A Millennial’s Perspective on Bag Shopping

@krisjenner

@krisjenner

Oftentimes, we love talking about the most aspirational bags on PurseBop—Birkins, Kellys, the whole deal. We consider different leathers and sizes, dissect the best ways to “score” at the Hermès boutique, and, once we’ve finally succeeded, show off our Holy Grail Bags with our fellow community members. (Read: What’s Your Holy Grail Bag?) But for the most part, these are bags we tend to arrive at later on in our lifetime handbag journeys. A fashionista’s luxury journey generally begins with entry-level bags that are a bit more attainable, a bit more accessible for someone just starting out.

Picture this: Louisa has just graduated from college and landed her first job in the corporate world. She’s been saving a bit of money, and her favorite pastime is fashion: there’s nothing Louisa loves more than flipping through Vogue during her lunch breaks, watching snaps of shows from Paris haute couture, and browsing the handbag department of Saks on the weekends. After all these years of waiting, she’s finally ready to take the plunge. But how should she—and other millennials like her—go about choosing a bag…?

Photo courtesy: Hayden Williams

Photo courtesy: Hayden Williams

Photo courtesy: Barneys

Photo courtesy: Barneys

First, it’s important to seriously consider what Louisa, like her fellow millennials, truly values. As PurseBop has reported in the past, millennials have different shopping habits than their predecessors. (Read: Luxury in the Age of Millennials) They’re drawn to minimalist designs and brands that are socially conscious, and they tend to shy away from logos (though some logo-heavy brands, like Gucci, have managed to stay at the top of the luxury success list!).

Additionally, millennials have to take into account budget constraints. They are younger and less well-established, and they also tend to spend their earnings on experiences more than material possessions: travel, dinner outings, etc. They might not have the funds or inclination to kick off their collection with, say, a Chanel Classic Flap, or to start buying leather goods at Hermès in the hopes of scoring a Constance anytime soon.

@marry_lucci

@marry_lucci

@ywfhd

@ywfhd

Budding fashionista Louisa is especially representative of her generation. She’s been curating a wishlist for years, pinning bag pics to her inspiration board, and has finally narrowed it down to 3 categories. Overall, like many millennials (and many fashionistas just starting out!), she is rather utilitarian: she wants something that she’ll get a lot of use out of, and something she can pair easily with most outfits. This means versatility is key, subtle branding is desirable, and the color *must* be neutral. These are the 3 kinds of bags she wants:

  1. Crossbody day-to-night bag that can be dressed up or down
  2. Carryall tote
  3. Daily work satchel

With Louisa’s needs in mind, we’ve come up with 6 bags—2 for each category—that perfectly fit Louisa’s criteria! Read on to see and assess PurseBop’s picks…

Photo courtesy: erikabrechtel

Photo courtesy: erikabrechtel

Day-to-Night Crossbody

When it comes to versatility, traveling, and budget constraints, nothing is friendlier than a small crossbody or Wallet on Chain (WoC). Louisa often doesn’t take much along with her, and if you only have to take your keys, lipstick, cards, phone, and a bit of cash, a small bag is all you need—especially one that can be dressed up or down, and is perfect with a pair of jeans or with a cocktail dress.

Chanel WoC

@ms.academic

@ms.academic

Céline Trio

@tinateehee

@tinateehee

PurseBop’s picks for these criteria are the Chanel WoC ($2500) and Céline Trio ($1150). They’re both timeless classics and solid entry-level bags to both brands. Though the Chanel WoC doesn’t quite have the minimalist branding millennials prize, the CC logo is small and delicate, and the overall effect is subtle. Both bags can be transformed into clutches. Aside from the branding, the main differences between the two are that the Chanel is slightly more formal, and the Céline is roomier.

Read more about the Chanel WoC:

The Chanel Wallet on Chain and 10 Affordable WOC Alternatives
Chanel vs. YSL Wallet on Chain Comparison (WOC)
Chanel vs. Saint Laurent WOC Showdown!

Read more about the Céline Trio:

Little Black Bag: The Ultimate Versatility Bag

Carryall Tote

It goes without saying that a carryall tote is useful. It’s the perfect bag for errands, work, flying, the gym, or just a day when you simply need to take a lot of your possessions along with you. Though Louisa prefers the aesthetic of smaller crossbodies, she recognizes that some days you just need something that does a bit more work for you. A solid tote is a a must in any wardrobe.

Louis Vuitton Neverfull

@christyjluvspurses

@christyjluvspurses

Goyard Saint Louis

@shuzparade

@shuzparade

Heres, PurseBop has picked the two “kings of all totes”: the LV Neverfull ($1260 in MM size) and Goyard Saint Louis ($1200 in PM size). As far as luxury bags go, these are budget friendly. Though they’re instantly recognizable to us fashionistas, the Goyard doesn’t have clear branding, and neither does the LV tote in Damier rather than Monogram Canvas. This more understated form of branding appeals to millennials like Louisa, who love the luxury houses but stray from showing them off.

Read more about the LV Neverfull and Goyard St Louis:

Carry It ALL: The Best Designer Tote Bags
Louis Vuitton vs Goyard: Celebrity Tote Showdown

Read more about the Goyard Saint Louis:

Goyard Saint Louis – The Tote of All Totes
The Bannière : A New Way to Personalize your Goyard

Daily Work Satchel

As a working woman in the corporate world, Louisa wants to look and feel on point when she steps into the office each day. A simple, structured satchel that can be carried both in the arm and over the shoulder is the perfect answer to this dilemma. The satchel has to be classy, professional, and have a bit of character—a younger vibe, if you will.

Givenchy Antigona

@bundlethebrand

@bundlethebrand

3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Satchel

Photo courtesy: Fab Fashion Fix

Photo courtesy: Fab Fashion Fix

PurseBop’s picks for the daily work satchel are the Givenchy Antigona ($2435 in medium) and the 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Satchel ($895 in medium—the ideal price for an entry-level bag). The most obvious between these two is, naturally, the price. Louisa’s choice might ultimately be determined by how much she is willing to splurge. Additionally, the Antigona tends to the sleeker side, while the Pashli is a bit edgier with its hardware and zippers.

Read more about the Givenchy Antigona:

Givenchy Greatness: The Antigona Reference Guide
Handbag Showdown: Givenchy vs. Saint Laurent

Recap

@myyellowcanary

@myyellowcanary

It might be a while until Louisa’s closet resembles the one pictured above…but that’s doesn’t means she isn’t well on her way to becoming a bona fide fashionista. We hope this article has given you seasoned collectors a sense of the decisions millennials like Louisa make, and we’re curious to hear from our millennial readers if your own handbag journey is similar (or different!) to the one we’ve talked about here.

Louisa still hasn’t decided on her perfect bag out of these 6 just yet…do you have any suggestions? If you were her, which bag would you pick? And do you think it’s important to start your collection with a small crossbody, tote, or daily work satchel? Interact with us in the comments! We can’t wait to get this discussion started.

Read related articles below:

Luxury in the Age of Millennials
Are Millennials Less Concerned About Handbag Brand Names?
Louis Vuitton, Hermès, and Gucci Among Top Global Brands of 2017
Entry Level Bags 101
Do Logos Still Have Power?
Top 10 Most Digitally Savvy Brands

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8 Responses to “A Millennial’s Perspective on Bag Shopping”

  • I love the blend of appreciation and applicability but want to note that the considerations of a millennial are really no different from any preceding generation’s reality based entry into fashion collecting, especially as (gucci was noted) designer names and logo love/branding are now as before part of the perceived prestige and visual fun in ownership. I think the much lauded differences are not as notable as is the (self) branding of the generation itself. I’m fascinated not by the devotion to the demographic but by the incessant coverage and targeting, as all preceding named generations are still consuming and skewing the market, with a significant percentage of them also tech savvy and likewise changing the retail market with their own (higher income) buying habits and pref

  • Loved this article, I can totally relate to it! If I were Louisa I’d pick the CC woc! For daily work bag she could, for now, purchase a cheaper one like Michael kors or Coach. Starting the collection with a CC is such a huge accomplishment ❤️???? my other faves are the St Louis and the Antigona, beautiful bags ????????????????????

  • I love the article. However, for a crossbody I disagree – Chanel WOC is too small, to me it’s for nights out. I would choose Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis or YSL College Medium. I have all three bags and the Chanel WOC is my least favorite and least useful.

  • I am a millennial and have 5 bags so far. I think for the work bag you over looked the sac du jour (which I have got and love!). Next up I am getting a Chanel WOC next for day to evening wear. Still not sold on an LV NF but I’m sure the time will come eventually when I purchase one. Great article! Wish I’d seen it when I first started buying bags a few years ago! @MissGracieKelly

  • I am a millennial, and I can agree, I rather spend money on experiences thsn stuff. Still, I have about 6 lux bags… but my workhorse is my longchamp… while i have a NF… I find it to flashy for work and would recomend the Givenchy tote or Mansur Gavriel.

  • MCM Milla Medium!! Good price point for very high quality bags! The leather is so buttery smooth and the style is versatile

  • I can relate to this post. As a millennial I have always wanted a work bag and a woc. I was eyeing for the Prada double bag and cc woc for the longest time but can’t afford yet. I ended up with a MCM medium milla and Mulberry lily that are way more affordable, understated but high quality. I’m not really a tote person so a Mansur Gavriel bucket bag works for me when I’m carrying more stuffs.

  • My handbag journey as a millennial is definitely similar but also different in terms of my wants. I don’t mind logos and branding as long as the logo itself isn’t ugly (in my opinion of course). Currently I have a mini Louis Vuitton bag that was a gift, but since it’s so bit small so I don’t use it as often as I’d like to. What I really need is a carry all tote. At the moment I use a Kate Spade bag, but I’m saving up for the Neverfull by putting a small amount of money aside every week.