When it comes to bags, most women fall into one of two camps: there’s the magpie-like collectors, showcasing an enviable new vessel at every opportunity. These women never need an excuse to invest in a satin Attico pouch or Shrimps beaded basket. And then there’s the sensible curator – the woman who has exactly one bag for every type of occasion, (but expect it to be a flawless, perfectly chosen classic.)
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Yes, when you choose wisely, a handbag is always a great purchase. The only question is, which one to choose?
Here, Vogue delves into the ever-evolving bag market to reveal everything you need to know before heading to the shops, whether you’re on the hunt for a vintage treasure, searching for a timeless classic, or after something to really make a statement.
The Types of Bags You Need To Own
First things first, you must deduce what kind of bag you are in the market for. Gone are the days of smart tote for day, tiny clutch for evening – now, there’s a wealth of options to see you through any situation.
1. Baby changing bags
Not universally essential, but any parent with little ones will require a baby changing bag. The best of the bunch combine style with function – from designer classics to pretty-yet-practical shoulder styles, there’s an option to suit all tastes and budgets.
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No longer the preserve of school-going teenagers, the backpack is now a smart addition to a well-curated wardrobe. Opt for streetwear credentials with slogan-printed nylon, or polish up with mock-croc leather.
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3. Basket bags
Summer’s runaway style hit is now worthy of toting all year round. Artisanal weaving, mood-boosting details and sweet vintage silhouettes make these straw styles a clever investment, no matter the season.
4. Beach bags
Every holiday wardrobe requires a great beach bag. Whether you choose roomy canvas, colour-pop straw or sleek leather trims, you’ll want to base your every outfit around it.
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5. Belt bags
Last seen in the 1990s, belt bags – or bum bags – are firmly back on the style agenda now. New silhouettes and clever styling tricks make these athletic designs a polished proposition.
6. Bridal bags
A clutch bag might not be at the forefront of your thoughts when planning your wedding-day outfit, but you’re going to need something chic to store your lipstick and other day-to-night essentials. Keep things classic with a jewel-encrusted minaudière, or make a contemporary statement with a petite beaded pouch.
7. Canvas tote bags
A canvas tote bag will prove invaluable on a busy day in the city – they’re ideal for storing the spoils of a successful shopping trip, and for reducing plastic usage at the supermarket. Roll one up into your everyday bag, whipping it out at the tills, or carry it alongside a new-season belt bag for an on-point double act.
8. Clutch bag
No longer reserved for cocktail evenings, the clutch bag has truly come of age. Consider a long, slender leather style to sharpen up a daytime look, or explore the revival of 1950s lucite with a pearlescent box bag.