21 Best Handbags For Women 2021 | The Sun UK

THE best handbags have a magical power to transform your look from basic to boujee—they are the accessory that every woman loves to need.

Dating all the way back to the 16th century, the best handbags have stood the test of time over the years, from exclusive Birkin totes to Louis Vuitton’s timelessly classic monogram collections.


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Now a staple womenswear accessory, most of us don’t leave the house without one. They're like a second limb, helpfully carrying your personal items. Emergency chocolate? Umbrella? Last night's shoes? Whatever you put in your handbag is your business.

Whether you’re going to work, for lunch or popping to the supermarket, a quality bag is a must-have.

And from designer and luxury styles to high street handbags, there are a wide range of top quality beauties to choose from.

We've put together a list of the very best handbags on the market, to buy now and cherish for always. You’re welcome.

1. Best quilted handbag: Zara Quilted City Bag

Zara quilted bag
  • Quilted City Bag with Chain Strap, £45.99 from Zara – buy here

Loved by Insta-influencers world-wide, quilted bags are having a moment and we're in love with Mango's monochrome offering.

For less than £50, these designer-replica bags have a thick chain shoulder strap, zip fastening and enough space for your daily essentials.

We can see them working wonders with some relaxed tailoring for your next brunch date. This beaut is also available in rust orange and green to spice up your looks.

2. Best clutch handbag: Oliver Bonas Letty Leopard Spot Beaded Clutch Bag

  • Letty Leopard Spot Brown Clutch Bag, £45 from Oliver Bonas – buy here

Whoever thinks animal print can't be classy hasn't seen Oliver Bonas' Letty Leopard Spot Brown Clutch Bag.

From the intricate beaded fabric to the slick silhouette, this clutch can amp up even the most simplest of looks.

Wear yours with a neutral-toned mini dress and black heels when you next feel like dressing up. You'll get all the compliments.

3. Best nylon handbag: Bimba Y Lola S Black Nylon Crossbody Bag

  •  S Black Nylon Crossbody Bag, £70 from Bimba Y Lola – buy here

Prada made nylon cool, and pretty much everyone else quickly followed: Bimba Y Lola's S Black Nylon Crossbody Bag is a must-have bag.

On sale now for £70, this bag's one that you'll wear day-in-day-out, plus it has flat interior pockets and a zip fastening making it pretty and practical.

Dress it up with some leather and down with denim – we're obsessed.

4. Best investment handbag: Mulberry Small Darley Satchel 

  • Small Darley Satchel, £495 from Mulberry – buy here

Satchels nail that fine line between easiness and elegance. Of course, no brand does that better than Mulberry. Crafted from a natural grain leather in a half-moon shape, the Darley is centred with the brand’s signature Postman’s lock and has a detachable cross-body strap, so you can convert it to a clutch for more formal occasions. The gorgeous oxblood red tone will see you through years of changing fashion trends, too—so worth the luxury handbag price tag. This timeless bag also comes in a variety of seasonal and classic colours. 

5. Best shopper handbag: ASOS Design Canvas Tote Bag in Happy Face Print

  •  Design Canvas Tote Bag in Happy Face Print, £12.80 from ASOS – buy here

Your supermarket shop is about to get a whole lot more stylish.

We've officially found the cutest shopper handbag around, and it's only £12.80 on sale right now. Introducing: the

ASOS Design Canvas Tote Bag in Happy Face Print.

Cut from 100% cotton, this bag's features yellow smiley faces with heart eyes, twin handles and an open top, ideal to put you in a good mood whilst shopping during cold winter mornings.

6. Best straw handbag: Market Rectangular Straw Bag

  • Rectangular Straw Bag from Arket, £59 – buy here

Thanks to the French designer Jacquemus, straw accessories are all the rage right now, which is why Arket's Rectangular Straw Bag had to make our list.

It's not only ridiculously chic, this bag is also trimmed with chrome-free nappa leather that's sure to last you through years of wear.

Wear yours with yellows, oranges and pinks to channel a high-end summer vibe, even during the colder months.

7. Best bargain handbag: ASOS Design Slim 90s Shoulder Bag in brown & beige patchwork

  • ASOS Design Slim 90s Shoulder Bag in brown & beige patchwork, £18 from ASOS – buy here

This ASOS Shoulder Bag looks a lot more expensive than it really is, priced below £20.

Featuring a smooth matte faux leather finish, this beige-coloured gem is simple yet oh-so effective and on trend with the patchwork details and with a practical zip-top fastening.

You can easily dress it up, dress it down and wear it everywhere you go.

8. Best anti-handbag bag: Reebok Tech Style Waist Bag

  • Reebok Tech Style Waist Bag, £20 from JD Sports – buy here

Don't want to lug around a handbag? Fear not, Reebok's Waist Bag requires no shoulder aches or annoying handles – you can just attach it to your waist. Easy. The strap is also adjustable enough to be worn as a cross-body bag.

Our praise doesn't stop at its functionality though, because our favourite feature is definitely the mesh front pocket (that will fit your phone and keys perfectly!)

Complete with the instantly-recognisable Reebok logo on the front, this one's athleisure, baby.

9 Best beach bag: Thought's Erice Eco Straw Pom Pom Tote Bag

  • Erice Eco Straw Pom Pom Tote Bag, £34 from Thought – buy here

Going on holiday somewhere warmer during winter or not ready to let go of the summer yet, there's nothing more summery style than the straw bag. This adorable design by Thought is decorated in pom-poms for a playful look, plus it's eco-friendly too. Win-win! Take it with you on your next beach trip or pack a picnic and head to the park. Either way, it's an essential.

10. Best staple black handbag: Mango's Leather Baguette Bag

  • Leather Baguette Bag, £59.99 from Mango – buy here

When you find the right little black handbag, it becomes your closest daily companion. We think we've found just that in Mango's simple leather baguette bag.

Sporting an urban baguette design with a short strap and gold zipper detail, it's made from 100% leather and comes with enough room for the essentials (purse, lipstick, cards, chewing gum).

Whether you're wearing an LBD and heels for dinner or want an easy bag for running errands, this Mango handbag ticks every box.

11. Best Longchamp handbag: Longchamp Le Pliage Original Large Shoulder Bag

  • Longchamp Le Pliage Original Large Shoulder Bag, Red, £90 from John Lewis – buy here

If you're after something classic, practical and elegantly cool then Longchamp's Le Pliage Original Large Shoulder Bag is your match.

Loved by Kate Middleton, Lonchamp's lightweight designs are so durable, and this one is famous for being able to foldaway.

Whether you need a new work bag, or you're looking for an easy-to-carry day-in-day-out bag, look no further. The iconic bag comes in different colours going from red and pink (our favourites) to more classic tones like navy and caramel.

12. Best workout-ready handbag: Under Armour Training Essentials Tote

  • Under Armour Training Essentials Tote in black, £36 from Asos – buy here

Trying to cram a hefty gym bag underneath the table at a nice restaurant isn't ideal, which is where the Under Armour Training Essential tote can save you.

Made for carrying your workout clothes, this bag has internal water bottle and laundry pockets as well as a laptop sleeve. Not only does it look good, it's also practical, this is the best bag for those after the office gyms sessions.

13. Best croc-effect handbag: Mango's Croc-Effect Baguette Bag

  • Croc-effect baguette bag, £17.99 from Mango – buy here

Baguette bags are a massive trend right now, lending a cool 90s vibe to both daywear and evening looks.

This one's a sleek and chic lilac croc-effect design, ideal for teaming with neutral hues.

It's slightly bigger than your classic baguette, with enough space to fit a hefty bottle of hand sanitiser alongside your purse and anything else you can't leave the house without.

14. Best backpack: Away The Backpack

  • The Backpack, £195 from Away – buy here

You don't need to be planning a trip for the Away backpack to come in handy – although it's good to know that it will fit everything you need it to on your travels.

It's got three separate zippered pockets, as well as interior organisation compartments, so you can fit everything from trainers to headphones, your laptop (up to 15 inches) and a change of clothes.

Fans rave that it's 'such a versatile product', love that it's 'really stylish and resilient' and insist that it's 'probably the best backpack I've ever owned'.

Helpfully, it secures onto any Away Carry On if you need it for travel, and the unisex design is appealing to both women and men.

Get it personalised for an extra-special touch.

15. Best leather handbag: AllSaints Kita Leather Crossbody Bag

  • Josephine Leather Crossbody Bag, £199 from AllSaints – buy here

We can always count on AllSaints for a stylish take on basics, like this black leather handbag.

Crafted from a bespoke leather, this bag transfers an on-trend utility-wear vibe – complete with a thick leather strap and minimalist gold hardware detail and the gold chain as a softer finishing touch. The best-selling Josephine bag is also available in white.  

16. Best crossbody handbag: M&S Leather Double Zip Cross Body Bag

  • Leather Double Zip Cross Body Bag, £45 from M&S – buy here

M&S's leather crossbody bag is a favourite for its value, size and timeless shape.

Among the boast-worthy reviews, one happy customer says,  "the leather is good quality and it holds more than I expected."

Not only does it look good, but it is also great at keeping you organised, with two zipped compartments and interior zip pocket and card slots.

17. Best tote: Michael Kors Sullivan Large Saffiano Leather Top-Zip Tote Bag

  • Sullivan Large Saffiano Leather Top-Zip Tote Bag, £290 from Michael Kors – buy here

Michael Kors is the go-to label for durable, go-anywhere handbags.

This Sullivan tote is a favourite with its smart Saffiano leather design, and well-organised interior.

The spacious bag has two exterior side pockets, an interior zip compartment large enough to hold a tablet or laptop as well as other slip pockets too.

You can pick between this gorgeous Green Moss colour, Soft Pink, Black, Orange and Berry. We say style the Green with neutral tones like brown, beige and cream.

18. Best shoulder bag: JW PEI Gabbi bag

  • Gabbi bag, £79 from JW PEI – buy here

As seen on Megan Fox, the Gabbi bag from JW PEI is THE bag for this winter.

Its minimalist design in sustainable vegan materials is what makes this so special and it's also the core philosophy of the LA based brand.

Coming just under £80, the Gabbi bag is available in 14 colours, we personally love the Brown "Nutella" Gabbi for our winter looks.

19. Best colourful handbag: Kurt Geiger Mini Kensington Velvet Shoulder bag

  • Kurt Geiger Mini Kensington Velvet Shoulder bag, £139 from Selfridges – buy here

The mini Kensington velvet shoulder bag features a structured design with a chain carry strap and is vibrantly embellished in rainbow-striped panels and completed with the collection's signature crystal-embellished eagle. Bring colour back to the cloudy and rainy days with this Kurt Geiger bag that will leave everyone speechless.

20. Best mini handbag: Jacquemus Le Chiquito bag

  • Le Chiquito bag, £360 from Jacquemus – buy here

If like us you have been obsessed with the trend of (really) mini bags then you have to buy the one and only Jacquemus bag that started it all.

The Chiquito bag is a statement and comes in different colours, our current favourite is the Purple one, but we also love the classics like Black and White.

This tiny bag comes with a removable shoulder strap and an inside card pocket. We love this bag as a statement but be warned: you won't be able to fit much in it!

21. Best night-out clutch bag: Dune Bryannie Crystal-embellished Clutch bag

  • Dune Bryannie Crystal-embellished Clutch bag, £110 from Selfridges, buy here

When we say dress to impress we mean accessorise your look with the Dune Bryannie bag.

This gorgeous clutch features sparkling crystals and comes with a detachable chain strap and a convenient inner pocket. We'd say your outfit is already off to a fantastic start with this glitzy bag.

It also spacious enough for you to pop your phone, keys, card, and lipstick in it: basically all the night-out essentials you may need!

What are the most popular designer handbags?

A designer handbag is an investment that would compliment your look and make your outfit on point.

It's easy to gel lost when choosing the right style for you, and we suggest you think in advance in what type of bag you're looking for.

From bucket bags, saddle bags to shoulder and crossbody bags, there's a perfect designer item for everyone.

The most popular designer labels now include Burberry, Gucci, Dior, Mulberry and Saint Laurent.

What are the best leather handbags?

Leather handbags are often recognized as luxury and high-quality items.

Biggest designer labels release their own individual styles as fashion staples. If you'd love a leather bag under £60, the Mango baguette bag is the one for you!

If you're keen to get something that would last for a long time and would carry the brand's name, check out Burberry, AllSaints, Net A Porter and Aspinal of London.

What is the best handbag to invest in?

A good tip to always keep in mind when investing in a new bag is that classics styles and colours will never go out of style. Don't be tricked by the trends of the seasons or bright exclusive colours, chances are you'll either get bored of them or they won't be fashionable in a few year so you won't get much use of them. Iconic and timeless pieces include the Burberry check bag, the Louis Vuitton monogram bags or the Chanel classic bags. These classic bags are beautiful and are guaranteed to last you forever (with the proper care, of course!).

What is the best colour for handbags?

When buying bags, it all comes down to personal preference but we'd suggest buying neutral and classic colours like Black, Beige and White to start building your collection and then move on to the more colourful bags like this Kurt Geiger mini bag, but if you love colours, just go crazy!


Enjoyed our roundup of the best handbags? Check out our guide to the best winter coats.

Looking for some more inspiration for a wardrobe revamp? We've also rounded up the best work jackets for women.

We’re all about helping you find the best products at the best prices, so follow the link if you want to check out more of Sun Selects’ recommendations.


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