Whether you’re looking for a versatile wardrobe piece or an accessory that will keep its value for future resale, handbags are one of the best markets to invest in. Handbags and leather goods are steadily rising in value and have even outpaced some of the more traditional investment areas, such as precious metals.
Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermès, Bottega Veneta, and Christian Dior are five of the best handbags for investments and wardrobe staples. They vary in price from less than $1,000 to more than $10,000 depending on factors such as availability, but all are made from quality materials that are beautiful and durable.
Each of these five brands has been around for decades— and so have their handbags! With the right care, these handbags will last as long as you do.
What Types Of Clothing Is A Good Investment?
Clothing and accessory pieces that are good investments include purses, jackets/ coats, basic button-ups, jeans, undergarments, and jewelry. While these pieces may cost more upfront (especially if bought from a reputable brand, as recommended), their durability and versatility means they’ll offer more return on investment in the long-term.
Characteristics of good investments include:
- Quality craftmanship that uses comfortable, long-lasting materials
- A timeless design that pairs well with nearly every outfit and at least two seasons
- A fit that emphasizes functionality and aesthetics in equal measure
Besides saving you money in the long-term, buying investment pieces is also a more sustainable shopping method, as it reduces the amount of clothing you throw away.
Are Purses Good Investments?
Quality purses are a good investment that provide a comparatively quick return on value. Depending on the brand, purses can easily last for a decade or more. Their sturdiness, design, and practicality make them one of the best investment pieces.
Besides being a good investment for your wardrobe, purses can also make you money if you ever decide to resell them. Purses and handbags keep, and often increase, their value over time, similar to watches, wines, and first edition books.
According to Art Market Research (AMR), luxury handbags have increased 66% in value in the last ten years. And in the first two quarters of 2021 alone, they have risen another 2.8%.
Is A Louis Vuitton Bag A Good Investment?
Louis Vuitton handbags and purses are stable investment pieces that will last for years to come. In addition to saving you money, they also hold the majority of their value in terms of resale.
And according to a 2021 report, Louis Vuitton is one the biggest global brands for all bags, including handbags, purses, wallets, and sling and crossbody bags. The report identifies North America and Europe as the primary drivers behind the rise in value for bags, including purses. Louis Vuitton is a major brand and household name on both continents, proving that its value holds steady across geographic boundaries. Plus, one day your new Louis Vuitton bad will become vintage. When does a handbag become vintage? Find the answer in that article.
The 5 Best Handbags To Invest In
Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermès, Bottega Veneta, and Christian Dior are five of the best handbags to invest in. Each has their own style and distinct collections, but all share the same commitment to producing quality handbags that will last a lifetime. As a result, handbags from these brands either increase in value or hold the majority of their value, making them a worthwhile investment.
Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Hermès are arguably the three most famous designer handbag brands. Often dubbed the “holy trinity” of luxury handbags, these brands established themselves as industry leaders long ago. There’s no question of value when it comes to these three; you’re sure to get an investment that will last you a lifetime, if you take care of it.
But even though Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Hermès are the most recognizable, they’re certainly not the only brands worth investing in. Bottega Veneta and Christian Dior are two other brands that hold their own in terms of value, style, and longevity.
1. Louis Vuitton Handbags
As discussed earlier, Louis Vuitton produces handbags that are stable and long-lasting investments. Prices range from just over $1,000 to nearly $10,000. As of September 2021, there are over 450 handbags in stock on their website.
The brand offers handbags, shoulder and cross body bags, totes, chain bags and clutches, backpacks and belt bags, mini bags, and exotic leather bags. When shopping, you can filter the handbags by collection, style, material, and color.
The Neverfull tote bag is one of the most popular Louis Vuitton bags. Just as practical and long-lasting is the Alma Neo handbag.
There are several care tips to keep in mind that are necessary to preserving Louis Vuitton bags. These include:
- Store the bag in a cool, dry environment; never in damp or humid conditions
- When not in use, stuff the bag using paper or other materials to maintain its shape
- Don’t use the bag in adverse weather conditions, such as rain
- If the bag gets wet, clean it off as quickly as possible to prevent damage
- Keep the bag away from direct sunlight and other heat sources
- Whenever possible, keep the bag away from grease, perfumes, and cosmetics
To further protect your investment, it’s also recommended you store your handbag in a dust cover.
2. Chanel Handbags
Chanel bags are a secure investment and wardrobe staple, no matter what your personal style is. Prices vary by collection, but can range from under $2,000 to well over $10,000.
Chanel has been at the forefront of fashion movements since its inception in 1910. Originally known for their hats, the brand soon incorporated handbags, jewelry, and other pieces. It remains one of the most well-known and iconic brands.
(Just for some perspective, the French Ministry designated founder Gabrielle Chanel’s apartment a historical monument in 2013 owing to the brand’s national impact and importance.)
The Chanel Flag Bag, also known as Chanel’s 11.12, is one of the most popular choices. Another popular choice is the Chanel 2.55 design, which features the classic quilted pattern with the original turn-lock instead of the double cc-clasp.
Chanel offers the following tips to preserve your investment and ensure your handbag lasts as long as possible:
- Avoid prolonged contact between the bag and clothes of opposite colors to prevent color bleeding
- Avoid prolonged contact between delicate fabrics, such as wool, silk, and tweed, if the bag has embroidery, sequins, or rhinestones
- To reduce marks on lambskin leather, rub the leather in a circular motion using a cloth
- Avoid prolonged exposure to both sunlight and artificial light
- If the bag becomes wet, dry it using an absorbent, non-pilling cloth
- Avoid contact with makeup, skincare products, and perfumes, as they may alter the handbag’s finish; keep in mind, the handbag will naturally form a patina over time
For the best results long-term, wrap the handbag chains or strap in tissue paper and place the bag in its storage pouch whenever it’s not in use.
3. Hermès Handbags
Hermès handbags have steadily risen in value over the past 35 years, making them one of the best investments in terms of purses and leather goods. They range in price from roughly $5,000 to over $10,000.
The Kelly handbag, so named after Grace Kelly, is one of the most popular choices—and the most exclusive. Just as popular (and just as hard to find) is the Birkin bag, another classic that boasts clean lines and superior craftmanship. These are the two most expensive handbags, ranging in price from $50,000 to nearly $500,000.
In fact, Time Magazine reported in 2016 that the Birkin bag outperformed both the S&P 500 and gold. Based on data from handbag retailers, the annual return on a Birkin bag was 14.2%, nearly double the S&P average of 8.7% and far superior to gold, which actually fell 1.5%.
Due to their scarcity, they’re considered more collectible items than practical investments for the everyday person. For handbags that are more readily available, the 2002-20 and Bolide 31 are more recent (and therefore affordable) additions. Both have a structured design that’s as practical as it is visually pleasing.
To protect the appearance of your handbag and your investment, follow these tips from Hermès:
- Avoid prolonged contact between the bag and raw or dark-colored clothing to prevent color bleeding
- Avoid direct contact with elements, including sunlight, water, heat, and excess humidity or aridity
- If the bag becomes wet, dry it using a soft cloth; rough cloths will cause stains and/or bubbles
- Avoid contact with ink, lipstick, and perfumes, specifically, as these will permanently mark the leather
- Avoid putting bulky objects in the handbag to prevent distorting its shape
All Hermès leather is ‘full grain,’ meaning the top layer is unaltered. As a result, it’s normal for your handbag to patina and feature wrinkles, veins, and pores.
For the best results, Hermès recommends having your handbag regularly maintained by its “artisans.” They are able to return the bag to new or near-new condition in most cases and are able to brighten patinas, repair corners, dissimulate scratches, change hardware, and perform other restorative techniques.
4. Bottega Veneta
Known for its quality leather, phenomenal craftmanship, and unpretentious designs, Bottega Veneta is a good investment for anyone interested in handbags. Prices range from under $1,000 for the Cassette to nearly $8,000 for the Point. An outlier is the Mini Jodie, not yet available but priced at $19,000. As of September 2021, there are over 500 handbags in stock on their website.
Some of the most popular bags include the Cabat, Cassette, Clip, and Arco Tote. All four feature supple leather and a simple, but structured design.
Less practical but just as popular is the Pouch. This marshmallow-shaped bag was released more recently in 2019, but has remained as a fashion staple since then.
Here are some tips for caring for your Bottega Veneta bag and extending its lifespan:
- Avoid contact with chemicals, conditioners, and household cleaners
- Avoid touching the bag after using hand lotion, oil, or other liquids or cremes
- Only spot clean using a dry, fine cloth; don’t use any leather polish or other cleaning materials
- Use a dust bag to protect the outside of your bag when not in use; store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight
- Use a liner to protect the inside of your bag from accidental spills, stains, rips, and other damage
- When in use, carry a handbag ‘rain jacket’ to protect the bag in case of surprise inclement weather; many designer handbags will include these with purchase
More specific are instructions will depend on the exact type of leather your bag is made from. Check the bag’s materials and proceed from there.
5. Christian Dior
Christian Dior offers a wide range of handbag styles, each of which are certain to serve well as wardrobe staples and investment pieces. Prices range from just under $1,000 for the Saddle Nano Pouch to just over $6,000 for the Lady Dior. As of September 2021, there are over 300 handbags in stock on their website.
The Lady Dior is one of the most popular bags from this brand, known for its timeless elegance and named after Princess Diana. For those interested in a more unique shape, the Dior Saddle handbag features the same level of craftmanship with more attention-grabbing prints. As a bonus, both are readily available and offered at a reasonable price.
To prevent premature aging, Christian Dior offers the following care steps for its bags:
- For lambskin and smooth leather, only wear with soft fabrics or textiles to avoid tearing or other damage to the bag
- For patent leather, avoid water, humidity, and color-transferring surfaces in order to maintain the high gloss finish
- For calfskin leather, avoid prolonged contact with dark-colored textiles to avoid color transfer
- For canvas leather, avoid prolonged contact with direct or indirect sunlight to prevent color fade and stuff the bag with material when not in use to preserve its shape
- For python and lizard leather, avoid daily or prolonged use to prevent the scales from lifting
Deerskin and grained leather are more durable than the other materials. For those who are planning to use their bags regularly, check out these options. No matter which type of material you choose, just be prepared to take care of it.
(If you are looking for a good alternative to these designer handbags, you can find a bunch of good stuff on this NewChic Review!)
Choosing Which Handbag To Invest In
Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermès, Bottega Veneta, and Christian Dior are undoubtedly some of the best handbags to invest in, but you’re the only one who can decide which of these is right for you. Factors like price, style, and material durability may influence your final decision. Even find the perfect one to look good in a red dress is important. It’s important to make sure the handbag will fit into (and hold up against) your lifestyle.