Finding the “Best of fall” handbags is no easy task.

It isn’t a one size fitsall situation or exclusive criteria that determines the best purses. After all, women purchase handbags and carry them for variety of reasons. Our handbag choices over the years represent our tastes and times. Did you know that there is a handbag museum in Little Rock, Arkansas?

The Esse Purse Museum is so named because Esse refers to the essence of a woman. There are over 3,500 handbags in the collection from the early 1900s until the present. One is able to see the evolution of the 20th century woman through the purses she carried; a road trip may be in order.

Valentino’s multi-striped leather satchel has a fat top handle, a hanging logo tag and a magnetic closure. It is the epitome of a classic yet feminine purse.

A Prada tote bag with rolled top handles has an adjustable strap and a strap keeper. The saffron leather is wonderfully textured.

Elizabeth and James’s drawstring bag with an anodized silver chain is resplendent in rich gray suede. A clutch that can be worn as a crossbody bag is a versatile choice.

Balenciaga’s “Classic City” bag exudes the uniqueness of a design house that has always been at the forefront of fashion. Its stud and buckle affectations are fabulously detailed.

The animal print calf hair purse by Rebecca Minkoff is classic but just a little edgy.

The “Drew” handbag by Chloe can sling over the shoulder with a gold chain or be hand held. It is a tailored saddle bag silhouette.

A canvas and leather field bag by Dooney & Bourke features a playful duck-patterned fabric; it is a fun crossbody bag. Coach’s moss colored leather purse has a zip top enclosure and is a great travel bag.

A leather crossbody bag by Calvin Klein is a great choice if you’re looking for a small bag and a good value. The timeless appeal of a drawstring bag is evidenced in Dooney & Bourke’s resin coated purse. It can be worn as a crossbody or hand-held bag with its adjustable strap.

Lauren by Ralph Lauren’s barrel satchel is a great overnight purse. Its equestrian-inspired bridle pattern gives the bag a tailored look.

Michael by Michael Kors is an efficient carryall bag. This bag continues to be popular season after season.

What is your essence; what pretty purse will you choose?

Linda Kenney

Fashion Editor Linda Kenney styles and writes the column, “Ready-to-wear” and also specializes in Retail/Luxury sales. She began her career as a stock trader in Boston; upon moving to Dallas, Linda...