6 Quiet Luxury Bags That Will Never Go Out Of Style

November 8, 2023

I'm Jess. This blog is a collection of everything I've learned as I rebuilt my self-image from a burned-out-extrovert-wannabe to an at-ease-introvert-bookworm.
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In my 20s, I was knee-deep in credit card debt, and all I had to show for it was a pile of trendy clothes, shoes, and bags that did not represent the real me: the quiet, introspective Jess who cared about creating an enduring wardrobe and being kind to the planet. What I didn’t know at the time was that my insecurities about being introverted were coming through in my shopping habits. I was spending money on garments that represented the pretend version of myself in an effort to play the part. Since becoming a more confident introvert, I’ve embraced understated and high-quality pieces that represent who I am and align with my values. In this post, I’ll share the 6 quiet luxury bags I adore for their craftsmanship, heritage, and subtlety.

Style is highly personal, and there’s no wrong way to express yourself through fashion as long as you’re being your authentic self. However, as introverts, we often play the part of “extrovert.” That might even come through in our wardrobe. That’s why it’s important to examine your style when reconnecting with your introversion: to make sure you’re being true to yourself in every way.

Why Quiet Luxury Is Perfect for Introverts

Before we jump into the bags, let’s explore why introverts might prefer quiet luxury items over trendy ones.

Long story short, our personality traits and desire for a comfortable lifestyle are driving forces behind these preferences, but here are some specific reasons why introverts might gravitate towards quiet luxury:

  • Attention to Detail: Introverts tend to have a keen eye for detail. Quiet luxury items are often high quality, well made, and highly detailed. This can be more appealing to those who appreciate precision.

  • Comfort and Practicality: Quiet luxury items are usually comfortable and practical. Introverts are more likely to prioritize functional items that make life easier and more enjoyable over impractical or uncomfortable trends.

  • Personal Connection: Introverts have a preference for deeper connections. Quiet luxury brands often come with a story, a history, or a sense of heritage, allowing introverts to forge a meaningful bond with their belongings.

  • Peaceful Enjoyment: Quiet luxury items can provide a sense of peaceful enjoyment and contentment. Investment pieces can become wardrobe staples, creating a sense of consistency that introverts value and reducing decision fatigue.

Bag No. 1: L.L. Bean Boat and Tote

Classic American Craftsmanship

Brand Overview:

L.L.Bean is an iconic American brand. The brand has committed to quality, functionality, and timeless design since 1912.

The Bag:

The L.L.Bean Boat and Tote is an enduring classic, celebrated for its sturdy construction and low-key design. It’s perfect for work, daily errands, weekend outings, and even travel.

This bag is associated with a Northeastern aesthetic and coastal lifestyle (the epitome of quiet luxury).

Despite being more popular these days because of the Ironic Boat and Tote movement, which embroiders cheeky or sarcastic phrases on these classic bags, it’s still an understated option.

The Boat and Tote is also the most affordable bag on this list, proving that price is not necessarily a sign of value or quiet luxury.

There is an open top version and version with a zipper, and it comes in various sizes (though small and medium are best for daily use). L.L. Bean also offers custom embroidery for an additional fee.

An L.L. Bean Boat and Tote bag is one of the most affordable quiet luxury bags around thanks to the brand’s rich history.

Bag No 2: Polène Numero Un

Parisian Chic

Brand Overview:

Polène is a Paris-based brand that was founded in 2016.

It offers aesthetics, quality, and attention to detail at the same level as mainstream luxury brands without the hefty price tag, making it a more affordable alternative.

The Bag:

The Polène Numero Un is known for its clean lines and versatile nature.

Pros include its sophisticated design, minimal branding, and two ways to carry the bag: by its sturdy top handle or crossbody strap.

It’s deceptively spacious (it expands), and it’s incredibly well-made. In fact, Tanner -Leatherstein described the Numero Un as “a credible threat to luxury handbags.”

The Numero Un comes in two sizes, regular and Nano. Both are great choices, though the regular seems to be best for everyday use.

Polene’s Numero Un bag is the perfect blend of sophisticated design, functional features, and subtle elegance. It’s an excellent choice if you’re seeking a versatile quiet luxury bag.

Bag No. 3: Strathberry Mosaic Bag

Scottish Heritage Meets Modern Elegance

Brand Overview:

Strathberry established itself in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2013. It beautifully fuses Scottish heritage with modern design.

The brand uses clean lines and unique hardware to create sophisticated bags.

The brand is less known in the US, but it managed to catch Meghan Markle’s keen eye (she actually owns a few Strathberry bags).

The Bag:

The Strathberry Mosaic Bag is a newer style, but it stands up to the brand’s other designs.

Some of the design’s more interesting elements are the bar closure, overlapping leather panels, and contrast stitching (in some cases), all of which create clean, structured lines.

The inclusion of both a top handle and crossbody strap makes this bag an excellent investment piece because of its versatility.

It also ranks as one of the more reasonably priced bags on this list at $600.

Strathberry’s Mosaic Bag might be the most versatile quiet luxury bag in this post. Its design, size, and features make it casual enough for daily use but elevated enough for evenings or events.

Bag No. 4: Ghurka Rover No. 66

Vintage-Inspired Luxury

Brand Overview:

Ghurka draws inspiration from the legacy of Ghurka soldiers and brings a vintage touch to luxury bags. The brand was established in the 1970s and is dedicated to utilizing high-quality materials and impeccable craftsmanship.

The Bag:

Although the Ghurka Rover No. 66 comes with a larger price tag, it is built to last.

(I’ve personally owned a Ghurka bag for nearly 10 years, and I have used it extensively. It has held up well to near-daily use and it’s my go-to bag when traveling. I’m confident it will last for many more years.)

The Rover No. 66’s shape hints at doctor’s bags of the past without being overtly vintage-inspired.

Crafted by hand in beautiful chestnut leather, it features top handles and a crossbody strap for maximum usability.

The Ghurka Rover No. 66 only comes in one color but it’s (arguably) synonymous with “quiet luxury bag.”

Bag No 5: Cuyana Small Easy Tote

Timeless Minimalism

Brand Overview:

Cuyana, founded on the principles of “fewer, better” in 2011, emphasizes quality, simplicity, and sustainability in its designs. The brand offers a range of elegant handbags in addition to small leather goods, clothing, and accessories. It’s also a favorite of Meghan Markle.

The Bag:

The Cuyana Small Easy Tote is perfect for everyday wear as well as travel.

It’s got two sets of straps (one shorter and one longer) and a slouchy shape that’s unexplainably chic (it’s giving Olsen twins).

This quiet luxury bag has also met Tanner Leatherstein’s high standards.

There is also a larger version, a tall version, and a version with a zipper.

Given its price point (between $250 and $300 depending on the version), it’s one of the most affordable quiet luxury bags on the market, especially when you consider the cost per wear.

Without a doubt, the Cuyana Easy Tote in Small is one of the most functional yet stylish quiet luxury bags available.

Bag No. 6: Mulberry Alexa

British Tradition and Timeless Style

Brand Overview:

Mulberry, a British heritage brand established in 1971, epitomizes British tradition and timeless luxury. The brand offers a range of iconic handbags that just get better with age.

Even the Royals love Mulberry. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, often wears Mulberry bags in public. It’s also a favorite of Emma Watson.

Yet the brand is lesser-known in the US, making it a great choice for those seeking quiet luxury.

The Bag:

The Mulberry Alexa became iconic in the 2010s due to Alexa Chung’s love for the bag, but I especially love the bag’s academic vibes. There’s something scholarly about its design, with its buckles and top handle, yet it’s very clearly a luxury bag thanks to its details and construction.

After being absent for a few years, they recently reintroduced it into the rotation to celebrate the brand’s 50th anniversary. Production of the Alexa now meets Mulberry’s commitment to sustainability, and it’s part of their permanent collection.

It comes in several sizes and finishes. Although it falls on the more expensive side, it’s unquestionably a piece designed to last.

The Mulberry Alexa is an excellent alternative for those seeking a quiet luxury bag with an academic feel.

Final Thoughts

When you find an item you connect with and use regularly, it becomes a source of comfort (at least, that’s how it’s been for me). I love knowing I can rely on an item. Not only does this make life easier, but it can be a source of confidence too.

Each of these brands is fundamentally committed to craftsmanship, and regardless of the varying price points, they ensure that these bags are made to last.

I believe every bag on this list has the potential to become a treasured piece.

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