Covering all ends of the fashion spectrum, stylistically and economically, from the Cath Kidston, Furla and Harrod’s to the exquisite Dior, chic Stella McCartney and glamorous Balenciaga, I think these five brands are a good cross-section of the best choices in the shops. The less expensive handbags are trendy and fun, the dearer ones are keepers and say a lot about your sense of style and recognition of a classic that can be worn for years to come.

When I left London in November I found a charming handbag from FURLA at Heathrow.

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Furla Pale Green Barrel Jelly Bag, Made in Italy

Now back home I have discovered that Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus sell this jelly bag. I chose the pale green, one of my favorite colors. There was an attractive young girl also shopping next to me and she bought 2 pink ones, one for her sister and the other for herself. Terrific price point at just £140 (here in the US, they are $248).

STELLA MCCARTNEY’S Falabella bags are very chic and different, distinguished with chains and interesting leather that has sparkle or an unusual suede finish. I first noticed them last year in the London shops and now they are everywhere. Purchase at: & barney’ & – $1275 and up



I love the fallabella salmon pink mini tote at Harrods, chain stitching, £595 (shown above)
// Purchase here (images courtesy STELLA MCCARTNEY)

BALENCIAGA’s bags are always so hip, I recently bought a bracelet that goes with my Balenciaga — I have had this white and gold bag for 7 years and it always looks brand new and fashionable. Purchase at: – approx. $1400-2000

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Balenciaga White Leather Bag with gold accents, Made in France

My new HARROD’S BAG has attracted a lot of attention because it is covered with all breeds of dogs and is adorable. I think my partner gave me this Christmas gift as a celebration of our border collie and dachshunds! It is my go-to bag for the winter months, plastic coated, perfect for this damp and inclement weather. Purchase here: – £35.00

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Harrod’s Plastic-coated Doggie Theme Bag, Made in the UK

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Close-up of a celebration of dogs

DIOR bags are so stylish, so timeless and the ultimate in glamour.  They are very pricey, but if you can afford one, go for it.  I have a small gorgeous blue Dior that I bought 5 years ago and it goes anywhere, day or night. A classic. $1800 +

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CATH KIDSTON plastic coated bags with polk dots or flowers, an iconic English bag for women of all ages, I have two, I love them, have given them as gifts, priced from $60-150

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Cath Kidston, Polka-dot carryall, Made in the UK

photography by unless otherwise noted


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