Bella hadid Vintage Chanel bag

How to Spot Quality Vintage Handbags: Your Ultimate Buying Guide

How to Spot Quality Vintage Handbags: Your Ultimate Buying Guide

Are you on the hunt for the perfect vintage designer handbag that not only showcases your impeccable style but also fits your budget? In today's fashion-conscious world, vintage handbags offer a unique blend of trendiness, affordability, and sustainability. Whether you're an avid vintage collector or a newbie looking to make your first designer bag purchase, knowing how to spot quality vintage handbags is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the criteria for identifying high-quality vintage purses, helping you make an informed and stylish choice.

Authenticity Matters

Before diving into the qualities of a vintage handbag, ensure it's the real deal. Counterfeit bags flood the market given their increased popularity as of late, so research the brand's authenticity markers. Look for:
  • Serial Numbers: Many designer bags have serial numbers or authenticity cards, although these can be harder to come across with vintage bags. Make sure wherever you are purchasing from has a comprehensive authentication procedure (read more about ours here).
  • Logo and Stitching: Pay attention to the logo's placement, font, and stitching quality.
  • Materials: Familiarize yourself with the brand's signature materials and craftsmanship.

Craftsmanship and Stitching

Quality vintage designer bags boast impeccable craftsmanship. Examine the stitching – it should be even, tight, and neat. Loose threads, uneven seams, or signs of repair could indicate a lower-quality item or extensive wear and tear.

Leather and Materials

Vintage designer bags often feature high-quality leather. Assess the texture, smell, and overall condition. Genuine leather should feel supple and have a distinct scent. Check for scratches, scuffs, or discoloration. 

Hardware and Fastenings

The hardware on a vintage bag can reveal its quality. Genuine designer handbags typically use high-quality metals like brass or gold-plated hardware. Inspect zippers, clasps, and buttons for tarnishing or rust.

Lining and Interior

Quality vintage bags often have well-designed, durable interiors. Look for clean, intact linings made from high-quality materials. Pockets and compartments should be functional and undamaged.

Brand and Designer Knowledge

Familiarize yourself with the specific vintage styles and design details of the brand or designer you're interested in. Each brand may have unique features, such as the iconic quilted pattern of Chanel or the monogram canvas of Louis Vuitton. Knowing these details can help you spot authenticity.

Signs of Wear and Tear

While some vintage bags may show signs of gentle use, be cautious of excessive wear. Scratches, deep scuffs, stains, or rips can significantly impact a bag's value and aesthetics. Anywhere you are purchasing from should outline any imperfections.

Seek Expert Advice

If you're uncertain about the authenticity or quality of a vintage handbag, don't hesitate to seek advice from experts or reputable vintage shops. They can provide valuable insights and authentication services.

Price vs. Quality

Remember that quality vintage bags, even at a more achievable price point, may still require a significant investment. Be prepared to balance your budget with your desire for quality.


Acquiring a quality vintage designer handbag is a thrilling venture for fashion enthusiasts, sustainable shoppers, and first-time buyers alike. By paying attention to authenticity markers, craftsmanship, materials, hardware, and other essential criteria, you can confidently choose the best vintage purse to add a touch of timeless elegance to your collection. Happy hunting!

Back to blog