Favorite Handbags & Handbag Regret

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I’m a handbag girl! I can walk the mall for hours and not get tempted by shoes, jewelry, lipstick or even an overpriced coffee. When I see a bag it’s a completely different story. I just feel like it is staring at me and begging me to become its rightful owner. However, I definitely have to do a lot of research before purchasing and wait a long time because handbags are a huge investment. It’s nice to know you’ll have them forever as opposed to said lipstick, but with that longevity comes a huge commitment of making sure you truly love it and are spending your money wisely.

For the most part, I love what I purchase. But I’ve had a few misses over the years. In case you are on the fence about a bag or two, I thought I’d share 4 of my most asked about bags, my reviews and which one I really think you shouldn’t spend the money on!

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Chloe Drew

Pros:

This is a bag that easily fits with whatever you are wearing. I’ve taken it tailgating. I’ve taken it on date night. I’ve taken it to fashion week. It’s not bulky, but it can still fit just what you need! The great thing about Chloe bags is that they end up being pretty timeless so it isn’t sitting in the back of your closet in a year or so.

Cons:

I don’t love the chain strap. This seems to be the biggest con with the bag. People either 100% love it and swear that’s the “it factor” of the bag or people complain about the craftsmanship. I haven’t had an issue with anything breaking, however, this isn’t a bag I would feel comfortable with overstuffing.

Sizing:

9 ¼”W x 8 ¼”H x 3″D

20 ½” strap drop

1.4 Pounds

Overall Thoughts:

I’m going to start this post off by saving you money. I don’t recommend splurging on this! While I love it and I truly do wear it all the time, it’s not functional in the slightest! I’m thankful I didn’t pay full price because I actually purchased it from a girlfriend after she bought it. She wasn’t getting a ton of use out of it and I thought, “I’m up for the challenge! I’ll take it out everywhere!” haha. However, the chain strap digs in your arm. It feels awkward depending upon what you are wearing, especially if you have on a tank in the summer. The compartment to open it can be a pain at times, as well. If this bag were a boy it would be the good looking one you take to weddings but you can’t actually manage to date because he comes with too many problems! [Sorry for my awkward dating analogies, I always like to use them!] The other reason I say to not splurge on this bag is because you can find great dupes at H&M or Zara. I do think I’ll use this bag more when baby comes just because I need to be hands free, but I still don’t think I’ll get over my loathing of the chain strap. In terms of what this bag fits, I can easily fit my phone, keys and a card case along with a lipstick. I have the small size, not the mini or large. However, I can’t fit a full wallet or makeup bag which takes away a functionality point in my book.  If you’re looking for a designer crossbody, I say go for this one as I’ve gotten much more use out of it! It is a lot sturdier and has much more room for your items.

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Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM

Pros:

This is a classic bag that will always be in style and can always be carried. Even though I purchased this in college while working for a PR agency, I always thought I’d carry it as a diaper bag. However, I ended up not doing that simply because I use this bag so much and was worried I’d need it for other occasions. The thought of switching out a bag daily for a diaper bag seemed silly! I love to take this bag while I travel because I never worry if it matches what I’m wearing as it just works with whatever I’ve packed!

Cons:

Louis Vuitton leather is known to age, which is actually something people love about the brand. However, I wish the arm straps were a bit thicker because mine have aged quite a bit. I get a little nervous that I may have to replace this bag in 5+ years because of that factor. However, that would mean that I’ve had the bag for nearly 10 years and worn it into the ground so I can’t complain too much.

Sizing:

15.7″L x 13.0″H x 7.9″W

Overall Thoughts:

This is the bag I probably get the most questions about! I have it in the GM size which is the largest because I originally purchased this bag for work to carry my laptop when I worked at an office. I’m definitely tempted by the MM size as well and lean towards that one in the Damier Azur! The MM is what most LV stores recommend for you to carry every day and the GM is recommended for travel and work and then the PM is the smallest. However, I say if you’re taller you will gravitate towards the GM as I have heard the strap and drop length of the MM can be uncomfortable under your arm. And if you’re petite don’t worry about the GM swallowing you. I’m 5’3″ and feel that I can confidently carry this bag because of the side toggles that provide it with more structure. I can fit my laptop, makeup bag, a sweater, flats, a wallet and a smaller purse in it! When I don’t use this bag I make sure to stuff it with this insert from Container Store so it won’t lose its shape. I also use this clear insert at the bottom during use to make sure the bottom would never sag. Now I normally recommend to girls to buy their designer bags preloved from a reputable site or store, however, this one I wouldn’t. LV bags are known to show wear on their leather [it’s one of their staples], but some girls don’t take as good care of the leather. Because of that it could look a lot more worn than it actually is. I’ve also found that buying these pre-loved only save you about $100-$200 less [whereas sometimes you can save up to $1000 with other bags] so I would generally try to avoid that with this bag unless you get lucky!

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Saint Laurent Large Monogram Grained Leather Shoulder Bag, shade: Poudre

Pros:

In terms of style, this is probably my favorite handbag I own. It feels ladylike when worn with both shoulder straps, but when I convert it to a crossbody bag it just feels more relaxed. I think the shape is quite classic and the color goes with everything! It also has grained leather so I never worry about scratches.

Cons:

The only con I have with this bag is that it did have to be sent back to Saint Laurent right when I got it, but that was my fault. Paul and I took a trip to NYC and snow ended up coming in that weekend when it was supposed to just be 60 degrees. I hadn’t packed accordingly, so I ran into J.Crew and picked up a parka. However, the parka had a deep dye to it that stained everything from my sweaters to my jeans. This type of coat honestly needed to be dry cleaned before worn. I wore my bag on the outside of my parka [huge mistake on my part] and so it got a bit of dye on it. I normally can clean my bags with an alcohol-free baby wipe, but that didn’t work. Saint Laurent took the bag back and was able to clean it and return within 4 weeks. This is completely my fault, but I did want to mention this occurred.

Sizing:

12″W x 8 ½”H x 2 ½”D

12″ strap drop; 20 ½”

2.2 Pounds

Overall Thoughts:

This bag was a complete and total surprise for my birthday this past year! Paul and I normally would never splurge like this on one another, but he actually had never seen me on my birthday until this year. He used to work in public accounting and this was such a busy time of year he would literally have to work through the night on my birthday. And so this past year he kept saying he had to make up for 4 other birthdays in one. I opened it that morning and I was shaking because I was in shock and thinking, “Is this for real?!” I love how feminine it is and I especially love the grained leather! I always get so nervous with leather that isn’t grained because I’m convinced I’ll scratch it and ruin it. The other wonderful thing about this bag is that it fits your wallet, your sunglasses, a makeup bag and your phone. It’s not a traditional shoulder/crossbody bag that will literally fit two Doritos and a gulp of air before it won’t shut! Haha. Another pro about this bag is that the chain strap allows it to be carried as a shoulder bag, or you just drop one strap and carry it as a crossbody bag. As stated in my “pros,” it transitions from formal to casual quickly, which is important when spending this much.

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Prada Saffiano Cuir Small Double Bag

Pros:

If I could only have one bag for the rest of my life and I knew I would be working in an office environment, I’d go with this bag! It not only goes with whatever I’m wearing, the leather is incredible quality. Prada is known for their specific leather treatments that allow their handbags to be really durable. I hate spending a lot of money on a bag and then being nervous that my keys scratched it. Life happens, so I certainly can’t feel like my bag needs to be in a bubble! I love that I don’t worry about this when carrying a Prada bag.

Cons:

I haven’t had this bag long enough to really find cons to it! The only thing I will say is that this bag can be a bit tricky to hunt down and I’ve had a lot of readers e-mail me about that. If you are a blogger, that can definitely be frustrating to your readers.

Sizing:

13″W X 10″H X 6″D

5.5″ drop with handles, 20.5″-22.5″ drop with crossbody strap

Overall Thoughts:

I sadly don’t have as many photos of this bag because it is newer! This is the ‘cammeo’ shade which can be a little tricky to track down and this is also the smaller sized bag. You have to check measurements because certain Prada stores call this size the medium but retailers call it the small. For example, the Prada in Vegas is known to call this the size medium and the larger one the large and online they are just referred to as small and medium. If you’re nervous about leather being damaged, this bag was made for you. Prada makes this specific leather for their bags so that they won’t become damaged. I watched a lot of Youtube video reviews and one mom even showed her little one chewing on the strap for 5 minutes and there were no indents after. Granted, I don’t recommend that, but this new mom felt really comfortable purchasing this after watching that! It also has a strap that allows this bag to be worn on the shoulder and it has little gold-feet on the bottom so your bag won’t be damaged when set down. There is a middle divider that can also hold items and I personally use it to store receipts. I couldn’t fit my laptop in this bag, but other than that I think it’s really chic for work!

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The Look For Less

So what if you love a designer purse and can’t justify the price? I 100% understand that! There are so many bags and items I can’t justify and don’t have to. We all have preferences on how we allocate our money and with the prices of classic handbags going up each year there is a solution! I’m all about resale shops that are credible! I actually purchased the LV bag featured in the above photo from resale. I’ve purchased a lot of my handbags that way, unless it has been for a special occasion. Here are a few sites that I know are credible and you can get your bag authenticated and if not, they refund you. Most of the time when you purchase from these sites it comes with the dust bag, original price tag [it will say so online] and they always come with the unique authenticity number. Now some girls have luck on Ebay, however, knowing me I would buy one and get ripped off. I stick to these retailers when buying resale:

Keeks

Fashionphile

The Real Real

Gilt

[Gilt isn’t usually resale, but they have flash sales so the bags are for much less and they typically only have one in stock at a time. However, sometimes the bags are used and if so it will say.]

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Non-Luxury Bags

So what about bags that aren’t considered “luxury” bags? Here are a few of my favorite bags under $200.

Under $100

Under $200

I hope you found this review to be helpful and please let me know if you want me to review any different bags! Thank you so much for reading!

XOXOKatey-2

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34 Comments

  1. Hayley wrote:

    I love this post! I have the LV speedy bag and have almost had it for ten years. I’m worried that I’m not caring for the leather correctly. Could you do a post on that? Or share your insight to this? ????

    Published 08 Feb 17Reply
  2. Nikki wrote:

    I need that Prada bag! <3 Thank you for sharing your favorites and advice! Buying designer bags can be tricky, so your opinion is really appreciated!

    XOXO, Nikki

    Published 08 Feb 17Reply
  3. Erin Jernigan wrote:

    This is one of my favorite posts! I live in a state without high end department stores, therefore, I don’t always have access to look at designer handbags before purchasing. Bloggers are a huge help to me when purchasing items! Thank you for everything you do, Katey!

    Published 08 Feb 17Reply
  4. I love the look of the Prada Saffiano Cuir Small Double Bag! The shade of pink is so pretty.

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Published 08 Feb 17Reply
  5. Britt M. wrote:

    YESSSSSS!!!!! I LOVE this post! I have been dying over the Saint Laurent bag for months now, and I am so glad you featured this one and that you recommend this! I’m going to take the plunge for sure now:) Thank you so much for this post Katey!!!!!

    Published 08 Feb 17Reply
  6. Nicole wrote:

    I just got the LV GM for Christmas and am always terrified its going to scuff or lose shape. Love the linked clear plastic sheet that goes at the bottom of the bag. However, the link looks a bit sketchy, I assume you’ve had no issues with the site??

    Published 08 Feb 17Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Nicole!

      No issues at all! Another blogger actually recommended it so I tried and if anything I was shocked and impressed. I got my inserts so quickly! Xo

      Published 08 Feb 17Reply
  7. Hannah wrote:

    I really really loved this post. It was super helpful. I am obsessed with all the bags you chose. Definitely do another post like this again!
    Hannah
    glamlifeliving.com

    Published 08 Feb 17Reply
  8. Courtney wrote:

    This was one of my FAVORITE posts you’ve done! I really want to invest in a designer bag when I go to Europe this summer and its so refreshing to see an honest review. Sometimes seeing pictures of all the “it” bags makes it seem like the bag is fabulous (ahem Chloe) but in reality, it’s just an expensive pain in the butt. I had a feeling about that one! I LOVE your LV crossbody and that is so on my wishlist.

    Published 08 Feb 17Reply
  9. Nikki C. wrote:

    I have largest LV Neverfull in the Damier Ebene. I love this bag so much! I stuff it so full of things to take to work, even my lunch. Lol! If someone works in an office, like I do, I would highly recommend. I don’t carry it much when I go out shopping and such since I have terrible shoulder problems, but it is my workhorse and I wouldn’t want to go without it.

    Published 08 Feb 17Reply
  10. Nina wrote:

    Loved this post! I definitely need to remember the Prada for when my baby girl gets here, because I’m obsessed with that bag!

    Xo, Nina
    Law of Fashion Blog

    Published 08 Feb 17Reply
  11. Ashley wrote:

    Hi! Great post 🙂 So I’m looking at a Prada Small Cuir but they’re saying the measurement is 10″W x 7″H x 6″D. Is there a size smaller than yours?

    Also is the chain heavy on your Saint Laurent??

    Thanks!

    Published 08 Feb 17Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Ashley!

      Oh no! Mine is from the exact same link I featured in the post and I was told that was the small! My friends have the larger size which is considered “medium.” However, I do know that Prada changes this bag with shade options each Spring, so they could have totally added another size to the collection!

      I don’t find it to be heavy in comparison to the bag weight at all! 🙂 I hope this helps!

      xo,

      Katey

      Published 09 Feb 17Reply
  12. Torey Beerman wrote:

    Thank you SO MUCH for this review! I’m on the verge of purchasing my first LV bag and loved hearing your thoughts and opinions on it 🙂

    toreystreasures.com
    @toreystreasures

    Published 09 Feb 17Reply
  13. Lauren wrote:

    Hi Katey! I loved this post. I actually have that Prada purse in beige and love it! I’ve always admired your YSL bag though. Is it really easy to scratch it? I usually tend to get durable purses that way I don’t have to baby them, especially when large dollar amounts are involved. Thanks!

    Published 10 Feb 17Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi girl! It’s so durable! One of the pros about it is the grained leather which I love! I never worry about scratches which is so so nice! I’m the exact same, I never want to buy a bag that I think will get ruined. I get way too nervous about that. Haha! Thank you so much for reading. I hope you have a great weekend. 🙂 xoxo

      Published 10 Feb 17Reply
      • Lauren wrote:

        Oh that’s great to know! Thanks for your reply! Hopefully you get to meet your little girl soon! I hope you enjoy your weekend as well ????

        Published 11 Feb 17Reply
  14. Danielle wrote:

    Hi! Could you comment on how your clean your leather on your LV? I have the same bag but am unsure how to go about cleaning it and keeping the leather in good condition. Thank you!

    Published 10 Feb 17Reply
  15. Katie wrote:

    Love this post and your honesty about what you loved (and didn’t as much haha!). I’m planning on investing in a LV Speedy this spring and your comments about LV in general was super helpful!

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com

    Published 11 Feb 17Reply
  16. Kathryn wrote:

    So thankful for this breakdown! Love the bags, lady 🙂

    xx Kathryn
    http://www.chicandshimmer.com

    Published 13 Feb 17Reply
  17. Alisha wrote:

    The Pouchette Metis is definitely on my wishlist! xo, Alisha Ricki | Life(Style) &Travel,

    Published 14 Feb 17Reply
  18. pat. wrote:

    Bags set style.

    Published 15 Feb 17Reply
  19. Angie wrote:

    Hi Katey – very helpful post this is! Can I also ask for the YSL beige back – have you had similar staining (with other clothes such as jeans etc) ever since the first time? Thanks!!

    Published 03 Oct 17Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Angie! Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words! I’ve been lucky and worn it with denim and had no staining issues!! Totally my fault the first time around! 🙁 xo

      Published 03 Oct 17Reply
  20. Kelsey wrote:

    Little late to the party! But I was wondering what size bag shaper you got from the container store for you GM?

    Thanks! Purchasing my first one this weekend ????????????

    Published 25 Oct 17Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi girl! I’ve only ever purchased in store and with it being years ago I can’t remember! 🙁 But I think it was the largest size! xo

      Published 25 Oct 17Reply
  21. ellyie wrote:

    yes, i love this post too, very nice

    Published 13 Dec 17Reply
  22. sehar wrote:

    I just love LV bags so so much. Just one thing, how do you keep your leather bags clean

    Published 08 May 18Reply
  23. Lubna wrote:

    The prada bag is simply Love. I don’t think anyone would ever give me such an amazing bday gift. Lucky you, girl!

    Published 16 May 18Reply
  24. hartley wrote:

    I love Guscci and Armani Hands begs But i love michael kors hands begs as well. i really love this blog also good guidance about begs

    Published 13 Jul 18Reply
  25. Handbags are Love <3
    Loved the blog. The bags collections are amazing. Would definitely buy one of these.
    Thank you.
    Bella Parker
    https://popbagusa.com

    Published 18 Jul 18Reply
  26. Awesome collection. I like your hand bags. You share the handbag design is very beautiful and uniqueness. Thanks for sharing useful blog.

    Published 14 Aug 18Reply
  27. Crystal wrote:

    Thank you for your post! I’m actually on vacation with my husband in Europe and can’t decide which handbag to take home as a souvenir. Your post is helping me narrow it down to the YSL and/or Prada. Now the task is to hunt down those beautiful colors.

    Published 25 Nov 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Have so much fun on your trip girl!! Enjoy! xo, Katey

      Published 26 Nov 18Reply