Aside from sending a subtle, yet commanding message, a leather hand bag can also serve as an icebreaker in professional and networking settings. But are all leather bags created equal?
The short answer? No. Sometimes people will even spend upwards of a thousand dollars on what they believe to be a quality, top of the line leather bag, only to discover a short few months later that it’s wasn’t everything they hoped. Maybe the leather first starts to crack, the stitching comes undone, or the hardware begins to lose its color and sheen.
Thankfully, there are a few things that you can do to help yourself avoid purchasing a sub-par leather bag. Here are five things to consider before you pull out your wallet to make a purchase.
Type of Leather
Just as with other leather products, such as shoes or jackets, you’ll want to make sure the product you are purchasing is made of full grain, high-quality leather. Leather that is top-quality will still look and feel great years after you’ve made the purchase. The best leather will develop an appealing, attractive patina—a weather, sheeny look as the material ages. The higher the quality of leather, the better the patina will look. This is a look that can not be replicated with imitation leathers.
There are a few different colors that are common among leather bags—black, dark brown, tan, and light brown. Each color is better suited for a specific environment, more so than others. Typically, black and dark brown are best suited for professional environments. This is because darker colors portray a sense of authority and power. On the other hand, tan and light brown are more suited for a casual or relaxed working environment. Keep in mind the situations and environments that you will be in the most. Also, if you want to maintain a professional appearance, avoid bags with more than two colors or that have a contrasting stitching color.
Before making a purchase, closely inspect the quality of the hardware, as this is an important aspect of the bag. Pay close attention to:
- Metallic Rings
- Shoulder Strap Fittings
- Zippers (in most cases, metal zippers are going to be of better quality than plastic zippers)
If purchasing the bag from an online store, zoom in on the pictures provided to get a better look at the hardware.
Message You Want to Send
What kind of statement do you want to make with your newly purchased leather bag? The style and design of the bag that you select should be an appropriate representation of your profession. Not only should your bag serve a functional purpose, but it should also elevate your style.
It is important to remember that when shopping for a leather bag, the price will not always be an accurate indicator of quality. There are brands available that will charge a higher price for lesser quality, simply because of the name on it. Don’t pay a high price just for the name brand, instead pay for a quality, premium leather hand bag that will last.