Style

Shopping for a new handbag? Here are the best places to buy purses online

Perhaps more than any other item, handbags get a lot of wear. Even if you’re someone who switches between a tote, shoulder bag, clutch and crossbody (depending on the day), they're still the most-practical item in your closet.

Such a significant purchase is rarely an impulse buy. So before you spend days sifting through fashion sites, check out our shopping secrets below.

From fast-fashion retailers to designer bags at discounted prices and everything in between, we’ve got your arm candy search covered. And if you’re looking for a practical purchase, we’ve included a list of Amazon's best-selling shoulder bags, so you can see styles that thousands of other shoppers have tried, tested and loved. Happy shopping!

  • Slideshow Photos

    Corbis via Getty Images, ferragamo.com

    Sophia Loren - Salvatore Ferragamo Sofia Bag

    Iconic handbags and the women who inspired them

    Take a look at the women who have inspired handbags throughout history.

  • Grace Kelly - Hermes Kelly bag

    Iconic handbags and the women who inspired them

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    Grace Kelly - The Kelly Bag

    Starlet Grace Kelly famously used her beloved Hermes bag to shield her pregnancy from paparazzi in 1956. "The photo made it onto magazine covers, and the bag suddenly had a new name," the company told TODAY Style. 

    AP, gilt.com
  • Sophia Loren - Salvatore Ferragamo Sofia Bag

    Iconic handbags and the women who inspired them

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    Sophia Loren - The Sofia Bag

    Rumor has it that Italian designer Salvatore Ferragamo named the Sofia bag after his close friend and valued customer, the actress Sophia Loren. Many versions of the Sofia bag are still in production.  

    Corbis via Getty Images, ferragagamo.com
  • Jackie Kennedy - Gucci Jackie bag

    Iconic handbags and the women who inspired them

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    Jackie Kennedy - The Jackie Bag

    The story goes that Gucci named one of its bags for former first lady Jackie Kennedy after she was spotted using the bag to shield herself from paparazzi. Sure enough, many photos show Kennedy clutching a Gucci purse. And decades later, the Jackie bag, unmistakable for its distinct shape, is still in production.

    The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images
  • Jane Birkin - Hermes Birkin bag

    Iconic handbags and the women who inspired them

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    Jane Birkin - The Birkin Bag

    The Hermes bag that has spawned so many waitlists has a lovely origin story. On a flight from Paris to London, Jane Birkin's diary fell out of her bag and her papers scattered everywhere, Hermes told TODAY Style. And who helped her pick them up? None other than Hermes chairman Jean-Louis Dumas, who happened to be on the flight. After talking to Birkin, her decided to create her ideal bag. 

    Shutterstock, therealreal.com
  • Iconic handbags and the women who inspired them

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    Princess Diana - The Lady Dior Bag

    Dior created this handbag in 1994, but gave it the name Lady Dior two years later, as a tribute to Princess Diana. The princess appeared to be a huge fan of the bag, which is still in production today. 

    Tim Graham/Getty Images, Gilt.com
  • Jessica Stam - Marc Jacobs Stam bag

    Iconic handbags and the women who inspired them

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    Jessica Stam - The Stam Bag

    Marc Jacobs named this bag after model Jessica Stam in 2005 and the quilted handbag with a chain accessory quickly became an "it" bag among celebrities and fashion insiders. 

    NordstromRack.com/@officialjessicastam/Facebook
  • Alexa Chung - Mulberry Alexa bag

    Iconic handbags and the women who inspired them

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    Alexa Chung - The Alexa Bag

    Mulberry is said to have named this satchel for British model Alexa Chung after spotting her with one of the brand's briefcases. The Alexa bag debuted in 2010. 

    REX via Shutterstock, net-a-port.com
  • Pippa Middleton bag

    Iconic handbags and the women who inspired them

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    Pippa Middleton - The Pippa Bag

    British handbag company Modalu renamed this bag the Pippa in honor of Pippa Middleton, sister of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Modalu says the bag is its most popular ever, and it continues to release new shades every season. 

    FilmMagic, modalu.com
  • Lana Del Rey - Mulberry Del Ray Satchel

    Iconic handbags and the women who inspired them

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    Lana Del Rey - The Del Rey Bag

    Mulberry's Del Rey Bag, which came out in 2012, is reportedly a tribute to Lana Del Rey. The songstress was often photographed clutching the smooth leather tote. 

    Getty Images, TheRealReal.com
  • Iconic handbags and the women who inspired them

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    Amal Clooney - The Amal Bag

    Ballin, an Italian shoe and accessories brand, renamed one of its bags after Amal Clooney in 2014, after noticing the bag had become "an essential part of her daily outfits." Sure enough, the human rights lawyer is often seen toting the Amal bag in brown leather.

    Getty/ballin-shoes.com
  • Diane Kruger - Jason Wu Diane shoulder bag

    Iconic handbags and the women who inspired them

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    Diane Kruger - The Diane Bag

    Jason Wu was inspired by "perennial muse" Diane Kruger to create the Diane shoulder bags. We're not that surprised: The pals often post selfies and hit the red carpet together (though she's pictured here with ex-boyfriend Joshua Jackson). Kruger is clearly a fan of the designer, frequently photographed sitting front row at his fashion events and sporting the mini version of the Diane bag.

    FameFlynet, neimanmarcus.com
  • Cara Delevigne - Mulberry Cara Delevingne Bag

    Iconic handbags and the women who inspired them

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    Cara Delevingne - The Cara Bag

    Top model Cara Delevingne got not only a bag from Mulberry named after her, but an entire collection. She collaborated with the brand on a line of three-in-one styles, which could be carried as a tote, shoulder bag or backpack. 

    Getty Images, gilt.com

Fast fashion: H&M

For trendy totes and fun clutches at hard-to-beat prices, H&M is always a hit. Their shoulder bags are sleek and sophisticated, and they usually have a great selection of shoppers.

Shoulder Bag, $30, H&M

H&M

Shimmering Metallic Shopper, $25, H&M

H&M

Suede Handbag with Chain, $35, H&M

H&M

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Classic: Everlane

For pieces that will never go out of style, Everlane is where it’s at. The direct-to-consumer brand is known for its classic look, fair prices and high-quality merchandise — so you know you’re getting a special piece, no matter how simple it may look.

The Dipped Zip Tote, $60, Everlane

Everlane

The Foldover Pouch, $98, Everlane

Everlane

The Beach Canvas Tote, $35, Everlane

Today

Contemporary cool

If you want to find something that stands out from a sea of similar-looking bags, Need Supply Co. is a great option. Their unique mix of up-and-coming designers, like Trademark and Simon Miller, utilitarian staples from Baggu and Kara and true statement pieces, like the furry Island bags from Brother Vellies, make it a go-to site.

Cult Gaia Large Gaia’s Ark, $118, Need Supply Co.

Need Supply Co.

Bianca Shoulder Bag, $30, Need Supply Co.

Need Supply Co.

Abacá Ticao Bag, $95, Need Supply Co.

Need Supply Co.

Massive selection: Zappos

From beloved brands like Lily Pullitzer, Tory Burch and Aldo to luxury labels like Dolce & Gabbana and Jason Wu, Zappos has something for everyone (and at every price point). Plus, with a great return policy, you never have to worry about getting stuck with a less-than-stellar purchase.

Hat Attack Sunshine Clutch, $94, Zappos

Zappos

Foley & Corinna Wildheart Small Drawstring Bag, $98, Zappos

Zappos

ALDO Ligollan, $65, Zappos

Zappos

Designer discount: The Outnet

When you want a quality, brand-name bag without the steep price tag (or at a fraction of the original cost, at least), The Outnet is an amazing resource. The edit here is always great and we appreciate the mix of both trendy and classic styles.

Diane Von Furstenberg Love Power Mini Satin Bucket Bag, $89, The Outnet

The Outnet

Sandro Paneled Woven and Leather Clutch, $70. The Outnet

The Outnet

Clare V Printed Calf Hair and Leather Shoulder Bag, $144, The Outnet

The Outnet

Flash sale: Gilt

Flash sale sites can be a lot of pressure — you often have to be really quick to secure a lust-worthy item. But they can also be a great way to score a designer bag at a bargain price.

For example, while most bags at the Gucci sale disappeared at lightening speed last month, we were impressed with the great selection. And even if you can’t keep up with the new sales, the site stocks up on many brands. So it’s worth checking out on any given day.

Kate Spade New York Hayes Street Aiden Small Leather Crossbody, $149, Gilt

Gilt

Marc Jacobs Saffiano Bucket Crossbody, $159, Gilt

Gilt

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Consumer approved

For tried-and-true purchases that other shoppers love, look no further than the top four best-selling shoulder bags on Amazon. Each of these bags has hundreds of reviews, so you know exactly what you’re getting before it even arrives.

1. KAVU Rope Sling Bag, $50, Amazon

Amazon

2. Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Mini Shoulder Bag, $34, Amazon

Amazon

3. Z-joyee Casual Purse Backpack, $25, Amazon

Amazon

4. Scarleton Accent Top Belt Crossbody Bag, $20, Amazon

Amazon

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