Investment Handbags

So I’m a pretty low-key person when it comes to handbags and purses. On an everyday basis, I use a medium size Longchamp (either black or navy… I’m boring!). And I’ve recently dipped my toe into the world of clutches.
But I think I need a grown up real handbag… but the pricetags of these bags are just absolutely killing me! Why can’t my dream handbag be something from Target? (Although, Target does have some cute options… this one is great for toting laptops!)
I would have a hard time spending a lot of money on a handbag that couldn’t be worn everywhere and with everything… or on one that wouldn’t last.
So here are the requirements I’ve come up with for an “investment handbag.” It has to be generally versatile. It should be appropriate for work, nights out, and errands during the day! I want it to be able to hold a decent amount without being overwhelmingly large…. and the color has to work for all kinds of outfits.
Naturally, I found one that fits this particular set of requirements:
For the record, it’s way too expensive for me to even consider purchasing it, but let’s just play along and dream a little bit!!!
out & about
date night
in the office
Yep. Perfection.
Have you invested in a handbag? What are your requirements for one? (Also, where did you get yours if you have one!?)

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I couldn't get to sleep so I did a bit of searching for you. I don't know if they're quite what you're looking for but, still.
(prepare for a long list of links)
(from lowest price upwards)


My favorite bag is a red leather Tignanello hobo-ish type. It has many pockets (I used to carry Vera Bradley bags all the time [hello, Bowler!] because of all the pockets) and is a lovely soft yet durable leather. I bought mine from QVC, which carries tons of Tignanello, and TJ Maxx often has several Tignanello bags. Tignanello is in what I consider the mid-expensive range – my bag was about $100. I carry this bag everywhere.

miss andrea lee

I love how you styled the bag! I've seen the minka around but always passed it up for more flashy bags, but now you've got me reconsidering 🙂 So classy and understated!


I bought a kate spade bag off Gilt Groupe last fall, which for me was definitely an investment piece. pricewise it was a really good deal [like, 60% normal retail price – God bless Gilt!] but it was still A LOT more than I would normally spend on a bag – I'm just not a purse girl; however, I AM a sucker for anything kate spade… on that note, this oyster bag is GORGEOUS.

those flash sale sites might be a good place to look? if you strike when the time is right, you might find a great deal on an otherwise way pricey handbag.

Pamela (not pam)

Dooney & Bourke has great handbags. Check out their Dillen II collection, the leather is super soft and thick and will last a long time. The price point of the Dillen II line is about $100 less than the Kate Spade Minka. Good luck on the handbag hunt!!!


I picked up a Michael Kors at TJ Maxx for around $170. While that felt like a lot of money at the time, most of my friends spent 300 or more on theirs, and mine is just as cute! Its a bit large for going out, but I'm sure if you look hard enough you can find smaller ones. I can't recommend TJ Maxx enough… I've found Lilly dresses there even!


I am just like you, not really a bag lady. I use my large longchamp for work, and my medium longchamp for everything else. However, ever since I first laid on this bag, I knew I had have it! Love it.

Liz Stewart

Do you have any outlet stores near you or a TJ MAXX? That's where I find my best deals. Also try the sale section of Kate Spade online; they've got some great deals too!

Alexandra Steinmetz

I'm all about having a bag with longevity, especially for the kind of money they charge for handbags now. Sam Edelman has some fantastic bags, and when Bloomingdale's has a sale, you can often get them for under $200! Best of luck!

Caitlin Margulis

I invested in a Louis Vuitton handbag a few years ago and it was the best decision I ever made about purchasing something that expensive! It goes with EVERYTHING and is so classic that it will never go out of style or get old. I use it every single day wherever I go and haven't purchased another bag since! (I used to buy at least 5 new designer handbags a year) So it's actually saved me money in the long run 🙂


I JUST bought a gorgeous kate spade bag — black, fits on my shoulder, roomy enough for all my stuff plus an ipad but not so gigantic it looks unprofessional….

It was at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, so it was down to $300 instead of $500….

Then I bought a Kate Spade wallet on ebay for $70 instead of $250. It's a good investment!

Kate Martel

I only buy my purses at TJ Maxx or Marshalls, because they carry designer purses for less. I love a beautiful handbag. I consider it the perfect accessory. It can make or break an outfit the same way a shoe can.


My investment bag is a small leather Longchamp tote (in cognac) that I bought in Lyon, France on my honeymoon! It's perfect!

Hannah Elizabeth

I'm currently having the same dilemma! I really want a quality investment bag, but don't want to shell out the big bucks $$$$ for it! I carry my Longchamps all the time, and on occasion, a crimson red Balenciaga City bag I got as a gift from my aunt. It is beautiful, but doesn't quite go with my everyday traditional wardrobe. My dream bag is a tan Mulberry 'Bayswater' bag, but at a $900+ price point, it is way out of reach! I love it because it is not flashy and the design is so very classic! *Sigh* I LOVE the Kate Spade Minka bag- you should definitely consider it (or put it on your Christmas list)! Another person mentioned Dooney and Burke bags, and I think the classic leather ones are very chic and come in a similar shape as the LV Speedy bag. Michael Kors and Marc by Marc Jacobs have some beautiful choices! I also was impressed by the Coach 'Willis' bag when I saw it. Good luck and let us know what you get!!!!


Before I graduated, when I was starting to apply for jobs I bought a bag in the same price range from D&B. Definitely one of the best purchases I've made – it goes with everything, I can carry it to work, it's big enough that I can carry an extra pair of shoes and a cardigan (plus anything else I need) and it's great when I travel. I think that Kate Spade bag is similar – it'll go everywhere, look professional and get better as it ages. It's a purchase that might be hard to decide on but you'll be happy you did.


I'm very picky when it comes to bags…I love them!! My last handbag was a Nicole Miller, but I've recently discovered THE MOST gorgeous bag and it's TOTALLY affordable. It's the Law bag from JustFab. I ordered one because they had it in pink and as soon as it arrived I instantly fell in love <3!! I loved it so much I immediately ordered another one in black (they have it in 7 AMAZING colors!!). Yesterday, I ordered a third one in blue 🙂 The best part is they are only $39.95 and include free shipping!! Plus, your very first order with them is 50% off!! The 7 colors are black, camel, spring green, blue, mustard, beige and pink! This bag is absolutely perfect!!



Julia D.

I haven't bought one yet. I really agree with your criteria and I feel like it should apply to all "investment pieces." I've had my eye on a certain Marc by Marc Jacobs bag for a while. If you haven't already checked out his collection, you definitely should.


I went through this same struggle around the same time last year. See the post on my blog about my journey on selecting the right bag: http://thingsicovet.tumblr.com/post/9626103446/and-the-final-decision-on-my-kate-spade-purchase Ultimately, I chose a Kate Spade bag that had some important elements for me: side pockets for metro card and phone, inside pockets for business cards, pens, etc., and a color that was both appropriate for work and happy hour. While the price tags of these bags are high, they are worth it because they last and people notice. I've received many compliments on my bag and I know it adds some professionalism to my attire whenever I wear it. To make it more budget friendly, wait for sales when you can. They happen more often than you think. Also make sure to shop around at multiple retailers who also may be having sales, etc. Good luck!


Marc by Marc has some really great bags, they are pricey but they are totally worth it. I have been coveting them for over three years now and finally made the leap. Its a great bag, I haven't used another since (other than clutches/wristlets).


Marc by Marc has some really great bags, they are pricey but they are totally worth it. I have been coveting them for over three years now and finally made the leap. Its a great bag, I haven't used another since (other than clutches/wristlets).

Portuguese Prepster

I have a bag addiction and invested in Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, and Tory Burch bags over the years. I'm thinking a Goyard for graduation will be my next request! It's a gorgeous bag that's casual enough for day yet nice enough for dinner!


Nice post, Carly! The bag you chose is great because the color works with blacks, browns, and navys, which is great for if you're going to spend a decent amount of money on a one.

Jennifer Wood

The Little Minka is one of my favorites from Kate Spade. I have two – hot pink and forest green. My husband found my pink one on eBay and I found the green one on Poshmark. We were able to score each for less than half of the original price.