If you look after it, a good quality handbag will last you for years. Choose a timeless style, and you could be looking at a companion for a lifetime. And remember, price doesn’t always equal quality. Think about the hardware and the stitching, especially around the handles.
To my mind, there is no universal answer to that question. It really comes down to what each individual woman is looking for. The perfect handbag for me might hold no appeal whatsoever for you – and vice versa.
I have not traveled the entire world as yet but I have travelled quite a bit to draw some inference of what quality handbags could look / feel like across borders.
Examine your handbag for:
- Stitching: The stitching and seaming should be consistent throughout, without any loose or stray threads. If the bag has a pattern, the print should also match at the seams. Also tug on any embellishments like hanging pulls or chains to make sure they aren't loose and won't fall off. Handbags made by proud, skilled craftsmen will have equidistance stitching. This means every stitch, both inside and out, is the exact same size as its neighbors. Uneven or irregularly sized stitching is a telltale sign of a poorly made bag. Ensuring the stitches remain equidistant around the corners of a bag is one of the most complicated aspects of handbag construction. For this reason, the corners and their stitching are an excellent indicator of bag quality.
- Quality zippers and other hardware: One of the best signs of quality is how the zipper opens and closes—it should glide smoothly. Similarly, other closures like buttons or clasps should close neatly and easily. A good rule of thumb is if the hardware on a handbag looks cheap or generally appears cheap, the bag is most likely poorly made. The finishes are a small (but significant) means for brands to put their mark on a bag, and when little thought is given to hardware, it is a reflection of the manufacturer’s overall lack of interest in the final product.
- Connections for the straps: The seams where the straps meet the bag body are very important, since those are high-pressure areas. Stay away from bags with handles that aren't stitched along the edges of the straps and that are only glued, because those handles will eventually separate.
- Fewer seams and parts: The more parts (snaps, latches, buttons, etc.) there are to a handbag, the more ways your bag can break. Similarly, as Saddleback Leather explains, many pieces of leather stitched together into a sort of quilt means lots of seams—and a weaker bag.
- Other fine details: Sometimes it's the little touches that show off a quality handbag. Things like feet on the bottom of the bag so it doesn't get dirty when you put it down, a key fob on the inside of the bag, a comfortable zipper pull, and exterior pockets with magnetic closures. Well constructed binding closely hugs the corners of a handbag. Any sign of puckered binding should be yielded as a warning sign to the woman looking for a high quality bag.
- Keep it structured -No matter what style you gravitate towards, geometric, linear, organic, a structural handbag is always the best idea. It will better withstand the daily wear and tear and it will easily retain its shape. The last thing you want is a saggy handbag, instead opt for a sleek and structural style that will last longer.
Your handbags should be a thing of beauty and a source of joy for you. Invest in quality ones and they'll last you many seasons.