12 Best Designer Handbags in 2017

A bright new season is on the horizon, and what better way to celebrate than to splurge on a new designer handbag?

As far as accessories go, a perfect purse is a woman’s BFF: it will always fit, it will make you feel fabulous, and it will always have a purpose…unlike those barely-worn 4-inch stilettos that have been living in the back of your closet since 2012.

Shopping for the best designer handbag can be an overwhelming process, so we’ve narrowed down some of the best quality classic bags that will never let you down. Here’s hoping you find something you adore!

Top 12 Designer Handbags Ultimate Table

DesignNameTypeMaterialRating (1-5)
  1. Betsey Johnson Bow-Lesque Satchel SatchelPolyvinyl 4.9
  2. MICHAEL Michael Kors Bedford Pocket ToteTote/Handbag/Shoulder Leather 4.8
  3. kate spade new york Cameron Street Candace Satchel Bag Satchel Leather 4.8
  4. Nine West Jaya Crossbody Cross-body PVC 4.7
  5. kate spade new york Cobble Hill Ellen Cross-Body Handbag Cross-body Leather 4.6
6. MICHAEL Michael Kors Jet Set Top-Zip Tote Shoulder/Tote Leather 4.6
7. Coach Signature File Crossbody Bag F34938 Cross-bodyPVC Coated Canvas 4.5
8. Anne Klein Georgia Large Tote TotePolyvinyl 4.5
  9. Nine West Pillar Instinct Tote Tote Polyvinyl 4.5
  10. Anne Klein Perfect Small Shopper Tote Bag  Tote/Shoulder Polyvinyl 4.4
  11. Coach Outline Signature Zip Top Tote Shoulder Bag  Tote/ShoulderCanvas with Leather Trim 4.4
  12. Marc by Marc Jacobs New Q Hillier Convertible Hobo Shoulder/Cross-body/Medium100% Cow Leather 4.3

How to Choose a Designer Handbag

Are you still carrying around your favorite handbag from years ago, and it’s fraying, but you’re too attached to let it go? Or maybe you bought one last year that is a little rough around the edges, and you need a new one.

Don’t be scared to say goodbye to “old reliable,” because what’s around the corner is about to knock your socks off. Finding the perfect handbag is like finding a new BFF: you have to be patient and careful, but when you find it you will get that gut feeling…and from then on, everything will seem easy peasy.

But how can you tell that your handbag will really carry your precious cargo through thick and thin and will look good through the years? Whether shopping in-person or online, you’ll want to give every bag a thorough once-over before deciding 100%.

Here are some things to look for when shopping for the best designer handbag:

  • Structure – Does it stand on its own without tipping over? Do a thorough check to make sure that the bottom is sturdy. If your bag has “feet,” chances are the designers put a little extra thought in it. You’ll also want to look for a bag that has a solid structure and doesn’t tip over under the weight of your stuff.
  • Design – Can you find your things in it without too much digging around? Can you quickly grab your wallet and phone without extra stuff falling out accidentally? Are the pockets the right size for your cell phone and keys? Does the main opening zip or snap completely closed?
  • Size and Weight – You want to make sure that you choose a bag that’s big enough to hold your preferred selection of daily items but that doesn’t weigh you down, stylistically or literally. Carrying around a purse that’s too heavy can cause shoulder and back damage.
  • Hardware and Stitching – Buckles, clasps, and zippers should feel sturdy and solid, not light. You’ll also want to take a good look at the stitching on the liner to check for quality: top quality bags should show a high volume of even stitches.

Care and Cleaning of Your Designer Handbag

If there’s one thing you’ll want to commit to before buying a really nice handbag for yourself, it’s regular maintenance. Here are a few tips to keep your bag in tip top shape.  

  • Storage – Many high-end purses come with a fabric dust bag, so make a point of using it when the purse is in your closet; this will protect it from mold and other contaminants.

Be extra careful not to store your purse in overly damp or overly bright areas. You can also use stuffing to ensure that it holds its shape.

  • Wipe It Down – Once a week, use mild soap and water to give it a wipe down. Don’t soak it, just brush the surface lightly with a cloth. Don’t use baby wipes or anything other than mild soap. If your bag is leather, use a gentle conditioner on it every other week.
  • Air It Out – To clear out any unwanted smells, put an open container of baking powder carefully inside your bag, place your bag into a dust bag or pillow case and leave for 24 hours.

Fun Design Trends

Fashion is all about fun, and who doesn’t want to add a little pizazz to their wardrobe? If you’re looking for something a little different, here are some sensational seasonal trends you’ll want to look out for:

  • Mini Bags – Bright, eclectic and fun, these tiny purses fit the essential basics (earbuds, iPhone, keys, lipstick, sunglasses) while leaving your hands free to enjoy everything, day to night. With a designer mini bag, you’ll get a classic look without all the bulk.
  • Chains and Charms – Add a little flair to any purse with a dangly bit that’s sure to start a conversation piece. Tassels and drawstrings are both hot this season.
  • Prints – If you’re looking for a little extra flair, think florals, snakeskin, logos, and pop art.
  • Oversized – Always practical, designers are coming up with new ways to wear the typical oversized tote or shoulder bag. Keep an eye out for innovative design trends in backpack purses, cross-shoulder bags, single-strap sling bags and cinch bags.

Top 5 Best Designer Handbags Reviews

1. Betsey Johnson Bow-Lesque Satchel

If you’re looking for a little fun this season, look no further than Betsey Johnson, the queen of all things vintage and quirky. This daring little ditty is equal parts sophisticated, sturdy and cute, and it will add a bold flair to almost any outfit, day or night.

It comes in three different styles, one with a bright pink sequined bow and on black, one with a red bow on polka dots, and one with a pink bow on stripes. If you are a vintage style who loves a little sparkle, this is a good bet for your next go-to purse.

This is a bag that not only makes a bold statement in style; it holds its own in actual structure as well. It’s sturdy and a nice medium size to hold all the good stuff without weighing you down. Plus, at 10” high by 11” wide, it’s the perfect size for pretty much any frame.

2. Michael Kors Bedford Pocket Tote

Michael Kors has been a top luxury fashion label for over 30 years, and once you get your hands on one of their fabulous fashion pieces, it’s easy to see why. The design on the Bedford Picket Tote is second-to-none.

The purse stands easily and sturdily and offers enough room to hold everything without looking like a bulky sack. With one zip pocket on the outside and three on the inside, this is one of the best designer handbags for organizing your phone, keys, wallet and make-up…no more digging around in the black hole of a purse for hours.

The outside has four outer pockets for more storage. Overall, this handbag beautiful, sleek and perfect for any occasion, frame or outfit. You can easily take it from day to night and store everything while you’re at it. The leather is soft and luxurious, too.

3. Kate Spade NY Cameron Street Candace Satchel Bag

Nothing says simple and classic quite like a Kate Spade bag. This one, in particular, is sleek, simple and comes in a fantastic range of colors: from cherry red to powder blue to a range of black and white options; there’s sure to be something for everyone.

We love this bag because it can be worn as a shoulder bag, a handbag or cross-body style – and best of all you can take it pretty much anywhere. It’s a super chic option for work, day, night or travel. It’s sleek enough to be flattering on pretty much any frame, but still big enough to hold all your essentials, even a small laptop or iPad.

This bag will not only last through the ages; it will keep you classy through any situation or season.

4. Nine West Jaya Cross-Body

Here’s a unique little purse that’s perfect for any woman on your list, maybe even Mom! The unique geometric-shaped design comes in a few different style options, and it’s only 7” high, making it a great choice for travel or easy outings.

This purse is light and compact, never looks bulky and hangs well on any frame. The best part is that it has a 3-compartment type design as if it’s 3-purses-in-one so that it expands a little more depending on how much stuff you have in it, allowing for optimal organization and comfort.

Whether you’re treating yourself to a little luxury or buying it for a favorite gal pal, this sweet little bag will satisfy anyone’s taste and work with your wardrobe through the seasons.

5. Kate Spade NY Cobble Hill Ellen Cross-Body Handbag

This is the second Kate Spade to make our top 5 and for a good reason: the soft genuine leather, classic look and medium size make it a perfect choice for women of all shapes and ages.

The clean lines and simple design are deceptive since it holds a lot without being bulky. Moreover, the 14k gold-plated chain and buckle give it just enough flair while still looking simple.

This purse strikes the perfect balance between simple and classic…it’s so versatile and light, that it will be your go-to choice for most occasions. Plus, the adjustable shoulder strap allows for a good fit with any frame.

This bag is so light and well-structured, it’s just a dream to take anywhere. Plus you’ll want to touch the ultra-soft venus leather at every chance you get.