What are the different “levels” for handbags — and how do you upgrade your handbag collection? I’m curious to hear what readers say.
We’ve already talked about how to upgrade your professional wardrobe, as well as where to buy grown-up furniture… up next in our Next Step series: handbags. I’m pretty solidly in Bucket 3 at the moment. I had a lot of fun wearing purses a few years ago, striving to wear a new one from my collection every week — but now I tend to reach for the same one whenever I head out, so I can see the sense in having a Bucket 5 bag if that’s the only one you wear.
(Here’s what I usually carry in my bag.)
To me, the must-have details in any bag are a good leather or durable canvas (unless it’s a really fun color that I’ve never owned before — and a good sale), interior pockets, feet, a zipper on top — and I always appreciate an attached key fob and fun lining. Ladies, what are your must-haves? Which buckets of bags do you currently own — and have you been upgrading them as you move up the career ladder? Which brands am I forgetting in the different buckets?
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Stay tuned for some of our latest favorite handbags for work!
Bucket 1: Budget Bags
- Nine West
- Thrifted bags (you often can get great deals)
- TJ Maxx/Flash sale special (i.e., whatever’s on sale at Rue La La, Gilt, or Hautelook)
Bucket 2: Midlevel Bags
- Ann Taylor
- Banana Republic
- Coach (logo bags)
- Kate Spade Saturday
- Lauren Ralph Lauren
- Levenger (Halloween sale – take 31% off your entire order!)
- Longchamp (nylon)
Bucket 3: Upgrading
(can usually be found on sale or full price for $250-$500)
- Brooks Brothers (but some bags in Bucket 4)
- Coach (leather bags) (moved from Bucket 4 as per reader discussion — see below)
- Cole Haan
- Dooney & Bourke
- Kate Spade New York
- Lo & Sons
- Michael Michael Kors
- Rebecca Minkoff
- Tory Burch
Bucket 4: Splurges
(rarely on sale, usually around $600-$1200 full price)
Bucket 5: Money Is No Object
(usually start upwards of $1500)
Bucket 6: Different Ballpark
(can cost as much as five figures)
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