Fashion

All the Elegant Bag Styles You Need in Your Closet

More than a status symbol, designer purses should have enough room for your essentials.
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TRAVEL

Suitcase
Suitcases are perhaps the most abused bags. Airport baggage officials will literally throw about travel bags before they go on conveyor belts. These giant bags might be squished in overhead stowage bins and mishandled by owners themselves. They also bear so much weight that they need to be expanded and pressed by the force of many hands (the same hands who shopped for even more bags while in the land of Prada).

More than any bag, a suitcase needs to be the most durable. Price, in this case, is not just based on the brand but the technology that makes zippers glide smoothly, outer shells safe from dents, and surface materials endure three weeks' worth of belongings.

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Luxury choices: Globe-Trotter trolley case, which was used by Queen Elizabeth II and Winston Churchill; scratch-proof and durable Louis Vuitton suitcases; Aluminum Rimowa suitcases
Premium runners-up:  Hard-shell Samsonite luggage

Weekend bag
Do not be fooled by the name. Smart packers can probably fit five days' worth of clothes in a weekend bag. It also doubles as a carry-on bag for winter travels from the Philippines. Pack your heavy coat and boots in this roomy bag so you don't have to rummage through your well-packed luggage when you get to the Moscow Airport. You'll be ready for the cold.

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Luxury choice: 1975 Cartier weekend bag
Premium runner-up: Maxwell Scott FleroM leather weekend bag

Satchel with shoulder straps
Follow the advice of a travel agent: Better to have a carry-on bag that you can place on your lap after the plane lands. This way, you could get out of the plane faster. Get one that is roomy enough to store your lipstick, wipes, camera, wallet, and even a hardbound to read on the plane.

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Luxury choice: Chloe Marcie Suede Satchel Bag in Caramel
Premium runner-up: Dooney & Bourke Florentine Satchel

Tote
If you're lucky enough to have a park or a yacht club near your hotel or Airbnb, bring a light tote for daytime leisure. A tote is good for packing picnic blankets or the few things you need for yachting.

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Luxury choice: Dolce & Gabbana printed canvas tote
Premium runner-up: Aranaz Flamingo tote

Short-handle shoulder bag
Travel is about the freedom to move. A shoulder bag will not restrict your movement the way a hand-carry purse can. You don't have to arm-carry your bag just so you can take a photo or try on necklaces at a flea market. Make your tour delightful and carry a shoulder bag instead. It is also safer from theft unlike a long-strap bag, which can glide on your back and attract sneaky snatchers.

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Luxury choice: Christian Louboutin Eloise shoulder bag
Premium runner-up: Coach Edie shoulder bag in gold refined pebble leather

WORK

Document bag
You want something that has a lot of room but does not look as bulky as a weekend bag. It's also ideal to have one that is not too slim and has side flaps turned inside out so you can store long paper documents.

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Luxury choice: Celine medium tri-fold shoulder bag in calfskin
Premium runner-up: Bally Sommet top-handle bag

Laptop or tablet sleeve
If your trade involves a lot of presentations, then your computer or tablet must be housed in a professional-looking case. Your presentation starts the minute you take out your gear.

Luxury choice: Prada Octagon-Print Slim Saffiano laptop case
Premium runner-up: Kate Spade Ikat laptop sleeve

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Envelope
Sometimes it's just too much of a hassle to bring a big document bag when all you need for a meeting is a check book or a thin pile of documents. An envelope is your makeshift professional bag. It makes you look low-maintenance and unfussy, plus it holds all your essentials. If you have more items to bring such as makeup for touchups, bring an envelope that has a wide enough bottom.

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Luxury choice: YSL grained leather envelope bag
Premium runner-up: Rebecca Minkoff Leo Velvet envelope clutch

WORK TO NIGHT OUT

Top-handle purse
Although a hand purse is not very practical for traveling, it is very handy for heading out after work. A purse like this has enough room for your daily knickknacks but elegant enough to bring to a hip watering hole. No need to lug around a big bag that takes too much space in your bar seat.

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Luxury choice: Gucci Dionysus Bamboo leather purse
Premium runner-up: Ted Baker Blushing Bouquet bag

SPECIAL OCCASIONS

Clutch
A clutch is usually rectangular in shape and should be spacious enough to hold your mobile phone, car keys, lipstick, and powder. It's become acceptable to bring bigger bags to events and parties, but a clutch is still a better match to a dressy cocktail dress.

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Luxury choice: Kotur Levin glittered Perpex box clutch
Premium runner-up: Chesca clutch by Carissa Cruz Evangelista

Minaudière
A minaudière is usually smaller than a clutch and comes in various shapes. It's best for low-maintenance women who are not used to bringing a lot of stuff on a daily basis. Also a good choice for those who have had their makeup done and don't need to carry items for touchups. This tiny bag usually has room for a small phone and a powder case.

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Luxury choice: Chloe Small Nile Bracelet calfskin leather minaudière
Premium runner-upEddie Borgo Chet minaudière

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Kwyn Kenaz Aquino
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