10 of the best classic designer handbags that deserve a spot in the handbag hall of fame

These are the epitome of 'timeless.'

Best Designer Handbags: Dior Saddle Bag
(Image credit: Getty)

Investing in a designer handbag is no small undertaking. The decision requires a lot of thought, savings and of course, research. Though don't fret, as the fashion experts here at Marie Claire, we have the inside knowledge of the best designer handbags available. 

From Chanel to Fendi, Prada and more, luxury design houses have been creating coveted carry-alls for generations—for example, did you know Chanel's iconic flap bag was originally released back in 1955? And the Hermès Birkin bag first debuted in 1984? 

In the years since their launch, these bags have not only gone on to become instantly-recognisable classics, but they have also increased in value, proving that spending on a timeless designer bag can be a lifelong investment. 

In fact, Laura Fletcher, the Brand Director at Open for Vintage and all-around luxury handbag expert says Chanel's flap bag is one of the styles that makes the best investment. "The Classic Flap Bag from Chanel is a handbag that keeps its value very well," Fletched told Marie Claire. "The price of a Classic Flap rises by about 16% every year so it's a great style to buy as an investment piece." 

Hermes birkin bag

(Image credit: Getty)

As a trusted luxury resale marketplace, Open For Vintage has a wealth of knowledge on the kind of bags which are sure to retain not only their value but their relevance and popularity too. "Our consistent, most popular handbags are classic, iconic models from brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Gucci and Prada," Fletcher explained.

"We're seeing current spikes in sales for the 1980s-1990s Chanel Classic Flap Bags and Diana Flap Bags, as well as Gucci Bamboo Bags and Horsebit Bags, particularly models with the GG canvas."

If you're looking to invest in a classic handbag, that will never go out of style, the aforementioned brands are a great place to start. Afterall, there are several styles which have retained their popularity for decades. Fendi's Baguette bag is a perfect example, having recently celebrated its 25th year.

While the price tag on a new designer handbag can often be eye-wateringly high, Fletches says it can be useful to look to reputable resale sites and vintage sellers as a more cost-effective solution. "The amazing thing about resale is that you can buy vintage versions at approx. 40% less than new, making it an even more savvy purchase," she explains.

The best classic designer handbags: 

Best designer handbags: Prada Cleo

(Image credit: Getty)

Looking to invest in a classic designer handbag that you can keep for years to come? Keep scrolling for 10 timeless bags we believe are worth the investment. 

While you're at it, make sure to check out our edit of trending new-season designer bags, as well as our favourite handbags under £500

1. Chanel Flap Bag

2. Fendi Baguette Bag

3. Dior Saddle Bag

Best Designer Handbags: Dior Saddle Bag

(Image credit: Getty)

4. Gucci Jackie Bag

5. Hermes Birkin

6. Prada Cleo

8. Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7

Best Designer Handbags: Saint Laurent Bag

(Image credit: Getty)

9. Loewe Puzzle Bag

10. Bottega Veneta Cassette

Zoe Anastasiou
Fashion Editor

Zoe Anastasiou is a Fashion Editor with over eight years of experience working across digital publications in New York, London and Australia. She has contributed to publications including Harper’s BAZAAR and ELLE Australia, and was the Fashion and Social Media Editor at Who What Wear UK before joining Marie Claire.