I have become quite enchanted with really good, outfit-making bags. Many of you know I tend to wear neutral-colored (some might dare to call them boring) coatigans with denim most days of the week, so what usually “makes” my outfit is an ultra- fabulous everyday designer bag.
This fun everyday designer bag post, that I’ve done for the past several years, gives me an excuse to do some extra “research” on these lovely bags…not complaining about that…but I also truly look forward to the opportunity each year to talk about my favorite bags. When I’m getting dressed…it’s often the bag that I get MOST excited about. Really good everyday designer bags are the EASIEST, most effortless, way to make an outfit pop.
Bonus: fantastic bags also ALWAYS fit and are never too tight after weeks of holiday overeating.
* Black Friday Sale: Clare V is having a site-wide 20% off sale!!! This type of sale hardly EVER happens. If you’d rather shop at Nordstrom, you could definitely ask for a price match on any of their Clare V.’s. Many of my other favorite brands 25% off as well!
If you are a fellow bag-enthusiast, feel free to forward this post to any and all generous gifters in your life — it’s that time of year. Or…better yet, scroll down to my notes on the art of self-giving and use this post as a “picking menu” for yourself!
Splurge-Worthy: Outfit-Making Everyday Designer Handbags
Now, when I say ‘worth the splurge,’ I’m not talking about the fancy FANCY designer bags like cult-fave Bottega Veneta or the Birkin bag (which is priced around $24,000 PRE-OWNED!) I know there are bag enthusiasts who love these types of VERY high-end bags (actually many of you told us this here), but for MY personal lifestyle, these bags are NOT worth the splurge.
The bags I love are well-made bags that I describe as “everyday designer”. Most have a little something special (details, texture), which means they work for both day-to-day casual as well as special occasions. These special bags are the kinds of pieces that instantly elevate pretty much anything you pull together from your closet.
They are definitely NOT inexpensive, but they’re also not in that thousands of dollars range I mentioned before, and they tend to hold their value. I find they’re often sought after on resale websites and second hand stores. I have found several gems on TheRealReal as well as eBay.
Wish-List Worthy Bags… or Treat Yourself
Okay…so if you want my “ultimate” holiday gifting recommendation (and you’re a bag enthusiast), select the splurge-worthy bag you REALLY want and wish yourself a Happy Holidays… quite easy, quite enjoyable, and saves time on the post-holiday return/exchanges.
I’ve previously shared with you guys my confession about special everyday designer bags as gifts. It started years ago when I ordered a lovely bag similar to this one (gently used from eBay), wrapped it up in a sweet gift box, and addressed the tag to myself from my husband. He said it was the best gift HE could have received: not having to lift a finger and gifting me exactly what I wished for.
I oohed and ahhed over it gushingly (I had REALLY wanted that bag), and he got all the credit for giving me a truly special gift.
The tradition (loosely) continued. Other years I didn’t even bother with the gift wrap. I bought a woven checkered Clare V bag last December, and started wearing it the second it was received. This year, I became a little obsessed with the shape and practicality of the Le Zip Tote from Clare V and got one in an absolutely FABULOUS colorway at a wildly low price on eBay. Happy Holidays, ME!
I obviously have quite the love affair with Clare V. but there are other designers (nine to be exact, in addition to Clare V) that I consider worth-the-splurge as well.
The Top 10 BEST Everyday Designer Bags
One of the absolute best parts of working with The Mom Edit is the incredible perk and privilege of researching, trying out, and owning a LOT of beautiful bags. For the past several years, I’ve created my list of favorite bag designers (Shana and I share QUITE a few favs, so we throw in some of her opinions and bags in there too), and then I give you my top selects from each of these brands. So here we go!
Clare V. is easily my overall TOP pick for wildly good bags. A 100% easy win in my opinion if you’re looking for a very special, outfit making bag. Slightly quirky, but still timeless — these are the bags I reach for the most in my closet (Shana, too!), and the ones that I keep wearing (without getting tired of them) year after year.
The colorways and patterns of many of the styles change, but the shapes are classic and have stayed in constant rotation for years. They also hold their value exceptionally well, and you can find them secondhand at Clare V.’s LeResale, TheRealReal and eBay.
More Clare V Top Picks
Everyday designer brand AllSaints gives their bags a stylish edge with industrial details and absolutely gorgeous materials. I can’t get over all the cool detailing on their half moon bags this year.
More AllSaints Top Picks
Handwoven out of durable neoprene, Naghedi is the newest addition to my everyday designer top 10 list. These totes are simple, beautiful, and effortlessly stylish. The big ones hold GOBS and GOBS of stuff, and the little ones hold more than you’d think too. Completely outfit-making. Black Friday 25% off deals here!
More Naghedi Tote Top Picks
With a bohemian vibe and a touch of elegance, class, and sophistication, See By Chloe everyday designer brand is famous for their gorgeous leather saddlebags. These come in both mini and regular sizes, with eye-catching contrast stitching, beautiful colors, and bold hardware. Black Friday 25% off See by Chloe bags here!
More See By Chloe Top Picks
Shana and I both get compliments on our everyday designer Staud bags any time we wear them. This was my summer go-to (currently on final sale). Unique, fun and impossibly cool. If you’re a fan of the bean convertible clutch, check out this fabulous gold metallic that’s part of the Black Friday sale!
More Staud Top Picks
Loeffler Randall bags are just so much fun! They instantly amp up any outfit, whether you’re going for a dressy or casual vibe. The gold Loeffler Randall bow clutch is a classic – it comes in some seriously gorgeous colors, but the Willa mini pouch is a new fave of mine. Great as a crossbody or clutch. 25% off Loeffler Randall here!
More Loeffler Randall Top Picks
If you like to rock the urban elegant vibe, rag & bone is the way to go. Their stylish details keep things simple, chic, clean, and modern. 25% off here.
More rag & bone Top Picks
More Rebecca Minkoff Top Picks
I usually show off my AAKS bags in the spring and summer, but honestly, they’re a killer gift any time of the year. Right now, I’ve got two of them chilling in my living room, pulling double duty as art in the winter. These statement bags, crafted in Ghana, black-owned and founded brand, are just stunning.
MORE AAKS Top Picks
TUMI is hands-down the favorite of TME folks who go to the office, carry a laptop, and/or travel on the regular. Practical, comfortable and stylish. Lex did an in-depth review of the Voyageur Ursula with T-Pass here.
More Tumi BackpackTop Picks
What other bag designers are forever closet wins for you and/or special gifting faves (for yourself or others)? As always, I love to hear from you all.