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Ask Belle: Bucket Bags

Several of you have written in asking how I feel about the drawstring bucket bags that are popping up everywhere.  I like them as a fashion forward casual bag.  But I wouldn’t spend much money on one.  (It appalls me that some bloggers are touting the glories of a bucket bag from Italy that costs almost $800.)  Here are my favorite under-$100 bucket bags.


Old Navy Bucket Bag ($30)

Simple, casual, under-$50…everything I want in a bucket bag.  It comes in deep tan, black and pine-green.

I also like the structure of this pale tan Mango bag.  This Kate bag from Need Supply Co. has pierced leather that makes it very chic-looking.  This lipstick red bag from Urban Outfitters is a good size.  And lastly, I found this black-and-white printed bag, which I thought was kid of fun.



  1. Liz says:

    Belle, you say that you like bucket bags as a “fashion forward casual bag” so I am wondering how you would compare them to weekend satchels or totes in terms of how you see their functionality and use.

    I’ll admit that I’ve had my eye on a not-quite-cheap Coach one, but I’ve been unsure of when and how I would use it to justify its cost.

    August 21, 2014/Reply
  2. Phoebe says:

    I am pleasantly surprised by how real the faux leather looks on those Old Navy ones. Belle, will you report back (if you get it) on what it’s like in person?

    August 21, 2014/Reply
  3. Carolyn says:

    I bought a Kate Spade camel-colored leather bucket bag (Cobble Hill Katie – can’t find it for sale, but this is it – from Nordstrom Rack for about $100 a few months ago, and it is my favorite purse. Love being able to just throw stuff into it, and as small as it is, it fits everything. Definitely worth the $100 price tag, because I’ll use it even if it goes out of style.

    August 21, 2014/Reply
  4. Rory says:

    The Old Navy bags are amazingly nice, given their low price point. They’re soft, lack that stickiness a lot of faux leathers have, and the attention to detail is really on point. I think they’d actually pass as a more expensive brand, maybe not Coach, but Fossil, easily.

    August 21, 2014/Reply
  5. Amy says:

    I disagree about not investing in bucket bags. I have a Louis Vuitton bucket bag purchased in the 80s that I still use. In fact, LV were the first makers of bucket bags, they were originally designed to carry bottles of champagne.

    August 21, 2014/Reply
    • giggling gourmand says:

      I was about to say that while they seem trendy they have been around for ages. I remember my mom carrying a coach one many many years ago. This is why I just keep all my old bags, just in case that navy spy bag languishing in the back of my closet becomes retro chic!

      August 22, 2014/Reply
  6. Kat says:

    The Old Navy one is great, and just the right price to be disposable when this trend disappears in 3 months.

    Sidebar, for other budgets hoppers, I just rounded up 6 pairs of great work shoes for under $75.

    August 22, 2014/Reply
  7. Ms. C says:

    I’m team bucket bag as invest piece. I have the coach duffle (bucket bag sans drawstring) and have carried it at least 3 times a week for the past two years.

    August 22, 2014/Reply