Trust me, it's not that the bag is a bad purchase, but sometimes when we see a popular look on a celebrity that we are dying to get we forget that tomorrow they will probably be carrying a new bag and you'll be stuck with the Pink Mulberry bag you had to have. Unlike celebrities, most of us are on a budget and therefore when we go to buy an expensive purse it's important that we are happy with it on down the road.
Now here is something that you may not want to hear - and trust me, I've been a victim of this. In college I really wanted a Louis Vuitton bag. I definitely don't think I wanted it because I thought it was the nicest bag in the world; I wanted it because it was a status symbol. So my boyfriend at the time shelled out the $1000 to get me this bag for my birthday. Now I will say that I did choose a bag that was functional and spacious (the batignalles vertical as shown below) but what I didn't consider at the time was what I was paying for.
You see, even though the canvas is a durable material it is not leather. The straps and the edges are in leather but the purse is not. Therefore, you are paying a lot for the brand, and not as much for the material.
These days I tend to be a leather person - I love the feel of leather. However, beware of soft, buttery, caviar leathers. They feel wonderful, but are terribly difficult to care for. Brands like Chanel excel in this leather (which is part of the huge price tag) but this leather wears much more quickly. You are much better off to go for a pebbled or grained leather. Although you may not like the look and feel as much, it will be much more durable.
Additionally, you have to consider color. Now I don't just say this because I think you will run out and buy a blue or a pink bag. If you think you'll be happy with that in a few years than go for it! However, what I do warn you of are the gorgeous lighter shades of white, ivory, and browns. As gorgeous as they are they show every move you make. So if you travel a lot, or wear dark denim, or tend to be a little hard on your items go for a darker shade. I was so disappointed when I purchased this Botkier Bianca bag several years ago in Ivory. I hadn't even carried it for a few hours before my denim started to show blue streaks on the ivory leather. Sure, it was in a location that was not visible, but after making the large purchase it was extremely disappointing!
Lastly - opt for functionality and styles you enjoy carrying currently. If you see a satchel bag you love but know that you hate carrying things on your wrist - don't buy it! Even though it looks great, you will be disappointed! This happened to me with a Marc by Marc Jacobs satchel I had been eyeing for some time. When it went on sale I knew that it had to be mine! However, after carrying it for a week I was annoyed. The satchel straps were not adjustable and I couldn't carry it on my shoulder at all. It even had a crossbody strap but I couldn't adjust it to fit perfectly. I ended up selling it on ebay about a month after purchasing it...
So there you have it - look for functionality, durability, and the price. You want to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck - and I have to tell you that with some higher end brands (like Chanel, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton) that will not be the case. If you want a classic bag you will be happy with for years to come look into Chloe, Prada, Mulberry and Miu Miu. These are brands that have intricate, modern leather craftsmanship for about 1/2 the price that you would pay for similar styles on the other brands. Here are a few of my favorites from these lines:
Chloe Marcie Leather Satchel, $1595
Miu Miu Matelasse, $1695
Mulberry Alexa, $1150
Start saving ladies - you won't be sorry!