I'm a Stylist, and I Think These Are the Designer Bags Worth Buying


(Image credit: @_jessicaskye; PICTURED: Gucci Horsebit Bag)

Buying a designer bag is a big decision. In most cases, it comes with a pretty hefty price tag, and so, more than anything, you want to make sure it’s a purchase you don’t regret. That’s why it’s always worth doing as much research as possible beforehand. There are so many styles out there now, and it can be hard, especially with the nature of It bags coming and going, to know which ones are truly worth your money. Well, that’s where I come in. Just think of me as your fairy bag-mother, here to advise you on the most classic, timeless designer bags that will go with everything and continue to elevate all your outfits for years to come. 

I’ve been a stylist for almost a decade, so I’ve seen a lot of bags come and go. The 25 styles I’ve listed below, though, have stayed the course, proving their worth many times over. Most of them have reached icon status, instantly recognisable and respected the world over as luxury at its finest. (We’re looking at you, Hermès Kelly and Prada Galleria.) Some are slightly newer to the scene, offering a more understated, "in-the-know” approach to luxury, like The Row’s Everyday Tote or Loewe’s Cushion perhaps. 


(Image credit: @pernilleteisbaek; PICTURED: Hermès Kelly Bag)

Depending on what you’re looking for, then, there are a few key tips I would suggest considering on your journey to find The One. First, have a think about what kind of bag you use most. Are you constantly out and about needing a hands-free crossbody you can count on? Or perhaps you want a work-friendly tote that can carry a laptop and double up as a roomy travel companion? This will mean you get the most out of your style and make the cost per wear totally worth it. 

It pays to have an eye for detail as well. Most of these premium styles are made with beautiful buttery leathers as standard, but my suggestion would be to look out for designer’s house codes that are still elevating their styles decades later. Think YSL’s historic logo, Bottega’s woven Intrecciato leather technique first used in the ’70s, or Gucci’s horsebit hardware from the ’50s. They’ve already shown how timeless they are, after all.


(Image credit: @_jessicaskye; PICTURED: Loewe Puzzle Bag)

My most important tip, however, is to not overthink trends, and choose the style your heart beats fastest for. It may sound obvious, but if you’re truly excited about a bag because you love it, not because someone on Instagram does, then you’re guaranteed to get joy from it for many years.

Keep scrolling to find out which styles made it onto my list of the best designer bags you'll never regret—from more contemporary styles under £1000 to classic, lifetime investments.

1. Balenciaga Neo Classic City

2. Prada Galleria Tote

3. Chloé Woody Tote

4. Loewe Puzzle Shoulder Bag

5. Saint Laurent Loulou Quilted Bag

6. Loewe Basket Felt Tote

7. Loewe Shell Raffia Bag

8. Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7 Bag

9. A.P.C. Grace Crossbody

10. Saint Laurent Solferino Crossbody

11. Loewe Cushion Tote

12. Gucci Horsebit 1955 Shoulder Bag

13. Gucci Jackie 1961 Bag

14. Mulberry Alexa Bag

15. The Row Everyday Tote

16. Loewe Cubi Bag

17. Jil Sander Canvas Shoulder Bag

18. Loewe Flamenco Mini Bag

19. Saint Laurent Manhattan Shoulder Bag

20. Valentino Rockstud Tote

21. Bottega Veneta Cassette Bag

22. Wandler Hortensia Bag

23. Bottega Veneta Jodie Bag

24. Fendi Baguette Bag

25. Hermès Vintage Kelly Bag

Up Next: I'm Convinced These Are the 13 Most Popular Designer Bags Ever

Emily Dawes
Affiliate Editor

Emily Dawes is the very definition of a fashion multi hyphenate. An editor, stylist and writer with over eleven years’ worth of experience in the industry, Emily is known for her impeccable taste, elegant outfit choices and being able to spot the next big thing in fashion from a mile off. Our readers loyally trust her advice and shopping suggestions; so much so she began her own column documenting the most expensive-looking pieces on the high street, which has become a top-performing piece of content for the Who What Wear brand.

Emily has worked for Who What Wear UK since 2020 in a myriad as roles, spanning from contributing editor and branded content editor. Now, she holds the position of affiliate editor and is responsible for the brand’s overall affiliate strategy, ideation and content execution. Working closely with Who What Wear UK’s affiliate manager, Emily has been instrumental in securing and nourishing brand partnerships, surpassing her goals as standard. Leading the team in tentpole shopping moments including Black Friday and Peak Trading, with Emily’s guidance and leadership, team Who What Wear is in a stronger affiliate position than ever before.

Prior to joining the Who What Wear team, Emily served as YOU Magazine’s acting fashion editor where she managed the fashion team and oversaw all fashion content output for the fast-paced weekly title. Emily is a stylist in her own right, having worked with a slew of VIP clients including writer and television personality, Elizabeth Day, as well as styling and art directing several celebrity cover shoots for glossy print publication, Grazia. Her adept fashion knowledge means brands regularly sought out to work with her as a consultant: previously she has developed marketing and content plans for brands for Cocoon and Edge of Ember. Before entering the industry, Emily obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and American Studies with International Study from Nottingham University. Fun fact: Emily spent a year studying in America which saw her join a sorority during her time there.

When she’s not working or tracking down the chicest, new-in items to share with our audience, you’ll find Emily bestowing her East London home with her stylish flair, reading everything from the classics to cowboy romance novels and escaping to the country with husband, baby boy and dog, Roo, whenever she can.

Emily is currently on maternity leave.