Bags are big news (and not just the oversized holdalls that were all over AW15’s runways). But with prices equally inflated, developing a deep bag rotation is bad news for your bank balance. Instead, you need utility; invest in a bag that works everywhere, with any outfit, and that three-figure outlay seems less imposing.

Size Matters

The first thing to think about is size – how big does your bag need to be? Breakdown what you carry and how often you carry it. Do you lug a laptop around everyday? Think about a backpack with integrated laptop sleeve. Off to the gym? Make sure your bag can cope with your trainers and kit. But if you think objectively about other occasions where bags are essential, such as travelling, you’ll soon realise that size really does matter.

Current trends for portfolios, flight bags and, dare we say, bum bags, aren’t a sound investment simply because they are severely limited in functionality. No-one has ever spontaneously decided to jet off for the weekend and successfully packed anything useful into their portfolio.

Expandable bags by brands like Maharam and oversized totes from Miami accessories brand Miansai will provide years of use due to sheer versatility. Small enough for daily use with scope for a weekends worth of essentials is how to nail this one.

Key Brands: Miansai, Mi-Pac, Eastpak, Herschel, UTC 00.

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Be Materialistic

To most people luxury means a fabric like leather. And while it’s hard to deny that a leather bag has certain qualities, it also has some drawbacks. Leather bags will be heavy – you’ll need to factor in this extra weight in addition to everything else you’ll be carrying.

Luxury fashion houses like Prada make a huge range of bags in nylon and other synthetic materials, which might seem like the opposite of luxury but are in fact high performance technical fabrics.

What you need is something hard-wearing, but that is also appropriate for the day-to-day situations you find yourself in. You can’t take a canvas tote into the boardroom, just like you can’t take a leather briefcase to the beach. Find harmony between composition and propriety.

Pragmatism is the key here – a ripstop nylon bag will survive an apocalypse, be light enough to carry to the end of the earth and if chosen correctly, suitable for virtually every occasion.

Key Brands: Coach, Prada, Maharam, Aspinal, Mismo, Porter & Yoshida Co.

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Form And Function

Before they were fashion accessories bags were a necessity – so keep practicality at the forefront of your mind when shopping. Like most accents, a bag can make or break an outfit. Choose a new bag like you would a new watch. If it’s expensive it can be a status symbol, but it must still do the job and work with your wardrobe.

Brands like Vocier, who have created a carry-on design that not only meets airline size regulations but allows the user to transport a suit without it getting wrinkled in transit, prove that if you look hard enough for a bag that does what you need it to, you’ll find it.

When it comes to design, your own personal style will dictate the kind of bag that is suitable for you. As a general rule, minimal branding and detailing will almost guarantee longevity (especially when combined with a durable material – see above). Neutral shades are always a foolproof choice, but never more so when it comes to a decent bag.

Key Brands: Vocier, Filson, Christopher Raeburn, Cote Et Ciel, Want Les Essentials De La Vie, Mulberry.

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