Questions to Ask Before You Buy a New Handbag

A beautiful handbag is the quintessential luxury purchase – a fashion item that can be used every season and is the finishing touch to any outfit, suiting all shapes and sizes.

We’ve asked two of our #brandstotrust, Vana and Bronagh Holmes Luxury, what you should consider before making that special investment, so you know you’re making the right choice. As always, remember – keep it classic, keep it conscious.

 

How do I choose a piece I’ll love for years to come?

 “Classic, timeless and graceful are the epitome of style and longevity. Choose a style that will transcend time and can be an heirloom for the next generation.”  Vana

If you’re investing in a bag, it’s wise to consider if it’s a piece you’ll want in your wardrobe for years to come – trends come and go, but the right bag can be a style classic. To ensure this choose quality craftsmanship and a style that isn’t too trend-led. Classic doesn’t have to mean boring, think about what matches your personality – bright and colourful or minimal and muted?

“Think about how the piece will look in 5, 10, 20 years…will it look dated and old fashioned or will it still look good on your arm or your daughters or even your grand-daughters.”  Bronagh Holmes Luxury

 

Loewe
Flamenco Knot Small Bag – Marine

Okapi
Small Yemaja – Beige

Gabriela Hearst
Ella Bag – Burgundy

Bronagh Holmes Luxury
Aeryn Medium

Aitch Aitch
The M.K. – Stone

Vana
Akiri Croc Nude

 

What style of bag suits my wardrobe and lifestyle?            

“A woman’s handbag is her personal signature and her best friend. It is important to take into account a customers’ lifestyle and personality.”  Vana

Now comes the difficult bit. You might fall in love with a particular bag, but will it really suit your lifestyle? Always on-the-go and carrying your life with you, then opt for a tote. Or if you like to stay hands-free and can travel light, perhaps a neat cross-body style is more your vibe.

“Decide whether you want an everyday bag, a showpiece, a statement piece or a pure treat that will only be used once a year. Once you decide how functional you want your bag and what you’ll carry in it, that will determine the size and functionality.” Bronagh Holmes Luxury

Once you know the style you want, take some time to analyse your wardrobe – would a neutral colour that complements any outfit, or perhaps a bright pop of colour for something more playful? You might like to find hardware finishes that will match your jewellery, or opt for bespoke details like monogramming or colour personalisation for a truly unique finish!

“Handbags can easily transition the many roles of a woman’s life. The emphasis of course is to express one’s individuality and make a special statement, be it in its colour, versatility or style.”  Vana

 

Loewe
Barcelona Flower Shoulder Bag

Bronagh Holmes Luxury
Alana – Scarlet

Okapi
Small Aziri – Brown

Maiyet
Sia Shopper

Louis Vuitton
Tournon

Aitch Aitch
The Rosa – Teal

 

What do I need to know about the leather – how do I know it’s been ethically sourced?

“Do your research. Research the company. They should have some details on their website, if not then ask.”  Bronagh Holmes Luxury

If you’re considering buying from a brand, don’t be nervous to ask them about where they source their materials. Brands that source ethically should be happy to share this information with you, with more and more having a dedicated section on their website about materials or sustainability.

Be particularly careful when it comes to unusual or exotic leathers – this is an area where many skins are still illegally traded, so ask to see a CITES certificate to prove that the brand is working with ethical and controlled farms.

“CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna & Flora) is an international agreement between Governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants do not threaten their survival. This certificate is important as it ensures that the farming of these endangered species is monitored and controlled. It also proves that you bought the product from a reliable source for travel and customs purposes.”  Vana

Maiyet
Sia Hobo

Mayshad Paris
Timeless Bag – Lemon

Vana
Jana Ostrich Perla Rosa

Loewe
Puzzle Bag – Stone Blue

Aitch Aitch
The Ella – Black

Gabriela Hearst
Demi Bag – Snake

 

How do I look after my handbags?

“A bag that is well stored and lovingly used will truly last a lifetime.” Vana

One of the reasons that leather has been used for centuries in luxury products is that it’s natural durability means it often improves in appearance over time as it softens and wears. This doesn’t mean that that doesn’t need care and attention, a few simple steps will help keep your bag looking its best for years.

Over to Bronagh Holmes Luxury for a few leather care tips;

  • Everyday use will wear your bag out quicker, so try to alternate when you can.
  • Don’t overfill your bag, it can stretch the leather – pop a foldable tote in for if you need extra space when on the go.
  • Store your bag in its original dust bag away from sunlight – fill with tissue paper to help it keep its shape.
  • If your bag gets wet, carefully blot dry with a cloth. Don’t rub the surface as this can remove colour or cause discolouration.
  • Apply a leather wax or conditioner every month or so to prevent the leather flaking or wrinkling. Remember leather is a skin and needs ‘moisturised’ from time to time!

Bronagh Holmes Luxury
Arina

Mayshad Paris
Zip Clutch – Grey

Loewe
Avenue Embossed Cross-Body Bag

Okapi
Mawu – Flame Red

Gabriela Hearst
Nina Bag – Green

Louis Vuitton
Capucines PM

 

If you enjoyed this, you might like to read Our Guide to Buying Ethical Jewellery or Style for All Ages: The Work Wardrobe.

 

Sophie Corfan