Look chic, shop thrifty – those are 4 words we all love. You don’t have to spend a fortune to look like you did.
Don’t get me wrong, we all love high-end designer handbags, but we all can’t afford them. Many high-end designers are pricing their handbags at affordable prices. You just have to know what to look for and where to get them.
As a bag snob, I’ve learned a few tricks on how to shop for that designer bag we all love without it breaking my wallet. Here are some great tips to remember before shopping for your next handbag as well as some of my top favorites.
♥ Before shopping, make sure you make a checklist your current arsenal of bags. There are five categories of handbag types. It’s a good idea to go through your closet and check your “want” vs “need’ list so you can determine what type of handbag you are in the market for.
1. Travel bag
2. Tote bag
3. Treasure (or High-end) bag
4. Trendy bag
5. Clutch bag
♥ If you have several black tote bags but not a single brightly colored clutch, then it’s probably time to splurge on one.
♥ It’s always a good idea to start your handbag search online. Now that you know what type of handbag you need, you can start to filter out what you don’t want and focus on what you really need. Try not to impulse shop unless you are drooling over a handbag you know you must have. Make sure you bookmark websites and benchmark prices.
♥ If you decide to hit the pavement and spend the day at the mall, make sure you are dressed appropriately. Always wear your heaviest winter coat or when you test out the bag to make sure it fits over the bulky shoulders. It’s so frustrating when you buy that dream handbag and the straps will not fit over your shoulder. Think about when you will be wearing this handbag and what clothes you are most likely going to wear it with before you hit the stores.
♥ Size does matter! A purse that is not sized properly for your frame can cause problems. You want to be sure you get a handbag that enhances your frame instead of magnifying your body flaws. Ever see that tiny chick with that huge over-sized trendy handbag? Yeah, don’t be her.
Remember that an oversized handbag can overwhelm a small frame and make a petite woman look shorter. And in contrast, a small purse on a plus size frame will make a large woman look larger. The goal is for your handbag to be proportional to your figure and size.
♥ Buy a designer handbag with compartments. Even a small clutch can have compartments. It’s always a good idea to make sure a handbag has at least two compartments. You’ll want function as well as form.
Ask yourself what are some items that you must have with you and make sure you’ll have room for them. Items like your keys, smartphone, wallet, makeup bag, sunglasses and other essentials will have to fit somewhere right? Plan ahead when choosing your next handbag.
♥ Spillage – it happens. When it comes to inside protection of your handbag try to choose materials like rayon, faille or vinyl linings to hide unexpected stains and spills.
♥ And lastly, try to spend the most money on a bag you can wear all year long. It’s fun to have an assortment of handbags in different colors, shapes and styles but ask yourself, can I wear this in the winter? Is this a good summer bag? Try to spend less money on fun trendy bags that might not make it to next season. Once you are ready to make that purchase,
♥ Once you are ready to make that purchase, just go for it! You’ve done your homework, legwork, and worked your butt off. Now it’s time to make that decision and don’t look back. Remember, you can always return a handbag if you get it home and realize you should have eaten that cheesecake instead. Most stores will gladly refund or exchange that handbag for you.
Here are some of the latest smoking hot designer handbags with price points your budget can live with. This post does contain affiliate links which means if you decide to purchase, I will receive a small commission.
Michael Kors – MICHAEL MICHAEL KORS JET SET SAFFIANO TOP ZIP TOTE $200–248. Not only does this sleek sassy tote come in a beautiful array of colors, but it’s also roomy, can be worn as a day or evening bag and crosses all season. If you don’t have a pop of color in your handbag collection this is the perfect handbag to make that happen.
DETAILS – A classic silhouette made for a sophisticated, modern woman: The MICHAEL Michael Kors Jet Set Saffiano Top Zip Tote.
- Tote made of smooth saffiano leather
- Buckled shoulder straps
- Exterior slip pockets
- Brand logo hardware
- Protective metal foot base
- Top zip closure
- Features a back-wall zip pocket, slip pocket, and a key fob
- Signature print lined interior
- Imported. Measurements
- Bottom Width: 11 in ; Depth: 4 1 4 in ; Height: 10 in ; Strap Length: 20 1 2 in ; Strap Drop: 9 1 2 in ; Weight: 1 lb 2 oz
Kate Spade – KATE SPADE NEW YORK ‘CEDAR STREET – MAISE’ SATCHEL $298 This classic satchel gives you all the look and feel of a high-end bag at a price that won’t break your budget. With its two classic colors, you can easily match this up with any outfit.
DETAILS – Lavish crosshatched leather composes a tidy satchel shaped with an elegantly arcing silhouette. An optional strap adjusts to the perfect length for convenience.
- Top zip closure
- Optional, adjustable strap
- Interior zip, wall and cell-phone pockets
- Protective metal feet
- Signature Jacquard lining
DETAILS – Rich quilted leather puts a luxurious finish on this petite, classic Rebecca Minkoff bag. Interwoven leather traces the polished gold-tone chain strap, which can be worn long or doubled, and the flap top opens to a logo-lined interior with a single pocket.
- Leather: Cowhide.
- Weight: 16oz / 0.45kg.
- Imported, China.
- Height: 6in / 15cm
- Length: 9in / 23cm
- Depth: 2in / 5cm
- Strap drop: 22in / 56cm
Michael Kors – MICHAEL KORS LOGO-PRINT SIGNATURE MONOGRAM TOTE BAG $198 If you’ve always ached over that LV you can’t afford, no worries. This monogram tote is the next best thing. The perfect tote with its roomy interior and handy compartments.
- Brown PVC with light brown MK logo print and buff leather handles
- If desired, personalize with one or three initials in your choice of embroidery styles shown
- Golden hardware
- Buckled top handles, 9″ drop
- Hanging circle logo charm
- Open side pockets
- 11″H x 16″W x 5″D
Will Leather Goods – Will Leather Goods Small Classic Carry-All Bag in Tan Sale $67.15 This carry-all has a multitude of uses. Not only is it stylish and but convenient too. This bag is handmade from durable cotton canvas, featuring tan leather trim and a Will Leather Goods printed logo on the front.
DETAILS – The Will Leather Goods Small Classic Carry-All Bag in Tan is stylish and convenient. This bag is handmade from durable cotton canvas, featuring tan leather trim and a Will Leather Goods printed logo on the front.
- Color: Tan (Tan / Tan Leather)
- Material: 18oz Cotton Canvas / Full Grain Veg Leather Trim
- 17″ x 15″ x 2.5″
- Brass Hardware
- Double Rivet Reinforced handles
- Handmade in the U.S.A.
Dooney & Bourke – DOONEY & BOURKE FLORENTINE SMALL SATCHEL $368.00 Bellissima! Made from rich, luxurious Italian leather, this small satchel is equally suited to handle your morning meeting to cocktail hour with the girls. Plus, it helps keep you organized from the inside out, with plenty of pockets to store all your everyday essentials.
DETAILS – This distinct Dooney Bourke satchel sets your look off the style charts with its trendy ways!
- Satchel-style handbag constructed of luxurious leather
- Holds your wallet, personal technology, and other small essentials
- Dual handles with a removable crossbody strap for versatility
- Decorative hardware accents
- Flat bottom with protective metal feet
- Top zip closure. ; Lined interior features a back-wall zip pocket, slip pockets, and a key fob
- Measurements: Bottom Width: 13 in ; Depth: 5 3 4 in ; Height: 8 in ; Handle Length: 13 3 4 in ; Handle Drop: 5 in ; Accessory Strap Drop: 19 in ; Weight: 2 lbs 15 oz
Now, you are empowered and ready to go handbag shopping. Have fun!
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