Basic handbag wardrobe

Inky Paws

Oct 19, 2005
I've seen a thread about what the basic colors are but not what the basic handbags are. What do all you experts say?

I just started getting into handbags and can't buy a new one every week as it seems most of the ladies do. With only wanting to buy 1 designer bag per season (4 per year) what would you say would be the basics. I think the reasons that I had'nt been a purse person before was because I wanted one bag to fit and fulfill every need! I'd like quality within reason, meaning $1,000 or less. I see these purses as an investment that I will use for the next 10 to 20 years and not just the purse of the month. How do you know what you will still like and will be fashionable then?

Thanks in advance for all of your insight and suggestions!


The original Iluvbags
Oct 18, 2005
That's a great question. i don't thik any of us have the "perfect" answer but I can tell you what i do.

I try to stick to only timeless, classic bags that I can carry anytime with anything for a long long time So, with that being said ....(I'm speaking for myself)

1. I dont buy trendy colors. Although there are some gorgeous bags out there in wonderful colors I try to stay away from them because a year or two from now they may look outdated or easily identifiable as "that bag that was popular back in '04 or whenever"
I think the only color bag that I would buy is a red one. Its a classic color and could easily be used year after year. Purples, greens, teals, etc., I admire from afar but stay away from.

2. I don't buy seasonal fabric bags. Wool bags, carpet bags, fur none of them. I would only wear those in the winter therefore they are not versitile enough for me to splurge on. ATLHOUGH I MUST ADMIT THAT I'VE SEEN A FEW OF THESE CALF HAIR BAGS THAT ARE TO DIE FOR!! I may end up buying one, but not an expensive one. Those bags are in this season and will probalby look outdated in a year or so. thats why i would not spend too much for them

3. I buy only classic shapes. I try to stay away from weird funky shapes and patters. Too trendy.

4. I prefer leather bags or treated canvas (such as LV). Like you mentioned if I spend a butt load of money on a bag it better last me for years and years. I find that only real leather and treated canvas stand the test of time for me. I don't really care for those fabric Coach bags either. they are pretty but I've seen some really dingy ones that looked really bad. They pick up dirt too easily. A bag like that I couldnt carry in 3 or 4 years. it would be too dirty.

I hope that helps. these are some rules that work for me. i'm sure some of these other great ladies have some good pointers too. Feel free to drop me a line if you have any other questions:biggrin:


I Bleed Georgia Red
Oct 18, 2005
i tend to agree with most of what iluvbags said, particularly about colored bags and the coach bags picking up dirt. i love my black mini signature coach hobo, it's stood the test of time exceptionally well, but i have a lime green mini signature coach card carrier, and it looks super dingy after only a few months' use. it's only $40, so buying another one isn't a big deal, but i'll only ever buy coach bags in dark colors now.

as far as trendy bags...just don't go overboard. like this season, a few studs or grommets is ok, but that prada bag that's covered in them is going to look super dated in about 15 minutes (i already hate it). if a bag is well made, you can wear it with more than two types of outfit (it can be dressed up or down, etc), and it's not covered in a trend like the aforementioned prada, then it's a staple. everyone's will be different because of different lifestyles, etc. but those are probably the rules i would use.

if you want to follow a trend, go with something cheap. under $200. you'll look of-the-moment and you won't regret it in two months when it's over. there's nothing wrong with bags that aren't super expensive, as long as you like them.


Sep 20, 2005
As far as a basic handbag for me , it would have to be a hobo stlyed leather bag . It would be priced between 50 to 300 dollar. Something that will last ( with me beating it up ). I would stay in the regular colors of basic black or brown. I wouldnt depend on the "it" to be a basic


The original Iluvbags
Oct 18, 2005
you can't go wrong with a basic hobo. i have one that I bought from Banana Republic about 5 years ago and it still looks as if i bought it yesterday. The leather looks better with age. i don't know what their stuff is like now but a few years ago they had great leather bags. Their stuff is always classic


MCM is bae!
Oct 10, 2005
I had the Italian leather bamboo strap bag from BR and let me tell ya it wasnt worth diddly squat! It broke in about a week so I had to drive back to Clear Lake and that one broke in a matter of days! It pissed me off bcuzz it was my 1st credit card purchase from them and I'm still paying off the sucker! I was looking at their new Bloomsbury collection but I don't know-twice bitten.....


Oct 8, 2005
I always make sure I have at least one bag with a good sturdy shoulder strap... I don't mind carrying a handbag to the store, but when one is traipsing around the mall for hours, it gets kind of tiresome to hold a purse and shopping bags!


Sep 13, 2005
Basics of Basic bags that will be worn everyday...

1) Black (it matches everything, once you've gotten enough of black go with colors that match most of your wardrobe)

2) Designer decor should be subtle (avoid huge designer logos everywhere on the bag. I suggest (as you said under $1000) a LV - Epi line. You can impress the ones you want to (close friends & family) and be passed by unwanted ones (strangers with sticky fingers). This is for a BAG that will be worn everyday in any kind of situation of course! LOL Hey I'm just being practical, stuff like that happens.

3) Sturdy, avoid sensitive materials or easily stained materials like suede. (Especially when the suede is lightly colored, it attracts dirt EASILY).

4) Looks good on you (Not too big ; Not too small to be impractical).

5) Aim high. Since your budget is $1000, get a designer bag that you love. There are some $1000 Chanel bags out there (small of course), and alot of LV bags under $1000.