The Best Burberry Handbag

Instantly recognizable Burberry plaid

Photo: Matthew Peyton/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Burberry's Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey describes the fashion house's distinctive style as "disheveled elegance, this beautiful craftsmanship with something a bit broken up." With over 150 years of history, the British brand can lay claim to a formidable creative heritage. The Burberry hallmarks of quality and style come at a price, however. Choosing the best Burberry handbag from a collection that ranges from classic totes through clutches and wristlets to barrel and bowling bags means relying on your personal needs -- and a little advice from fashion experts.

Iconic Style With a Twist

The classic camel, black, red and white Burberry check -- or plaid -- provides two of the brand's most popular handbags, the Burberry check bowling and hobo bags, with their iconic elegance. For a traditional-meets-modern twist, the edgy Burberry mini check clutch, swathed in leather belts and buckles, offers a ladylike take on the biker theme. Megs Mahoney Dusil, founder of online fashion magazine PurseBlog, calls it "an attention grabber."

Objects of Desire

Burberry is renowned for its fine stitching and perfect fabric matching and, with the appearance of new materials like tumbled alligator leather and artisan textured raffia, the label's precision and delicacy of design has become even more desirable. The large Whipstitch bag, which graced the 2012 catwalk, has hand-stitched detail and leather embellishments which place it firmly in the covetable category.

Man Bags

Looking for a gift for the man in your life who's dashing back and forth between office and gym? Forget the satchel and go instead for a bag capacious enough to hold all his toys. As urban professionals embrace the hand-held tote, "GQ" praises the woven leather version from Burberry's Prorsum line. If you want something that looks more country classic, fashion writer Amanda Mull suggests Burberry's washed leather tote. "This bag in particular is undeniably beautiful," she says, noting its simplicity of style and luxurious look.

Traveling Light

Finding a great travel companion isn't easy, but Vlad Dusil, co-founder of PurseBlog, thinks he might have found "what could be the perfect duffel bag"' in Burberry's leather duffel. What marks out this understated brown or black weekend bag are its design details. Accents of gunmetal hardware and leather luggage tags add the Burberry touch to a roomy classic.

Future Fashion

For Fall 2012, Burberry Prorsum showcased zip-around clutches with animal ornaments, roomy barrel bags and studded leather to match Burberry gloves. "Vogue" editor Sarah Mower describes the ancestry of Burberry's boxy new evening bags as "Art Deco Bakelite minaudieres." This trad-mod approach from the high-end British brand incorporates soft vintage leather, canvas and exotic python in a new collection of favorite pieces.

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