The 50 Best handbags

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Whether you want to tote it all around or carry a dainty piece of arm candy, Emma Akbareian has bagfuls of stylish accessories

Luxury:

Victoria Beckham

victoriabeckham.com, £1,195

This bag is now a classic style for the label. This season sees the design re-invented from the more generic shades of black and taupe, to this more springtime lilac shade.

Michael Kors

020 7409 0844, £995

They don’t come much sleeker than this prim and proper striped Middletonstyle bag by American brand Michael Kors. Everything about this oozes style.

Marc Jacobs

0207 399 1690, £1,245

A minimalist design in soft black calf leather, the only detail is a discreet silver fastening. An investment piece sure to be just as stylish in 50 years’ time as it is today.

Givenchy by Riccado Tisci

0800 123 400, £1,365

For those who like arm candy on the flashier side, this might be just the ticket. The Lucrezia bag will add a flash of colour to the most subdued of outfits.

Marni

020 7245 9520, £619

This style from Marni is a great choice for those who like to have a little fun. In a polka-dot design, it’s made up of perforated calf leather with contrasting lining.

Mulberry

mulberry.com, £2,000

For spring/summer the only bag on the shopping list of Mulberry fans is the Willow. The tote features a front pouch that can be unzipped to become a detachable clutch.

Alexander Wang

alexanderwang.com, £785

The new season style from the designer of the moment is the Prisma Skeletal Lunch bag. The fold-over tote has an urban cross-body shoulder strap and metal edging.

Burberry Prosum

burberry.com, £1,195

The Blaze bag comes in an unusual duchess satin material with leather handles and edging details. It is in a stunning jewel-toned colour palette of sapphire blue.

Jill Sander

net-a-porter.com, £570

The Nepote shoulder bag has a concertina design that means it’s roomier than it looks, while the green and cream colour palette and an understated design give it a retro feel.

Miu Miu

miumiu.com, £1,125

This lipstick red bag has a slightly forties-inspired, vintage feel about it. Team with a pencil skirt and oversized coat to nail this  season’s Miu Miu look.

Budget:

ASOS

asos.com, £40

Floral prints is a circular trend that comes round almost every year, so a fairly safe bet for spring. The combination of blurred florals on a black background gives this design a harder edge.

Dorothy Perkins

dorothyperkins.co.uk, £35

Dorothy Perkins is key for those looking to buy fashion trimmings that don’t give away their modest price points. This is a great everyday option and its monochromatic stripes also tick trend boxes.

New Look

newlook.com, £12.99

Laser-cut detailing and a pretty mint green pastel shade combine to make this an irresistible buy. This will make an ideal outfit companion that will see you through weddings, garden parties and barbecues.

Oasis

oasis-stores.com, £35

This multi-coloured style from Oasis has a handheld option and an over-the-shoulder strap in a versatile tote shape. The combination of tan, cream, green and turquoise make it ideal for summer.

Primark

0118 960 6300, £12

This is adorned with metal studs, gold zip detailing and a chain cross-body strap. You may not want to shout about where you bought it, but at £12 your bag will be the subject of many accessory admirers.

Wallis

wallis.co.uk, £30

You can’t go wrong with a tan shade handbag. If it’s for work, a trip to the park or hand luggage on the plane, this is classic in colour, inexpensive in price and functional in size.

Very

very.co.uk, £35

Neon was a massive trend on the runways for the season. Mixing detailing in pink and orange neon shades with a nude shade makes these garish colours wearable.

AWear

awear.com, £25

For those looking for a bag that is on-trend right now but also a timeless purchase, try this AWear Boucle cross-body option. Monochrome is all over the high street right now.

Littlewoods

littlewoods.com, £44

If you are unable to travel light, there’s no need to forgo style by carrying around an unsightly-looking enormous bag. Littlewoods’ Layla tote is fit for purpose and stylish.

Tu

sainsburys.co.uk, £18

A softer alternative to classic bag colours like black and tan is nude. Ideal for spring, this tote will make a refreshing addition to your wardrobe and work with every colour.

Work:

Clarks

clarks.co.uk, £69.99

When functionality is key you can’t go wrong with an allpurpose tote. Whether you’re lugging round a laptop or your lunch, this tan bag is a reliable investment in quality leather.

Florian London

florianlondon.com, £275

In a smart, structured shape and a cappuccino-coloured leather, this bag from the new name on the block in accessories is a practical choice for the workplace.

Hobbs

hobbs.co.uk, £229

The Eddie bag, with its textured leather in traditional navy, but with a modern curved tote shape, is a great demonstration of Hobbs’ contemporary design ethos.

Smythson

smythson.com, £1,395

The luxurious Eliot Large tote bag is made up of soft nubuck leather in a refreshing Prussian blue shade. It’s one of those rare creations that are almost too lovely to use.

Whistles

whistles.co.uk, £295

A mid-way step between high street and designer, this retailer’s take on laid-back luxe is a winning formula and, with this Lexington Doctors bag, it’s easy to see the appeal.

Tila March

tilamarch.com, £520

Tila March is the brand created by a fashion editor who needed a bag to see her through the international fashion weeks. A few years on and retailers and celebs are clamouring for them.

Sophie Hulme

net-a-porter.com, £560

This up-and-coming British designer has enjoyed sell-out success with her past few accessory collections. Clean lines and simple shapes are the key to her designs, as this blue tote demonstrates.

Zara

zara.com, £39.99

You can count on Zara for trends and economy. This bowling bag nails the monochrome trend and looks far more costly than its mere £40 price tag. Expect to inspire bag envy.

Banana Republic

bananarepublic.eu, £180

Notoriously hard-to-wear snake patterns are big for this year, and the Evan exotic satchel bag will add an immediate new season element to an outfit which is in need of a lift.

Raoul

0800 123 400, £392

Everyone needs a classic black bag and this Olivia tote, from the relatively new Singapore-based label, will blend seamlessly into your wardrobe, plus it’s a great office-to-evening style.

Casual:

The Cambridge Satchel Company

cambridgesatchel.co.uk, £115

Pick up an old-school-style satchel from The Fluoro collection for a conventional creation with a thoroughly modern twist.

H&M

hm.com, £59.99

The tassels, shoulder strap and suede fabric give this bag a rock and roll edge; simply team with jeans and a T-shirt for enviable effortless style – think off-duty model.

Jaeger

jaeger.co.uk, £199

Minimalism is having a moment and you can’t get more understated than this simple white tote from Jaeger. Just remember to steer well clear of any red wine.

Mimi Berry

mimiberry.co.uk, £183

Ignore any misconceptions you might have about wearing yellow; this Eric shoulder bag in the sunshine shade is handmade from fine Italian leather and will add some fun.

Rocha John Rocha

debenhams.co.uk, £89

This cream bowling bag, made from pretty laser-cut leather, from the Rocha by John Rocha range (available at Debenhams), is a steal at just under £90.

BHS

bhs.co.uk, £22.50

This cerulean blue shade is a key colour for the season. The cobalt hue is also very versatile to wear; use the bag to add a dash of colour to an all-black outfit or mix it in with whites.

Next

next.co.uk, £36

Photographic prints make a fun alternative to more traditional patterns. Get in on the action with this tote bag, which is emblazoned with a flower photo.

River Island

riverisland.co.uk, £50

River Island’s bag department is a favourite spot among its vast teenage fan base. This season, look out for this more grown-up style; the studs create a rock and roll edge.

Hunter

hunter-boot.com, £250

Traditionally known for its Wellington boots, the British outdoor brand has turned its hand to bags. The Ashleigh North South tote is made from super-soft leather.

Marks & Spencer

marksandspencer.com, £39.50

If you’re feeling the need to demonstrate a bit of Great British pride, this bag from Marks & Spencer might do the trick, with its blue stripes, red panels and white edges.

Evening:

Diane von Furstenberg

dvf.com, £689

For a spin on the more traditional evening clutch bag, this version is in a hexagonal shape. The multi-coloured mirror-style mosaic gives off a hint of a seventies Studio 54-inspired edge.

Mango

mango.com, £69.99

Get the Midas touch with this gold clutch from the high-street favourite. The box-style bag is made up of delicate gold beads and the addition of cream stones brings a homespun edge.

Wilbur and Gussie

wilburandgussie.com, £150

Add a bit of excitement into your evening look with this shocking pink envelope bag. Made from raw silk, the Charlie clutch – loved by the Middleton sisters – is finished with an encrusted brooch.

Dune

dune.co.uk, £55

When a little glitz and glam is called for, a trip down to high-street shoe retailer Dune will reveal a plethora of glamorous clutches including this E Magical version, which has an Art Deco feel.

Anya Hindmarch

anyahindmarch.com, £795

New season bag, the Duke, features satin printed panels in greys and blues for an unusual look inspired by Georgian trinket boxes. On the inside you’ll find a luxurious suede lining.

Weekend:

Cath Kidston

cathkidston.co.uk, £75

Fans of the vintage-inspired designer will love this spotty travel bag. Made from a lightweight matt oilcloth, it’s perfect for short breaks and is part of a matching set.

Radley

radley.co.uk, £299

For those occasions when rocking up with a tatty old gym bag just won’t do, head to specialist leather accessory label Radley. The Persley large holdall comes in tomato red.

Topshop

topshop.co.uk, £40

It’s not the easiest of tasks to find luggage that can be described as trendy, but for a travel bag that has the cool factor covered, try the studded Lady holdall.

Accessorize

accessorize.com, £39

This vintage-style weekend bag comes emblazoned with greetings in foreign languages, retro prints and old-fashioned letters, which all alludes to a time when travel was glam.

Longchamp

020 7493 5515, £485

There’ll be no mistaking your bag at check-in with this beauty from the French label. A re-invention of the iconic Le Pliage style, this version is in a vibrant yellow shade.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine