When the fashion world talks about investment bags, it’s usually a covert way of telling you, the buyer, that if you spend a ton of money on something you think (or at least hope!) you’ll wear more than a few times, it’s okay. Cost-per-wear (another term us fashion folks love) allows you to break down how much the item costs each time you wear it and in turn justify the spend. And we get it! Whether you’re spending $100 or $10, 000, if you’re forking over your hard earned cash you want to believe that it’s worth it—and that it will stand the test of time . So we narrowed down the playing list, choosing the top eight bags you can wear year after year.
Valentino Medium Vring Shoulder Bag, $3,295; valentino.com
A new release from Valentino, the Vring bag is destined to be an instant classic. If you’re not forced to carry your laptop to work every day, this makes for an ideal workbag: big enough—three fold-out compartments and one red zipper pocket—but not bulky. Just the right size to hold your commuter needs. Cut in all-black with a red tassel or a black and red mix, you’ll find yourself reaching for this bag when you want to add a touch of polish to your look.
Hermes Kelly Bag, $13,200; see hermes.com for more details
Though many would deem the Birkin bag the must-have classic from Hermes, don’t ignore the Kelly. Initially named the Sac à Dépêches, it was renamed after Grace Kelly used the bag to mask her first pregnancy from annoying paparazzi. Since then celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Victoria Beckham, and Kim Kardashian have carried the bag, giving the under-the-radar choice new life. It’s been said that a single artisan can spend up to 25 hours painstakingly constructing a Kelly bag, just a single indication of why the bag could be so pricy. Nevertheless, this is one of those bags that gets better with age, becoming more and more valuable due to its exclusivity in the marketplace.
Bottega Veneta Pouches, $1,250-2,950; bottegaveneta.com
A pouch may not seem like a classic or something you should consider dropping serious cash on, but imagine buying one and then being done. Literally never buying another “going out bag” or “formal bag” in your life. This Bottega Veneta pick affords you just that. Lined in natural suede, the woven leather clutch says I’m so rich (in spirit or literal cash, we’ll leave that to you) that I don’t have to lug my entire life around. I’m living footloose and fancy free!
A.P.C. Half Moon Bag, $470; apc-us.com
Find yourself obsessed with French girl style? Go straight to the source with this pick from Parisian brand A.P.C. The bag is practical (but not boring) thanks to the smooth, vegetable-tanned Spanish leather and has a long strap that can be worn on your shoulder or across your body. At less than $500 it feels like just enough of an investment, but won’t break the bank. Wear it with everything from a button down and jean shorts on the weekend to a floral dress at a summer wedding.
Dior Saddle Bags, $2,950-$6,100; dior.com
Debuted John Galliano’s spring 2000 Dior show, this bag was beloved by characters both real and fictional (think Paris Hilton and Carrie Bradshaw), in its heyday, but went relatively forgotten about when Galliano left Dior in 2010. Fast forward almost 10 years and the Saddle is experiencing a major resurgence thanks to menswear and womenwear designers, Kim Jones and Marai Grazia Chiuri. A new favorite of influencers everywhere, the uniquely-shaped bag is officially back and not going anywhere any time soon.
Everlane Foldover Crossbody, $150; everlane.com
If price point is a huge concern, look no further than Everlane. Fans of the brand love its “radical transparency”, in which they clearly break down the cost of their popular pieces for the consumer. Crafted in Spain, the Foldover Crossbody is a hybrid pouch and bag—and an ELLE.com favorite. Whether you buy it in neutral or bright red, the 100 percent leather option is, as one reviewer put it, “slim, sexy, and smooth.” Two zippers provide double the access to the interior compartment, making this your new go-to travel bag.
Prada Galleria Saffiano Bag, $2,490; prada.com
The ultimate boss bag, this medium-sized design is a great choice for anyone looking for a cool leather option that works in super corporate environments. Simple in design and equipped with a detachable strap, the bag can hold a tablet, change of shoes, plus anything else you may need for the day—all without losing shape or looking overstuffed.
Cult Gaia Ark Crossbody, $198; cultgaia.com
When polled, 47 percent of ELLE.com readers shared that they are open to trying new bag brands. We suggest starting with Cult Gaia. Founded in 2012 by Jasmin Larian, Cult Gaia bags are meant to be “beautiful heirloom pieces that will live in your closet forever,” according to the brand’s website. The Ark, one of the most popular styles, has become a a brand classic carried by celebrities like Jessica Alba, Michelle Williams, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Instagram influencers alike. Surprisingly roomy, the half-moon shaped bag is ideal for beach vacations. Carry your phone, keys, a disposable camera, and maybe even a folded magazine, then hit the sun and sand in style.
Photographer: Allie Holloway | Prop Styling: Linda Keil | Market Editor: Justine Carreon| Art Direction: Mia Feitel | Director of Post Production: Danny Ratcliff | Motion Graphics: Alina Petrichyn | Production: Suze Lee |