Best Everyday Designer Bags to Wear for Any Occasion

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Buying a designer bag is a fairly substantial purchase, especially if it’s your first time taking the plunge. It may be less of an event if you’re blessed with a hefty disposable income, but even shoppers who have several bags in their collection like to carefully consider their next big splurge.

Statistics actually show that the luxury handbag market is booming, with major fashion conglomerates such as LVMH reporting a 27% increase in revenue. This may be attributed to the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Experiencing the lockdowns may have caused a psychological shift, as Christie Chung, professor of psychology at Northeastern University, explains. Faced with the reality that few things are certain, you may feel inclined to finally treat yourself and scoop up that accessory you’ve always dreamed of owning.

But how does one decide which type of bag to buy or which designer to choose? There are a few avenues you can explore to help narrow down your decision, and we want to help you navigate this tricky terrain.

How Do I Choose the Right Designer Bag?

There’s no specific formula for choosing a luxury bag. There may be one you’ve lusted over for years, but if you’re unsure, we have a variety of tips that could potentially provide some clarity. The most important thing is to consider your budget. You don’t want to buy a purse that will put you in serious debt, but you also don’t need to front the full cost immediately! Tons of luxury retailers offer up buy, now, pay later services like Klarna, so you’re not spending a lump sum all at once.

Once you figure out your budget, it’s time to evaluate what you need a bag for. An everyday bag can suit many audiences. Maybe it’s a tote you need for work and travel, or a smaller bag that you can wear for a night out or while running errands. And with designer bags, we recommend sticking to classic styles you can picture yourself wearing ten years from now. Some trends never go out of style! Taking these factors into consideration, we selected some excellent designer bags that will make the perfect presents — be it for yourself or a loved one. Check them out below!

Saint Laurent Mini Lou Quilted Leather Camera Bag

If we had to choose a bag with the ideal compact-yet-roomy size, this is definitely the one! It keeps you completely hands-free and stores all of your most important items like a phone, wallet and keys. You will even have some extra room for a few makeup items. Whether you’re going for a casual look or a dressy ensemble for a night out, this bag will effortlessly fit in!

Pro

  • Great compact size
  • Exterior slip pocket and interior card slots
  • Four different color options

Cons

  • Chain strap is non-adjustable
  • May not come with dust bag

Available at: Nordstrom

Balenciaga Hourglass Leather Wallet on a Chain

Balenciaga’s new bag shape has quickly become one of the most sought-after purses if you want to invest in a current designer bag. Though it’s billed as a wallet on a chain, it’s far roomier than other bags which fall into the same category. When you open it up, there are six card slots, and you’ll still have enough space for your phone, keys and lip gloss!

Pro

  • Removable chain strap
  • Multiple compartments on the interior
  • Small but roomy at the same time

Cons

  • May be too small for some shoppers
  • Non-adjustable strap

Available at: Nordstrom

Alexander McQueen Mini Skull Croc Embossed Leather Bag

Maybe you want a bag that has a little bit of edge, in which case we’ve found your dream accessory! Instead of smooth or quilted leather, this bag has a croc-embossed treatment, and adding that animal element gives it a unique look. This teamed with the tiny gold skull detail on the front of the purse makes it feel rocker-chic!

Pro

  • Four different color options
  • Chain strap can be hidden to turn the bag into a clutch
  • Structured expandable shape
  • More affordable price tag

Cons

  • Strap is non-adjustable
  • Fewer reviews

Available at: Nordstrom

COACH Tabby Leather Shoulder Bag

The functionality of this bag, coupled with the classic design, is what makes it one of our absolute favorites! Both the longer crossbody strap and the short shoulder strap are removable, plus the long strap can adjust to your preferred length. On the inside, there are three different sections, plus slip pockets on the front and back. It can hold a large amount of items, so if you’re looking for a roomier purse, this one is a solid choice.

Pro

  • Multiple compartments
  • Removable and adjustable straps
  • Most affordable
  • Three color options

Cons

Available at: Saks Fifth Avenue

See by Chloé Small Joan Leather Shoulder Bag

Although this bag does have a timeless quality, it’s the most boho-looking option from our handbag selection. The braided and fringe details, plus the less-structured shape, make it feel more relaxed — though it’s just as luxurious as any other bag on this list! The softer suede material makes it easier to pack more items into the bag’s main compartment — which you can wear on the shoulder or as a crossbody!

Pro

  • Removable and adjustable crossbody strap
  • Large zip compartment, plus flap exterior compartment
  • Boho details
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • No reviews
  • Some colors are not available

Available at: Saks Fifth Avenue

Tory Burch T Monogram Jacquard Bucket Bag

Bucket bags have such a fun shape, and this version of the style has all of the elements we love! The drawstring closure gives it a youthful quality, and provides more space than a traditional zipper situation.

Pro

  • Affordable price
  • Roomy shape
  • Convertible top candle and crossbody design

Cons

  • No reviews
  • Only one color option

Available at: Saks Fifth Avenue

Marc Jacobs The Leather Mini Tote Bag

Chances are, you’ve probably seen the canvas version of this bag before, but if you want a more elevated purse, the leather option is the way to go! Though it’s technically a “mini” tote, it can still work as an everyday work or travel bag. It has a long adjustable strap and classic top candles with a zip top closure.

Pro

  • Larger silhouette
  • Convertible design
  • Four color options

Cons

  • Only one interior compartment
  • Fewer reviews

Available at: Saks Fifth Avenue

Burberry Baby Title Double Handle Leather & Canvas Bag

We would argue that out of all the purses we handpicked, this may be the option to hold up the longest. There are a few things more iconic than Burberry’s plaid print, and with the brown leather trimming plus the square shape, you’re getting a truly timeless bag. Inside, you’ll find three organizational compartments to keep everything you need in place, and you can choose to wear it using the top handles or convert it into a crossbody!

Pro

  • Stunning classic and versatile design
  • Perfect roomy shape
  • Adjustable and removable crossbody strap

Cons

  • Most expensive pick
  • No reviews

Available at: Nordstrom

Porenza Schouler Braided Chain Shoulder Bag

This is the type of shoulder bag we can picture looking fabulous with everything. It’s super simple, but the extra voluminous braided chain detail on the front of the purse makes it feel special. Wear it over the shoulder or carry it in your hand as a clutch in both the daytime or for a night out!

Pro

  • Simple, sleek design
  • Three color options
  • Convertible straps

Cons

  • No reviews
  • No slip pockets in the interior

Available at: Nordstrom

Stella McCartney Eco Mini Faux Leather Crossbody Bag

The strap on this bag makes it feel sporty and casual, though the design is incredibly elegant. We adore the combo of the two vibes and the way the logo is perforated onto the vegan leather for an understated aesthetic. We think this is the definition of an everyday bag, though you can also dress it up with the right outfit!

Pro

  • Roomy interior
  • Comfortable thick adjustable strap
  • Sustainable manmade leather

Cons

  • Slightly pricy
  • Fewer customer reviews

Available at: Nordstrom

MCM Medium Liz Reversible Visetos Shopper

You’re getting a bang for your buck if you decide to go with this bag. Not only is the tote reversible, which is basically like getting two bags in one, it also comes with a smaller matching pouch which you can attach to the interior! And on top of that, this small pouch has its own thin strap, which we think you could wear as a small purse. Obsessed!

Pro

  • Reversible style
  • Small pouchette included
  • Great roomy design
  • More affordable

Cons

  • Fewer reviews
  • Only one main comment

Available at: Saks Fifth Avenue

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