Few pieces in fashion feel as personal as a bag. With so many options — crossbodies, satchels, baguettes, buckets — and textiles, whether glittering, beaded, matte, or patent, they represent something larger than your typical accessory. To Jennifer Lopez, a purse is an extension of who she is; for Meghan Markle, it symbolizes women’s modern power. Blake Lively finds the essence of her style and the very “magic of her femininity” tucked within their compartments, and Carrie Bradshaw? She sums up the fashion staple’s power in Sex and The City so poignantly it’s almost poetic: “It’s just a little bag, but we’d feel naked in public without it.”
That’s why it sometimes feels like the pressure is on while shopping for a handbag. Plenty of things come into play when touring around for a new tote, like choosing from a bolder style or something classic for everyday wear. Springtime textures like tweed and wicker stand up against monochromatic carryalls to parade around come fall, while poppy pink baguettes will make you long for an eternal summer. And not to mention, handbags can come at a hefty price point, an investment always worth considering. That said: Picking the perfect handbag is like choosing a life partner, except, let’s face it, you’ll probably have your bag by your side way more often.
So, while the stakes are high, we’ve collected options from high to low price points that will indicate your style. Scroll on to find novelty sizes, playful silhouettes, clean lines, and rich leather from our favorite brands this year.
Bucket sacks in raffia leather to sport with crepe mini dresses, top-handled straw basket bags for summer jaunts abroad, and canvas totes for your next pickleball tournament. The heritage silhouettes of Tory Burch’s brand remain (along with their iconic double T logo, appearing on lock-and-key hardware and charms). Still, these new and exciting releases put a spin on their preppy and timeless design, making some feel youthful and spirited while others appear mature and refined. ICYMI — their Italian leathered Lee Radziwill Bag, a layered bag that unfolds like a trench coat’s collar, has even been compared to the Hermès Birkin because of its similar structure. So, whether you’re looking for a poppy cherry-colored shoulder bag, a mini top-handle satchel, or a woven jacquard textured statement piece, each handbag is ideal for any occasion and is meticulously crafted, whether it’s in detailed stitching or delicate leather. They’ll also run you anywhere from $250 to $800, a reasonable pricepoint for versatile and functional handbags that won’t only last through the seasons but for years to come.
Founded in 2013, Mansur Gavriel began with two iconic shapes: A bucket bag and a tote. Since then, the brand’s ubiquitous designs have grown — appearing on the shoulders of celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Katie Holmes, and Taylor Swift and in fun and exciting styles like their nostalgic, rectangular shoulder bags and knotted clutches. Chances are, you’ve seen a bag by the designer but couldn’t place them; that’s because the label exudes that quiet luxury feel everyone on your FYP is talking about right now. There are no logos, hardware, or major signifiers, but that’s what makes Mansur Gavriel so special. Their handbags are the ultimate cool-girl closet staple because of their simplified design. Instead, their delectable Italian vegetable-leathered purses have interiors painted with vibrant shades, and their signature M-framed baguette is a structured shape that you’ll start to notice everywhere once it’s brought to your attention. Each option from the brand is a stylish statement worth the investment, but if you can’t find a true match for your wardrobe, don’t worry: The brand introduces seasonal color releases to pair with the season, stunning in every shade of burgundy to bright blue.
Dange Dover is the ultimate practical, sport-inspired handbag brand. The label makes the ideal “anywhere, anytime” bag, with a variety of simple and durable backpacks, duffles, and fanny packs that make your days just a little easier. Some of our favorites include their puffed nylon shoulder bag made of vegan materials (voted our best shoulder bag, FYI) and their neoprene diaper backpack for new parents. Each bag has an element of ease to it — whether it be the diaper bag that clips easily to a stroller or the water-proof backpacks with adjustable, roomy pockets. They’re also conscious in more ways than just one, offering an eco-friendly line of carryalls and totes in recycled material that we think would compliment your next airport fit since their bags flawlessly combine fashion with functionality.
You might’ve shopped Reformation for their linen midis and smocked tanks, but once you’ve laid your eyes on their newly released bag collection (and yes — we mean new, as in spring of this year), you’ll have the answer to that internal debate of, “Do I really need a new bag?” Spoiler alert: The answer is yes. Because while Reformation has been long known for its wedding guest attire, ultra-feminine blouses, and vintage-inspired denim, launching its first-ever Ref bag will make you wonder how the label had ever gone without a bag collection. Reformation’s purses are fully recyclable, on track with their sustainable “timeless, not trendy” clothing mission, creating trendy bags that remains antithetical to fast fashion — a huge feat, considering how hard it is sometimes to separate the two. They range in price from $248 to $698 and come in 20 shape options with plenty of colorways, including flashes of metallic and champagne leathers.
As a mid-tier luxury brand, Staud offers more affordable bag options than your regular luxury label. And like their price range, generally, their sizes are mid-ranged, making them the go-to night out bag or the ideal “just-right” bag, AKA a bag that is neither cumbersome (or rather— ludicrously capacious) nor micro-mini. Find casual and elevated options in retro shapes that can be comfortably tucked on the shoulder, in lively prints and surprising colorways. One of their most popular styles — the Tommy Bag, a cult favorite — has been sauntered by celebs like Kendall Jenner. It comes in playful beaded rainbows, rodeo swirls, and Italian-Girl Summer-inspired citruses. But, if quieter bags are more your style, there are plenty to peruse on their site: Sage green suedes, earthy jewel tones, and — our personal favorite — a tobacco-colored crescent that resembles Ralph Lauren’s half-moon bag at a much softer price point.
Cuyana’s off-duty, travel, and occasion handbags are a must-have for those seeking both practicality and versatility in one piece. While some turn to the sustainable brand for refined classics like charmeuse robes and washable silks, their handbag selection carries on with a similar spirit of timelessness and ease. Their Easy Tote proves it, a correctly named carryall that’s as uncomplicated as it is durable, with a tagline that says it’s “designed to go anywhere.” And we think that sentiment applies to all of their handbags — whether it’s their smooth and slim messenger or overnight luggage and backpacks. Each is made from Italian leather and recycled materials and has intentional pockets and compartments, meaning they are conscious of both creation and utility. Plus, that means they’re great for on-the-go mothers, busy work commuters, or those who love to indulge in a retail therapy session post-brunch.
Kate Spade’s brand has long been synonymous with fun — bold prints, floral appliques, and vibrant modernist pieces make up pretty much the entire collection. Each handbag is a colorful celebration, much like the ready-to-wear clothing from the label. The playful color palette and designs are what make their bags so great. Think to yourself: Where else could I find a high-quality bag shaped like a clementine (… or a crab or a croissant)? Their shoulder bags and satchels include that childlike dreaminess that doesn’t have to go away in adulthood just because you’ve gotten older. If you’re looking for something a little less avante garde, though, there are many options too, from well-constructed top handle bags in primary colors to cross-bodies in muted suedes. All pieces are also at a reasonable price point — going for around $140-380.
This Keoren label, helmed by designer duo Sungeun Um and Soonyoung Kim, is one to know. Each handbag draws inspiration from contemporary art, and in particular, from dance. They’re the ideal blend of heritage and modern, delivering pops of tangerine and frog green in their color palate in classic shape offerings. One of their most popular designs is a mini strapped hobo with a crackled texture and an adjustable strap that will accentuate an outfit and elevate it too. And it’s reasonably priced, too — the bag will run you about $250, which is a similar price point to their others. Still, no matter your shape choice, because of the art influence, each bag is a dance through the decades: wide-strapped 70s-inspired tan bags, 90s denim. You can find the brand on their site, but also in any major retailers like Nordstrom, Moda Operandi, and Bloomingdale’s.
No other fashion revival feels as talked about and praised as Coach. Their ‘It Bag’ status of the early 2000s had them under the arms of celebs like Brittney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Ashley Tisdale, a distinctive “CC” logo glittering in spotlights, both figuratively and literally. And while the early aughts solidified its spot as a top bag brand, the late 2010s through early 2020s have seen Coach undergo a remarkable transformation and resurgence in the fashion world. Their Tabby Bag (a reimagined shoulder bag from their archival 1970s collection) arguably skyrocketed the brand back into the center of the fashion sphere. The bag is a beautiful mix of b both classic and modern elements and is available in smooth and pillowy, squeezable leather, and — talk about a throwback — opaque jelly. Each bag category, though, no matter the shape or size, feels reminiscent of the old Coach but with a reinvigorated edge; the quality and the accessible pricepoint remain, but something new and exciting in their designs occurs every time.
If there’s one thing Carolina Santo Domingo does best, it’s creating a bag that makes someone stop you in the street and ask you, “Where did you get that?” Each purse is structural and luxe, whether in premium Italian leather or hand-woven straw styles, which makes them feel like an elevated and minimal-minded staple. Each shape is as interesting as the high-quality material is luxurious — they’re the type of bag doing something fresh, something unseen, from your typical shoulder bag. A standout piece is their Ostra bag, loosely inspired by the delicate shape of an oyster, which is a slanted moon bag with a tubular leather design that comes in two sizes, large and mini. Other exciting pieces include their cork tote, a hobo-style shoulder bag in a slouchy rectangular silhouette, and their wave raffia bag, an asymmetrical, ruffled shoulder moment.
For an edgier vibe, try Yuzefi — a lust-worthy, emerging London-based label founded in 2016 by Naza Yousefi. Their handbags are designed with those in mind who are seeking a well-made bag with an unconventional touch. Yousefi, having a background in ready-to-wear design, and commissioning for big industry names like Hedi Slimane (the Art Director of Céline, NBD), took her understanding of luxury products and applied it to her bag brand. The outcome was flawless. With creative constructions that shape without conventional joints or stitching, Yousefi produces a clean-lined shape at a contemporary price. Standouts include a knotted bag cheekily dubbed the Pretzel in a crackled, metallic leather and an irregularly shaped swirl tote.
Shop according to your handbag color preference at Boyy Boutique, and you’ll find rectangular, calfskin totes with shiny buckled belts — the brand’s signature style and motif — in poppy colors, but the unique designs don’t stop there. Founded in 2006 by designers and husband-and-wife duo Jesse Dorsey and Wannasiri Kongman started with the intention of creating distinctive yet timeless handbags. And that’s exactly what they’ve accomplished. Their designs are reminiscent yet entirely new, modern but simultaneously classic. They’re one to opt-in on when you’re feeling fatigued by designer labels and are at a reasonable price point for a mid-tier luxury brand, with their saddles and pouches running you anywhere from $630-$850. Boyy frequently pops up on The Real Real and Vestiaire Collective, too.
With the quality and aesthetics of luxury brands like The Row and Khaite, without the exorbitant price tags, Aesther Ekme’s collection is a minimalist’s dream. They’re a contemporary Scandinavian label offering bags with intricate and sculptural silhouettes. Each look remains cohesive and refined, though they provide an array of styles, from sleek clutches to slouchy totes. Some of their most popular handbags include their Demi Lune shoulder bag, a thick-trapped crescent-shaped bag in smooth calf leather, and the Sac, a structured carry-all tote with a spacey interior and a super-convenient pocket made to fit a 13’inch laptop— perfect for work commutes. No matter your style choice, each bag is crafted with graded leather in muted, earthy tones, making each piece look as sophisticated and polished as they feel.
It felt like you couldn’t refresh your Instagram without seeing Polène’s curvaceous equestrian-inspired bag pop up on the arm of an influencer or propped up on the lap of that person you follow who is well-versed in all things fashion this year. But just because the bag was everywhere, doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve to be: In fact, their Numéro Dix (the name of that circular half-moon you’ve coveted through photos) earns all the hype it receives. Not only is the feeling of their handbags so high quality with their smooth calfskin leather and gorgeous textiles, but each bag is made to last in your closet because you’ll also want to wear it season after season. The brand’s claim to fame might be the Numéro Dix, still some other popular styles include the Cyme, a largely oversized canvas tote lined with Italian leather, and the Umi, a 90s-inspired baguette with a removable crossbody strap.
Touted by celebs like Kaia Gerber and Hailey Bieber, By Far is a brand lusted after by both celebrities and fashion editors for its retro and vintage-inspired accessories. When twin sisters Sabrina and Valentina and their best friend, Denitsa, launched the brand in 2016, their mission was to create distinct pieces that adapt to modern life; unknowingly, creating a label that is so in the zeitgeist, it has rapidly become a cult-favorite. Talk about a job well done. And when they entered the bag market in 2018, in collaboration with the luxury fashion retailer Net-A-Porter, it was immediately picked up. Their bags were so well-received because of the familiarity they brought with them: designs as sleek as their shoes and a price tag as wallet-friendly as theirs. Each purse is priced at around $200-450 and has interesting features like patent leather, pillowy silhouettes, and lustrous curved lines. Plus, they come in magnetic colors like shiny iridescent magentas and dreamy baby blues.
Why Shop With Us
Philadelphia-based freelance writer Morgan Sullivan has written for multiple publications, including Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue, and Glamour, focusing mainly on beauty and fashion. For this piece, she tested and reviewed the best handbag brands on the market with intention and thorough research.