The It bag edit: the timeless handbags that really are worth the hype

Posted by for Fashion

When it comes to style, there is no safer investment than a classic It bag. Beloved by celebrities, fashion editors and style icons alike, these are the timeless handbags that fashion will never fall out of love with. 

The It bag has seen many shapes and forms over the years, from the brightly coloured Hermès Birkin bag to a classic quilted Chanel 2.55, Mulberry’s iconic Bayswater to Chloe’s hardware hero – the Paddington.

And naturally everything that falls in between too; remember Anya Hindmarch’s ‘I’m not a plastic bag’ creation and most recently Jacquemus’ teeny tiny Instagram sensation? Whilst an It bag can garner fame for its conversation-starting appeal (see the statement-making Jacquemus bag below), the designs that are really worth investing in are the ones that will stand the test of time.

The lure is simple: a classic piece from a luxury brand that you can wear with everything in your wardrobe from now until forever. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that? 

Most of the conversations surrounding accessories this year have been focused on one brand in particular: Bottega Veneta, whose now infamous The Pouch bag has saturated the street style set this year. Its buttery soft leather was converted by creative director Daniel Lee into a dumpling-like croissant-shaped bag that is carried under the arm… with the adoration you would bestow upon your first born.

However, like a lot of pieces which win on the sartorial scale, the practicalities of the bag are limited, which is why we fell so hard when Alexander McQueen released The Story bag. This smooth leather bag has gold detailing and can be worn both across the body and as a clutch bag through the gold bar at the front of the bag and also via the top handle (isn’t it a treat when both style and substance come through?)

Alexander McQueen's 'The Story' bag
Alexander McQueen's 'The Story' bag

Then there are the pieces with some serious sartorial history behind them. Consider Loewe’s classic Puzzle shoulder bag, which incorporates the Spanish fashion house’s 174-year history of craftsmanship into a single design. Handmade in Spain, the bag is meticulously pieced together from tiny pieces of the softest, buttery leather for a bag is has luxury in it’s DNA - but is still effortlessly easy to wear with a midi dress and a blazer by day or a little black dress by night. 

Thinking about an investment? Take the plunge with a timeless handbag that will bring a touch of luxe to your every outfit for years to come. From the styles that have been at the top of our wishlists for years to the new designs that have already become icons, here’s our edit of the 12 It bags worthy of such a status. 

  • Bottega Veneta The Pouch bag

    Since taking the helm at Italian heritage house Bottega Veneta creative director Daniel Lee has blessed us with a plethora of sell-out styles that have been seen on every fashion editor from London to Lagos. We’ve already waxed lyrical about The Pouch, and this season we also love with the shade of light olive green. 

    Shop Bottega Veneta The Pouch small leather shoulder bag at Matches Fashion, £2,100

  • Stella McCartney Falabella

    Vegan style is having a major fashion moment and if you’re looking to invest in a luxe faux-leather bag, look no further than Stella McCartney’s timeless Falabella. As a pioneer of cruelty-free luxury, Stella McCartney’s designs have eco-friendly credentials at their core, but its the Falabella’s sleek black finish and silver chain trim that will have you pairing it with your every outfit for years to come. 

    Shop Stella McCartney Falabella mini tote, £610 

  • Prada Galleria bag

    A capacious tote large enough to store all your everyday essentials, Prada’s iconic Galleria bag is a love letter to the woman that does it all. As well as classic black and tan versions, this bag comes in a vibrant shade of pillar box red that will add interest to office-appropriate suiting on your 9-5 and add a touch of playful chic to your off-duty look. 

    Shop Prada Galleria Saffiano leather bag, £1,990

  • Fendi Mon Trésor bucket bag

    Fashion fades, but the bucket bag is eternal. Fendi’s many iterations of the Mon Tresor bucket bag include blue denim designs, but the style we keep coming back to is this minimalist black version. The embossed black fabric plays perfectly into the logo-mania trend but the sleek, clean design will keep in feeling fresh for seasons to come. 

    Shop Fendi Mon Trésor mini leather-trimmed canvas bucket bag at Net-A-Porter, £1,450

  • Jacquemus Le Chiquito bag

    A pair of airpods? A stick of gum? A lone £2 coin? What this micro-mini bag is actually intended to carry might remain a mystery, but that hasn’t made the fashion crowd love Jacquemus’ teeny-tiny Le Chiquito bag any less. This micro leather tote might be smaller than your average card holder, but there’s no bigger way to make a style statement than with this mini bag hanging from around your neck or dangling on your little finger.

    Shop Jacquemus Le Chiquito at Net-A-Porter, £205

  • Staud Shirley bag

    Contrary to popular belief, a bag doesn’t have to equate to a month’s rent to gain It status. This ultra-covetable style from sustainable label Staud has sold out again, and again, and again. Now available in three colourways (including a summer ready shade of rose) this classic black version offers all the timeless appeal that we’re searching for in an investment piece. 

    Shop Staud Shirley bag, £163

  • Chloe Drew bag

    This curved shape of Chloe’s iconic Drew shoulder bag is one of the most recognizable silhouettes in fashion. This soft shade of blush is the perfect romantic hue to wear to summer weddings, while the delicate gold chain offers just the right amount of chic all year round when worn with a tan trench or camel coat

    Shop Chloe Drew shoulder bag at Far Fetch, £1,012

  • Alexander McQueen The Story bag

    Alexander McQueen 'The Story' bag
    Alexander McQueen 'The Story' bag

    Multi-faceted just like you, McQueen’s ‘The Story’ bag is as iconic as the house that created it. This timeless style is a piece that you’ll treasure for years to come. 

    Shop Alexander McQueen The Story  bag, £1,650

  • Loewe 'Puzzle' bag

    Loewe 'Puzzle' bag
    Loewe 'Puzzle' bag

    J W Anderson’s tenure as creative director of Spanish heritage house Loewe has seen the birth of some incredible bags. The product of painstaking craftsmanship, the Puzzle bag is as much a work of art as it is an It bag. 

    Shop Loewe Puzzle leather cross body bag at Matches Fashion, £1,850

  • Saint Laurent Lou bag

    Saint Laurent quilted bag
    Saint Laurent quilted bag

    For city nights and city days, make it a classic quilted Saint Laurent with gold hardware. Though it’s been around for seasons, this It bag continues to sell out in-store and online, so if you want to get this wear-everywhere style in your wardrobe you’d better add it to your basket, stat. 

    Shop Saint Laurent Lou quilted cross-body bag, £890

  • Gucci 1955 Horsebit bag

    Gucci '1955 Horsebit' shoulder bag
    Gucci '1955 Horsebit' shoulder bag

    If you’ve been on Instagram anytime since 2016 you’ll be more than familiar with Gucci’s stand-out accessories. From jewel-toned velvet bags to quilted leather belt bags, the Italian powerhouse is not without its share of statement pieces. But if you’re considering investing in something truly timeless then you’ll want to take a closer look at Gucci’s infamous Horsebit shoulder bag, that is guaranteed to stand the test of time. 

    Shop Gucci 1955 horsebit shoulder bag, £1,750

  • Mulberry 'Iris' bag

    Mulberry 'Iris' bag
    Mulberry 'Iris' bag

    Roomy enough for all the essentials (and a few more), Mulberry’s ‘Iris’ bag is fast becoming a fashion favourite. Wear this heritage style with blue denim and an oversized blazer to channel serious off-duty chic. 

    Shop Mulberry small Iris, £995

Sign up for our essential edit of what to buy, see, read and do, and also receive our 11-page Ultimate Guide To Making Your Home Feel Bigger.

Images: courtesy of brands / Getty 

Share this article