We spend plenty of time around here talking about three categories of bags: classics, It Bags and trendy seasonal options. There’s a fourth category, though, that deserves an enormous amount of credit: the workhorses. They captivate customers and fill closets for seasons on end, mostly without the credit they deserve.
You can probably already name one or two of these bags off the top of your head. They never quite reached true It Bag heights of popularity and they’re not old enough to have become iconic classics yet, but they all have one important thing in common: bag lovers really, really enjoy carrying them because they’re great bags.
Below, we’ve assembled the beginnings of a Workhorse Hall of Fame. Nominate your own inductees in the comments.
3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Bag
$695 via Net-a-Porter
The Pashli arrived at a perfect time: shoppers were freaking out over the Céline Luggage Tote, and the Pashli provided a flared-gusset option that was more easily accessible in both price and availability. It’s been a premium-contemporary favorite ever since.
Alexander Wang Rockie Bag
$795 via Neiman Marcus
First came the Rocco, and just when consumer clamor for it started to cool, the little-sister Rockie made its debut. Over the years, it’s managed to become a wardrobe mainstay of girls looking to get the downtown-cool look that Alexander Wang has built a brand upon.
Chloé Marcie Bag
$1,990 via Saks
Chloé‘s popular bags always have unusually long staying power, and although the Marcie never reached the heights of the Paddington, it’s been a solid favorite in both satchel and shoulder bag versions for seemingly as long as I’ve been writing about bags. (Okay, not quite that long, but almost.)
Fendi Peekaboo Bag
$4,700 via Net-a-Porter
The Fendi Peekaboo is a special case rarely seen in the luxury bag market: it was launched, became popular, faded from the public consciousness and then became popular again, only a couple years after its initial debut. Now, it’s here to stay as a staple.
Givenchy Nightingale Bag
$2,450 via Saks
The Nightingale was launched way back in 2006, and its outlived almost all of its contemporaries. The sleek new design ensures it’ll be relevant for years to come.
Gucci Soho Bag
$980 via Gucci
This bag has some major things going for it: a three-figure price tag for a leather bag from a four-figure brand, a functional, surprisingly roomy structure and a casual, carry-anywhere look.
Proenza Schouler PS1 Bag
$1,780 via Proenza Schouler
Proenza Schouler put a lot of research into its first handbag before the PS1 was launched, and they hit the mark perfectly. The bag is a perfect daytime option for a particular type of urban woman, and they’ll likely sustain its popularity for years to come.
Salvatore Ferragamo Sofia Bag
$2,250 via Nordstrom
Ferragamo makes bags that are designed to withstand the test of time across the board, and this pretty little top handle has been particularly good at it.
Stella McCartney Falabella Bag
$1,195 via Net-a-Porter
Finding a way to make luxury shoppers embrace a leather-look day bag without using any animal products is a feat, and finding a way to sustain that interest over years is unprecedented.
Valentino Lock Bag
$2,195 via Net-a-Porter
Almost any of Valentino‘s Rockstud bags could occupy this spot, but for our money, the line’s most tailored, ladylike bag is the one we’d bet to persist in its impressive run of popularity.