5 Easy Mistakes to Make When Buying a Designer Bag (and How to Avoid Them)


(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

Deciding to take the plunge and invest in a designer bag is kind of a big deal, as far as fashion purchases go. And whether it's your first one or your fifteenth, it's still pretty thrilling. That said, there's a lot to take into account when making such a significant purchase, and if you want it to be one you can wear for years to come, the purchase carries even more weight.

Since I live in a city that's devoid of many places to purchase a designer bag in person, the majority of my bag purchases have been made online. For that reason, I've really honed my bag-shopping skills and have a list of things I look for when considering a bag. I've found that there are certain aspects of a handbag that may not initially come to mind but that you may find cumbersome once you've lived with it for a while. 

Below, I've compiled my shortlist of bag-buying mistakes that are surprisingly easy to make so perhaps they can help to inform your next bag purchase. Read on for the list and to shop designer bags that definitely aren't mistakes in my book.

Mistake: Not Thinking About Versatility


(Image credit: @claire_most)

Sometimes I get set on a specific type of bag (like a bold color), but I've gotten pretty good at talking myself out of ones that I know I'm not going to wear much, as I always have regrets. Take the time to look at your wardrobe and think about where you would and wouldn't carry the bag you're considering and that will provide your answer as to whether or not you should add it to your cart.

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Mistake: Choosing a Delicate Material or Light Color for an Everyday Bag


(Image credit: @annabelrosendahl)

When it comes to everyday bags, you should expect that there's going to be some wear and tear, no matter how careful you are. With that in mind, I suggest shopping for things like grained leather or sturdy jacquard as opposed to nubuck suede or lambskin. And it goes without saying that a light-colored bag may not be the best choice if you want to carry it often.

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Mistake: Not Considering Straps, Handles, and Pockets


(Image credit: @lindatol_)

If you like an organized bag, you're probably well aware that interior pockets are crucial, so be sure to check the inside of a bag when shopping. Also, think about how you carry your bags. If you like for your hands to be free, a bag with only a top handle probably isn't going to be the best bet. Many bags have multiple strap options (i.e. a shoulder strap and a longer strap for carrying crossbody) so if that's appealing to you, that's where I'd direct my attention.

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Mistake: Opting for a Super-Trendy Bag When You Want It to Be Investment-Worthy


(Image credit: @jennymwalton)

I'm certainly guilty of being lured in by the latest It bag, even when it doesn't really suit my wardrobe. If a trendy bag is your goal then I fully support it, but if you want something with longevity, I encourage you to ask yourself if you'll still want to carry the bag on a regular basis ten years from now.

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Mistake: Choosing Something With a Cumbersome Closure


(Image credit: @slipintostyle)

If you're the on-the-go type (aren't we all?), you know that a bag that's difficult to open or close is annoying, to say the least, especially if your phone is ringing or you need to grab your keys at a moment's notice. Something else to consider is how secure you want your bag to be. If you live in NYC, for example, you may not want to invest in a bag with a wide opening that items could easily fall out of.

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Next up, 30 luxury winter finds that'll keep you cozy.

Allyson Payer
Senior Editor

Allyson is a senior editor for Who What Wear. She joined the company in 2014 as co-founder Katherine Power's executive assistant and over the years has written hundreds of stories for Who What Wear. Prior to her career in fashion, Allyson worked in the entertainment industry at companies such as Sony Pictures Television. Allyson is now based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She holds a BFA in theater. Her path to fashion may not have been linear, but based on the number of fashion magazines she collected as a child and young adult, it was meant to be.