7 Ways to Spot a Well Made Handbag

Large chain stores selling clothing at unbelievably low prices are propagating a movement aptly named:  Fast Fashion.  Fast Fashion on the surface appears to give the public access to a huge selection of clothing at very appealing prices. However, those who examine this movement more closely are telling us that, in the end, buyers are spending as much, if not more, than they would if they originally opted for the higher quality, more expensive alternative.

Handbags have fallen victim to the same craze.  Knowing how to recognize poorly made handbags, (some of which are made by expensive and luxury brands), can mean the difference between having a bag last for a few months or enjoying it for decades.

Here are the 7 signs of a handbag’s quality:

1.      Equidistance Stitching

Handbags made by proud, skilled craftsmen will have equidistance stitching. This means every stitch, both inside and out, is the exact same size as its neighbors. Uneven or irregularly sized stitching is a telltale sign of a poorly made bag.

2.      Excellent Stitching Around the Corners

Ensuring the stitches remain equidistant around the corners of a bag is one of the most complicated aspects of handbag construction. For this reason, the corners and their stitching are an excellent indicator of bag quality. When you find a handbag designer who maintains equidistance stitching within these more complex design areas, you have found a brand that believes in paying extra attention to the finer details.

3.      Look Closely at Handbag Hardware

A good rule of thumb is if the hardware on a handbag looks cheap or generally appears cheap, the bag is most likely poorly made. The finishes are a small (but significant) means for brands to put their mark on a bag, and when little thought is given to hardware, it is a reflection of the manufacturer’s overall lack of interest in the final product.

4.      Make Sure it is Super Easy to Clean

That which carries your life and that which you carry every day is likely to get dirty, stained and messy. The materials with which your bag were made will determine if these messes remain a permanent fixture of your handbag, or if all signs of

mishap can be quickly erased. With the nylon used on PHD bags, spills are just a few sprays of Windex and a wipe away from vanishing.

 5.      Know Thy Zipper Options

 A wide spectrum of options exists within the simple mechanism of a zipper. Metal zippers are sometimes mistakenly considered the higher quality option; however they can snag easily and then require costly replacement. Select a high quality, self-repairing plastic zipper and you are guaranteed to be problem free.

6.      Know if the Lining is Tear-Proof

One rogue pencil or pen can be the end of a bag if it was not designed with tear proof lining. The PHD lining is made in Italy and is carefully engineered to be shred (and pen) proof.

7.      Inspect the Binding

Well constructed binding closely hugs the corners of a handbag. Any sign of puckered binding should be yielded as a warning sign to the woman looking for a high quality bag.

No matter what your brand preference, keeping these seven tips in mind when next purchasing a handbag will ensure the level of quality and craftsmanship your hard earned dollars deserve.



Did you know Paige Hamilton Design handbags are made in the USA to maintain quality, protect workers’ rights and to promote domestic sustainability? Read more about it here.