Look good, feel better

With structured doctors' bags in vogue this season, it's never been nicer to take your medicine
  • @R_Gonsalves

Those who decry fashion as impractical nonsense would do well to familiarise themselves with the selection of functional handbags that appeared for autumn/winter.

With a capacity that would put Mary Poppins to shame, oversized doctors' style bags appeared on the catwalk, well platform, of Louis Vuitton's golden age of rail-inspired collection – complete with personal porters to carry them.

Elsewhere, Miuccia Prada matched Seventies tailoring with practical, stiff-handled frame bags in mustard, brown and green at Miu Miu, while at Prada black and purple versions were made from crystal embellished satin or high-shine luxurious leather.

Not just on the catwalks, the handbag collections of Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen and Yves Saint Laurent all offer structured bags, which thanks to high-quality leather, ladylike detailing and sturdy frames will last if you're looking for an investment piece. And this is a trend worth investing in – the shape returns in the resort pieces which arrive in store soon to bridge the gap between the traditional autumn/winter and spring/summer collections. Marni's resort collection includes a crystal-embellished top-handled version.

Of course, replicating the look on the high street is easy with a host of ladylike styles from which to choose. Crystals and embellishments are perhaps best avoided though, with a lower standard of production high-street bags may shed their sparkle with speed and you'll end up with a bag that looks tired and dated, and not in a retro way. Instead, keep things relatively simple – coloured leather will see you through until spring, while black versions will be perennially popular.