Miu Miu Fall/Winter 2024
Miu Miu Fw24 Launchmetrics Spotlight

When it comes to choosing the perfect bag for work you want something classic and structured. It's also worth investing in a designer bag that will become your workhorse to see you through the years not the seasons. This is where the iconic top-handle bag comes in. The timeless handbag style, first made famous with the Hermes Kelly bag—named after the iconic Grace Kelly— transcends IT status.

On the topic of handbags, iconic designer Cynthia Rowley spilled a few surprise secrets about hers here.

Louis Vuitton Fall 24

Louis Vuitton Fall 24 Paris Fashion Week
A top-handle bag by Louis Vuitton Fall 24 Launchmetrics Spotlight

A structured top-handle bag is the perfect marriage of style and functionality, which is precisely why it belongs in every work wardrobe. Not only will it elevate your professional game and evoke a polished put-together look, but this style is big enough to carry all of your everyday essentials—phone, wallet, laptop, charger, lipstick, keys, and notebooks. It's also a forever piece so again it's worth spending a little more money on— though you can also find some great high-quality affordable options from brands like Madewell, Zara, Reformation, Kate Spade, and Cuyana - like the chic System Tote $348 featured below.

Cuyana System Tote Bag

Cuyana System Tote Bag
Cuyana System Tote Bag Courtesy of Cuyana

Even though a structured top-handle bag doesn't bow down to trend, there were tons of great ones on the fall runways. Some of our favorites were at Louis Vuitton, Dior, Hermes, Prada, Bottega Venetta, and Miu Miu. These beautiful bags are not just timeless but they are ultra-feminine in a Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Princess Diana kind of way. And on the workhorse thing, they will pull double duty, taking you from the boardroom to cocktails with sophistication and elegance. They even make for a great weekender bag.

Madewell Zip-Top Medium Transport Tote

Madewell Zip-Top Medium Transport Tote
Courtesy of Madewell

The best-selling Madewell Zip-Top Medium Tote, $188 has a top-handle and crossbody strap and is made of chic durable tanned leather so it will age with grace. It's also spacious enough to hold your laptop, book, wallet and all your essentials and has handy interior pockets for your keys and phone — it's also big enough for an overnighter.

Add an Adjustable Crossbody Strap

Claire Vivier Adjustable Crossbody Bag Strap
Claire Vivier Adjustable Webbing Crossbody Bag Strap Courtesy of Claire Vivier

Many top-handle bags also come with a crossbody strap, so you can go hands-free if you're loaded up and running around. If your dream bag doesn't it's a smart idea to buy an inexpensive crossbody strap that you can attach. Not only is this functional and practical attaching a strap is a great way to give your bag an instant update. Clare Vivier has some great bag straps, from chic gold chains to cute colorful, and printed canvas straps — like the Adjusting Webbing Strap, $95, shown above. Madewell, Cuyana, Kate Spade and Rothy's also have great affordable bag straps and you can even find some cheap and seriously chic ones on Amazon.

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