12 Women’s Bag Brands Every Guy Should Know

And 24 bags that would make for very good gifts

Updated December 19, 2023 10:15 am
You can't go wrong with any of these brands.
You can't go wrong with any of these brands.
Courtesy of brands/Getty

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If you’re a guy reading this, chances are you’ve never needed a handbag. Why? Because your outfits are already laden with pockets. For us ladies, even our pocketed pants can barely hold the latest iPhone, let alone anything else. And due to our lack of storage, a purse is a necessity. 

A bag is also so much more than just a place to hold your belongings. It’s practical but it’s also a part of your outfit. An accessory that has the power to turn a simple ensemble into something that turns heads. 

So, if you’re in the market for a really special gift for a lady you love, you can’t go wrong with a new handbag. Whether it’s an anniversary of Valentine’s Day gift for your S.O. or a birthday present for mom, a nice bag is sure to win you points in the gifting department. 

We’ve got you covered if you don’t know where to start. Below, find 12 brands selling chic women’s bags that’ll please all styles, personalities and budgets. There are a lot of brands out there, but trust us, these bags are worth your while.

Trendiest women’s bags: JW PEI

Founded by a husband-and-wife duo in Los Angeles, JW PEI aims to make fashionable accessories accessible to the masses. It’s been featured in publications like Vogue, and its bags have been spotted on the shoulders of celebrities like Emily Ratajkowski, Gigi Hadid, Megan Fox and more. All JW PEI pieces are made sustainably, with vegan leather and recycled plastic. Plus, they are dang cute, affordable (everything is $200 or less) and on trend.

Best women’s bags for commuting: Dagne Dover

For a bag that can keep up with her busy lifestyle, there’s Dagne Dover. The female-founded brand aims to make people’s lives easier with empathy and good design. Their thoughtfully designed bags reflect this mission. You’ll find materials that can endure spills and splashes, zippers and pockets exactly where she needs them, and smart additions they never knew they needed, like a key loop and water bottle holder. While super practical, Dagne Dover doesn’t sacrifice style, because staying on top of your shit doesn’t have to look ugly or boring. In fact, it can be pretty fun.

Best minimalist women’s bags: Cuyana

Cuyana’s motto is simple: “fewer, better.” The philosophy can be seen in their pieces, which are responsibly produced and sold in small quantities to prevent overproduction. Cuyana’s designs are simple, timeless and made of high-quality materials.

Best retailer for designer bags: The RealReal

The RealReal isn’t a bag brand, but if she’s fond of one-of-a-kind designer handbags, this luxury resale marketplace should definitely be on your radar. The RealReal is the world’s largest authenticated luxury resaler, with over 28 million shoppers using the site to find their dream bags (and plenty of other designer pieces). The site stocks gorgeous bags in all styles from brands like Chanel, Gucci and Prada as well as emerging designers like Telfar, Jacquemus and DÔEN. TheRealReal makes it easy to snag vintage finds and pieces that no one else will be carrying. Because it is a resale site, if you find a piece you like, chances are that’s the only one available, so you have to act fast.

Most versatile women’s bags: Senreve

Senreve’s bags are pricey, but each bag is designed to be worn in multiple ways. So technically it could be considered two bags. And who wouldn’t want to get one gift that’s really two gifts? The Cornetti bag, for example, can be used as a clutch or it can turn into a shoulder bag when you attach the beveled chain. The Mini Maestra can be used as a backpack, crossbody bag, tote bag or satchel.

Best outdoorsy women’s bags: Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi is the perfect outdoors bag, as it’s made from sustainable nylon and tough ripstop recycled polyester. This certified B Corp is on a mission to make gear for good by putting sustainability first and donating 1% of annual revenue to help fight poverty. Cotopaxi gear is durable and you can be sure the bags will last through whatever adventures she has in store whether she’s taking a short hike or trekking up a mountain.

Best maximalist women’s bags: Staud

For the woman who loves color, patterns and unique designs, there’s Staud. All of Staud’s handbags feel fresh and just funky enough. Even the all-neutral numbers are finished with thoughtful design touches that help them stand out. Vibrant patterns are often balanced with sophisticated silhouettes for pieces that truly feel special. Whether she’s been talking about wanting a statement piece or an everyday tote, Staud is sure to have something to fulfill her handbag fantasies.

Best affordable women’s bags: Madewell

Madewell’s bags are laid-back and casual but still effortlessly sophisticated. The brand focuses more on creating high-quality classics than following the trend cycle, so a Madewell piece will be in their handbag collection that much longer. These are elegant handbags that could fit in anyone’s closet.

Best for simple sophistication: Mansur Gavriel

Mansur Gavriel is the “it girl” who shirks trends and is supremely stylish in her own right. Peruse the site and you’ll be greeted with a selection of sophisticated silhouettes in gorgeous colors. The female-founded brand boasts a timeless aesthetic that never feels stuffy. Everything feels artful, even the slouchy bags have a structural element that makes them stand out. A Mansur Gavriel piece can easily become an everyday essential because of their designs and attention to detail.

Best women’s bags for travel: MZ Wallace

Treat the jet-setter in your life to a bag that will keep her organized and looking good wherever she’s off to. MZ Wallace has mastered the art of blending fashion and function. The bags look great on the outside but are even better on the inside, where you’ll find plenty of pockets and pouches.

Best women’s bags for traveling in inclement weather: Troubadour

Sleek, sturdy and built for the long haul, Troubadour is a solid brand for anyone who needs a more heavy-duty option for their daily commute/traveling. That’s because the company’s vast bag options — backpacks, totes, messengers — are equipped with durable, waterproof fabrics, and don’t compromise style.

Best women’s bags for the woman who never carries light: Marcella

The NYC-based brand carries a variety of sleek and sophisticated purses and bags, but we especially like their sizable, slouchy and sturdy totes.

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