The 50 Best handbags
Whether you want to tote it all around or carry a dainty piece of arm candy, Emma Akbareian has bagfuls of stylish accessories
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pick up an old-school-style satchel from The Fluoro collection for a conventional creation with a thoroughly modern twist.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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