9 Classic Forever Handbags That Will Never Go Out of Style

The fashion industry can place a lot of weight on newness, with a constant quest for the next It thing, the next big designer, and the trend we'll be wearing in six, 12 or 18 months' time. We are, however, seeing a shift in how we think about shopping, with an emphasis on longevity and wearability over viral pieces. Building a wardrobe of classics can offer a more sustainable approach to fashion.

This is why we spend much our time highlighting the items we think will always rise high above trends, making them the perfect pieces to invest in and add to your capsule wardrobes. We've already covered the best basics (think leather jackets, trench coats, Breton T-shirts, little black dresses and white shirts), and next up we're giving you a rundown on the classic designer bags that will always be in style.


(Image credit: Style Stalker)

A designer handbag is a big purchase, as they tend to cost £800+ when you're dealing with brands like Gucci and Loewe. This means you want to be sure you choose a bag you'll love and treasure forever—one that's not only practical but will slot within your existing wardrobe, and certainly won't be passé in a year or two. If you're in the position to invest in a designer bag, you'll probably want to put some thought into this decision. Below we have done the research for you and identified nine classic bags that have only become more and more popular with age. There are bags that were created over 100 years ago and some that are just a few years old, but they're all modern classics that will always be considered the height of chic.

1. Gucci 1955 Horsebit Shoulder Bag


(Image credit: @_jessicskye)

Style Notes: The clue is in the name when it comes to Gucci's iconic shoulder bag. Simple yet refined, the horsebit detailing is a signature code of the label's that dates back to the 1950s, so you can be confident that this handbag is a timeless one.

Shop the Gucci 1955 Horsebit Shoulder Bag:

2. Celine Triomphe


(Image credit: Streetstyleshooters/Getty Images)

Style Notes: There has been a lot of change in the overall aesthetic at Celine over the years, but one thing that has remained constant is the classic satchel-style Triomphe bag, which continues to be produced in an array of sizes, fabrications and colours thanks to its ongoing popularity. A clear indication that this shoulder bag is resistant to passing trends.

Shop the Celine Triomphe:

3. A.P.C. Half-Moon Bag


(Image credit: Getty)

Style Notes: The A.P.C. half-moon bag is a classic saddle bag that is one of the most timeless minimal pieces. It's so simple that this crossbody will go with every outfit.

Shop the A.P.C. Half-Moon Bag:

4. Loewe Puzzle


(Image credit: @_JESSICASKYE)

Style Notes: JW Anderson has turned Loewe's handbag department into a greatest hits collection, but it's arguably the Puzzle bag that will be his real legacy. This has a soft yet structural silhouette, with multiple straps so that it can double up as a top-handle, shoulder or crossbody bag, and it now comes in dozens of colours and textures.

Shop the Loewe Puzzle:

5. Acne Musubi


(Image credit: Brittany Bathgate)

Style Notes: Acne creates timeless, elevated basics, so it's not surprising the Scandi brand has a handbag on this list, even though it was only launched several years ago. The knot detail on the side of the bucket bag is a distinctive touch to this otherwise simple style.

Shop the Acne Musubi:

6. Chanel Quilted Chain Bag


(Image credit: https://www.instagram.com/symphonyofsilk/)

Style Notes: The Chanel 2.55 is the brand's original quilted flap bag and arguably the most famous bag in the world. It was the very first shoulder bag when it was created in 1955 and remains one of the label's most popular styles. When Karl Lagerfeld arrived at the label in 1983 he reinterpreted the 2.55, adding the double CC logo to create the 11.12 Classic Handbag that has become almost as iconic.

Shop Chanel Quilted Chain Bags:

7. Bottega Veneta Intreciato Leather Bag


(Image credit: Jade Belmes)

Style Notes: If you've got your heart set on a Bottega Veneta handbag, but are unsure which style will prove the most timeless, opt for one of their beautiful Intreciato leather styles. The woven pattern has been a house signature since the '70s, so it's not only iconic but it's already stood the test of time.

Shop the Bottega Veneta Intreciato Leather Bag:

8. Saint Laurent Logo Bag


(Image credit: @fakerstrom)

Style Notes: It doesn't really matter which particular style you choose here— if it's black with a gold YSL logo emblazoned on the front, it's instantly iconic. Classy and timeless, a YSL logo bag is undoubtedly a great investment.

Shop Saint Laurent Logo Bags:

9. Prada Galleria Tote


(Image credit: @lucywilliams02)

Style Notes: The New York Times has called this Prada's 'most iconic bag' which should tell you all you need to know about this perfect accessory. First released in 2007, it's still the first choice of editors and influencers alike and will be for many years to come.

Shop the Prada Galleria Tote:

This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.

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.