Very durable bag to start my collection? (long)


Jan 3, 2013
New Orleans, LA
I am new to the forums and have been learning by reading some of the threads about everyone's favorite/best value/most underrated bags and am looking for some expert advice on choosing a handbag to start my collection. In the past, I have shopped department store sales and sometimes found bags that were a good value and sometimes wasted my money. I am fortunate to be in a position to afford a well-made bag (not "buy Hermes" position but most others) but I am not sure how to spend my money wisely.

I would like to start with an everyday bag. I'm a working mom of four and for my first designer bag I would like something that can take regular, daily wear and still look good and last for years-something really durable. My friend who is a LV fan raves about their monogram canvas bags but I'm just not a monogram kind of woman (although I like the Mahinas, Antheias, Epis and PMs).

Any suggestions about a brand or bag that would be a good investment (I won't sell it, just use it lovingly for years)? My tastes run toward simplicity and clean lines, not heavy on metals and embellishments and not monograms. I usually prefer under the radar as opposed to flashy but live in a small town so most people won't recognize designers anyway. I'm learning that I like the looks of Coccinelle, Moynat, Celine, Chanel, Mulberry, Tod's, MBMJ, Tory Burch and other classic styles. I'm not opposed to lower price points-just looking for quality. I would like a shoulder bag that's reasonably comfortable to carry, mid-sized and not heavy.

Any tips/ideas/suggestions will be most appreciated. I just hope I can manage to not go overboard with handbags. Some of them are so gorgeous!


Aug 15, 2012
How about Ferragamo Sofia? My first designer bag, which I picked out after thinking along the same lines as you.

Love it!


Jan 16, 2012
Well I would suggest Bottega Veneta. Their styles are classy and timeless (understated elegance), all hand made with the best leather (same leather supplier as Hermes) and very lightweight. Their most iconic bags are the veneta, roma and cabat. I own 2 venetas and think they are great.

Another good option is Prada saffiano totes (timeless as well), bn2274 is the perfect size, clean lines, structured and durable with a detachable shoulder strap.

YSL mini cabas chyc (another timeless bag) is another good tote option also with a detachable strap and clean lines/structured. HTH


adopt a shelter pet!
Sep 7, 2010
Boston Strong!
Hi NewbieMom, and welcome to tPF! I'm sure you will soon be flooded with recommendations. Brands that come to mind with the words "durable" and "clean-lined with an absence of logos:"

- Bottega Veneta (I don't have one -- yet -- but the women on that sub-forum are bonkers for how the leather wears, as well as the lack of hardware and simplicity of design;
- Prada (the Saffiano Lux line has come in for some criticism for quality issues lately, but overall, very durable. The Vitello Daino leather is less flashy and also wears well.
- Celine. Again, I don't have one but the leather is top notch. No logos, although the luggage design is pretty recognizable at this point.
- Chloe. I have the medium Marcie, and have been pleasantly surprised at how well this has worn. I've had it for a year and while it hasn't been worn constantly, I have not gone easy on this bag and it still looks new. Another plus is it has a detachable cross-body strap, so it's versatile.
- Hermes. I know you said this was out of your price range, but the All-leather Garden Party tote is the ultimate in simple, classic design and the leather will take whatever you can dish out. And if it gets worn, you can send it to Hermes spa for refreshing.

Hope this helps! Let us know what you end up with.


Mar 27, 2006
Not where I'd like to be
I love Tod's hobos and totes. Their leathers are great and the construction and craftsmanship of their bags is beautiful and will last years. Another option is the aforementioned Bottega Veneta. I would look at their cervo hobos. They are incredibly lightweight and just gorgeous!


May 23, 2009
G-orgeous H-eaven
I would def make sure whichever company you buy the bag from has a good aftercare service and is primarily a leather goods brand and not a fashion house with an accessories range.

Primarily I would also suggest BV, it sounds like there would be so much choice for you

Gucci plain leather bags stand up to the strain of everyday


A GP or GM Evelyne from Hermes

I have YSL and Prada, I don't particularly see either brand as durable although stylish and the Prada triangle is annoying on the outside of the bag for me.

Tods are also great, as are Loewe (Loewe now sold on NAP)


Jan 23, 2012
It all depends on the leather. IMO thick pebbled leather is more durable. I also highly recommend spraying (repeatedly) with Apple Garde. Demin transfer comes off my light colored Givenchy relatively easily because of this, I think.


lettin' them have it
Nov 29, 2010
Fendi 2Jour medium with a shoulder strap. Tough saffiano leather


The Gimme-Queen
Nov 29, 2010
DCA via the DMV via NGA
I have to second the Bottega Veneta recommendations. I'd also add Givenchy because they have leather that is durable. A good friend purchased a Givenchy (we believe it is some version of the Tinhan). It is a hobo, and expandable. She swears by this bag. I also own a Givenchy piece that I love and can attest to the durability (it only developed a scratch last summer on account of my hubby throwing it into the trunk, which had travel stuff and golf clubs).

Best of luck with whatever you ultimately choose.


Feb 21, 2012
Speedy LV Damier if you don't like the monogram.
It's waterproof, roomy, no maintenance, durable, lightweight.
The perfect bag at a reasonable price compared to other brands....


Jan 3, 2013
New Orleans, LA
Thanks to you all for the helpful posts-you guys are great! I'm noticing a couple of recurring suggestions and some of them are bags that are very new to me. I am going to make a trip to our closest high-end store (Saks) to touch and feel. I will also be in Chicago next month and that will be a good place to see some things that I might not find close to home.

Also, I appreciate the tip on the Apple Garde and am going to look into it.


K in a circle
Aug 29, 2006
Bottega Veneta is the first brand that gets my vote.
Give a look also to Hermes Eveline or Victoria, or Saint Laurent new Duffle bag.


Aug 31, 2007
The two most used bags in my collection are a Reed Krakoff black leather hobo and a Proenza Schouler PS1 Travel bag. Both are sturdy and durable bags. The travel bag is a bit heavy, but the regular PS1s are pretty light.


Jan 10, 2013
I would like a shoulder bag that's reasonably comfortable to carry, mid-sized and not heavy.

Any tips/ideas/suggestions will be most appreciated. I just hope I can manage to not go overboard with handbags. Some of them are so gorgeous!
I would suggest an LV neverfull in the damier print for a first designer bag. its really simple and light, the straps are surprisingly durable, and if your taste/style evolves into something completely different, you will always have a use for a simple tote bag for beaches or shopping or traveling.

And you get the added bonus of carrying a high end piece without huge monograms. :greengrin: :greengrin: :greengrin: :greengrin: :greengrin: :greengrin:


Feb 13, 2007
Of the bags I've owned (the whole gamut from Coach/ColeHaan to Chanel) the ones that have really stood the test of time for me are Ferragamo, Longchamp (their leather bags are well made, lightweight, well-organized), and surprisingly, Marni. I have a couple of 5 year-old Marnis that still look new.