“The best” is a very particular phrase. People use it in place of “my favorite” all the time, perhaps because we always want to believe that the things we prefer are also objectively valuable and worth appreciating, but its literal meaning is a little more narrow than that. When you’re being as objective as possible about evaluating a group of things, the one that’s the best may not necessarily be the one you personally enjoy the most. Taste is a funny thing that way. With that in mind, let’s talk about the best bags.

When I think of all the high-end designers known for handbags, Chloé‘s current output is the one that stands out to me the most right now. In her time at Chloé, designer Clare Waight Keller has refined the brand’s aesthetic world into something very specific and recognizable while regularly debuting new bags that don’t crib from popular designs from other brands and that feel designed to be carried in everyday life, instead of simply admired. The brand has also resisted the stratospheric pricing leaps of some of its competitors, which means that you can still get an awesome Chloé day bag for under two grand. As silly as that statement seems at first blush, it’s not the case at plenty of comparable brands.

My only regret about Chloé is that the brand doesn’t exactly align with my personal taste–the brand skews toward shoppers who like tan bags and gold hardware, while I prefer black and silver, respectively. That’s okay, though; the brand’s aesthetic is perfect for tons of women looking for sophisticated, casual luxury bags, and Chloé’s current lineup is broad enough that it does include some pieces that would fit in my wardrobe perfectly, even though someone like me isn’t the company’s target. That the brand’s collection is finely tuned enough to still feel like Chloé but broad enough to reach lots of shoppers is, in my mind, another point of the many in the brand’s favor.

If you’re similarly fond of Chloé’s current designs, you can shop the brands bags via Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks.

So now, you tell us: which brand is doing the best handbag work right now, and why?

P.S. Please consider supporting our small, bag-loving team by clicking our links before shopping or checking out at your favorite online retailers like Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or any of the listed partners on our shop page. We truly appreciate your support!

Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Evelyn Roos

    I do think Chloé has the best bags and colors combinations at the moment. But I think Gucci is doing a great job, making new classics, such as GG Marmont in a really great shade of pink barbie color! <3

  • Susan
  • cindyo

    My vote goes to Gucci. I am loving their bags right now, and every time I start to pick my next bag to save for it seems to be a Gucci.

    • larrydacableguy

      Hate the trendy Gucci Bags. They will go down in price the minute you walk out the door! Stupid purchase!

  • laura

    Saint Laurent.

  • Gucci. But proceed with caution. With Gucci churning out (gorgeous) bags every second, there will be a lot of trendy pieces, it’s not a good time to buy a classic. Some of the styles have the potential to become their new classics (like the Dionysus) but there’s just no telling with the speed they’re churning them out. I can’t even count how many times the GG logo/buckle has changed in that past year.

  • psny15

    Chloe is definitely having a moment and has the most creative jobs!

  • Passerine

    I will also hop on the Gucci bandwagon, but agree about Chloe. Both brands are putting out bags that clearly resonate with buyers. At the higher end, I’ve been impressed with Dior bags and have bought my first Dior (the UltraDior) bag and really like it. But even a brand that normally doesn’t click with me every now and then knocks one out of the park. I just found this great bag from Dolce & Gabbano that I want to check out in person ASAP. http://store.dolcegabbana.com/ch/dolce-gabbana/borse-a-spalla-e-tracolla_cod55013795ca.html (see photos below). It’s sophisticated yet practical and the colors are great — I love the deep floral tones. It’s also under $2000 (at least in Europe); $2500 is my normal cut-off point. Above that price, I have to REALLY want a bag and it has to be a classic design I can carry for years.

    • Passerine

      and yes, I know it should be spelled Gabbana!

  • Jennifer McGee

    St. Laurent hands down!

  • fudgeicecream

    Gucci.

  • TheModMazza

    Gucci has really turned itself around, in the past year. What was once considered a tacky brand, is now making some of the most beautiful handbag designs. I am seriously temped to buy the Dionysus WOC, in the blue Blooms.

    Fendi is another brand, that I am fan of. Their handbags are incredibly well-made, with sleek and understated designs.

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  • crescent

    Fendi and Gucci.

  • FashionableLena

    Gucci and Saint Laurent.

  • Yoshi1296

    Definitely Gucci!

  • Yazi

    Definitely Gucci. You can choose between the trendy bags with studs and wild colours, or choose the more discreet bags in solid colours and their gg monogram. And the prices are not so high like other brands.

  • Sara

    Gucci. Gucci and Gucci.

  • Maya

    Saint Laurent

  • Justice J. Srisuk

    Fendi®, by far. The company has come such a long way since the derivative and hokey monogrammed canvas days of the early Nineties. Over the past couple years, Fendi® has truly been on a roll, turning out beautifully constructed and thoughtfully designed handbags and accessories in tasteful silhouettes. All of the Fendi® pieces I own are exceedingly well-made; the house’s history and linage as a furrier comes across in the precise workmanship of their leather and fur items. Under Lagerfeld’s creative direction, the house has come into its own with an aesthetic that is experimental in form and color but impeccable in fabrication. They’ve even launched bonafide hit lines in the “Monster” and “Bug” product collections that combine luxurious materials with irreverent fun. Looking over the Fendi® product line, I’m struck by how few total flops are to be found – even the most egregious bags are merely over-embellished to the point of tackiness. But the best thing about the company is that the prices, while high, seem a lot more justified than some other pieces by Louis Vuitton® or Chanel®. The 3Jours bag is $2600; an equivalent or similarly-sized calfskin/lambskin bag from LV would be priced about twice as much as that. I feel that you get a lot of bang for your buck with Fendi®.

    • Passerine

      I love Fendi too, but I’m not a huge fan of the Monster bags; to each his own. I think the little fur “bugs” or charms or whatever are a testament to smart marketing but wayyyy overpriced. I do really appreciate their made to order service for the Peekaboo, even if the choices are in reality somewhat restricted.

      • Imgoingbroke

        Fendi is pretty awesome, especially with their interchageable shoulder straps. I have a black dot com bag and I’ve purchased 3 different shoulder straps which give me a different look with each one. I love this idea and I love the straps – very cool idea.

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  • Katie Kamenetsky

    GUCCI!

  • Lisa

    Gucci’s turning out some beautiful bags but the quality is a little lacking. I agree: wish Chloe would do silver hardware. My vote is for Saint Laurent: well made and understated — ok not the big logo bags! — yet recognizable.

  • Tinsley Proust

    Gucci. I’ve loved almost all of their recently released bags. I just treated myself to a Lady Web and I’m very excited to get it.

  • Belou47

    Even if there is a few models I love from LV, I think Gucci is really doing a great job : modern and classic styles, sometimes trendy, Well made bags, and not too overpriced compares to some other designers !

  • StargazerSpider

    Without a doubt, Gucci !!! I literally salivate when I walk past my local Gucci boutique. I want them all!

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  • Imgoingbroke

    Gucci, with Fendi as honourable mention.

  • Jess

    Just skimming through everyone’s responses, I think there are some very valid brands mentioned but I am a Chloe girl at heart, I have quite a few of their bags. Agreed, they’re very much neutrals and gold hard ware which is exactly what I love. I’m fair skinned and light hair, so black I feel is quite harsh on me not to say I don’t own a tonne of black bags :) Gucci is doing a wonderful job and so is Saint Laurent. I am loving LV but their price point is caaaaaa-razy!

  • chae

    Gucci

  • larrydacableguy

    I love vintage Chanel classics. Handmade, best quality. You can’t get better. And they have the best ones in the stores in New York. They look new. Incredible quality that lasts for 40 years!!!!! Why buy trendy bags that are out of style in 5 months or everyone has it? It’s kind of ridiculous the prices on these trendy bags. I would never spend my money on them — the prices are stupid. And the bags look so tired after 3 weeks of seeing every trendy girl has one, so you have to put it away because now it looks tacky tacky

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