The 10 Best Classic Handbags To Complete Your Closet

by Sara Wennerstrom / Aug 31, 2022

There’s no question that purses are a key component in every woman’s closet. But when the seasons change and trends evolve, it’s better to opt for a timeless handbag that won’t lose relevance – or style – in the years to come. From classic athleisure wear to a striking pantsuit, these classic handbag options complement your aesthetic for the long haul.


What is considered a classic handbag?

A classic handbag is a timeless piece that will remain relevant for years to come. When you think of a classic handbag, envision an everyday bag you can use interchangeably throughout the seasons.


Classic handbags share many common characteristics: They’re of high-quality, durable, and often multifunctional. Some may even convert into another bag style. Typically, classic handbags are in neutral tones such as black, brown, and white; however, if you want to do something different from the norm, opt for a pop of color.


 10 classic bags to add to your repertoire


From a small clutch to a shoulder bag, these timeless pieces pair well with any outing. Find space in your closet for these 10 classic bags perfect for virtually any occasion you can think of.


  1. Tote

Totes are the perfect on-the-go bag; they’re large enough to hold the day’s essentials, and feature two long straps and a large opening for easy access to any item. Unlike their cotton or canvas counterparts meant for farmer’s market hauls, an upscale tote is crafted of fine leather or vegan leather, but has the same spacious interior.


For those days when you feel like you have to do it all – back-to-back meetings at work, Pilates class, then a social hour – a classic midnight Gemelli tote is a suitable accessory to carry everything you need to get through the day. A tote bag will make you feel prepared for every situation – from lipgloss to a change of clothes to electronics, you can store everything in the tote.


  1. Clutch

Rectangular or oval in shape, the clutch bag is a small purse that can easily fit into your hand or tuck under your arm when going out. When venturing out on the town, sipping cocktails, or going to and from a charity gala, a small clutch is the perfect accessory when you don’t need to lug around a purse. They contain just enough space for the essentials for the night, including a phone, some money, and your keys.


These purses first emerged in the 1920s when women wanted a bag that would complement their specific outing looks. And while we’ve come far from the flapper era, their relevance and beauty have stuck around. Choose between a classic black leather, or make a stance with a rose pink pouch.


SENREVE model holding the Aria belt bag in various colors

The Aria belt bag


  1. Top handle bag

A top-handle bag is many consumers' go-to everyday bag due to its easy-to-carry nature and sophisticated appearance. These bags are typically medium-bodied, with two small straps that fit easily into the palm of your hand, or can be worn with an additional shoulder strap tucked inside the bag, like the classic Mini Doctor Bag. This vintage-inspired bag can effortlessly elevate any outfit from casual athleisure to a gorgeous, flowing sundress.


  1. Shoulder bag

A shoulder bag looks similar to a tote but can come in varying styles and sizes. No matter the size of the bag or the strap, the one common trait is that shoulder bags are designed for a comfortable carry slung over your shoulder.

With these features, these bags are very reliable for those long shopping excursions or traveling with children. They’re often quite large and feature multiple pockets so you can place lipstick, lotion, a baby book, a pair of sunglasses, and so much more.


  1. Convertible bag

A convertible bag is a purse that can easily be transformed from one type of purse into another – think shoulder bag turned to backpack or a satchel turned to top handle, like the Mini Maestra. As a two in one, a convertible bag can get much more mileage than its single-style counterparts.


These bags have a set of adjustable, removable straps that quickly change your bag into a whole other style. Wear it as a backpack with a matching athleisure set, or dress it up as a top handle with your favorite mini dress and Jimmy Choos.


SENREVE model in golf cart with mini bag next to her

The Mini Maestra in Pebbled Blush


  1. Bucket bag

Bucket bags have a sturdy, flat, and circular bottom that easily stays upright and a top drawstring to hold everything together. They're a highly functional type of classic handbag, ideal if you’re constantly on the go and need a spot to store your everyday essentials. 

Invest in a bucket bag that matches your aesthetic and confident energy, whether that’s a sleek chestnut hue for your everyday outings, or a pop of color like the
 Fiore Pebbled Leather Bucket Bag in Marine to make a bold statement.


  1. Crossbody bag

Crossbody bags are the perfect lightweight yet sturdy bag that comes in so many shapes and styles. All crossbody bags are meant to be worn shoulder to hip across your torso. For a versatile piece that isn’t exceptionally large, a crossbody bag can effortlessly transform your day outfit to night by doubling as a clutch.

Use the sleek, durable strap to go hands-free as you do your morning coffee run, then slip the strap into your purse for an after-work happy hour. Opt for a floral design to wear during the spring season, or choose a more versatile piece like the
Cadence that pairs well with a blazer or a pair of your favorite jean shorts.


SENREVE model seated with crossbody bag

The Cadence Crossbody bag in Pebbled Chestnut


  1. Messenger bag

Messenger bags made their name nearly a century ago, when mail carriers needed an easily accessible bag that was sturdy enough to get the job done. With long crossbody straps, and a secure closure, these bags are highly reliable for everyday use.

While they may not be used primarily to carry mail
anymore, this bag still carries the same functional components and is designed using top-quality materials. Only nowadays, you’ll find this bag in vibrant, complementary colors perfect for special occasions and everyday wear. Use this bag as a travel carry-on to fit your favorite book and accessories or as a work bag to place your everyday essentials.


  1. Evening bag

Every woman needs a delicate, ornamented handbag to pair with their nicest gowns. While top-handle purses and clutches are the perfect size for these occasions, you need one bag that is specifically designed for formal occasions.

These small purses are typically made with rich fabrics and include bold details such as sparkles, beads, and rich jewels. For a bag you know you’ll come back to time and time again, opt for one that will easily transition with the trends – perhaps a black beaded bag – and isn’t too overpowering so it doesn’t clash with your outfits.


  1. A bag in a standout color

Although many will agree that black, tan, and chestnut are classic colors, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a classic handbag in a standout color. For an extra pop of color to tie your outfit together, choose a handbag that makes a bold statement without moving with the current trend. Colors such as olive green, pale pink, or cherry red are a few staples that transition with the seasons and are here to stay.


Find a handbag that can stand the test of time

An outfit can only go so far; it’s a purse that speaks volumes and will make a statement. So instead of multiple metallic or feathered purses that sit in the back of your closet collecting dust, opt for a high-quality piece in a timeless color and pattern. For work and play, browse Senreve’s collection of bestsellers.