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Ask Belle: Black Satchels Under-$150

Hi Belle,

I’m just about to start an internship and I’m looking for a black bag I can use every day for work. I need one that is big enough for all the essentials and preferably I’d like something under $150 being on a student budget, but I can’t seem to find anything!

I love your blog, it was so helpful when I was interviewing, hope you can help me.

Thanks in advance, Tamsin 

A versatile black satchel is a great place to start your work wardrobe.  You want one that’s big, but not too big.  Here are a few of the things that I found:


Ivanka Trump Victoria Shopper ($150)

I love this Ivanka Trump tote.  I think her bags have great style for the price point, and the two I own have held up pretty well.  I also like her Julia shopper tote and her Ava dome satchel.  I also adore the vintage-feel of this Colette satchel.

Other bags in this price range include this French Connection Celestial satchel and this Tommy Hilfiger Saffiano bowler.  Prefer something more in the under-$75 range?


Carlos Juliana Tote ($48)

I like the clean lines on this modern cross body tote.  If you like something with a bit more glamour to it, try this Aldo Adelaide satchel.  This mini-dome satchel from The Limited is a good basic tote.  If you’re looking for something a little smaller, this Nine West textured satchel has some chic metal accents.



  1. Ellie says:

    If you have to carry around a laptop, I strongly recommend this bag:
    I started my job a month ago, and this bag has been a life saver.

    November 6, 2014/Reply
  2. YouSaucyMinx says:

    Belle has some great picks, but I prefer larger, more structured bags.

    If you have just a little more to spend, the LL Bean Field & Town Tote is amazing. It holds absolutely everything (right now it has a laptop, tablet, notebook, flats, and my lunch in it) and holds up amazingly well. I beat the heck out of it and it looks brand new.

    It’s $199, but there’s often coupons you can use to bring the cost closer to 150.

    I talk more about great totes (as low as $80) here.

    November 7, 2014/Reply
    • amk says:

      Seriously? A shameless plug to your own blog? Classy.

      November 7, 2014/Reply
      • Belle says:

        I don’t mind when people mention their own site, as long as that’s not the only thing they ever comment about. Other readers have blogs on personal finance, health and fitness, and motherhood, and they mention content, so it’s fine by me.

        November 7, 2014/Reply
  3. Melissa says:

    I just purchased the Larkin bag from Banana Republic and am in love. It has room for days and is lightweight, leather, and great quality. It’s very minimal so it doesn’t compete with your outfit or the metal of your jewelry. I can fit my laptop, all purse items, an umbrella, shoes, and even a wrap with no problem whatsoever.

    BR is always having a deal, so sign up for their emails to get the bag at a reduced price.

    November 7, 2014/Reply
  4. Alaina says:

    I just started a new job, and bought this tote from TJMaxx:

    I too was on a really tight budget and am happy with this bag thus far. It can fit a laptop and other essentials.

    Best of luck with your internship!

    November 8, 2014/Reply
  5. Iga Parker says:

    I really love those bags! Great research!

    November 9, 2014/Reply