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IYKYK: Top Understated Handbags

IYKYK: Top Understated Handbags

product image of blue hermes lindy bag and black fendi peekaboo on white background FASHIONPHILE

Because if you know, you know…

Forget about the trends. Forget about the ‘It’ bags of the season. Incoming: the pieces that don’t quite get the same airtime as their ultra-luxury counterparts. Clearly, we know that doesn’t mean they’re of lesser value. It just means that these understated pieces, the unsung heroes of ultra-luxury fashion, don’t need the constant spotlight or a lineup of reviews to maintain their excellence.

Why? Well, because there is nothing to prove. They fall under “quiet, understated, coded luxury,” as our fabulous friend Charles Gross proclaims. And we couldn’t agree more. A coterie of fashionistas already know quite well the level of status that these pieces bring to the table. Their understated appeal is what makes them so desirable. Lavish, timeless, alluring, and tasteful, these handbags are the pieces that a true pioneer in fashion would instantly recognize in passing. Ready to show the world that you know, too?

Top Understated Handbags

Bottega Veneta Arco 

One of Daniel Lee’s iconic bags for the house, the Arco bag, is named after a historical Italian arch located in Milan, where Bottega Veneta’s Fall Winter 2019 show took place. The style comes in several sizes ranging from the Mini to the Arco 75.

The Arco bag is not to be confused with the Arco Tote, which exhibits slight design variations. Sizes for the Arco Tote range from Small to Large. You’ll notice that this bag presents a more traditional rectangular silhouette, whereas the Arco features a flap with some more architectural influences. Both are equally gorgeous. The iconic Intrecciato weave almost gives the brand away. To all the fans of carryall totes like the Dior Book Tote or the Louis Vuitton Neverfull, the Bottega Veneta Arco is a necessary addition to your collection.

Pst! Call us crazy but there’s potential for this tote (and more) to be an incredible baby bag, too!

Loewe Puzzle

This Spanish house does not disappoint. The Puzzle bag is an iconic staple for anyone looking to add to their growing ultra-luxury collection. The style was brought to you by the legendary Jonathan Anderson (otherwise known as JW Anderson to many fashionistas) back in 2014 for the Men’s Spring-Summer 2015 presentation.

The Puzzle bag since then has evolved to become a go-to staple for those keeping up with the latest minimal-style trends. Its distinct shape, made of separate pieces and stitched together, makes this particular ergonomic style so unique and unlike any other handbag in the market. Sizes include NanoMiniSmall, and Medium.

Hermes Lindy

In the world of Hermes, a true luxury investment doesn’t have to stop at Kelly bags or Birkin bags. The coveted French house offers an entire lineup of luxury handbags and accessories at various price points. And at FASHIONPHILE, there are an array of options to choose from no matter your budget. Leave it to Hermes to offer a roundup of perfectly understated styles, such as the newest Geta bag inspired by Japanese footwear. She is so perfectly minimal and definitely a style to watch.

But another contender worth considering is the Lindy bag. Nothing new to see here, but this style is one of the more accessible options from Hermes that you can buy right now. The position of the handles on the Lindy bag really sets this style apart from the others. It is designed to be a more comfortable way to wear a handbag out and about.

Fendi Peekaboo 

The Peekaboo is one of Fendi’s most timeless icons designed by Silvia Venturini Fendi, granddaughter to the founders of the Italian house. After debuting in stores back in 2009, this beloved style (even over a decade later) is still popular and surely it is here to stay. If you love the Hermes Kelly, then the Fendi Peekaboo satchel is right up your alley – with similar features such as a single top handle and a removable shoulder strap.

Coming in an assortment of colors and textiles, you can find the iconic Peekaboo satchel in sizes ranging from Micro all the way up to Large. Any luxury aficionado can spot this style from a mile away for its contemporary shape, and draped look when unlocked.

Honorable mentions

The Chloe Mini C Double Carry, the Celine Belt bag and C bag, and if you love animal bag charms, Burberry’s Thomas Bear bag charm adds the perfect splash of personality. Want to know more? You’ll enjoy this post about lesser-known designer brands worth adding to your repertoire.


What’s not to love? If you love it, buy it. Ultra-luxury comes in so many shapes and sizes. At FASHIONPHILE, new arrivals are added daily. Shop all handbags!