I used to be intimidated by the thought of walking into any luxury store and buying anything let alone a luxury handbag. But after working in the industry, I realized that first and foremost, the people working in the stores are regular people, just like me and you and they are there to help!  I also learned that if luxury is your thing (and I get that it may not be for some), there are options. There are several entry-level purses available for those who want to take the plunge and there are also handbags that go UP in value after you’ve bought them.  In other words, its like making an investment!

Unless you want to be the girl rocking the Blackberry of handbags (trust me, I’ve been there), I recommend investing in something both timeless and classic.  My first handbag was a Louis Vuitton Speedy. I still have it and wear it to this day and it has almost doubled in value since I first purchased it more than 10 years ago – win!  So without further ado, below is a list of a few starter bags that won’t break the bank and might just go up in value if you play your cards right 😉

  1. Prada Saffiano Metal Oro Chain Wallet.  I love this bag. Ok, whatevs, it’s technically a wallet but I have the Saffiano and it easily fits my cellphone, lip gloss, money and my keys so looks can be deceiving. I throw it in a tote bag and actually use it as a wallet when I’m out during the day and wear it solo (as a purse) for a night out. When I first bought it, it was well under $1000 and since then, the price has gone up, which means that it was a good investment – win!
  2. Saint Laurent Small Monogram Cross Body Bag – I love this bag. I’ve seen it on so many fab ladies including one of my blogger friends Coco Bassey.  I think that it is a great alternative to a Chanel handbag if you aren’t quite ready to spend $5K and when I checked it out at Barneys I was surprised by how big it actually was. This retails for $1500 to $2000.
  3. Gucci Marmont Mini Chain Bag – Gucci has been giving me LIFE lately! I just bought this mini chain bag in red and love how it looks with everything (especially denim).  Its a great size, fits quite a bit and has lots of slots for credit cards cash and whatever else.  Two of my girlfriends also have the same bag in different colours. My girlfriend Sasha has it in black and my girlfriend Monica has it in pink. I actually loooove the pink! This retails for about $1500 US
  4. Luis Vuitton – Pochette Felicie. I wouldn’t exactly call this a handbag either, however, don’t let the “Pochette” in Pochette Felicie fool you.  It is very similar to the classic Louis Vuitton wristlet and fits A LOT more than meets the eye.  Like, your money, passport, credit cards, lipstick, gloss and liner with room to spare. It also comes with a little wallet insert so that you can organize your things. One of the biggest bonuses of this purse is that it can be transformed into a cute shoulder bag or clutch thanks to its removable chain. This retails for just over $1000 US
  5. Boy Chanel Clutch with Chain – You simply can’t go wrong with Chanel. What more can I say?  Their bags are iconic and their classic styles never go out of vogue. A classic Chanel accessory is also an investment (some say that Chanel bags appreciate at the same rate as real estate). About 10 years ago, a classic Chanel flap bag started at about $2,500 now, it is about $5,000.  Their prices go up every year around December like clockwork, so if you are ready, don’t wait.  For the Clutches with a chain, prices vary but range from the low to mid $2,000 range to the low to mid $3,000 range.
  6. Chloe Faye Wallet Bag – My girlfriend Jessica has this bag. She loves that it is understated and can transition easily from day to night. She did say, however, that besides cards, phone and a lipstick there’s not much room for anything else. Also, be sure to treat the suede top or you could permanently ruin the bag with a little spill.  This bag is very affordable (in terms of luxury).  Its just a little more than $500. You can’t go wrong with that!

Now before I go, here are a few tips:

  • As soon as you get the bag, treat it with a leather protector.
  • Whenever possible, opt for gold hardware, it looks richer than silver hardware and tends to re-sell better
  • Use that dust bag, girl! Store it in the dust bag when you aren’t using it and;
  • Last but not least, if you’re looking to invest in a great handbag, ask yourself whether you’ll be able wear it in 3, 5 or 10 years? Is it a great combo of form and function? If the answer is a resounding YES, I say buy the bag!

Below are photos of me rocking two of the handbags mentioned above and you can also shop these handbags in the photo below.

What are some of your favourite handbags and what was your first major handbag purchase?


  1. July 24, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    Oooh! Great pics! Frankly, I love that these small little crossbody bags are in too. Designer bags are my absolute kryptonite. I scrimp on everything else (borderline cheapo here), but splurge on bags.

    My designer handbag game was strong, and then we had a break-in two years ago. The burglar stole all of my bags and well, he might as well have stabbed me in the heart. Thankfully, insurance coverage enabled me to get started on a new collection.

    I actually just got the Gucci Supreme Wrist Wallet in Canvas. It was just over $600 and is the most versatile little bag ever. I saw @negin_mirsalehi carrying it (she influenced me!!), and I’m so glad I bought it. Holds a ton, is a bit of a throwback, looks awesome and didn’t break the bank…for once. LOL! Great post, my dear!

    • torontoshay
      July 24, 2017 / 1:54 pm

      Hey Dominique! I would absolutely DIE if I was robbed of my bags. It has taken me over a decade to build my collection. I also agree that bags are worth the splurge and everything else not so much. I have to check out the Gucci supreme wrist wallet. Thanks for the reco!

  2. tchristyan
    July 24, 2017 / 4:59 pm

    I LOVE small crossbody bags. I would choose #2. I usually go for this size because I have a bad habit of dumping my whole life in the big boho purses. Thanks for sharing.

    I also like how you use the dollar image rating to determine the cost bracket!

    • torontoshay
      July 24, 2017 / 7:43 pm

      Thanks Tiere! I love number two as well. If I hadn’t hit my max this year in splurges, I would have definitely bought it already. I also love a great boho bag and or tote. They are so easy (especially with a baby)!

  3. Heather René
    July 25, 2017 / 4:40 pm

    I love this post. I would take them all! Lol I love how you used the dollar bills as a scale

    • torontoshay
      July 25, 2017 / 4:54 pm

      Thanks Heather!

  4. July 26, 2017 / 4:33 am

    Love this post!! 2, 3, 5 are ny favs. I think 3 is probably the best value purchase. Chic without breaking the bank 😉

    • torontoshay
      July 26, 2017 / 8:26 am

      I agree with number 3!

  5. August 6, 2017 / 7:44 pm

    What an interesting read! Love it! I love luxury handbags and I own a LV delightful PM bag. Purchased it 2 years ago before the prices went up! I have been eyeing on this Gucci Dionysus GG Supreme shoulder bag in black! Thanks for sharing this❤️

    • torontoshay
      August 7, 2017 / 11:32 am

      The LV PM bag is a great choice – my girlfriend has the GG marmont in black it looks great ❤️❤️

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