I'm Not a Bag Person but I've Fallen Head Over Heels for These Classic Styles

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(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

I have a confession. I was never really a handbag girl. Although fashion has been an anchor and lifelong passion of mine, I never invested much thought or funds in the designer market (except dreaming of the Chanel flap, of course). Aged 15, my aunt generously gifted me a pre-loved Burberry satchel and although I adored it, I wore it with careless abandon, until the edges became frayed from wear and tear. Said bag remained my only designer piece until my 30s, when I invested in the Dragon Diffusion Double Jump bag.

There's a well-known rhetoric that you either belong to the handbag or shoes camp but I've always been about the clothes (more specifically dresses). When I turned 30, however, I noticed a shift and leant into the power of small goods. This also coincided with the introduction of handbag brands far and wide. I found myself gravitating towards well-made bags and honed in on shoulder bags specifically, to compliment the considered wardrobe I was establishing. Therein, I began studying the intricacies of handbag design, the origin of accessory brands and stumbling across designers in their infancy. The bookish part of me enjoyed learning about craftsmanship, the anatomy of handbags and (in styling terms) how sleek accessories can uplift the simplest of ensembles.

Whilst it's important to note that the designer market is not always synonymous with quality, the designer brands I admire pride themselves on expertise and in many cases, heritage and the legacy of its predecessors — in the case of Chanel, for example.

Despite people's wavering funds, the luxury handbag market continues to boom exponentially and there's an evident appeal to sourcing and wearing designer that continues to live on. To some extent, the luxury market is broadening — paving way for mid-price brands that hold themselves to the same standard as their counterparts, regarding quality and design, so you needn't part with thousands of pounds to acquire something high in quality. Continue reading to see and shop a luxury shoulder bag edit, courtesy of a discerning handbag shopper who always prioritises quality over labels.

Shop My Edit of Designer Shoulder Bags:

The Best Designer Shoulder Bags Under £550

The Best Designer Shoulder Bags Under £1500

The Best Designer Shoulder Bags Over £1500

Promo image: @anoukyve

Freelance Fashion Editor

Avalon Afriyie is a freelance writer and storyteller based in London. She specialises in sustainable fashion, health and the narratives of marginalised communities.

She has a background in fashion show production and styling, having previously worked on The Clothes Show and with the Lyst Group. Since graduating in 2013 with a BA (Hons) in English and contemporary media, she’s worked as a feature writer for an independent publication and a contributor for Quill’s creator network. She now marries her passion for words and style, writing for some of the most esteemed fashion and lifestyle publications, Who What Wear UK and Stylist.

Avalon also provides copywriting services, creative consultancy, and visual media for independent businesses, including travel guides, interviews, press releases and blog posts. Her work has been featured on Lush, Contiki, Youswim and Ohne.

She spends her days writing to her heart’s content for business and pleasure, shooting on film and dreaming of residing a stone’s throw away from the ocean with her love and a pup (clad in a sweeping frock, of course). She’s currently penning ideas for a book of personal essays and free verse poetry on love, life and the stages in between.