Women

The 10 Best Designer Handbags

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Kandyce Angel Avatar
Kandyce Angel
5 March, 2020 Updated 17 days ago
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What is the difference between a purse and a handbag? Style, of course! While they’re technically the same thing, I’m sure most of you ladies will agree that there’s a huge difference between a ten dollar purse and a fancy designer handbag.

I’ve got, to be honest with you. Reading about amazing designer handbags isn’t nearly as much fun as wandering a department store in person. That said, shopping online for a new handbag has certain advantages over going to a department store. There is an almost limitless array of options available on the internet, a selection which not even the largest department store can match.

The main problem with such a vast selection is the overwhelming number of choices it yields. Trying to pick your favorite out of hundreds of different choices is asking an awfully lot of anyone. For those who just can’t make a decision, we’ve crafted this guide with careful consideration, picking some of the finest handbags in the world.

EDITOR’S PICK
Kate Spade NY Cedar Street Maise Satchel

There is no way to create a definitive guide, but it is our hope that this can help you find what you’re looking for.

Things to consider

I’m not going to pretend there’s some kind of definitive guide to buying a handbag. Most women instinctively know what they want, and those who don’t probably have a more fashionable friend who does. Nevertheless, here are a few basics.

1. Style

When it comes to fashion, style is Queen. Where designer handbags are concerned, style is Venus herself.

2. Designer

Designer handbags are, by definition, all about the designer who made them. But in absolutely no way are all designers made equal.

3. Size

Bigger is not always better. Plenty of designer handbags are on the smaller side, but let’s be honest. It doesn’t matter how big or how small the handbag is; you’re going to find a way to fill it all the way up.

4. Status

What does your handbag say about you as a person, as a woman, as a friend? I don’t mean status here in a negative way at all. Consider it a matter of taste, if you will.

5. Price

This is obviously one of the most critical aspects of picking a designer handbag.

QUICK OVERVIEW

The Best Designer Handbags


Products
Features
EDITOR’S PICK
4.4
410+
410+
  • Polyester lining once you dive in from the zipper top enclosure
  • The classic shape and comes in perfect shades
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
  • Polyester lining once you dive in from the zipper top enclosure
  • The classic shape and comes in perfect shades
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
MOST REVIEWED
4.7
1,090+
1090+
  • Large tote bag with shoulder strap
  • Available online in a total of 14 different colors
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $200
  • Large tote bag with shoulder strap
  • Available online in a total of 14 different colors
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $200
TOP PICK
1
1
1
  • Pink soft MicroGuccissima leather
  • Adjustable and detachable shoulder strap
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $1500
  • Pink soft MicroGuccissima leather
  • Adjustable and detachable shoulder strap
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $1500
BUDGET PICK
4.7
380+
380+
  • A small cross-body bag with a shoulder strap that features a chain
  • Available online in a total of 14 different colors
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $100
  • A small cross-body bag with a shoulder strap that features a chain
  • Available online in a total of 14 different colors
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $100
BUDGET PICK
3.8
20+
20+
  • Two-in-one set that includes a large tote bag and a wallet
  • Made with genuine leather and signature Coach canvas
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
  • Two-in-one set that includes a large tote bag and a wallet
  • Made with genuine leather and signature Coach canvas
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
EDITOR’S PICK
Kate Spade NY Cedar Street Maise Satchel
An elegant approach to style and living.

Trying to pick the best designer handbag on the market is an impossible task. Even ladies with impeccable style and taste always going to disagree simply based on personal preference. Nevertheless, Kate Spade’s Cedar Street Maise Satchel is simply incredible, and we believe you’ll love it as much as we do.

4.4
410+
410+
  • Polyester lining once you dive in from the zipper top enclosure
  • The classic shape and comes in perfect shades
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300

Best Designer Handbags under $100

Michael Kors Emmy Saffiano Leather Medium Crossbody Bag

Michael Kors Emmy Saffiano Leather Medium Crossbody Bag

Features

  • A small cross-body bag that’s perfect for evening wear
  • Available online in a total of 14 different colors
  • Made with saffiano leather
  • Features an adjustable strap, and interior and exterior compartments

This is an awesome budget option for those of you who want a designer bag without breaking the balance. Michael Kors is a name that’s quickly risen in popularity over recent years, so having this bag on your shoulder when you’re out and about is sure to make a statement.

Measuring approximately 8.75 inches in length, 6.5 inches in height, and 3.5 inches in width, It’s small and compact, so it’s not ideal for people who need to carry a lot around with them during the day. As an evening bag, however, it’s perfect – with enough room for all the essentials to fit in comfortably.

What’s more, it’s available in 14 different colors on Amazon! This is a fantastic range, so you’re bound to be able to find the perfect shade to match any outfit. Judging by the thousands of positive online reviews, customers all over the world agree.

It’s made with gorgeous saffiano textured leather and features an adjustable crossbody strap that features a gold chain and has a drop length of 23 inches. The interior features one zip pocket and one slip pocket, and the exterior had a slip pocket with a magnetic fastening.

Pros
  • A great budget designer bag that won’t break the bank
  • Available in multiple different colors
  • Made with real saffiano textured leather
  • Has a good amount of compartments for a small bag
Cons
  • Not big enough to hold much, so may not be suitable for all occasions

Best Designer Handbags under $200

Michael Kors Women’s Jet Set Travel – Large Chain Shoulder Tote

Michael Kors Women's Jet Set Travel - Large Chain Shoulder Tote

Features

  • Large tote bag
  • Available online in 18 different colors and styles
  • Features a 10-inch shoulder strap with chain detail
  • Made with PVC, not real leather

This is another entry from designer Michael Kors, but I simply couldn’t leave it off this list. At under $200 for a large tote bag, this really is fantastic value and looks much more expensive than it actually is. And if we’re going by the thousands of rave reviews, customers think so too.

Measuring 16 inches in length, 11 inches in height, and 4.5 inches in width, this really is large enough to fit everything you need for the day. It features a 10-inch double shoulder strap that provides great support and isn’t likely to break with use. 

The interior of this tote bag is designed to free up as much space as possible, which is great. However, it does feature one zippered pocket and four slip pockets, which helps to keep small bits such as keys and makeup separate and safe. 

Adding a bit of glamor to an otherwise plain-and-simple bag, the straps feature chains, and the front features the designer’s printed name plus the signature ‘MK’ pendant. The only downfall to this bag is that, unfortunately, it’s made with PVC instead of real leather.

Pros
  • Large designer tote bags are hard to find for this price
  • Features interior pockets for organization
  • Simple but sophisticated design
  • Available in 18 different colors and styles
Cons
  • Not real leather

Best Designer Handbags under $300

Coach C Signature Purse Hand Bag & Wallet Matching 2 Piece Set

Coach C Signature Purse Hand Bag & Wallet Matching 2 Piece Set

Features

  • Two-piece set: one zip tote bag and one wallet
  • Made with genuine leather and signature Coach canvas
  • Black leather with Coach’s signature brown design and gold hardware
  • Great for everyday use

For under $300, you really can’t go wrong with the Coach C Signature two-piece set – not only do you get a designer handbag but also a matching wallet, so you’ll be completely kitted out and ready to take on the day! When you look at it like that, it’s a bargain.

The signature zip tote bag has a double shoulder strap with a nine-inch drop and measures approximately 12 inches in length, 10 inches in height, and 4 inches in width, which is a great size for daytime use – it will even fit a small laptop in there! 

The wallet has a removable checkbook cover, two interior credit card slots, two larger slip pockets, and a back exterior zipper pocket, which is great for organization. Both pieces are made with genuine leather and signature Coach canvas, and both have thousands of positive reviews, so you know you’re getting two fantastic products.

The only downfall that I can think of with this two-piece Coach set is that there are no color variations – the only option is black leather with Coach’s signature brown design and gold hardware.

Pros
  • Comes with a large zip tote bag as well as a wallet
  • Hard to find two-piece designer sets for this price
  • Made with genuine leather
  • Bag is large in size and wallet features multiple compartments
Cons
  • No color variations available

Kate Spade New York Cedar Street Maise Satche

Kate Spade New York Cedar Street Maise Satche

Features

  • Come in multiple different color options
  • Made with leather coated with polyurethane-coated leather
  • Features double handheld straps and a shoulder strap
  • Features a zip closure

This beautiful Kate Spade designer handbag comes in a variety of vibrant colors, providing women with plenty of style options; not all colors are available at all retailers, however. The Maise Satchel is made from leather coated with polyurethane coated leather, combining the beauty and style of leather with the protection of Polyurethane.

This large-sized handbag is lined with polyester and is designed to last you for years to come. The handbag offers two sewn leather handles as well as a shoulder strap which clips on and off, making it easy to remove.

This versatile bag is perfect for both evening and daytime usage.Measuring 4.5 by 10.5 by 9 inches, this handbag is large enough to hold all your makeup and belongings. The zip closure is simple, but effective so you can be sure that your belongings will stay safe inside. This handbag is the perfect finish for any outfit.

Pros
  • Made with genuine leather
  • Large size offers plenty of room
  • Comes in a variety of colors
Cons
  • Polyurethane coating undermines leather texture

Best Designer Handbags under $400

Tory Burch Landon Combo Pebbled Leather Crossbody Bark

Tory Burch Landon Combo Pebbled Leather Crossbody Bark

Features

  • Made with genuine pebbled leather
  • Has an adjustable crossbody strap that features a gold chain
  • Features multiple interior pockets and compartments
  • A small bag that fits in all the essentials

This leather Tory Burch crossbody designer handbag features a beautiful body strap that melds together gold-toned metal with pebbled leather for a classy, rich design. As a crossbody handbag, this Tony Burch Landon is super versatile and ideal for almost any occasion or outfit. The strap is adjustable and offers a 24-inch drop.

This handbag features a snap closure and is lined with fabric for a luxurious interior. In addition to a larger interior zip pocket, this wallet styled handbag also features a zip pocket and two smaller interior slip pockets. The larger compartment offers room for lipstick, keys and other essentials, while the pockets offer ideal storage for your credit cards, drivers license, and other important cards.

Measuring nine by six by 2 ½ inches, this handbag isn’t large enough to fulfill the role of a purse for all women, and it’s not going to hold all of your makeup. But if you’re looking for a smaller bag to accompany you to work or while driving, this is an excellent choice.

Pros
  • Made with genuine leather
  • Beautiful gold-toned hardware
  • Crossbody strap makes it an ideal wallet
Cons
  • Not large enough to be a full-size purse

Best Designer Handbags under $500

Kate Spade Large Margaux Leather Satchel

Kate Spade Large Margaux Leather Satchel

Features

  • Large tote bag featuring a top zip close and multiple compartments
  • Made with genuine leather featuring a delicate logo jacquard lining
  • Available in multiple different color options
  • Features a handheld strap as well as double shoulder straps

The Kate Spade Large Margaux Leather Satchel is another fantastic handbag from iconic designer Kate Spade. Not only is it sophisticated and stylish, it’s also practical – measuring 12.5 inches in length, 9.5 inches in height, and 5.5 inches in depth, it’s sure to be big enough to fit everything you need it to.

It’s therefore great to take to work – or even just for general daytime use if you’re someone that likes to carry a lot around with you (like most women I know!). It also features a handheld strap (with a 6-inch drop) and double shoulder straps (19.5-inch drop) for ultimate comfort and convenience.

This bag has a top zip closure, making it safe and perfect for city life. An interior zip pocket and snap-tab wall pocket, plus exterior zip pockets, provide enough compartments to store small-but-important bits, such as keys and cards. 

The best thing about this bag is that it’s real leather and comes in multiple plain color options, as well as a ‘city bloom’ variant that features a bright floral pattern for those of you that are a bit more adventurous!

Pros
  • Made with genuine leather
  • Multiple different color options available
  • Features two different straps
  • Features multiple compartments
Cons
  • The handheld strap is not removable

ZAC Zac Posen Eartha Iconic Soft Top-Handle Shoulder Bag

ZAC Zac Posen Eartha Iconic Soft Top-Handle Shoulder Bag

Features

  • Made with genuine, top-quality leather
  • Fairly large design with a lot of space available
  • Features an interior pocket and an exterior pocket
  • Features a handheld strap, a shoulder strap, and a twist lock

Zac Posen has an undeniable eye for style, a trait you can’t miss in either of their incredible designer handbags. Like always, this handbag offers a remarkable design that is sure to catch your eye and send a steady stream of compliments your way.

This imported handbag is crafted with top-quality leather and is perfectly suited for even the pickiest fashionistas. The handbag is fastened with a twist lock, offering genuine security without unsightly zippers. The handbag is also convenient, featuring both an interior and exterior pocket for more storage options.

The handbag is also fairly large, measuring 9.5 by 15 by 5.75 inches, making this an acceptable and fashionable alternative to a regular purse. The bag is finished off with an amazingly designed strap you’re sure to love.

Pros
  • Made with genuine leather
  • Striking design
  • Interior and exterior pockets
Cons
  • Closure is somewhat clunky
  • Best Designer Handbags under $700

Best Designer Handbags under $750

Marc Jacobs The Uptown Bag

Marc Jacobs The Uptown Bag

Features

  • Small-to-medium-sized structured leather bag
  • Features two straps and multiple compartments
  • Features a silk scarf for added style
  • Comes in black or brown

Available in either black or brown, this is a gorgeous structured leather bag by renowned designer Marc Jacobs that is guaranteed to catch your eye. With its sleek and sophisticated use, it’s perfect for city life – either during the daytime, evening, or night.

Measuring nine inches in length, seven inches in height, and five inches in width, it’s fairly small and compact compared to some of the other bags on the market, but it’s certainly big enough for all the essentials. Plus, there’s extra pockets on the front and back for more storage space.

The interior is organized extremely well, with a zip pocket in the center and two open compartments on either side. Plus, for extra convenience, The Uptown Bag comes with a handheld strap (five inches) as well as a shoulder strap (13 inches).

My favorite thing by far about this bag is the silk scarf that comes with it. I think it sets the whole bag off and makes it look even more sophisticated and classy. What’s even better is that it’s removable, so you can even wear it round your neck on the odd day you don’t use this bag!

Pros
  • Made with genuine leather
  • Multiple compartments on the interior and exterior
  • Features a removable silk scarf
  • Features two straps – and the shoulder strap is removable
Cons
  • The handheld strap is not removable

Best Designer Handbags under $1000

Fendi Nano Baguette Charm Bag

Fendi Nano Baguette Charm Bag

Features

  • Small version of the iconic Baguette bag
  • Comes in 29 different color and design options
  • Made with genuine leather
  • Features a thin chain shoulder strap and a handheld strap with a clip

Fendi has released the iconic Baguette bag in a small version – and it might look tiny, but you know what they say: good things come in small packages.

For under $1000, there’s multiple different options to choose from – a staggering 29, in fact! These include plain-color options for people who are perhaps more conservative, as well as multi-colored, sequinned, and jeweled variants too – there truly is something for everyone!

One thing that’s guaranteed with the Nano Baguette bag is that it oozes the glamor that Fendi has become renowned for, and it’s sure to make you feel like a million dollars rather than a thousand. 

Made in Italy from genuine leather, this bag features a thin chain shoulder strap that can easily be concealed inside if you’d rather use the handheld strap – which, by the way, has a clip so it can be attached to larger bags or belts.

Pros
  • A huge amount of different color and design options available
  • Made with genuine leather
  • Features a handheld strap and a shoulder strap (which can be concealed easily)
  • The clip on the handheld strap makes it more versatile
Cons
  • Only has one interior flat pocket

Best Designer Handbags under $1500

Gucci Micro GG Guccissima Crossbody Dome Purse

Gucci Micro GG Guccissima Crossbody Dome Purse

Features

  • Made by one of the biggest designers in the world
  • Made with genuine stitched leather
  • Small size, but big enough to fit the essentials
  • Features a handheld strap, a shoulder strap, and multiple compartments

Gucci is a brand that is instantly associated with luxury and quality. Made in Italy with signature monogrammed canvas, this beautiful soft pink bag from Gucci is crafted with quality materials from start to finish.

The handles and trim are made with genuine, stitched leather. Even the zip closure on top is trimmed with leather for a timeless design. Also included with your purchase are the original Gucci tags, a dust bag, and authenticity cards, so you know you’re buying the real deal and not an imitation.

The bag measures 13 by seven by 7 inches. While not large enough for some women’s preferences, it is an ideal size for work or simple outings, and it doesn’t weight too much. If you’re looking for a night out with the ladies or to impress someone at work, this is the bag to do it.

Pros
  • The inside includes 2 card sized pockets and one zip pocket
  • Made in Italy
  • Premium materials throughout
Cons
  • Smaller than an average purse or handbag

Conclusion

Buying a handbag is no cakewalk for the fashionably astute. If you’re looking for something striking to accompany any outfit, the handbags listed here are all excellent options, but they are far from your only ones. If one of these handbags catches your eye, excellent!

But we understand if you’re looking for something else. Whatever you choose, we hope you enjoy your shopping experience.

*All prices mentioned above are at the time of publishing.

Kandyce Angel Avatar
Written by
Kandyce Angel
Kandyce is based in London, England, and has 10+ years of writing and editing experience. She has a passion for testing and reviewing products, but when she’s not researching and writing for MuchNeeded, she spends time reading, long-distance running and teaching English as a foreign language.