4 tips for identifying quality in a leather handbag

Goatskin leather
High quality goatskin leather.

So, you have your heart set on getting a new leather handbag? Proceed with caution! Even expensive designer brands skimp on leather quality in spite of style or sophistication. Use the following tips to ensure that your new handbag's leather lives up to the price tag.

Feel the leather

You really need to feel the leather. You are looking for a subtle, willowy softness that provides strength in flexibility. Be wary of stiff leather; rigidity in leather indicates that it has been coated to hide defects.

Examine the color

Color should be consistent. Poor quality leather will look blotchy or discolored.

Smell the purse

Put your nose where your money is: high quality leather gives off a distinctively "leather" aroma compared to the "chemical" smell of lesser quality leathers.

Be wary of "pleather"

Faux leather (often referred to as pleather) plays its own role in fashion, but you want real leather if you are spending the money on an authentic leather handbag. Be wary of "leather" that has a plastic-laminated feel; it is most likely faux leather.