great options.

    Personally, I prefer less recognizable brands (i.e., no logo plate or monogram), so I go with JCrew leather bags which are great quality. I've been on an MZ wallace kick lately too.
  3. I'm in a reasonably similar position, and also feel that it's not appropriate to carry very branded or very expensive bags in the workplace. I use a Longchamp Le Pliage as an everyday bag and rotate in Michael Kors bags for more important days. I'm also thinking about getting a Mulberry Bayswater or Jimmy Choo Rosalie for work use.

    For me, it's about adopting a similar tone to the people I work with rather than price. I mean, a Bayswater is more expensive than a plain LV Neverfull, but while I'd be happy to carry a Bayswater, I'd never take my Neverfull to the office. Perhaps that's because plenty of girls carry Mulberry bags, and again, it's about fitting in.

    I completely agree with the sentiment "look nice but not too nice". I always try to look like I've put my outfits (and myself!) together carefully, but take care to not look like I'm showing off or going over the top.
  4. I have thought about Mulberry and Jimmy Choo. Those are some great ideas. I was actually shopping with one of my directors yesterday and she was looking at Coach which is why I brought that brand up. The problem being that she would then know how much I spent on my bag.

    I currently carry my Valextra Boston to work a lot. My collection is mostly Hermes and Chanel, but those really stand out too much.

    My company is very stylish and energetic, but not not necessarily into high end labels. I manage my department on the state level so that makes it hard to judge. The area I work in is fairly upscale and most of the people I meet with are older than me so it's also about their impression of me since I'm representing my company. I don't want to look like I'm showing off, but I also need to look like I'm successful and respectable.
  5. why not continue to carry the valextra boston? it is not immediately recognizable: valextra is understated, label-less and not many know about it. that said, it is recognizable as a quality bag which i think makes it appropriate for work. for those at work who know valextra (and its price) you carrying it to work everyday shows that you get the most out of your bags.
  6. My Valexta is perfect, but it is bright red with gold hardware. I really need a black bag too. Something similar to my Valextra would be ideal. I'm considering Bottega Veneta.
  7. Imo the most appropriate would be a non-brand especially if you have concerns about showing "status."
  8. can't go wrong with bottega veneta, but another valextra will be nice also. have you seen victoria beckham's bags? they're reasonably priced with no logo. the row's day tote is really nice as well.
  9. The Row's totes are very nice, but above my price point for such a plain work bag (I do like it in exotic skins). I'm not looking to spend as much on a work bag as I have spent on my fun bags. Something like Ferragoma could be a consideration. I do really love Bottega Veneta though and I wouldn't mind spending a tad more or going with an older style/getting something from the outlets. Somewhere in the $300-$1000 is probably what would be appropriate.
  10. #10 Oct 21, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
    i understand, i've seen this kind of thing before. my brother also tries to drive the family Honda Civic instead of his Benz, because his bosses at work don't drive a German car. he wouldn't even borrow the Audi when it was offered to him. it's very awkward, especially in Asia, where elders are to be respected and it's considered disrespectful to make people lose face (and especially among my ethnic group, it's disgraceful to show-off).

    i think vintage also works. because then you can say, "oh, it was a hand-me-down" from your aunt/granny, or like you bought it for cheap at the flea market. i only ever use vintage bags, all my newer bags are non-designer. nobody thinks i'm loaded which i am not, just a little quirky (they think it's because i'm obsessed in Mad Men and being retro). LOL.

    if you're going places after work, keep your designer bag in your car (if you drive), so can enjoy your designer bags outside work hours. you sound like you genuinely like designer bags, and you're not like some people who just wear them as status symbols. it's nice to be considerate with other people, but also be fair to yourself and give yourself the opportunity to enjoy yourself.
  11. Have you checked Bottega Veneta's prices?
  12. Yes, I know what Bottega Veneta costs and as I said I wouldn't mind spending a bit more for something I really like. I've had Bottega Veneta pieces before. I'm just not looking to invest a lot in a plain black bag that it strictly for work. I don't mind going with something from the outlets. I do agree that vintage or at least vintage looking opens some windows, the only Hermes bag I've felt comfortable carrying is my Barenia Kelly. It's gone without notice as anything other than a nice leather bag.
  13. Would you consider buying from lower-end brands than BV, Valextra, etc.? You say in your original post that you should be carrying something in line with Coach and that you don't want to carry anything flashier than your regional and national managers, but all of the brands that you listed as "appropriate" are very expensive brands. What if someone says, "Oh that is a beautiful bag, what brand is it?" Even if they haven't heard of the brand previously, a quick online search would indicate how high-end those are. I think that would be potentially awkward if you DON'T want them to know how much you spend on your accessories.
  14. I have Longchamp handbags for exactly this reason. Classic, chic & understated.

    I also have a black toile Hermes Garden Party that I find fits the same purpose. I work in government, so I agree it's tasteless to look to rich or too flashy as I come into contact with lots of people who struggle just to make ends meet. I wear my less flashy bags out of respect for them.
  15. ^ But that doesn't mean I don't love my Fendi & Chanel bags!!!