Fashion Bomb 101: Ten Fly Investment Handbags

MBA Candidate writes, “Love FBD and the entire crew! I absolutely adored the post you did on 15 Luxury Shoe Brands, and am hoping you will do a similar post on handbags! I am finishing up my MBA program, and would like to treat myself to a classic go-to bag for work. I typically don’t enjoy carrying bags in the crook of my arm, but I’d like to see a variety of options. Thank you so much!”

Though we did a guide to investment handbags back in 2009, I realize that styles and trends change, and new houses offer silhouettes that become must haves. Sure, the Louis Vuitton Speedy, Gucci Boston, and Chanel Caviar 2.55 are still classics, but there are of course a few more to add to the list. You ready?

$1,500 and up

You’ll spend a ton, but you’re paying for top craftsmanship and quality. Expect to hold onto these bags for years.
1. Hermès Birkin and Kelly Bags:

Though we neglected to mention Hermès options in our first investment bag post, the brand’s popular Kelly and Birkin styles are the big momma/I have arrived/who gone check me boo bags.

Handmade in leather, the elusive pieces can cost from $9,000 to $150,000 depending on materials. The ultimate status symbol, you can’t even purchase them online, and there are typically waiting lists to get one of your own.

If you’re up for the splurge, visit for a boutique near you. Note: You can also rent Hermès bags for $510-$1,632 per week at

2. Céline Totes

The fashion editor and celebrity favorite boasts a simple design, sleek features, and oversized shape. Priced from $1,800-$2,500, the carryall comes in everything from basic black and brown to blue and hot pink.

Though the bag’s more popular hues are often sold out, you can catch a few at Barney’s or Saks.

Get yours here:

3. Givenchy Nightingale
A Fashion Bomb favorite, the Givenchy Nightingale epitomizes understated luxury. The top handle bag features polished pale goldtone hardware, signature straps, and a subtle house symbol.

Get it in cobalt blue, green, beige, red, neon green…the options are endless.

To get one of your own, you’ll have to drop $1,795-$2,375.

Peruse a few hues here:

4. Balenciaga City, Giant City, and Arena Handbags.

Balenciaga bags have always been hot, starting with the Le Dix bag in the early naughts, and evolving into a few newer versions including the City, Giant City, and Arena.

The updated iterations boast more pronounced gold or silver hardware, and eye catching grommet details.

If you want this beaut, you’re going to have to drop anywhere from $996-$1,845. Check ’em out:

5. Proenza Schouler PS1 .

This new kid on the block is definitely young and hip, and does well in brighter colors and patterns.

The bag’s flap details and satchel silhouette give it a schoolgirl charm, but the supple leather and top handles are all grown up.

Though playful, these bags are no joke, with an average price of $1,595. See a selection here:

If you can’t afford or don’t feel like paying over a g for a bag, there are some great options for you from brands like Alexander Wang, Diane von Furstenberg, and more.
6. Alexander Wang Rocco Duffle

The cute bag skews casual, though it has ample bling thanks to signature gold tone rivets at the base.

For $875, you have your choice of colors like black, yellow, white, and brown. Carry by hand, or sling it over your shoulder with a detachable strap:

7. Alexander Wang Emile Tote

Alexander Wang strikes again with the Emile tote, whose roomie design has been spied on everyone from Keisha Whitaker to Gwyneth Paltrow:

Prices range from $895-$975, and colors include white, black, burgundy, and blue:

8. Diane von Furstenberg Harper Day Leather Shoulder Bag

The large ‘day’ version of DVF’s signature Harper tote features a flap-top with leather trim, concealed magnetic closure, a top handle, and a chain and leather shoulder strap. Bonus: it has a special compartment for your Ipad or tablet:

The bag will set you back $595-$695, depending on colors and materials:

9. Tory Burch 797 Satchel.

Though Beyonce is a fan of the brand’s customized $9,950 crocodile version, Tory Burch has all black leather versions of her 797 satchel for a more affordable $675.

If you simply want to have a nice bag made of supple leather, Michael Kors has got you covered!
10. Michael Kors Hamilton Bag

The chic sophisticated tote is made of glazed leather and has enough room to hold your wallet, sunglasses, Ipad, and more.

The $348 pick has the look of any statement bag, and also comes in zebra prints in addition to neutral brown and black:

These are just 10 that we’ve found to be a favorite for stars, editors, and girls around the world. For more affordable, quality bags, hit up stores like Cole Haan, Coach, Rebecca Minkoff, and Botkier. You’ll get timeless quality and plenty of bang for your buck.
I’m sure the list is far from complete.
What are some of your faves?
See our first post on investment handbags here.


Claire Sulmers is the publisher and founder of Fashion Bomb Daily, the #43 most influential style blog in the world.