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How to choose a handbag that will last

A handbag is considered a wardrobe investment by most women. This is not surprising when considering their cost and the effect they have on an outfit.

In my opinion, but this might be because I’m a handbag designer, a handbag is what gives the finishing touch to an outfit; shoes do too by the way. 

Take a great outfit, add a low quality handbag and the whole outfit will be ruined. On the other hand, a good handbag can completely elevate an outfit. Have you ever noticed this?

I personally always loved good quality handbags and shoes. I’d rather own less of them, but buy good quality that I can keep for several years. They become my treasures, my wardrobe favourites that I keep wearing again and again.
Quality is especially crucial for leather accessories because the finishes are very visible on them.

Leather bag detail - handle

Here are the things you should consider when looking to buy a quality handbag that you can keep for a long time.

  • First of all, choose quality leather. There is a very large variety of leathers, some are very high quality and durable, some aren’t.
 Full grain aniline or semi-aniline is what you should be looking for, and if you wish to have a more sustainable leather with a more natural look, choose vegetable tanned leather. 
For Klès I use Belgian or Italian full grain aniline vegetable tanned leather. Click here if you wish to know more about vegetable tanning.

  • The construction of the bag is equally important. If you want a bag that lasts, you should choose one that is hand-stitched.

    Hand stitches can last for decades and they can be repaired. This is because a much stronger thread is used, and the way the thread is sewn makes that if a stitch is damaged, the stitches next to it will stay in place instead of becoming undone like machine stitches.

    Note: durable alternatives to hand-stitching exist. Some handbags are folded and held together by leather straps or by rivets. A lot of Klès’ bags use rivets. This method of assembling a handbag is very durable for the obvious reason that rivets are made of metal.
  • A style that will withstand trends and that you won’t get tired of. When choosing your investment bag, it is very tempting to buy a trendy design. However, it is not a good strategy if you want to keep it for 5, 10 or 15 years. My advice is to choose a timeless bag, simplicity is key.

    A minimalist design will also make that your bag will suit most your outfits and you won’t have to change handbags accordingly to your daily style.
    Colours are also to be considered here, you might not want to wear this year’s colour for the next 10 years!

There are several British handbag designers like me who use high quality leather and who hand-stitch beautiful handcrafted bags.
Artisan bag makers usually offer very good quality at reasonable prices and buying from an independent brand means you probably won’t see many people wearing the same bag.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you did, please leave a comment below!

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