H&M is a good place to find budget-conscious bags with designer-inspired details, like the Celine-like handles on this satchel. I also like the slim look of this black top-handled tote with cross body strap. If you’re in the market for brown, this chic cognac bag with peaked corners is a great option. I also like this light taupe bag with subtle hardware and a sleek shape.
If you’re looking for a good resource for handbags in this price range, I recommend the juniors section at Nordstrom for bags from Street Level and Emperia. Limited also makes some stylish, well-priced bags.
Inexpensive handbags are a great way to add form and function to your wardrobe. But if you’re trying to decide the difference between a bag that will look more expensive than it is and one that will show it’s price-point in wear and tear, there are some tips to consider.
1) Examine the material. Does it feel like leather? Does it look like leather? Is it malleable like leather or stiff? Is the material too shiny or textured in an unnatural way?
2) Look at the construction. Do the handles seem securely fastened? Is the hardware of good-for-the-price quality or weak? Is the zipper stiff or does it move easily? How about the stitching, is it firm and secure or loose and uneven? Is the lining material a good weight or is it thin and easily torn?
3) Perform the scratch test. Lightly scrape your thumbnail along the bottom of the bag in a place where it won’t show. How does the material react? Does the color come off? Does the material damage easily? A bag that can be visibly damaged by such a light scratch will not wear well over time.
Have any tips to share? Leave them in the comments.