There are so many brands of handbags available in so many price ranges, that choosing a quality handbag can be a confusing endeavor. However, choosing the best handbag should rest on your personal needs, wants, and your budget–remember at the end of the day, it is not what you pay, but what works best for you. You do not have to sacrifice quality for price. By doing some savvy shopping, you can always find a bag that looks good and meets your needs.
How to choose a quality handbag
Should you purchase a designer, name brand or lesser known brand?
The brand of handbag you purchase depends on how your situation. For example, if you are in a job where your appearance gives the impression that you are financially successful and in tune with fashion, purchasing a couple of neutral colored high quality designer bags would be an investment. Properly cared for, the bags will last a lifetime and never go out of style. A fashion buyer, public relations professional, executive sales person, marketing manager, or any executive might fall into this category. You might also fall in this category if you simply want the best that money can buy.
A name brand handbag or designer bag that has a reputation for durability might be the choice for someone who has a busy lifestyle, and needs a bag that can be carried for many different occasions. A well-made leather bag in black or brown with eye catching metal accents and trim can go from the boardroom, to shopping, to an after school soccer match, and handle the stress of a few small toys being stuffed into it during play dates. Good quality dark colored leather will hide scratches, miniscule nicks and soil.
The best handbags can usually be purchased at department stores such as Nordstrom and specialty stores. To save money, designer bags can also sometimes be found for or less than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price at factory outlets, clearance sales, and off-price retailers.
Signs of a Quality Bag
A quality handbag will be well made and durable. Look for the following to be sure that quality is top notch:
- Cell phone pockets should be the correct size. Cheap purses sometimes undersize the pockets.
- Stitching will be clean and non-frayed.
- Look for thick, clean leather.
- Closures should work smoothly and easily.
- A good bag will have a good liner made of heavier material, and the best handbags will come with a dust bag for storage.
- Metal materials last longer. Look for metal zippers and closures. They look classy and won’t break the way plastic will.
- High quality purses usually have extra and interesting detail, such us unique hardware or artistic stitching.
- Consider choosing a bag with feet. Metal or leather feet on a bag will help prevent it from scuffs from setting it on tables and the floor.
Consider Off Brands For Trendy Styles
If you like the latest fashion in handbags, but have a limited budget, consider spending less since the bag might go out of style. However, you can still get a quality cheaper handbag if you shop around. In many off price stores, you can find bags in the $25 – $50 dollar range that have the look of higher end bags. Finding the best handbags in this price range means that you can stretch your options and get an upscale designer look for less. By purchasing quality bags that cost less, you can find colors and styles to match shoes, and special occasion dresses. This may be the avenue to take if you regularly attend attend parties, church, and other social functions. Teenagers who often like changing bags as new trends emerge also benefit from purchasing lower cost handbags. Baghaus is a good source for trendy, more affordable bags, as is YesStyle, which retails top Asian brands. I have picked up several very high quality bags from YesStyle that were rather affordable and quite unique. I truly love their goods.
Budget Crunch? Consider Purchasing Gently Used Bags
Another option for getting that bag of your dreams, is to search for gently used bags. You can look for bags at consignment or thrift stores or shop at Bag Borrow or Steal, where you can find designer bags both new and used at great prices, or you can check out their rental program. You might be surprised at what you will find for a fraction of the price of retail bags. One word of caution—be wary of designer handbags on eBay, many (or even most) are fakes.
About the Author: Carleen Coulter