In Brief

Dior, Hermes or Chanel - the best investment handbags to buy

Choose the right piece of arm candy and you can make sure your bank balance doesn't suffer

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A classic handbag not only looks good, but choose wisely and you could be walking around with a money-maker on your arm. So what labels should you splash out on?

Chanel

"Fashion changes, but style endures," said Coco Chanel. That is certainly true about the label's classic 2.55 medium flap handbag, with its timeless quilted design and "CC" branding. It's been seen on celebrities such as Jessica Chastain, Hilary Duff and Alexa Chung and for good reason - its value has rocketed over the last few years. According to vintage handbag site Baghunter, the Chanel 2.55 has outperformed house prices, going from $1,150 (£810) in the mid-1990s to reach $4,900 (£3,493) in May 2016 - more than double the $1,967.17 a 2.55 should cost when its launch price of $220 (around £154) in 1955 is adjusted for inflation.

There's further good news for Chanel investors - a medium classic flap on its website today will cost £3990.

Louis Vuitton

Beloved by the likes of Rihanna and Angelina Jolie, a Louis Vuitton handbag is always a good investment, with fans willing to pay over the odds to get their hands on one. Its Speedy, the first bag the label created, costs around £696 - but a limited edition can fetch up to £2,500. You can expect around £450 for even a standard version, however.  

LV's Neverfull, a more recent addition to the range, is another popular choice. "Bought new, a Neverfull can cost £880," says The Independent. "But the most sought after can be sold on for up to £2,500."

Hermes

Forget the stock market, a Hermes handbag has consistently proven itself to be a solid investment - better even than gold, says Baghunter. "Between 1980 and 2015, the S&P 500 has returned a nominal average of 11.66 per cent, which equates to a real return average of 8.65 per cent," it says, while gold had an average annual return of 1.9 per cent and a real return average of -1.5 per cent - both fluctuating wildly along the way. In comparison, the price of a Hermes Birkin has never gone down, instead increasing an average 14.2 per cent each year. "The bags experienced a peak surge in value in 2001, increasing in value by 25 per cent, and with the lowest increase in 1986 when the value went up by 2.1 per cent," adds the site.

Get the right Hermes, however, and you're laughing - as the owner of one bag discovered last year. Their Birkin, made out of Himalayan crocodile and white gold and featuring 245 diamonds, became the most expensive handbag in the world when it sold at Christie's for an incredible  $300,168 (£208,175).

A matte-white version goes up for sale in Hong Kong at the end of this month, with an estimate of $193,452 - $257,935 (£149,828 - £199,770).

Its sister bag the Kelly, named after actor Grace Kelly, is almost as coveted, with the auction site dropping the hammer on a rouge edition in 2007 for $64,383 (£31,700), far above its estimate of £20,310 - $24,372 (£10,000 - £12,000).

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