Author Topic: Suggest a good quality handbag and purse?  (Read 3978 times)

daverobev

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Suggest a good quality handbag and purse?
« on: November 15, 2016, 04:56:10 PM »
DW's leather handbag is about done. So, I need to get her a new one. She currently has a leather thing, about 1 foot/30cm long, maybe half that wide, and perhaps 10 inches deep.

Can someone suggest - ideally available in Canada - where I can get a good quality (like, 5+ years daily abuse, full of... women stuff.. I don't know, business cards, keys, makeup, sometimes a water bottle). Having compartments - plenty of differently sized - is good. Having a matching purse/wallet (needs plenty of slots for debit/credit cards - she has business, personal, work cards) would be even better.

Budget not sure, but if it's something that'll last a long time, a couple of hundred dollars doesn't seem unreasonable. Not bothered by brands at all, but something sturdy and good quality is what I'm after.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Suggest a good quality handbag and purse?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2016, 05:00:58 PM »
Second hand is ALWAYS the way to go for bags. But if you buy it for the brand, know how to spot a fake.

pbkmaine

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thingamabobs

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Re: Suggest a good quality handbag and purse?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2016, 05:25:04 PM »
Roots?

dragoncar

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Re: Suggest a good quality handbag and purse?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2016, 05:41:31 PM »
I'm not sure I buy into all the "good quality" hyperbole, but my wife got some Kate Spade outlet stuff that seems to hold up.

daverobev

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Re: Suggest a good quality handbag and purse?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2016, 05:45:57 PM »
Second hand is ALWAYS the way to go for bags. But if you buy it for the brand, know how to spot a fake.

I could go to Value Village and hunt but... I'm pretty clueless...


daverobev

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Re: Suggest a good quality handbag and purse?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2016, 05:48:08 PM »
I'm not sure I buy into all the "good quality" hyperbole, but my wife got some Kate Spade outlet stuff that seems to hold up.

Well, the thing is, quality and price are not necessarily linked. Expensive doesn't mean it'll stand up to abuse. So I'm looking for something other handbag users have found decent - good materials, good stitching. This thing will be used every day and hold all sorts of things.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Suggest a good quality handbag and purse?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2016, 06:54:25 PM »
I'm not sure I buy into all the "good quality" hyperbole, but my wife got some Kate Spade outlet stuff that seems to hold up.

Well, the thing is, quality and price are not necessarily linked. Expensive doesn't mean it'll stand up to abuse. So I'm looking for something other handbag users have found decent - good materials, good stitching. This thing will be used every day and hold all sorts of things.

Hence my thrift store recc. I bought a no name, no label leather purse at a garage sale for $1.50. I've been using it non stop for 3+ years now. Learn to recognize real leather, and what shape its in. Learn to care for real leather. Check the stitching. Check how the zipper teeth are. There are lots of guides online.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Suggest a good quality handbag and purse?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2016, 07:24:34 PM »
Second hand is ALWAYS the way to go for bags.

This idea kind of grosses me out. I've seen what women do with their handbags...putting them on bathroom floors, restaurant floors, etc. Ew. I gotta be honest here: I would be less than thrilled if my husband bought me a used handbag. That's a no for me. YMMV.

That said, here are a few insights you might not be aware of because you don't carry a handbag:

Certain handles are pretty much guaranteed to not last as long. If a handle is sewn directly onto the bag, especially with "horizontal" stitching (across the handle), it's prone to rip at the stitching. Here's an example from Fossil:
https://www.fossil.com/us/en/products/keely-tote-sku-zb6934005c.html

On the other hand, handles/straps that have a metal "joint" are good for a couple of reasons: they avoid the problem above, and they allow the handles to fall, which I prefer. Here's an example: https://www.fossil.com/us/en/products/kendall-satchel-sku-zb7103001c.html

Zip-tops are much more secure than snap tops.

Shoulder straps and cross-body bags enable hands-free carrying, which is nice, so I'd recommend either for a long-term, everyday bag.

If you read reviews, you'll see that many women like a lot of built-in pockets. I could go either way on this. If your wife's current bag has them, she'll likely want them.

Bags that are on the deep discount rack/shelf/display at big department stores (such as Macy's in the states) are generally there because they're ugly or otherwise unappealing.

Bags that are too deep (top to bottom) can get annoying because everything falls to the bottom and you have to dig to find what you need. We don't want to work that hard to find our keys, pen, powder, etc.

Many women like an exterior pocket for their cell phone. Optional, especially if your wife is security-minded.

Brands I like: Fossil, Brahmin, Frye (Okay, I don't have any Frye bags, but they make some nice ones). I love the softness of the Fossil leather. And I love the stiffness of Brahmin.

Brands many women like: Coach, Kate Spade, Michael Kors (Michael...ahem...REALLY likes his stuff, price-wise; way overpriced in my opinion).

Good luck!

the_fixer

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Re: Suggest a good quality handbag and purse?
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2016, 07:32:21 PM »
My wife has one from sherpani that has held up forever and she is not easy on stuff.

http://www.sherpani.com/

With This Herring

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Re: Suggest a good quality handbag and purse?
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2016, 08:01:06 PM »
I'm somewhat surprised no one has mentioned this yet.  If you are spending any significant amount of money on the purse, please make sure your wife sees it and okays it first.  For most women, the appearance of a purse can be as important as its function.  I was going to say that I am the exception, but I realized that I am not.  Though I am not fashionable and last bought a purse 10 years ago for $10, I have very specific ideas of what I want any purse or tote of mine to look like.

I bought a nice purse for my sister six months ago.  We went to many department stores - finding nothing that hit all the points of price, style, size, quality - and eventually found her ideal purse on EBay.  We are close, but I would not have picked out anywhere near the right purse if I had to guess, even after given her basic description of what she wanted it to look like.

On to your question:
My sister's purse is Dooney & Bourke, in their "All-Weather Leather" line, which is reputed to be very durable.  We got it used at a fraction of the new price, and it has very little wear.  She hasn't had it for long enough for me to give anecdata, though.

a-scho

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Re: Suggest a good quality handbag and purse?
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2016, 09:05:28 PM »
If it were me, I would want you to ask what bag I am interested in. I would hand you a color printout. Then, I would feign surprise when I get it. 

But if you want to go the "really a surprise" route, I would go for something made of real leather, a neutral color, similar "look" to other bags she has had in the past, and, most of all, a purchase that is returnable.

MsPeacock

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Re: Suggest a good quality handbag and purse?
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2016, 12:05:10 AM »
I'm somewhat surprised no one has mentioned this yet.  If you are spending any significant amount of money on the purse, please make sure your wife sees it and okays it first.  For most women, the appearance of a purse can be as important as its function.  I was going to say that I am the exception, but I realized that I am not.  Though I am not fashionable and last bought a purse 10 years ago for $10, I have very specific ideas of what I want any purse or tote of mine to look like.



This 

Goldielocks

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Re: Suggest a good quality handbag and purse?
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2016, 12:10:19 AM »
DW's leather handbag is about done. So, I need to get her a new one. She currently has a leather thing, about 1 foot/30cm long, maybe half that wide, and perhaps 10 inches deep.

Can someone suggest - ideally available in Canada - where I can get a good quality (like, 5+ years daily abuse, full of... women stuff.. I don't know, business cards, keys, makeup, sometimes a water bottle). Having compartments - plenty of differently sized - is good. Having a matching purse/wallet (needs plenty of slots for debit/credit cards - she has business, personal, work cards) would be even better.

Budget not sure, but if it's something that'll last a long time, a couple of hundred dollars doesn't seem unreasonable. Not bothered by brands at all, but something sturdy and good quality is what I'm after.

DH bought me one last year from the Danier Leather clearance sale...   It was not the style I would have chosen, myself, but the right colour and awesome real leather more than made up for that and I use it a lot.  I am not sure how much, but likely well under $100.

Khaetra

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Re: Suggest a good quality handbag and purse?
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2016, 05:41:50 AM »
I third the suggestion that you ask her what kind of bag she'd like and have her show you choices.  I was looking for a more roomy bag myself, but because I am such a nerd and Mustachian I bought a Handbag of Holding from ThinkGeek.  I love it.

catccc

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Re: Suggest a good quality handbag and purse?
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2016, 11:06:21 AM »
IDK if this is her style, but I'd go for a timbuk2 messenger bag in a smaller, purse-like size.  Lifetime warranty.  My sister gave us a used one about 8 years ago, and it is still going strong.

I have a herschel tote that I got for $19 online (6pm.com). They are supposed to be quality bags, retail on this tote was $80.  I'm only a few months in but it seems to be holding up well.  They have a limited lifetime warranty... not sure of the details.  But the leather straps on my tote seem to have gotten better with use, and the fabric is pretty rugged.  It's a medium blue color and "fancy" enough to be my daily "purse" for work.  If you buy Herschel, though, check the material.  They do make some lightweight bags that are probably like over priced reusable grocery bags- a kind of shiny, cheap looking nylon blend or something.

I would stay away from coach and other "luxury" brands.  I really feel like you are paying for the label, for prestige.  I'm going to guess you are after quality, not keeping up with the joneses.  Sure, it might be quality, but that label also adds $$ to the price tag.

daverobev

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Re: Suggest a good quality handbag and purse?
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2016, 11:36:27 AM »
Ok, thanks all. We had a look at her current bag last night; it's leather, but seems the four bottom corners are where it is breaking down.

I'll take a look at a few and suggest things to her, and she can pick.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Suggest a good quality handbag and purse?
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2016, 11:38:43 AM »
Ok, thanks all. We had a look at her current bag last night; it's leather, but seems the four bottom corners are where it is breaking down.

I'll take a look at a few and suggest things to her, and she can pick.

Depending on the bottom type, if it's a flat bottom look for little metal feet next time or have them added. Here's a video of adding them: https://youtu.be/0ILaAAoFqnk But you can have someone do it for you. It greatly improves the life of a bag if it is often set down, since the corners tend to be where it wears out.

CestMoi

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Re: Suggest a good quality handbag and purse?
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2016, 01:58:11 PM »
I second Ebay, with a caveat.

I recently purchased a beautiful, NWT handbag there for an amazing price, an item that would retail for $600. If you're going to buy certain bags on Ebay (Coach, Dooney & Bourke, Cole Haan, UGG) you should know how to spot a fake, so some research is in order. If research is not in the cards, best to avoid Ebay.

I'd also suggest looking at NWT ("new with tags") bags if secondhand bags are a gross-out for you or your wife. They're not for me, but I always carefully clean and inspect *anything* I buy from Ebay. And I make sure there's a good return policy.

In my bag travels, I recently came across an American bag maker called Stone Mountain (www.StoneMountainHandbags.com) that looked like a good possibility. I checked out their web site several times: They seem to carry larger bags, and seem to be having some kind of sale right now. I saw many bags for $99, orig $190.