We spend a good amount of our time swooning over the best designer handbags, from the likes of Bottega Veneta and Chloé to Saint Laurent or Chanel. Every once in a while, you might be looking to invest in a super-special bag from one of these luxury brands. But if your budget doesn’t quite stretch and you’re looking for a more affordable way to get that same polished look a designer bag can bring—don’t fret. You’re not missing out, because there are so many more affordable handbag brands that are creating bags just as covetable as those with four-figure price tags.
Still, the word “affordable” is hard to define, and of course it’s all relative. For one person, it might mean £30 spent on the high street. For another, it could mean an excellent charity-shop find that rings in at £5. And for some, ‘more affordable’ is anything less than a £10k Hermès Birkin. Personally, we think in order for a bag to be deemed ‘affordable’, it needs to be great value—with a reasonable price tag in comparison to those uber-luxe brands, but still with an expensive look and feel. The key, also, is how much you’ll actually use it and how long it will last you.
Aimee Song with a Charles & Keith handbag.
A £40 bag might seem more affordable at the outset, particularly when you stack it up against designer heavyweights. Still, if you only use it only a few times before it breaks or only wear it once because you don’t truly love it, then its cost per wear tells another story—and not a frugal one at that. But if you were to save up and treat yourself to a £300 bag and use it every single day for two years straight, then that’s a better investment.
With this rationale in mind, below we’ve included 15 more affordable handbag brands that Who What Wear editors love, own and are constantly featuring in stories. These are brands we trust for quality and value, as well as timeless style. The prices start at £59, and nothing’s over £600, so we hope you’ll find the one for you.
One of the style set’s best-kept secrets is Charles & Keith, which started off creating premium-looking footwear at more than reasonable prices. Now, its bags are proving even more popular than its shoes, and it’s not hard to see why.
DeMellier is an independent label known in the industry for creating exceptional quality leather bags, made ethically and sustainably in Spain or Italy. So although they’re not ‘cheap’, they’re incredibly good value sitting comfortably under £500.
Aspinal is one of the brands we turn to when we want the best of British craftsmanship. Think luxury, quintessentially English design plus handmade by skilled artisans and you’re on the right track. Yes the price point is designer but look at it as a smart investment, a piece you would bring out year after year.
Mansur Gavriel bags have been incredibly popular with the fashion crowd ever since they first launched their iconic bucket bags in 2013. The pared-back minimalism makes them feel really luxe, and now the collection is full of beautiful bags you can wear for years to come.
With a lot of luxury labels originating from Paris, it’s even more special when you find a lesser-known mid-price brand from France with the same quality. Polène has a refined edit of premium styles that will be a timeless addition to your collection. Don’t be fooled by their aesthetics, though—they’re more affordable than they look.
Over the course of fashion month, it seemed like everywhere you turned, someone was carrying a JW PEI handbag. This, of course, is great news for us, as the directional arm candy comes in at under £100.
ATP calls itself “a love child of a lifestyle between Italy and Sweden”. Designed in Stockholm and handmade in Italy—it should come as no surprise that these handbags are incredibly chic and luxurious, despite there mostly under-£500 price tags.
Created by a mostly female team,’s designs are a potent blend of pretty and practical. Its lamé bow has become something of a signature on its shoes and has recently migrated to clutches, too. The brand’s shoulder bags and crossbodies, however, are just as elegant.
Dragon Diffusion’s leather woven totes give the typical summertime basket bag year-round appeal. The oversized silhouettes make an impact no matter what you wear them with. We’ve seen people using them as everything from baby-changing bags to gym holdalls. To be fair, if we had one of our own, we’d find any excuse to use it, too.
COS consistently delivers some of the best handbags on the high street, making it very deserving of a place in our line-up. Like the rest of its wares, the stock tends to move quickly, and we’ve missed out on more excellent COS bags than we care to think about. Don’t make the same mistakes as we have.
This Stockholm-based leather-goods label has become known for its less-is-more design approach, its focus on form and its reluctance to use any fashion embellishment or logos. These are truly designer bags for the minimalist age.
BY FAR’s shoulder bags are practically fashion currency. Every editor and influencer seems to have one in their collection. The Rachel is the perfect evening bag while the Amber can house slightly more.
Staud is another label that has caught the attention of fashion experts, and for all the right reasons. Staud’s shoulder bags are the stuff of dreams, and have surprisingly reasonable price tags given how big they are in the luxury industry.
One of our favourite new discoveries, Oroton has been big news in Australia for years. Lately, it has started gaining traction in style circles. Its clothes are a minimalist’s dream as are its bags.
If there’s one brand that made a comeback recently, it’s Coach. And it all comes down to its Tabby bag, which became accessory gold last year. Whether it’s the cult Pillow Tabby or the classic, you’re bound to find one to suit your taste (especially if you’re partial to a fun Y2K-inspired design).
This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.