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Expert Shopper Fashion Accessories

Best high-end handbag

Which high-end handbag is best?

High-end handbags are coveted the world over by those who are fashion savvy. In addition to being functional as a place to store your essentials when you’re on the move, designer purses can be status symbols. Some are designed with the designer’s logo stamped on them to make the origin of the bag crystal clear to the world. The most desired high-end handbags even have waiting lists of people eager to get their hands on one.

One stylish option is the COACH Tabby Leather Shoulder Bag. This moderately sized shoulder bag features color blocking that gives it subtle flair. The “C” Coach logo adorns the front closure in gold tone or silver tone, depending on whether you choose the handbag in rouge or granite. 

What to know before you buy a high-end handbag

Choose a style that suits the purpose

If you’re going to spend a significant amount of money on a handbag, you want to use it as often as possible. For this reason, think about the purse’s intended purpose and choose the style accordingly. There are many different styles of handbags, including:

  • Clutch: The ideal bag for dressy occasions, clutches are designed to hold small items.
  • Tote: Made for daily use, totes are generous in size and typically have a single compartment and either no closure or a quick closure like a snap.
  • Crossbody bag: Consisting of one long strap that drapes across your body, crossbody bags are slightly smaller than shoulder bags. 
  • Satchel: Frequently sold with a long shoulder strap in addition to the two handles, these midsize bags typically have ample storage space for items like a laptop and books.
  • Shoulder bag: Perhaps one of the most widely used types of purses, shoulder bags are worn slung over the shoulder and are roomy enough to store all your essentials.
  • Hobo bag: Once strictly a trend, hobo bags have risen in the ranks to become a fashion standard thanks to their crescent-shaped, slouchy profiles.
  • Wristlet: Ideal for social activities like bar hopping and music festivals that require a great deal of moving, wristlets can hold small valuables such as keys, debit cards, cash, your ID and lipstick.

Select the appropriate size

Picking out a handbag in the appropriate size can seem tricky, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Use this basic rule when shopping for a high-end handbag: It should be large enough to carry the items you need, but not so large that it’s impractical and gets in the way. If you’re carrying a small handbag like a clutch, consider using a smartphone wallet case, which will hold your iPhone and small items. These iPhone wallet cases recommended by BestReviews are a great place to start looking.

Follow care instructions

A high-end handbag is an investment that’ll last many years if you take good care of it. Follow all care instructions carefully. If you take shortcuts, you could end up damaging your expensive purchase.

What to look for in a quality high-end handbag

Shoulder-strap style

Handbags are designed with several different strap styles that include shoulder straps, crossbody straps, no straps (in the case of clutches) and straps that are part of the body of the purse (in the case of hobos). Consider how you plan to carry your handbag when making your decision about which strap style you want.


While many high-end handbags are constructed of supple leather, snakeskin or crocodile, you can find designer purses made of fabric. If you like the look of leather but are opposed to wearing it, many designers now use vegan leather to create handbags.


Purses are available in a kaleidoscope of shades from neutral browns, tans and blacks to vibrant primary colors.

How much you can expect to spend on a high-end handbag

The term “high-end” implies that handbags in this category are expensive. However, within that umbrella or expensive is a broad range of prices. Designer purses start around $200 on average and can cost thousands of dollars. In general, you can expect to pay more for handbags constructed of material like leather. 

High-end handbag FAQ

What should you look for in a high-end handbag?

A. If you’re going to invest in a high-end handbag, quality is critical. Examine these characteristics when shopping for yours:

  • Material: It should be in good condition, with no scratches, fading or discoloration.
  • Hardware: It should be securely sewn onto the material, zippers should glide easily and the metal should be free of tarnish and chips.
  • Stitching: It should be firm with no snags as well as consistent and symmetrical.

What’s the difference between a handbag and a purse?

A. Originally, purses were small bags used strictly for storing coins. They were often referred to as “coin purses.” These days, however, the terms “handbag” and “purse” are interchangeable.

What’s the best high-end handbag to buy?

Top high-end handbag

COACH Tabby Leather Shoulder Bag

What you need to know: Color blocking gives this shoulder bag unique style while its simple design and moderate size make it versatile.

What you’ll love: If you want a handbag with style that’s memorable but won’t overwhelm your outfit, this one fits the bill. Available in granite or rouge, this purse features a color-blocked design in the front. The front closure is crowned with a brass-tone or silver-tone “C” logo. This handbag is constructed of leather and suede for a luxe look and feel. It has one interior zip pocket and one slip pocket to securely store your stuff. You can carry this purse using the detachable handle or strap.

What you should consider: A few dissatisfied buyers reported the two straps came unhooked constantly and easily.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

Top high-end handbag for the money

DKNY Bryant Leather Dome Satchel

What you need to know: The classic dome shape and satchel style of this leather purse will make it a wardrobe staple for many years.

What you’ll love: You can accessorize both casual and dressy ensembles with this handbag. The gently rounded dome shape and simple design details give it an elegant aesthetic. The red and black versions of this purse are accented with gold-tone hardware while the white version is accented with silver-tone hardware. This handbag is on the small side with dimensions of 10.5 inches wide, 7 inches high and 4.5 inches in diameter, but it still has plenty of space for small items.

What you should consider: Some buyers were unhappy with the size of the purse. They felt it was too small for daily use.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

Worth checking out

MICHAEL Michael Kors Signature Half Dome Chain Crossbody

What you need to know: Designed in the popular crossbody style, this chic signature handbag will take you from day to night effortlessly.

What you’ll love: The Michael Kors logo is stamped across the bottom half of this purse and lettering is set in gold-tone hardware in the soft-pink top half. Fashionable chains adorn the straps. The unobtrusive size and profile of this half-dome crossbody handbag means it won’t interfere with your busy schedule. You can quickly and easily stash and remove your stuff due to the convenient flap snap closure. One zip pocket, one slip pocket and three credit card slots give you storage options.

What you should consider: At least one buyer felt the purse was too small in size for the price.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

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Megan Oster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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