The best suede bags always lend a luxe feel to an outfit, whether for the office, an event, or casual days spent out and about. But like leather handbags, there are seemingly endless options, making for an overwhelming decision when shopping for new ones. Now, what is the difference between leather and suede? Both materials are literally cut from the same cloth. They comprise the front and back of an animal hide; leather, the exterior of the hide, is smooth and supple, while the interior suede is the soft and nappy side. Suede is also more quintessentially casual but still elegant and durable resulting in a well-worth-it shoulder, crossbody, tote, clutch, or bucket bag. Yes, affordable iterations abound, but many genuine suede handbags are an investment that ensures durability with proper care.
"Our clients are constantly surprised by how hard-wearing and long-lasting our suede is," says Métier designer Melissa Morris. (The London-based label’s suede bags run upwards of $1,500.) "It's all about using the highest quality materials." Consistent care is also key for ensuring an always-great-looking suede bag. Jason Markk, founder and Chief Mission Officer of his namesake fabric cleaner brand, says, "Routine maintenance will extend the life of your bag." Proactively protecting your suede, he adds, will “guard against wet weather or accidental spills and protect against dirt and dust build-up." All that’s required to do so is a stain- and water-repellent solution.
But before you get to that, you have to pick one. Whether you're seeking an everyday suede bag, one with embellishments to pair with occasion wear, or a unique silhouette to stand out with even the most uncomplicated of outfits, there are options—25 of them, to be exact, which we hand-picked for you to peruse and shop below.
Cult Gaia Mini Hera Shoulder Bag
Cult Gaia's shoulder bag's price, modern yet timeless design, and versatility were all factors considered in making it our Best Overall pick. The knotted detailing along the strap adds an element of interest, while the soft and slightly slouchy silhouette feels decidedly simple yet on-trend. It's just big enough to fit essentials like your phone, a wallet, and on-the-go beauty products without weighing you down.
Price at time of publish: $398
Dimensions: 5.51 x 11.02 inches
Mango Buckle Shoulder Bag
The oversized strap and buckle bring drama to this otherwise classic suede shoulder bag. The under-$75 price point will be imperceptible to onlookers. The minimal design and versatile beige color appear elevated, whether worn with tonal neutrals or as a counterbalance to a colorful print.
Price at time of publish: $60
Dimensions: 11.42 x 5.12 x 1.57 inches
Ree Projects Wyn Mini Suede Shoulder Bag
We're all in on the soft bag trend, but this twisted silhouette by Ree Projects takes things to the next level. The design is more than eye-catching but well-constructed from soft calf leather. Plus, we love the zipper for extra security, whether you toss this over your shoulder or tote it in the crook of your arm.
Price at time of publish: $690
Dimensions: 5.3 x 11.4 x 2.4 inches
Métier Market Suede Tote
Métier's suede bag assortment is robust, and while you can't go wrong with any of the line's timeless styles, from the weekenders to the clutches, this market tote ranks as our favorite for its versatility. It's an elevated and roomy silhouette that you can pair with workwear (fitting most laptops) while feeling casual enough with weekend attire (hello, farmer's market outings). Plus, the thoughtful construction creates a point of interest at the intersection of each panel with a beautifully simple finish. It also comes with a detachable pouch that doubles as a crossbody for when you have less to carry.
Price at time of publish: $2,550
Dimensions: 11.8 x 16.5 x 1.1 inches
Staud Valerie Shoulder Bag
We love a bag that can do both or, even better, work triple duty (i.e., slung over your shoulder, carried by the top handle, or worn crossbody). This Staud suede bag fits the bill, with the added detail of a wrapped leather handle and a long detachable strap. The structured silhouette offers a polished look to the more casual suede fabric, too, making it the ideal bag to take you from work to the weekend.
Price at time of publish: $350
Dimensions: 7 x 9.75 x 1.5 inches
Yvonne Koné Mini Johanna Suede Bucket Bag
A braided handle and a pretty pink color put a reenergized spin on a classic bucket bag. The soft shape adds to the freshness, while the rounded base creates enough structure to help keep things organized. The smaller size makes it an excellent option for an event or when you don't have too much to carry.
Price at time of publish: $547
Dimensions: 6 x 6 x 6 inches
Neous Scorpius Suede Leather Tote Bag
A sizable suede bag doesn't have to come in tote form, like this beautifully crafted suede bag by Neous, featuring multiple compartments (hello, organization). The numerous strap options add to this bag's versatility, as does the timeless black shade. Beautiful brass hardware also elevates the bag, making it one of the most sumptuous options to carry Monday through Friday.
Price at time of publish: $870
Dimensions: 19.25 x 13.75 x 7 inches
Savette The Tondo Suede Hobo Bag
For an understated luxury suede bag, look no further than Savette. The line's signature minimalism makes the sumptuous fabric feel even more luxurious. Likewise for the gold-tone hardware, which adds visual richness to the chocolate brown and emerald green color options.
Price at time of publish: $1,550
Dimensions: 8 x 10.5 x 1 inches
Ulla Johnson Remy Mini Suede Shoulder Bag
Ulla Johnson's minimalist bags are the perfect contrast to her vibrant printed dresses and tops. Take this bucket bag as an example. The fine detailing instantly freshens up the feel of a classic silhouette. The gathering and hammered hardware make this silhouette feel effortlessly elegant, as a magnetic closure subtly secures belongings within this open-top design.
Price at time of publish: $650
Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 5 inches
By Far Gib Suede Shoulder Bag
If nostalgic fashion is your game, look no further than By Far's Gib suede shoulder bag. While the body is minimal and unadorned, an embellished croc-embossed patent leather trims the crescent silhouette for a fun throwback feel. Pair yours with a mini skirt and strappy heels for a night out or a tank, baggy jeans, and sneakers on casual days.
Price at time of publish: $627
Dimensions: 5 x 6 x 2.5 inches
Little Liffner Soft Tulip Tote Small
If the totes in your closet suddenly feel dull, turn to Little Liffner's signature tulip silhouette for an instant refresh. The slim straps and curved shape feel nuanced but in a subtle manner that enhances the look of workwear and more for a sophisticated result. Carry it for an important meeting; it's guaranteed to make a great impression.
Price at time of publish: $595
Dimensions: 11.4 x 7 x 3.9 inches
Wandler Anna Bag
Long live the belt bag. The sunshine yellow suede style is the ultimate modern version that you can also style over your shoulder or crossbody. The clean lines accentuate the detailed construction as the gold-tone hardware steers it further into grown-up territory.
Price at time of publish: $605
Dimensions: 4.75 x 7.5 x 2.25 inches
& Other Stories Leather Tote Bag
Get your color fix by opting for this lively green suede bag. The affordable price makes going bolder feel less risky, but don't presume that means sacrificing quality. This small zippered tote is crafted from 100% leather with chrome-free tanning, making it a win-win-win.
Price at time of publish: $99
Dimensions: 11 x 11 inches
Bottega Veneta Jodie Teen Intrecciato Cashmere Suede Shoulder Bag
The ultimate suede investment? Bottega Veneta's Jodie. The silhouette has reached cult status, featuring the Italian label's signature woven Intrecciato technique, and a suede version feels entirely decadent. However, to avoid it feeling like an "occasion-only" bag you wear once or twice a year, we love this soft beige color that easily transitions from casual to formal. It has plenty of room inside for far more than lip balm and a credit card while appearing perfectly slim when tucked under your shoulder or carried by the handle.
Price at time of publish: $3,300
Dimensions: 5.1 x 14.2 x 8.3 inches
UGG x TELFAR Medium Shopper
Getting your hands on Telfar's buzzy bags is a feat, but one you can currently scoop up? This shearling-lined suede version was designed in collaboration with UGG. Whether you tote this shopper by the double top handles or sling it across your body, the cozy texture and pastel color bring a cuddly-cute element to outfits of all kinds, from dresses to jeans—the ultimate cool-weather pick.
Price at time of publish: $290
Dimensions: 10.75 x 15 x 5 inches
Proenza Schouler Braided Suede Chain Top-Handle Bag
Make a statement with your next suede bag by opting for this red flap design by Proenza Schouler. A braided chain strap ups the ante while the sleek body maintains a refined vibe—the Italian-crafted design, featuring a magnetic closure and interior card slots, is well worth the investment.
Price at time of publish: $1,595
Dimensions: 7.1 x 12.4 x 2.4 inches
Best Chain Strap
Yuzefi Doris Saddle Suede Shoulder Bag
Yuzefi is one of the best bag brands for a unique design that won't teeter into that worrisome "will I get tired of it?" territory. The crescent saddle shape is a signature silhouette that looks incredibly luxe in suede. A silver chain-link strap brings edginess to the sleek design, which is detachable if you'd prefer to tuck this bag under your arm.
Price at time of publish: $465
Dimensions: 4.9 x 8.7 x 5.5 inches
Best for Summer
Brother Vellies Bamboo Sac
You may have yet to consider suede for summer, but this sac is precisely how to do so in style. Bamboo handles bring a relaxed element to the sumptuous fabric, as does the easygoing silhouette and kicky avocado color. If neutrals are more to your taste, it also comes in white and brown.
Price at time of publish: $795
Dimensions: 14 x 21 inches (handle height is 8.5 inches)
Saint Laurent Toy Loulou Calfskin Suede Crossbody Bag
If a quilted Saint Laurent bag is on your wishlist, you won't regret investing in this gray suede version. The smaller size is great on the go and certainly not so slight that you can't fit daily essentials inside. In fact, it comes with interior compartments to keep your daily items organized. It's also versatile enough to transition from an everyday crossbody to an evening handheld when you remove the strap. And the color? A delightfully softer alternative to black.
Price at time of publish: $2,150
Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 3.5 inches
Brandon Blackwood Kendrick Trunk
With a vintage appeal, this mini trunk is a suede standout. The sunshine yellow hue is cheerful as ever, whether with jeans and a white tee or a printed occasion dress. Polished silver hardware lends a contemporary edge to the genuine suede leather subtly stamped with the label's logo.
Price at time of publish: $285
Dimensions: 7.5 x 6 x 3 inches
Simon Miller Mini Puffin Suede Bag
Big bags may be trending this season, but we can't quite deny our mini bag love. The soft structure of this convertible strap style makes it a wardrobe heavy-hitter, while the distinctive green shade feels like an unexpected neutral. Reach for it in place of beige or gray for a bolder punch, and carry it as a handheld for dinner dates and events. For a daytime look, opt for the shoulder strap and pair it with tailored separates, denim, or dresses.
Price at time of publish: $345
Dimensions: 9 x 6.75 x 1.5 inches
Self-Portrait Bow-Detailed Embellished Suede Shoulder Bag
Self-Portrait is a go-to for occasion dresses and, now, fanciful bags, too. Like this structured suede stunner that's as darling as it is glamorous in black crystals-encrusted suede, complete with faux-pearl and silver-tone bow for extra sparkle. What it lacks in space, it more than makes up for in impact, but what else could you ask for in an evening suede bag? We also love the protective feet to keep the sumptuous fabric and adornment intact.
Price at time of publish: $585
Dimensions: 4.7 x 3.1 x 7.5 inches
The Attico 8:30 PM Suede Clutch
Another suede evening bag option is the suede clutch, and this one by The Attico is unlike any other. The unique geometric design proves there are other ways to strike a chord than ornate detailing—a choice bag for those not into shimmer and shine but instead have a penchant for color.
Price at time of publish: $870
Dimensions: 6.5 x 11.5 x 5 inches
Khaite Mini Lotus Suede Shoulder Bag
Khaite is renowned for impeccable restraint, from knitwear to the line's suede bag assortment. This sunshine yellow style, crafted in Italy from calfskin suede, is a scaled-down version of the brand's iconic tote, offering more ease and impact to everyday dressing. While the bold color instantly captivates, the fluid shape is equally distinctive—a worthy investment for those craving a more spirited shoulder bag.
Price at time of publish: $1,250
Dimensions: 4.5 x 6.5–8 x 4.5 inches
The Row North-South Park Suede Tote
Most would agree that a bag from The Row is the ultimate splurge. This minimalist tote is an incredible choice for those with spendy urges. The elongated shape offers plenty of room with a slimmer, more wearable feel than other spacious bags. The open top makes reaching for daily essentials a breeze while the slouchier silhouette folds ever-so-slightly inward to keep valuables feeling secure.
Price at time of publish: $2,450
Dimensions: 15 x 16 x 8.5 inches
Well-designed suede bags will always be the best investment. Timeless silhouettes sans too much embellishment—like Métier’s Market Suede Tote, Cult Gaia's Mini Hera Shoulder Bag, Neous’ Scorpius Suede Leather Tote Bag, Little Liffner’s Soft Tulip Tote Small, and Savette’s The Tondo Suede Hobo Bag—are the most versatile. But unique details, on the other hand, will ensure your suede bag feels special and distinctive, even if they’re as subtle as the wrapped leather handle seen in Staud’s Valerie design or the braided iteration in Yvonne Koné's Mini Johanna Suede Bucket Bag.
What to Look for in Suede Bags
According to Morris, the quality of the suede makes it soft and lasting; however, construction also matters when choosing the best suede bag. Since suede is heavier than leather, it’s worth noting that any details like braiding or weaving will only add weight. "I would never do a woven bag from purely suede as woven bags use a lot more material, and therefore a suede version would be incredibly heavy," she tells Byrdie.
Since the fabric is so durable and versatile, suede bags run the gamut, from oversize totes to handheld clutches. Silhouette choice is simply about preference, although considering daily use will help to determine the shape and size that best suits your lifestyle. "As you can see in my collection, I think suede looks great in just about every silhouette," Morris says. "I love it in our more classic shapes like the Private Eye or Roma because you wouldn't expect it."
Clasps, buckles, zippers, and protective feet are typical embellishments that will never feel over the top or trendy. However, more adornment can offer a dynamic look if you're seeking a bolder design. "This is just purely an aesthetic decision," Morris says. Her designs are generally minimalist and characterized by discrete hardware and contrast stitching.
How do you clean a suede bag?
Markk and Morris suggest using a soft bristle brush with special suede shampoos or spot treatments to clean a suede bag for everyday touchups. Markk breaks down the steps:
- "Before you begin to clean your suede bag, empty its contents. This will make it easier to rotate and flip the bag giving you better access to certain angles.
- [As] the first [cleaning step], you should always take a soft hog or horse bristle brush and gently dry brush the entire surface area of the bag. This will remove any top layer of dirt and dust.
- Next, if there are any visible soils or marks, use a clean suede eraser to literally erase the marks away.
- Finish by brushing the suede back and forth using a suede brush like the one in our suede cleaning kit."
For a deeper clean, Markk says to use a specialized suede cleaning solution, such as his Ready-To-Use Foam Cleaner and a soft bristle brush. He breaks down the steps:
- "The cleaner produces a perfect foam and does not require any water. This is key because you want to avoid oversaturating suede with water and solution.
- Apply the foam directly onto the bristles of the brush and gently work the foam into the suede, distributing evenly across the entire surface of the bag. The bag should feel slightly damp.
- Next, gently dab the suede using a clean white microfiber towel to soak up any excess solution. Now allow the bag to air dry away from direct sunlight.
- Once dry, the suede will have slightly hardened—this is normal. The final step is to take a suede brush to brush the suede using a back-and-forth motion. This will revive the nap to the soft and buttery feel that we all love."
Another thing to note is that suede is often dyed and can sometimes cause a color transfer to clothing and upholstery. “Some dyes may bleed more than others, so I recommend testing for color transfer before cleaning,” says Markk. “To test, use a clean white microfiber towel to gently rub the suede in an inconspicuous area. Judging by the amount of color transfer, if any, proceed with caution."
Are suede bags hard to maintain?
Regular care is the best way to maintain a suede bag. "The occasional scuff or spill on your suede bag is inevitable," Markk says. "The key is to treat it as soon as possible. For scuff marks, use a soft bristle brush to dry brush the affected area. Next, use a clean suede eraser to erase the mark away. Finish by brushing the suede back and forth with a suede brush."
If you've spilled something on your suede bag, take a clean white microfiber towel and dampen the towel with cold water. Next, add a small drop of dishwashing liquid and blot the soiled area soaking up as much of the stain as possible. Repeat until the stain is gone. Allow the suede to air dry, then use a suede brush to brush back and forth to revive the nap of the suede. For an even deeper clean, refer to the steps previously mentioned.
How do you store a suede bag?
When it comes time to store your bag, Markk says to ensure it's clean and completely dry. Then, stuff the bag with acid-free tissue paper (you can also use an old rolled-up, white, unprinted T-shirt) to help the bag maintain its shape. Next, wrap any hardware with acid-free tissue paper so that the hardware does not leave any indentations on the suede. Finally, place the stuffed bag into a breathable dust bag and store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
Can you restore a suede bag?
If your suede bag needs repair, such as tears, broken hardware, or heavy color loss, Markk says it's best to seek professional help.
Why Trust Byrdie
Full-time freelance writer and editor Laura Lajiness Kaupke has been covering the best of the best in fashion and accessories for over 12 years, contributing to Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Marie Claire, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Town & Country, InStyle, Women's Health, Brides, Refinery29, POPSUGAR, The Zoe Report, Coveteur, Well+Good, The Editorialist, and more. Through the years, she's wear-tested as many brands as possible, continuously adding to the repertoire, in various locations and conditions, from New York City streets to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and beyond. As a handbag enthusiast, she's very discerning about design quality and craftsmanship. As the mother of an almost one-year-old daughter, she's also learned many lessons in durability and cleaning handbags.