My personal values when it comes to style are 1) all items should be able to be mixed into a minimum of two outfits, 2) it should reflect who I am & 3) quality over quantity. Honestly, having a lot of items in your wardrobe isn’t all that. When you downsize you have less choices to make when you get dressed, you will become more creative with your looks and you will only buy items you really want.
When it comes to bags you should have the same values. I know, I know. I used to be someone who always said “you can never have too many bags” too. But unless you buy bags as an investment, you don’t need to have a full closet of them. If you have these 5 chic classic bags in your curated closet, you are set. Let me explain why…
THE FLAP BAG
The bag that will make any outfit 10x chicer
Obviously the flap bag needed to be the first on the list. In case you didn’t know — how? — the Chanel flap bag has been a classic for years. It’s the one bag I think almost every girl or woman dreams of having one. People save up for it. People pay a lot of money for vintage versions. It’s just a great investment bag.
What I love about the flap bag is that it doesn’t really matter from which brand you get it, the shape is what makes it so chic. Wear it with the most basic outfit and all of the sudden it is the most chic thing you have in your closet. Just with one bag — fashion magic.
If you are willing to invest, the Chanel flap bag should be your first choice. I personally love the chevron print more than the quilted 2.55 so my choice would be something like this: Chanel Chevron Envelope 9” flap bag*.
Another black and gold option is the Chloé Faye medium leather and suede shoulder bag*. I have heard that it is on the heavier side but if we are going on looks wise this is one of those ‘instant chic outfit’-bags. If you want to spice things up and keep it fall themed, this Valentino Garavani VSLING large textured-leather shoulder bag* in Burgundy is perfect for you. The textured leather is usually a good bet if you want a bag that will last you long and can wear often. Plus because it is a structured bag, it will keep its shape.
If you are on a budget or simply do not want to spend too much on a bag, check out the Rebecca Minkoff selection. They are not budget bags but still really reasonable priced for the quality you get. I personally have two RM bags that are still in good shape after 2-4 years. The Rebecca Minkoff Chevron Love Cross Body Bag* is the bigger version of the mini Love that I have. This one is also all black and still one of my favorite flap bags out there.
ALSO READ: CREATE YOUR OWN CHIC CURATED WARDROBE
THE CAMERA BAG
The every day bag
The camera bag is another one that could not be missing from the classic bags list to have in your capsule wardrobe. I think it is clear that I love my Gucci Disco bag* as I wear it almost daily. It has a more casual look than the flap bag has, which makes it perfect for every day use. And it fits more than you would think — I can easily fit my camera in it with a bunch of other things.
You can get a camera bag in different sizes but I suggest getting a medium sized one. For me it is the perfect size for every day use. My mom has a smaller version and often times can’t take everything she needs with her.
Other classic camera bag options…
Do you want a camera bag with a more playful look? The Saint Laurent Lou medium quilted velvet shoulder bag* is a little more in your face with the gold hardware and mixture of velvet & leather textures. Or take it up a notch with the Fendi embossed leather camera bag* if you want something even more flashier. I’m usually not that into too many logos but love the strap on this bag. It is on the pricier side of camera bags so make sure this is an item that will fit in your curated wardrobe for the long run.
Another camera bag that I thought was pretty cool and perfect for the fall season is this Anine Bing Alice Bag*. I love the green/brown leopard print in combination with the pony hair — you have to see it to get it.
RELATED: CREATE YOUR SIGNATURE WORK LOOK
TIP: Try to avoid getting bags that look too similar. I know everyone loves a massive bag closet for aesthetic reasons. But unless you are collecting rare handbags as an investment, you don’t need a lot of options. At the end of the day you can only wear one bag at a time.
THE TOTE BAG
For anyone who wants to carry their life with them at all time
Another bag that can’t be missing among your classic bags collection is the tote bag. Even when mini bags are what most people flock to, the tote still remains as one of those functional bags you can count on. For work, a quick grocery trip or as a carry-on bag — the tote has got your back.
Classic & simple…
My personal taste when it comes to totes is simplicity. This Saint Laurent large shopper* is the perfect example. Simple & classic style that can carry everything you need and more. For a pop of color for your work looks, go for the Valentino Garavani Rockstud medium leather tote* in Burgundy. It is still a simple design but the color and studs give it a little something extra.
If you are more of the small tote club, this Saint Laurent Tribeca medium quilted textured-leather tote* is the one for you. Just a bit different without losing the chicness of simplicity. But if you really want the wow-factor on a budget, I would suggest going for the H&M shopper with a faux patent leather look*. It will carry everything you need without breaking the bank while still making a statement.
The casual & functional bag to have
A casual and more functional classic bag is the backpack. It’s better for your back than any of the other options but can still look as chic when you pick the right options. Personally I don’t like backpacks with front pockets. I don’t know if it is an irrational fear but I always think that people will try to steal things from it. Maybe it is just my weird mind who always thinks up the worst scenarios. Anyway, I like backpacks that only have pockets on the inside. I just won’t use the front pocket.
One option I’ve talked about in my laptop bags post is the Senreve The Medium Maestra Bag*. This is the medium version that will hold an iPad but not a 13” or up laptop. Still, I think it is an interesting bag to have because you can wear it as a backpack but also crossbody or handheld. Another simple backpack is the Mansur Gavriel Leather backpack*. Simple leather backpack that will go with everything.
The one that I have high on my wish list is the Chloé Faye backpack*. It seemed to be sold out everywhere unfortunately but I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to add it to my collection. However, the sister brand See By Chloé does have a really cute version in their collection as well that looks pretty similar*.
TIP: Add a pop of color into your classic bags collection. As someone who always defaults to black bags I want to add a little color into the mix. It will probably be a dark red or khaki but still it is a color. A black bag is easily to add to outfits but try to switch it up with a color that mixes in seamlessly into your capsule wardrobe.
Your companion for any party or special occasion
The original mini bag and the last one on your classic bags list is the clutch bag. It’s that little pouch you can carry with you that has everything you need to spruce up your look or your lifeline to getting out of a conversation.
Classic bags to consider…
You can go classic with the Saint Laurent Monogramme quilted leather pouch* or Valentino Garavani The Rockstud leather clutch* — both simple with gold hardware details. Or go for more of a statement piece like the Alexander McQueen Knuckle embellished croc-effect leather clutch*. The last one is perfect if you usually wear your go to little black dress from your curated wardrobe to almost any occasion. The first two are right for you if you like to switch things up dress or suit wise.
A semi budget option that is simple but still steals the show, is this Clare V. Leopard Flat Haircalf Clutch*. This is the one that I would happily add to my own collection. The leopard print in combination with pony hair texture is a style weakness of mine.