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Before parting with any hard-earned cash it is vital to know that you are getting value for money. Functionality, durability, safety, and desirability are major considerations when buying a designer bag.

Nothing makes an outfit more than a posh Prada Messenger bag or a cool Kate Spade purse. Choose one that is versatile enough for you to take anywhere. There are three big questions to answer before making a designer handbag purchase.

  1. How easy is the bag to carry around?
  2. How does the bag fasten?
  3. Do you love it?

Functionality and Durability

If you intend your bag to be a major investment, then the most practical and versatile is a handbag that falls between smart and casual. A dual-purpose designer bag needs to be more of a classic piece than a one-season wonder, so go for something that is less inclined to date.

Subtle branding and soft-relaxed leather will enable a bag to be more durable without it becoming outdated or showing signs of wear.

Consider the size and weight of the bag in comparison to its likely contents. Is it practical to carry around without it causing back pain or shoulder problems? Taking the stuffing out to get an idea of its real capacity and to imagine it weighing twice as much once it is full.

A saddle or messenger-style bag with a cross-body shoulder strap is a practical alternative to a handbag if you expect to carry a lot. With all our modern-day electronic gadgetry, more and more women are carrying everything but the kitchen sink. Designers are having to make their bags more sturdy at the request of some major retailers.

Consider the practicality of the straps or handles. Will they fit comfortably over a coat or a thick sweater? Look at the stitching. Is it strong enough? If the stitching is angled then the handles will be more durable. Cotton stitching is used on the best bags as it expands to fill the needle hole.


Nothing entices an opportunist pickpocket more than an open bag without a fixed clasp or zip. Shopping in markets or crowded shopping malls makes you a perfect target. A practical bag needs a sturdy zip or fastened pockets to keep your valuables stored safely.

Consider the placement of outside pockets. Is it easy for a would-be thief to access your mobile phone by lifting the flap? Make sure the clasps are strong enough to do their job. Go for brass or nickel and look at how well they are fixed to the bag.


Buying a bag that makes you feel good is preferable to blindly following current fashion trends. Having a bag that you love will boost your self-confidence and you will get more use from it. A great bag can make a classic outfit and give you oodles of style. However, make sure and choose a type that compliments your body shape.

Caring for Your Bag

Most designer brands like Prada and Gucci offer a repair service. If your bag develops a technical fault then you can contact them and request a replacement.
Keeping the exterior clean can be done by using saddle soap, which also conditions. Interiors can be protected by using washable, removable liners (known as Intelligent Pockets) sold through many online stores.

Should your bag get wet, keep it away from artificial heat, like radiators or airing cupboards. Instyle magazine suggests packing it with tissue paper and leaving it to dry naturally.

Fake Designer Bags

If you are spending a small fortune on a bag in the belief that it is an original, then there are some worthwhile tips to follow to ensure you don’t get caught out. Nowadays, fake handbags or “knock-offs” are getting harder to spot, given the improved quality of counterfeit bags flooding the market from Asia.

Having carefully made one purchase the chances are you will soon be saving up for the next. Everyone woman should have three bags. A tote/shoulder bag for every day, a clutch bag for nighttime, and a mid-sized bag with a chain-link strap for all the times in between.

A Buyer’s Guide To Designer Handbags