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More fashion: favorite handbag/purse designers?

6 years ago

I spend far too much of my life looking for the Perfect Bag. I have a small cabinet full of them, and I am like Goldilocks: this one is too big, this one is too small, this one is too heavy, this one is too boring, this one has handles that are too long/short, this one looks like my mother's...

I don't like a formal, stiff purse. My style is casual and sort of eclectic, I guess. A friend tells me I look artsy -- my clothes are boring but I wear arty jewelry and I like interesting jackets and scarves. And I like a bag that doesn't look like everyone else's. Oh, and I don't like big designer tags/emblems/names emblazoned on the outside.

Ideally, I like a bag that is somewhere around 10" wide/high, shoulder straps, at least one exterior pocket for phone/keys. And not heavy! I love the look of Frye bags but they weigh a ton.

I just ordered this bag from Sundance but I don't know if all the straps will be annoying or not. Or it might be too heavy. I like the texture of it, and I'm kinda liking the idea of brown for fall. I have no brown bags so I'm branching out. Or, I'd love to find a dark red or burgundy color.

Anyone else obsessed with bags? Found any good ones lately? I have about 8 bags in my cart on Zappos but I'm waiting to see the one I ordered. I'm also going to the Berkshires (MA) in a couple of weeks, maybe I'll find something there in a shop.

Comments (91)

  • 6 years ago

    Funky...I found the Everly online at Nordstrom Rack. Just ordered it and the Shira bag. Woo hoo! Thanks!

  • 6 years ago

    Sue, what a fun cardigan! Yes, I know about floppy bags...the orange TB is canvas and I usually put a tshirt in it.

    Pal, you are right. I recall a friend of mine long ago commenting; if the knockoffs are easy to do (he was talking about Prada nylon backpacks) then maybe the original isn't all that.

    Did I ever come back and tell my LV jewelry tale? Thanks to amex, and NOT LV, i got a full credit for DD1s necklace and DD2s earrings, AND got to keep them both.

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  • 6 years ago

    Finally somebody that understands! I thought it was something wrong with me. I too have been looking for the perfect bag. Unlike most here, I like a heavy leather bag, Frye happens to be a favorite right now.



  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I like kind of ridiculous bags: old Chanel quilted, Hermes Kelly, vintage Mark Cross and the discreet Mark Cross purse overnight bag Grace Kelly carried in Rear Window. More accessible: Pre-1990s Coach, and Pre-1990s Etienne Aigner Heritage bags.

  • 6 years ago

    And frame bags from before 1970

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks Mtn & Funky. I'm going to try and use the black one occasionally this winter. What sort of put me over the edge for buying it was I saw a youtube video of someone with the same bag and I fell in love with it. I liked how it looked on them. Then I was all,"I need a black bag! I don't have a black bag. Must have that one!" It's just one of those things where I almost feels like the bag wears me.

  • 6 years ago

    Shee, it may just need the right outfit.. I know there were some bags I've had that worked best with a more structured or striking outfit.

  • 6 years ago

    Pal, I was just picking out an outfit for a dressy business occasion, and my 14 yo totally nixed my quilted Chanel briefcase(?)/tote. I think it might be the color (mustard) which i chose so it would go w navy and black, but prob is just equally ugly with both

  • 6 years ago

    I have been a very good girl with respect to not buying many handbags lately and I lost some weight and I can't think of another excuse, though I should find one, but here is my latest splurge from Valextra. It is the perfect tote. I promise to not buy another handbag until Christmas :-)


  • 6 years ago

    Oh, that's pretty, Rita.

    I also like the look of the Everly bag but (again, I have issues) I don't think it's quite deep enough. In the winter months we go to a lot of gymnastics meets for my DD and I like to be able to throw a water bottle and snack in my bag along with my other usual junk.

    Or sometimes I revert back to my small Kate Spade crossbody that I have in 2 colors and toss that plus my "extras" in a larger tote, which is still an option but...you know, it's Sept and I need back to school clothes/bags...

  • 6 years ago

    BTW this for me has been the perfect small bag -- this is the one I have in 2 colors (not this color, but black and a taupey gray).

    And if anyone cares, this is my favorite source for fun tote bags. I have 2 from her. I've used them as everyday bags too but they're just a hair too big for that, for me.

  • 6 years ago

    Rita, shame on you for introducing me to that gorgeous brand! Yowza

  • 6 years ago

    I really like Michael Kors, Coach, and Etienne Aigner bags. The problem right now is that the older I have become, the heavier these bags are to carry. Therefore, my last two purchases have been smaller bags by Coach and Michael Kors. Never dreamed I would be giving up on the larger bags. I still have them and will occasionally use them when I need a bag with more room.

  • 6 years ago

    Lynn, yes, the DB I pictures is a bit in the heavy side. But it's so soft and roomy I deal with it, especially when we travel since I can tuck my iPad inside if needed.

    Funky, I was trying to recall the brand I saw in a store in the spring that I really liked. It was Hammitt, so thanks! I think. I was shopping for a dressier small bag at the time so didn't buy either, but I may revisit a purchase for the fall since I'm carrying more cross-body bags now.

    Shee, I really like the fossil bag you posted too. They seem to really have stepped up their designs lately. My DGD likes a lot of their bags.

  • 6 years ago

    Too many bags? Perfect bag? I never have enough and every one I carry is perfect. It's hard to change out now that they all are nicely dust bagged. Out of sight and all that. I've 'Konmaried' them 3x in the past year and have gone from about 35' of bags to 14' of slightly squished bags.

    I like slouchy speedy type bags but handles long enough to go over shoulder or a cross body strap is a plus. Rebecca Minkoff Morning After, LV speedy, vintage Coach satchel in light weight leather. Then there are the perfect small totes, Furla Gretel, Kate Spade Kitten. Then that le sport sac purple paisley hobo that comes out for travel. It goes with anything somehow and fits everything. Then I adore the LV Alma shape and have every Coach Sonoma Satchel 4921 color as well as a couple Almas.

    Agree about heavy, most are light weight. Another irritating thing is a bag that looks a good size but actually cannot carry much. Also bags hard to get into like LV epi speedys. Those criteria mean no more Dooneys. So fun to look at, so annoying to use. Not just the AWL, the coated canvas and cabriolet are ridiculously heavy.

    My favorite cosmetic bag is a triple zip from le sport sac. The actual bags I've seen with triple zips haven't cut it. Yet. Such a great idea.

  • 6 years ago

    ..Longchamp, Liebeskind, and US-made Brahmin. At least that's what I remember by heart:)

    I like to have just a few(even better one lol-I just can't find anything ideal anymore), to have them as long as I can, and I'm not into structured ones..I like hobos, and choose mostly these. Unless it's something for traveling, or occasion(small purse)..

    I do buy on eBay if I see what I like

    say my Longchamps(except for the perfect travel tote) they're from eBay. wouldn't be able to afford them otherwise.

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I like big bags for everyday use – which I refer to as the Mothership. When I'm going out to dinner or a bar, I'll downsize to a small crossbody, AKA the Shuttle.

  • 6 years ago

    During Nordstrom's annual sale I bought and then returned a Longchamp leather Le Pliage Cuir. I love the softness of the leather and only weighs .9 lbs.

    Yet it was frustrating since it lacked the little things that make a bag really useful.

    It could be the perfect bag if they'd only make it to my specifications - a longer crossbody strap, larger handles, an exterior pocket on the back just large enough for a cell phone or tickets. I could easily live with the fact that the interior is just one large space - I could always add a small purse organizer.

    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/longchamp-le-pliage-cuir-leather-handbag/3379820?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLACK

    When I was at the King of Prussia Longchamp store the sales manager said everyone complains about the same things and that last year Longchamp surveyed the top ranking US stores to find out what customers wanted. He said he didn't really think they'd change their iconic bags but might include those features in newer bags.


  • 6 years ago

    Oh boy oh boy...

  • 6 years ago

    My favorite is a crossover bag by Radley -- I got my first one in black because of a trip to Italy and it was just the right size. I fell in love and now have my second one. The first has a little "patina" but is still usable. I may add a colored one next year so I can rotate the three.

  • 6 years ago

    April..love some of the features of Liebeskind but couldn't find Perfection in any of their offerings this time. They have a particular gray leather that's so pretty.

    Maire, love that bag too -- but my customizations would include no short handle and one outside pocket. I have a different version of that bag that DH gave me. It's smallish, has only the hand strap, and instead of leather, it's a very bold patterned fabric (velvet). I used it for one winter, then put it in the cabinet to hang out with the other bags. I might use it for certain occasions but it's not an every day bag. For that price, IMO, it SHOULD be an every day bag.

    How often do you guys switch bags? I usually aim to have one primary bag for fall/winter, and one for spring/summer. Then a handful of "occasion" bags (for a night out or a vacation, for example). It rarely works out that way, I guess because I'm so fickle and can't find a bag that will keep me happy for two whole seasons in a row.

  • 6 years ago

    Oh Martha, I fell in love with Radley when I was in London in April! I hung out in the Radley display in a store forever. In the end, I couldn't make up my mind and left empty handed. Sigh. When I looked them up online, I couldn't drum up the same enthusiasm. I still have non-buyer's remorse.

  • 6 years ago

    Two winners! Need to decide -- might fill both with my stuff and see how each feels.

    Love this dark brown color, great interior pockets, and for some reason that grommet on the side makes me happy. Kinda wish it was maybe an inch bigger, but I think for my size (5'2") the scale is great.


    Love this chocolate-milk color too. And the strap detail. And ext. pockets on both sides. Interior is more spacious than the other bag, but I think I like the look of the first one better.

  • 6 years ago

    I have worked up to changing twice a year-- one primary spring bag, one primary fall bag. Like you, I will switch out for an arts fest or a special event or one particular outfit... but I find I am doing less and less of that since getting the thin profile crossbody. It really just *works* for me.

    My niece couldn't work this summer due to sports and travel schedules so she gathered a whole bunch of stuff for a garage sale so she could earn money for college-- she went through her closet/dorm room stuff and also my sister and I gave her a bunch of stuff to sell. There was a ridiculous number of really nice bags.. coach, leibeskind, cole haan, kate spade. Most barely used and in great condition .. all priced very well (none were over $40) Do you believe she didn't sell ONE. She did sell some old Vera Bradleys but she was all but giving them away. She hosted the garage sale at my house.. and I actually heard someone say that they must be counterfeit since we had so many! Clearly the woman doesn't know the search for the PERFECT bag!

  • 6 years ago

    LOL, Funky, people are crazy at tag sales. They think everything should be a dollar.

    Sue, Is that a crazy colorful lining on bag 1? Pretty!

    I switch bags all the time. I go into the office once a week so for that I carry a briefcase or something large enough to carry a folder. Other than that, I change with my outfit.

  • 6 years ago

    Mtn, yes, actually both bags have cute colorful linings. At the moment the second (Hobo brand) bag pictured above is the winner. I decided the straps on the other are too short. But the gray bag I ordered hasn't arrived yet so I'm not ripping off any tags yet.

    The Vera B bag is horrible. What looked like actual tweed (silly me) on my iPad is actually cotton with a tweed-esque print. NOT a good look.

    Um. I also have this sitting in my Etsy cart for a possible winter bag. Did I mention I have issues?

  • 6 years ago

    That's so sad about the purses at the garage sale! I had great luck and an estate sale person actually bought the bags in purge #2 before the sale for 10% off my asking prices because she took them ALL. Think something is counterfeit, sheesh. Anybody buying used needs to know what exactly to look for. I actually 'got' Kate Spade because of a fake. I'd seen it at the thrift for weeks and finally understood what the appeal was. The label was easily seen to be counterfeit but I started looking more closely at the brand. I've bought and sold a number of her designs and a couple are just IT for me.

    I dislike pockets on purses. Never remember which one holds what. Been using pouches instead for bits and pieces and use another to hold nylon shopping and produce bags. Bags inside a bag inside a bag!



  • 6 years ago

    Yeah, well her sale was a complete bust all over. I think it was just an unfortunate weekend. We have done well in the past (and had a blast) selling higher end stuff but this crowd wasn't having it lol!

    Sue, I adore that Harris Tweed bag (and the one you posted previously).. I am going to have to check them out. I feel the need for a funky plaid!

  • 6 years ago

    Well I am not in your league in that I don't collect bags at all, BUT I need to love the one I use (and I do not change bags unless for a super dressy event) ......well I spent a lot of time browisng this forum and somehow ended up really liking the Fossil Maya Hobo bag . Not sure if it was in someone's post or one of those "suggested " images that pop up based on what were were viewing?
    Anyway of course it list for $245 so I didnt love it that much but I really liked it.
    Today I went into Ross, and looked at their better bags and there was the Maya Hobo but in a blue. I happen to love blue (my favorite color) and I hemmed and hawed and decided to buy it and decide at home. The bag is great, it zippers closed which I MUST have and it also has a zipper compartment outside and long straps. I just cannot decide on the color. though, because I really don't want to have to change out bags for matching...In marine blue at nordstom off the rack but for the record at Ross is was 89. ( I see it's at the rack for 109.). Oh well. it doesnt appear quite as bright as in the photo, but that's the drawback.

  • 6 years ago

    You never know. I didn't think a purple paisley print would go with just about everything I own but it does. I never go for matching as I love my bags and want them to complement my outfit rather than blend in.

    Maybe find something approximately that color in your home and try it next to a bunch of your outfits. It is a beautiful color!

    I've been seeing a lot of really nice blues for a year or so and really want the Michael Kors Mercer dome in Electric Blue. I did as much trying on at the store as I could and loved it.

  • 6 years ago

    I never try to match my bag to my clothes. Most of the time at least in cooler months, if I'm walking around with a bag, I have a jacket on, so then I'd have to think about matching my bag to my coat too? Naaah.

    The exception is for formal events, obviously. Usually I carry a black or pewter clutch for those occasions.

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Sue, I like both bags and look forward to seeing the gray bag. My foyer is full of Zappo's boxes, all she returns (unfortunately!)

    I broke my Michael Kors streak when I purchased this bag by Marc Jacobs, but I did buy a Kors wallet to go with it.

    Front is the new Marc Jacobs bag with the MK wallet. Behind it is my spring/summer MK bag, which is much more structured than I am used to, but it has served me well. Then my workhorse MK tote for school. Behind that is my trusty Longchamp, which with an organizer (which I am too disorganized to find right now!) is my usual carry-on bag and my "go to Boston bag."

  • 6 years ago

    well after anguishing over and over, I decided that the marine blue was a tad too blue for my everyday use so it was returned today. I am now back in the market. Went IRL to Nordstrom Rack and back to TJMaxx and Ross and browsed some more. I am still using the black


  • 6 years ago

    I love Chanel. Love Dooney and Bourke for every day bags, although some are just too heavy. My favorite go-to Summer bag is my Dooney and Bourke. White leather with tan trim. Years old, but I still love it, and it's still so timely. My favorite fall and winter bag is a Marino Orlandi leather bag from Italy. Also years old, but so beautiful. I always get compliments on it. I'm not into trends when it comes to the purses I use or buy. Instead, I just look for what is beautiful and practical for me.

  • 6 years ago

    Sueb, the last 2 pictures you posted of the chocolate and tan bags - what brand are they? I like their looks.

  • 6 years ago

    Day 5. I have not bought a handbag.

  • 6 years ago

    Good, MtnRd. Stay strong :-)

  • 6 years ago

    I think I will buy one of those OSHA signs you tear off every day "_____ days without an accident" only I will cross that out and put "bag acquisition".

  • 6 years ago

    Ok.......I'm going to enable. Has anyone heard of Ora Delphine bags? I had almost forgotten this purchase until I was doing some closet rearranging yesterday.

    If I' m home in the mornings I'll often turn on The View for the political banter. Once a month or so they have View Your Deal specials on all kinds of items. I've actually purchased some Christmas gifts already.....bath gel, jewelry, etc....so easy.

    One day they were offering a $400 + Ora Delphine satchel for $85. I normally don't carry larger bags but do need one once in awhile. They looked nice and were such a deal so I bought one for myself and one for my DD for Christmas. I haven't used it yet but it does seem to be nice quality. I looked at their website and like the looks of their other bags as well. Prices are in the $100-$500 range.

    Happy shopping.....and sorry!


  • 6 years ago

    Little bug,

    this one? Hobo brand.

    or this one? Fossil brand.


    STILL waiting for the gray one. Maybe they're making it special just for me. This is a huge delay in the Zappos world!

  • 6 years ago

    Joanie, darnit. How cute is this Ora Delphine crossbody?

  • 6 years ago

    Very cute.....sorry Sue! I like several of their styles.

    Resist?! Resist?!

  • 6 years ago

    IS that a croissant fastener?!

  • 6 years ago

    The last arrival.

    It's cool looking in its own way -- more austere than the others, you might say. Heavier (empty) than expected. It's not me, so it's going back, but I could see someone else loving it. No lining, either, which I dislike. Oh, and it's also over $300.

    Sticking with the chocolate-milk colored Hobo bag! Will be switching over from my "summer" bag tonight even though it's going to be 85 degrees here tomorrow!?!

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    As someone who crams as much as possible into a wristlet, including my cell, (which I have in a shoulder strap cell cover thingy that holds my DL and one credit card), I cannot relate at ALL to this sisterhood. I often leave the wristlet in the trunk and just use the phone on a strap as my "purse". But you all are cracking me up.

  • 6 years ago

    I have been a fan of the Hobo bags for years, especially the spring and summer ones. They come in such nice colors. Now you all are making me "need" a new fall bag.

  • 6 years ago

    I like the bag Sue, but I think your plan to stick with the chocolate-milk Hobo bag is practical, mainly because it has a zipper closure. The gray bag is more of a tote and not as secure. Although I carry a tote and a handbag to school-and both are full!

    Joanie, I have never heard of Ora Delphine, but just looked them up. Very smart and tailored looking! (except for the croissant shaped closure....)

  • 6 years ago

    Bonnie, you're right -- I have a habit of throwing my bag on the floor of the car, or into the back seat if I have a passenger, and I've had stuff fall out of bags that aren't zippered.

    Thank you all for supporting me in my quest (or my obsession). Glad to see so many share my "issues"!

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    thanks, thanks a lot :) I am now going to look on ebay. I have found my perfect purse, wallet and laptop/work bag (backpack). They are coach.

    I carried them for about 10 years in brown (mahogany). since I used them daily they were kind of beat up by then and I decided I wanted to start using black. I found the exact bags, all three, in black, gently used, on ebay. it took some searching but I love them still. I think I need a back up though and as time goes on I am sure it will be harder to find. I need to set up my searches on ebay again!

  • 6 years ago

    Just to follow up...I ended up ordering the cute plaid bag from etsy and it arrived today. I'll use it when the weather is colder. Look how cute the lining is!


    Still enjoying my new fall "chocolate milk brown" bag but looking forward to a fun winter bag. :-)