Building a Handbag Wardrobe – The Classics

I’ve always loved designer handbags. I’m happy with comfortable shoes, simple clothes and a few pieces of jewelry…but when it comes to bags – I have fancy tastes! I’m slowly trying to build a “handbag wardrobe” – a collection of classic quality bags that will suit many different occasions.

Here are some of my key pieces:

Everyday bag: Doesn’t show wear easily. Good for: going shopping or out to lunch.

My Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 in Monogram print
Mulberry Mini Alexa. Image Source here.

Cross-body bag: Hands-free & light. Good for: outdoor activities.

My Marc Jacobs Single
MBMJ Natasha in Blush. Image Source here.

Special Event: Can be small & delicate as it will only be used on special occasions. Good for: date nights and parties.

My Quilted Caviar Chanel WOC
My Balenciaga First in Sahara

Travel bag (to pack): Light enough to be packed/added to carry-on luggage and unfolded as needed. Good for: Trips where you have limited space.

My Small Le Pliage bag in Pink
  • Another option: Hard to choose another one – Longchamp has designed the best packable bag! Would love to hear your suggestions. (Edit: just remembered – I love Herve Chapelier bags for traveling, I have 2 small ones and 1 large one)

Structured Tote: Large enough to fit in documents and a laptop. Good for: work or traveling.

  • My bag: I don’t have one yet – getting one is not urgent for my current lifestyle. When I go back to work – I’d be seriously tempted by the Prada Saffiano Double Handle Tote
Prada Saffiano Small Double Handle Tote in Camel. Image Source here.
  • Another option: Celine Luggage Tote. Love the one featured on  Wendy’s Lookbook (originally posted here)

Mom bag: Similar to the “everyday bag” but needs to slightly more durable and spacious –  should be able to resist staining from sticky fingers and snack spillage. Can carry on shoulder if necessary. Good for: carrying your essentials while having space for wet wipes, drinks, kiddy books etc.

  • My bag: To Be Revealed – hubby got me my dream bag as a birthday/anni present! Update here
  • Another option: LV Neverfull in Damier Ebene (the darker handles are more stain resistant than the vachetta ones on the Monogram & Damier Azur versions)
Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM in Damier Ebene. Image Source here.

What are your must-have bags? Is there any category or bag you would add to my list?


Liked this post? Read my other bag reviews here!


  1. Rachel R
    July 16, 2012 / 6:07 pm

    That Chanel is perfect. I need that!

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      July 16, 2012 / 6:36 pm

      Thanks – I love the color and quilting of it. It's small – but definitely fits in the essentials for an evening.

  2. The Pretty Pinhead
    July 16, 2012 / 6:12 pm

    I like the Louis, Balenciaga and Chanel <3The Pretty Pinhead

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      July 16, 2012 / 6:37 pm

      Thanks! I've definitely gotten lots of use out of my Speedy bag – not so much the other 2 as I save them for special occasions.

  3. Beautygirl24
    July 16, 2012 / 6:26 pm

    Great post Ella! I too am working on building a classic handbag collection. I love handbags more then anything! I know so many women are obsessed with shoes…I like shoes, but the only luxury item I crave is a beautiful bag. I used to go for quantity, but now I'm working on quality. I guess that comes with age 😉 I really want an LV speedy or neverfull, as well as a Rebecca Minkoff MAC. I know I'll treat myself to an RM very soon! I absolutely love your bags, you have such great pieces.

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      July 16, 2012 / 6:42 pm

      Can't wait to see what RM you pick out – she has some gorgeous styles. I'm SUCH a bag person – but I think they're a good investment for me, because I rotate my bags and take good care of them…and I try to get bags that fit with my lifestyle/I'm not scared to use – no point in just collecting and storing them.

  4. Lilly
    July 16, 2012 / 7:06 pm

    I love your bag collection!There are a few bags I really want, one of them being the LV neverfull MM in Damier Azure. I've talked myself a few times into getting one but really quickly talk myself out of it. I have to work on that lol

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      July 16, 2012 / 7:11 pm

      Thanks Lilly! The Neverfull MM is such a practical bag – and the Azur print is so chic. I have a hard time justifying bag purchases (though it may not seem like it by this post LOL!) but getting them as birthday/anni presents OR saving up for them helps me feel better about it 🙂

  5. oomph.
    July 17, 2012 / 6:54 am

    I always splurge on my bags, too. Gucci has always been my choice, but lately I've been wanting that LV never full.

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      July 17, 2012 / 3:51 pm

      The Neverfull is very popular – and I think it looks so elegant too!

  6. Anonymous
    July 17, 2012 / 7:21 pm

    I'm such a bag girl too!! Your collection is absolutely gorgeous, can't wait to see what your hubs bought you!

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      July 17, 2012 / 7:23 pm

      You ARE such a bag girl – and I think you have a very classic collection. I know you're super-busy, but I'd LOVE to see a handbag collection post – you have so many gorgeous bags 🙂 I can't wait to reveal hubby's present – hopefully on my next post 🙂

  7. pretty little things
    July 17, 2012 / 9:12 pm

    just discovered your blog and I love it!I'm your newest follower! hope you can check me out as well!

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      July 18, 2012 / 3:33 am

      Thanks for following – I enjoyed looking at your blog – love your peach target jeans…can't wait for target to open in Canada!

  8. Taylor
    July 18, 2012 / 2:50 am

    why haven't i ever heard of la pliage!?! need to look into it. your blog is super cute, love your taste! xoanticipation

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      July 18, 2012 / 3:35 am

      Thanks Taylor! I always see lots of Le Pliage bag being sold at duty free in the airport – they're pretty reasonable there – otherwise selected department stores (or are good sources 😉

  9. Kacie Bear
    July 18, 2012 / 7:23 pm

    The neverfull is my 'mum' bag (I'm an Aussie!), love your blog!

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      July 18, 2012 / 7:34 pm

      Great choice – I bet it holds EVERYTHING! I've seen many mothers carrying them – and they hardly ever show any wear.

  10. lucia m
    July 19, 2012 / 6:09 am

    loving all your bags! <

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      July 19, 2012 / 2:07 pm


  11. z1477
    July 19, 2012 / 1:51 pm

    OMG I love bags too!!!! It's like your my BFF! I can't wait to here about your surprise bag that your hubby bought you – what a nice hubby you have! My current favorite bag is this purple Coach number that my sister bought me. You should meet her I think you'll like her taste in bags!!!

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      July 19, 2012 / 2:07 pm

      Always good to hear from a fellow bag lover 😉

  12. Canadian Beauty
    July 20, 2012 / 7:29 pm

    you have a gorgeous bag collection! I am beyond envious 😉

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      July 20, 2012 / 8:02 pm

      Thanks! Using a special bag makes me happy – and I'm glad I'm able to rotate and use all of my collection – makes me feel like they're a good investment 🙂

  13. MSodapop
    August 6, 2012 / 8:09 am

    Great choices <3I love messenger purses. So easy to walk around with <3

  14. Shayna
    September 20, 2012 / 2:26 am

    We have similar tastes in bags! I have the Timeless Chanel WOC and it's definitely a special occasion bag. I actually keep it nestled in its box locked in a fireproof safe (I'm very paranoid, but hey, it was expensive). I agree with you for all your other choices but I would choose the Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac as a cross body and the Michael Kors large Hamilton tote as a travel bag. Love the bag collection, I have a LV Speedy 30 it was my first designer bag and opened the door to my expensive addiction. I'll cheap out on clothing but never on bags.

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      September 20, 2012 / 2:30 am

      Oooh – a fellow bag lover – yay! Love the Minkoff Mini Macs – they're so elegant. And the MK Hamilton tote is gorgeous – especially the tan version…I think that may go on my wishlist next 🙂

  15. Anonymous
    November 14, 2012 / 5:17 pm

    Sorry to add such a late comment, but I had a bag related question I was hoping you could answer for me!I found your blog while searching the Celine micro luggage tote…I'm not currently looking for a designer bag, however I saw the Celine featured in a "What's In My Purse?" makeup vlog and it looks like it is so well-structured and easy to organize. As it seems you know much more about bags than I, could you recommend a similar structured style in a lower-cost bag?Thanks so much, and great post!

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      November 14, 2012 / 5:28 pm

      Would love to help you find a similar bag – bag-hunting is so much fun 🙂 Just wanted to know – what is your price range (i.e. below $100, below $500?) and are you looking for leather or is synthetic ok?

  16. Jammies Michale
    April 1, 2014 / 5:37 am

    I am looking into Tory Burch purses to find a small but stylish bag to carry on small occasions. That patent chanel looks perfectly sophisticated to me.

  17. Mahsa
    July 13, 2014 / 8:05 am

    Love all these bags, we certainly have similar tastes! I have the Mulberry Alexa but have to say the leather doesn't hold up as well as the price tag would indicate. Mine is brown so maybe a black would have fared better. I'm DREAMING of the Celine luggage bag, the price tag is super steep but I keep telling myself that I can pass it down to my daughter and that maybe it will have gone up in value in 20 years. I'm almost convinced 😉

  18. Amber Walker
    August 23, 2014 / 6:36 am

    I can dreammm! It's going to take me months to save for Michael Kors Selma large in black though as here in Australia its more than i make in two weeks! so anything more most likely will never happen, deeply jealous! 🙂

  19. samia hussain
    April 19, 2017 / 3:53 pm

    nice post

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