Werk It: The Stylish, Professional Satchel


Today’s post is brought to you by the incredibly stylish Marc Jacobs Madison satchel, which I have been staring at since my trip to Boston.  And which I will keep staring at until I either crack and buy it, or the bag bursts into flame thanks to the intensity of my stare.  In addition to the taupe color above, it comes in basic black and an equally scrumptious oxblood.

Regardless, this bag got me thinking: Where have all the stylish satchels gone?

The store shelves are filled to bursting with backpacks, bucket bags, slouchy totes, and crossbody bags.  But it seems that designers are stocking fewer and fewer satchels.  Here are seven satchels in every price point from the totally luxe to the positively frugal.

Splurge Bags: $750 and Up

Speaking of my Boston trip, I finally got the chance to do a little shopping with my friend Jean from Extra Petite.  We were talking about things you splurge on, because every woman has that one thing.  I have always loved rings.  I own so many I could use twice as many fingers.  Jean loves designer bags.  So she asks me which bag I would splurge on if I could have any bag on the market…


The Givenchy Antigona Satchel ($2,435) has long been my bag of choice.  The clean lines and minimal details are perfection.  I love the peaked corners and how the straps widen at the base.  It’s the kind of elegant bag I could carry until I need my AARP card.

Slightly Spendy Bags: $300 to $750


Kate Spade is making some fantastic bags right now.  I love the soft mushroom color on this Orchard Street satchel ($438).  The tassel detail adds just the right amount of playfulness.  And a crossbody strap is always a solid addition.  She also makes a similar hobo style for $150 less that is equally stunning.

Mid-Price Bags: $150 to $300


Michael Kors makes a great bag; this Medium Harper Satchel ($179) is no exception. They’re sturdy, chic, and the perfect size for the office.  They hold enough, but not too much.  And if you’re willing to search around a bit, you can usually find them on sale at Macy’s or another retailer.  This week, MK is offering 20% off $250+ in purchases, and 25% off $300+.

Frugal Bags: Up to $150


Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a nice handbag.  There are plenty of stylish pieces on the market in a fiscally responsible price point.  I like this Steve Madden Braelyn satchel ($37) in this magenta shade, but it also comes in tan or black.  Just avoid the inexpensive bags that are covered in cheap looking hardware, and the ones made of leather that feels like a plastic grocery sack.



  1. Terri says:

    Nothing beats a satchel! I carry mine all the time and put a clutch inside with essentials when on the run. All of these are great options. I especially appreciated your post concerning how to organize a bag of size to elevate its functionality to its style.

    August 23, 2016/Reply
  2. Wanda says:

    That Nina Ricci makes my heart sing…

    August 23, 2016/Reply
    • Belle says:

      That was a good one for sure.

      August 23, 2016/Reply
  3. Jenn S. says:

    Bags aren’t my thing, but I can appreciate a good one. I bought the Guess Cate satchel in black last month on sale for $67 to replace my Halogen Freemont satchel. Frankly, the Cate is a smidge larger than I like, but it looks professional and is structured. The leather is faux, but it doesn’t look cheap. There’s a cute rose gold option out, now.

    As for the Halogen bag? It was WONDERFUL! Soft, sturdy leather, simple, clean lines… but had a comically large hole in the liner so small items like lip balm were going on field trips to Narnia. I returned it for a refund and had money to spare after buying the Cate and a small crossbody from Fossil for walking around.

    August 23, 2016/Reply
  4. Maggie says:

    Target has a great budget version of the Givenchy satchel.,gclsrc:aw.ds&gclid=COLDgqL8184CFZEBaQodPdcJaQ&gclsrc=aw.ds

    August 23, 2016/Reply
  5. Lynn says:

    At first sight, I hated the Marc Jacobs bag, because taupe is the color of baby vomit. But I clicked the link and immediately fell into lust with the oxblood version. Holy heck, that bag is gorgeous! I might have to pull the trigger. I’ve been carrying the same Coach bag for 8 years now, so I think it’s time.

    August 23, 2016/Reply
  6. Vicki says:

    “It’s the kind of elegant bag I could carry until I need my AARP card.” haha! Great post, Belle! I love your humor.

    August 23, 2016/Reply
  7. JB says:

    I love satchel bags that have straps long enough to wear on your shoulder. They’re often lumped together with totes or shoulder bags — they’re so hard to find! Have you come across any nice ones like that? I’m looking for a bigger bag like the Sole Society one above (I tried that one in the spring but was turned off by the quality).

    August 24, 2016/Reply
  8. Shelley says:

    I much prefer Satchels to any other bag. I bought a Kate Spade one and a Michael Kors one that I love. But wow that Marc Jacobs bag in Oxblood is amazing. Such a stunning colour.

    August 24, 2016/Reply
  9. Kathleen Lisson says:

    Love your blog! I am in the market for an old fashioned doctor’s bag with a lock and key. Have any ideas?

    August 24, 2016/Reply