The 20/30-Something Guide to Handbag Shopping

Our 20/30-Something guides explore our favorite destinations, how to shop for luxury items, and even how to budget like a boss. Today, we're looking at how two different age groups approach the art of handbag shopping.

From the must-have Cabana Tote from Paravel that's perfect for everyday use to the statement-making Fendi bag on our wish list, we asked Anna and Tara to share their handbag shopping how-tos below, with chic picks for every age group and budget in mind.

Anna's 20-Something Guide to Handbag Shopping

Everyday Handbags for the 20-Something

BY FAR Rachel Bag: I have been loving all of the bags from BY FAR. I definitely think this is more of an affordable option for an everyday designer bag. They have so many cute color options and the quality is amazing.

Christian Dior Oblique Saddle Pochette: I recently bought my first Dior bag! I have been wanting a new everyday bag for a really long time, and I was eyeing the classic Dior Saddle bag. Buying a new one was just not an option in my price range, but that is why I love the RealReal. Any time I have a bag or luxury good that I’m interested in splurging on, I will immediately go on their website and find so many options for the style.

Statement Handbags for the 20-Something

STAUD Mini Shirley Croc-Embossed Tote Bag: I love STAUD bags because they create really great quality bags for amazing prices. They also have a variety of funky and fun shapes in their designs! For me, when I am buying a statement or occasion bag, I go on the safer side of budgeting. I have yet to splurge over $500 for a fun color or shape but it is definitely in my thoughts. I love the unique shape of this STAUD style!

Mansur Gavriel Mini Lady Bag: Mansur Gavriel is the perfect brand for someone to start off with as a first designer bag purchase. They have the most amazing leather goods at a reasonable price. I’m OBSESSED with their colorways –a lot of neutral and pretty pastels, and this gorgeous red too! I have this exact bag in brown but I’ve always wanted to get one of the more fun colors. I would choose this eyecatching red or the baby pink shade.

Handbag Wish List for the 20-Something

Fendi Baguette Bag: I have been obsessing over shoulder bags recently. I’m really loving that the 90s and early 2000’s look has made a comeback! Ever since I was kid, I wanted this Fendi bag because my mom had it and always looked so chic wearing it. She ended up selling it years ago but I forever wish she kept it, so it’s the one and only bag on my wish list.

Tara's 30-Something Guide to Handbag Shopping

Everyday Handbags for the 30-Something

Gucci Soho Disco Shoulder Bag: This Gucci crossbody bag is ageless and every day. I’ve owned the red one for over 5 years and the cost per wear is probably in the pennies by now! I can rarely justify an everyday, on-the-go bag that can’t double as a crossbody, and this one can bring you from day to night.

Paravel Cabana Tote: For an everyday bag that you can rely on to fit all the things–whether that be your laptop, cosmetic case, gym clothes–Paravel's Cabana tote is my go-to. It’s simple design pairs back to any outfit, so you don’t have to agonize when running out about whether your main accessory matches your look. I also see this as a great diaper bag in my near future!

Statement Handbags for the 30-Something

Edie Parker Mini Lara Clutch: I always seem to have an Edie Parker clutch on me at weddings! Her unique, durable designs are formal yet fun. In fact, I believe it was Edie Parker that started the acrylic trend clutch, not to mention the personalization offering for special occasions, like this one.

Bottega Veneta Satin Kno Clutch: Bottega Veneta’s satin woven clutch is always the luxury occasion bag I think of! I find the design to be so chic with the texture and knot clasp detail. I don’t believe they make it anymore, sadly, but it’s still available at select Retailers and better yet, resale sites like Fashionpile Rebag, and Lyst.

Handbag Wish List for the 30-Something

Bottega Veneta Cassette Padded Bag: I’ve been thinking about this Bottega Veneta Cassette Padded bag for months. Everything about it is perfect. Most importantly, it is suitable for day to night because it is leather neutral and has an adjustable crossbody strap. I just need a bit more time to justify the price but I have a feeling I will get there soon!

Dior Medium Lady D-Lite Bag: Christian Dior’s “Lady” bags have always caught my eye. The square structure feels really sophisticated and speaks to my uber-feminine side. I am loving this one and while designer ‘monograms’ can sometimes feel too trendy, I think Dior’s branding is classic and cool. I love the navy background contrasted with the lighter blue stitch, and of course, the crossbody strap adds significant value for me!

*Team SN's picks are selected based on products we truly love. Note: this article does contain affiliate links, and we will receive a commission if you purchase a product linked here.