There are quite a few PU leather and faux leather handbags floating around out there, and while they may be affordable and stylish, they just can’t withstand the test of time.
Are you starting to think that real leather is more worth the investment? We know that it is, and when it comes to selecting leather accessories, we have a few tips that will help make your purchase worthwhile.
Whether you’re in need of an everyday purse that matches your entire wardrobe or something unique that will accent a particular ensemble, read on to see which brands craft the best leather handbags and what our experts recommend you look at before purchasing one.
View our Top 3 Leather Handbags Picks
1. The Hobo Bucket Purse Faux Leather – Check Price on Amazon >>>
Many are drawn to the versatile style and beautiful color selection of The Sak’s Hobo, and we highly recommend it if you are looking for a leather handbag from a trustworthy brand.
The Sack describes the exterior material as “leather,” which we will assume is genuine leather since they didn’t bother to specify. When most brands don’t tell you what it is, most often it is genuine leather.
The handle drop is 11 inches while the body is 14 inches wide, 10.8 inches high and 4 inches wide. The construction of the bag is superb, as is the hardware used.
Inside the bag, you will find two handy pouches and a zippered pocket, and the lining inside is lighter in color so you can easily find your belongings. They also included a zippered pocket on both sides of the exterior, offering you plenty of storage space to help keep items separate.
If you want a durable bag that goes well with a variety of looks and outfits, the Hobo is the perfect addition to your wardrobe.
2. Kattee Vintage Genuine Leather Tote Shoulder Bag – Check Price on Amazon >>>
FRYE has a rich history in the leather goods business, and the price tag of this purse reflects that. It is made from high quality “pull-up” leather, which is something we didn’t touch on earlier since it isn’t that common.
Pull-up leather is not colored with pigment or paint. Instead, craftsman use aniline dyes that mix with the natural oils and waxes of the leather. While they may darken the leather, it will become noticeably lighter when stretched, offering you unique variations of color on a finished product.
The strap drop is slightly shorter than The Sak’s Hobo bag at 9 ½ inches, and it is only 13 inches wide and 12 inches high.
Keep in mind that it does not feature a zippered closure and items won’t be as secure inside. Also, we weren’t too thrilled about the dark lining on the darker leather bags, but thanks to the high quality of leather they used, it is one of the best leather handbags for those who are serious about accessories made from this material.
Jack&Chris Premium Leather Tote Bag – Check Price on Amazon >>>
Jack&Chris’ leather tote is made of genuine leather. It also comes with a zippered canvas pouch that offers you more organized storage space inside since there are no internal pouches or pockets. We assume they did this to avoid wasting scrap pieces of leather since the corners and top of the pouch are made from the same leather as the tote body.
The purse closure is rather simple, consisting of a leather strap and round button-like hook to keep it closed. It is a decent-sized bag, measuring just over 13 inches high and 15 ¾ inches wide.
While the tote is undeniably beautiful and the construction superb, you should be aware the scratches and scuff marks will be much more noticeable on it than other bags. It is just the nature of the leather and the way that it was manufactured, which gives it a distressed look. Some of you may find that it looks too old and used while others may appreciate it. Just be sure you understand that the marks are normal and not a defect of the product.
Understand Leather Terms
Not all leather is made equally, which is why you need to understand the difference between genuine leather, top grain leather, and full grain leather.
- Genuine Leather – Handbags made from genuine leather are authentic, but out of the three, it is the lowest in quality. Be aware the genuine leather will not last as long as top grain or full grain leather, so if you are looking for a handbag to use daily or frequently, opt for one of the higher quality leathers.
- Top Grain – Top grain leather is common on wallets and other accessories and is stamped with a faux grain pattern to help disguise flaws and give it a more expensive look. Any imperfections are sanded away, which can weaken the leather, but it is still higher in quality than genuine leather.
- Full Grain – If a purse maker uses full grain leather, then you know that it is a quality product. If you take a close look at a leather product, you will be able to assess the quality of the hide that the manufacturer has chosen.
Keep an eye out for small flaws and imperfections, such as scars or other markings, when purchasing a full-grain leather handbag. Some will use flawed leather to give the bag a more authentic feel, but the markings can be unsightly.
Hardware and Construction
Most of the edges on a faux leather bag are finished with a black material that gives it a cleaner look, but that material usually falls off, and you won’t find it on a real leather bag. Instead, craftsman will finish the edges by burnishing them, which is a natural way of sanding down the edges to help make them smooth.
The strength of the seams is also important, especially in areas like the handles where the majority of the weight is concentrated and where you open and close the handbag.
Last, you should also have a look at any snaps, buckles, buttons, and zippers to make sure that they will stay in place as you use the bag.
Clean and Maintain the Leather
If you’re willing to spend a bit more money on a quality leather handbag, then it is also worth it to invest in some leather care products.
Specialty cleaners and polishes are available, and you should be sure to use them regularly if you want your handbag to last.