• Maryam

The starter luxury handbag collection

There are my top picks to start off your Luxury Handbag Collection. These bags have been tried and tested to provide you with the absolute best recommendations.

There are two types of girls in this world. Those who like bags, lust over a few and buy them occasionally. Or girls who obsess, meticulously research and plan their handbag purchases. I am of the second variety. Hello, my name is Maryam - and I am a handbag addict.

I am a collector, curator and general luxury enthusiast. If I could only choose 5 bags to start a luxury handbag collection, these would be them. These handbags have been chosen to fulfil and fit certain needs in my life and wardrobe, earning them their place and keep. Each bag has been tried and tested.

The Starter Bag

My pick for the starter bag is the Louis Vuitton Neverfull. This tote is a useful handbag, great for work, going to the gym, travelling and as a carry-all. Why LV? When first dipping your toe into the cool allure of luxury, you want to buy something timeless; a brand with a history to match its high price tag and one you would truly be proud to carry. Louis Vuitton speaks for itself. The canvas material and overall construction of the Neverfull is incredibly hardwearing. It is my most carefree bag but also my most useful handbag. It was this bag that made me truly appreciate the quality of luxury. You are buying the brand name of course, but with it the deliciousness of superior quality and longevity. Some might not appreciate its over saturation, but I couldn’t care less. It will set you back £920 (MM, July 2019), but its cost per wear will be pennies. If you are someone that frequently carries a lot and loves the look of an effortless tote, this one is a must.

The Everyday Bag

The Givenchy Antigona, particularly size Small in black smooth leather, is my favourite everyday bag. It's a cross between the classic look of a doctor bag and a bowling bag. It carries all your essentials plus a few more. Its minimal branding, clean lines and size give you a classic look to suit your everyday needs. It can be worn both on the crook of the arm or, my favourite, over the shoulder with its removable strap. The smooth black leather is incredibly hardwearing, I have had it knocked countless times by pedestrians, been caught in the rain, you name it, it’s lasted. Although not as carefree as a canvas bag, it really has surprised me with how well the leather has kept its smooth glossy look with minimal scratches and signs of wear. The construction of the bag has also kept its shape impeccably, with very few dents at the back of the bag. I think an everyday bag should be a black bag, as they show little signs of wear and are more versatile pieces, particularly for my everyday style.

The Goals Bag

This bag for me is the medium Chanel Classic Flap in black, with gold hardware and caviar leather. A Chanel, with its recognisable CC clasp is everything that luxury should be - opulence, quality and art. Utter art. Its beauty is undeniable with its classic gold, shiny hardware, puffy quilts and functional structure and style. The bag itself dresses up an outfit like no other can, its eye-catching but oh so classic and sophisticated. Its caviar leather is shiny and more resistant to wear and tear than its lambskin counterpart. The caviar also gives it a more casual feel, while the lambskin makes the dressy bag even more of an evening look. I would wear it day to night - all day long if I could. From pairing it with my gym leggings and a zip up, to jeans and a t-shirt, and dresses of all styles - it is beautiful. I wear it on the shoulder mostly, with the chain doubled or as a high crossbody (more sporty look). Its high price tag makes it something coveted and slightly unattainable. Although the handbag is for my budget a stretch, it is something that I worked towards and a present for my 25th birthday, making the memory of getting the bag all the more special.

The Trendy Bag

The past couple of years Gucci has worn the crown when it comes to trendy handbags. Its colourful selection, materials and odd designs have made them relevant and desired. My choice for the trendy bag is the small Gucci Dionysus in the classic Gucci canvas print . In all honesty I didn’t like the bag at all when it came out, especially not with the embellishments. I found it tacky looking and actually quite loud. With time, seeing it more and more styled in different ways and slung over the shoulder of instagram bloggers, it grew on me. The first photo I saw where I decided I actually loved the bag, was in the all over grey/beige suede. It almost reminded me of something medieval-looking with its monochromatic pairing and silver buckle looking like armour dressing it up. I then nicknamed it - the Game of Thrones bag. While I have never come around to the embellishments Gucci offers on the Dionysus, I did start to love the canvas GG print - it added a vintage feel to the bag. A flap bag is always a good idea - they are easy to wear and in its smaller sizes the Dionysus is the perfect bag to go from day to night. There is something to be said about wearing a trendy bag. It excites me; it gives an outfit the edge. It might not be timeless - I actually don’t think it will be at all - but for now I am loving it, enjoying it and swapping out my everyday bag occasionally for it.

The Neutral Bag

Neutral can mean different things to different people, so for the purpose of my collection - neutral is a nude plain bag with little embellishments and a clean look. You can’t always wear canvas with logos, or pair black with light colours and floral patterns. Sometimes you need a bag that is perfectly muted but elegant in its own right. For that reason, I needed something special, which is why I added the dark beige Saint Laurent Sac de Jour in Nano. Although the Sac de Jour whispers Firkin to many, it reminds me of a young Lady Dior in its Nano size. The handbag in any size is a classic looking bag with minimal branding, but recognisable structure and style. Its shrunken mini bag style is trendy, but its boxy top handle silhouette makes it timeless. Now let's get onto the colour - the dark beige is my perfect nude. It pulls a beautiful nude (no yellow, or pink), that compliments my skin tone fantastically. This perfect colour is also its biggest con. With any light coloured handbag you need to be wary of colour transfer. This Sac de Jour is no exception - its supple grained leather is highly susceptible to pick up any dirt, colour transfer, marking or scratch. For that reason it is my most delicate bag, but my most aesthetically pleasing, as my luck has it.

Each handbag in my starter handbag collection earns itself a spot, whether for their functionality, versatility or practicality. With a starter bag collection, I think it utmost imperative to choose handbags that aren’t all delicate, that can be worn for a multitude of occasions and are classics to be enjoyed for years to come. Every handbag I own was chosen as per my aesthetic and love for the different luxury houses, however these top 5 bags would be the ones I would buy first if I had to start all over again.

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