If you had asked me to name the brands from which Marc by Marc Jacobs was likely to take handbag inspiration, Valentino wouldn’t have even been on my list. I like both brands’ work, in general, but their aesthetics are so utterly divergent that one borrowing from the other would seem to ignore both’s target customers. The team at MbMJ clearly disagrees with me, though, because the Marc by Marc Jacobs Katie Crossbody Bag owes an obvious design debt to its more expensive predecessor, the Valentino VaVa Voom Flap Bag. Because of the strong resemblance and divergent price tags, the bags are our latest Look for Less. (more…)

When I was looking for bags to feature in one of last week’s wedding guides, I came across the stunning Kotur Barnes Ombre Woven Clutch. I was immediately smitten – the way that the ultra bright colors mingle in the middle is so unique and so memorable that I couldn’t get the bag out of my head. It seems as though I wasn’t the only one who had that reaction; since that post went up, I’ve had a few friends mention the Kotur clutch in particular as a standout.

$450 isn’t an outrageous price in the least when you compare it to some of the bags that we write about, but we try to be sensitive to the fact that it’s still a lot to pay for a bag that you might only use a few times per season. Naturally, that’s where this edition of Look for Less and the Serpui Marie Marrakech Minaudiere come in. (more…)

Clutches are such a conundrum. Not only are they the smallest, least often-used bags of all the major categories, but they’re some of the most expensive purses on the market because of the amount of embellishment and detail that goes into some of them. It’s hard to believe that what is essentially a frame-structured silk pouch can sometimes cost as much as an all-leather everyday bag from the same brand, but that’s exactly the case with the Valentino Silk Georgette Rosette Clutch, which rings up at $2495. If you’re keeping score, that’s only $100 less than the white Valentino Rockstud Tote that I’m so obsessed with.

Of course, that just means that we had to go out and find a less-expensive alternative for this pretty little clutch, and that’s exactly what we did. Check out our alternative (and its much lower price) after the jump. (more…)

You know what? I know the obsession with the Celine Luggage Tote is waning a bit, but I just can’t get enough. I love my Celine Luggage Totes, and yes, I own a few. This bag was a design that came in and changed up the bag world in the most refreshing way. We all saw something slightly different but totally practical, which is precisely why I have seen these bags on everyone. I still love my Celine Luggage Totes and I highly recommend it to any of you.

There is a problem, though. When I got my first Luggage Tote I paid right around $1750, but since then the price has skyrocketed. So much so that the new price for a classic leather option is a whopping $2400. And let’s be honest, that is a major price hike. So major that it is a game changer in fact. I am delighted that I got my bags before the prices took an uphill tumble. If you don’t want to drop $2400 for the Celine Luggage Tote I have a look for less that will leave you an additional $2,000 to spend. (more…)

You know how they say time flies when you’re having fun? I am certain that this is both cliche and true, as I have no idea how it is nearly the middle of February. For the fashion world, this means Fashion Week (aka month) is here, and for the rest of the world it means Valentine’s day is upon us. As much as I love getting gifts, I look forward to putting together a Valentine’s outfit more than anything.

I’ve been obsessing over the Lulu Guiness Lips Clutch for years and I am not the only one. My mom went gaga for this clutch and Vlad and I bought it for her for Christmas this year. This novelty item is cutesy without being over-the-top. It would make for a great Valentine’s day gift but also for the perfect clutch to carry to your romantic Valentine’s day dinner. But if you love this look and want a look for less, we found the perfect option. (more…)

Everyone knows the Celine Luggage Tote and the Celine Classic Box, but the Celine Bi-Cabas Tote has cruised along just below most people’s handbag radar for the last few seasons, largely the obsession of industry insiders and dedicated Celine fans. With its extremely minimal construction and huge colorblocking potential, the bag seems to be poised to make its biggest splash yet for Spring 2012.

But what if you don’t want to pay over a grand for something relatively simple? Well, the Rebecca Minkoff Toki Tote offers the perfect alternative, but you’re going to have to trade leather for nylon. You do win a healthy dose of neon in that trade, so it might be worth it. (more…)

If I’m being accurate, this post actually comes to you via my mom. A few days ago, she emailed me a link to the Marc by Marc Jacobs Totally Turnlock Python Shine Messenger with the message, “Doesn’t Marc know that Proenza does this bag better?” And, well, yes. Marc probably knows that! In fact, the Proenza Schouler PS1 Pouchette just debuted in a very similar color of acid yellow. If you’re on a budget, though, I think that the Marc version is a pretty reasonable alternative. (more…)

Loewe Amazon Bag, $1760 via Matches. Furla Camargue Bauletto Satchel, $495 via Nordstrom.

I didn’t take much of a shine to the Loewe Amazona Bag until I saw one in person, but since I did, my borderline-obsessive interest in the brand has yet to falter. Loewe’s leather really is something that needs to be experienced to be understood; I’ve yet to see a photo that accurately depicts the simple beauty of one of the brand’s bags.

The problem, of course, is that not only is Loewe prohibitively expensive for the average consumer, but trying to find one of its bags in-store is the stuff of slight mental breakdowns. I’ve only seen them two places: Bergdorf Goodman, which has only one location (New York), and Jeffrey, which has only two (New York and Atlanta). The brand’s website has e-commerce, but doesn’t ship to the US. So what’s a girl with a limited budget and limited access to Loewe do? Find a Look for Less – how about the Furla Camargue Bauletto Satchel? (more…)

Balenciaga Raffia Tote, $965 via Barneys. Rebecca Minkoff Endless Love Straw Tote, $250 via ShopBop

It is here, it is here!!! ‘It‘ being summer. Well, kind of here, not totally 100% here but it is trying to arrive. With warm weather and vacation season knocking at our doors, many are working on their beach bodies and prepping their summer wardrobe. For an accessory lover, that should include a raffia tote.

While raffia totes are clearly only suited for May, June, July, and August, that is still a third of the year and that means it will be a great wardrobe addition. If you do not want to splurge on a designer option like the Balenciaga Raffia Tote, we found a look for less with the Rebecca Minkoff Endless Love Straw Tote. (more…)

Christian Louboutin Bikini Clutch, $995 via Net-a-Porter. MaxMara Embossed Evening Clutch, $486 via Matches UK.

Even though much of the handbag world seems to find Christian Louboutin’s non-shoe accessories hit or miss, every now and then he comes out with a bag that you absolutely can’t miss because not only is it adorable, but every retailer in the known universe ordered it in three colors. This season, it’s the Christian Louboutin Bikini Watersnake Clutch, which comes lovely, dusty shades of cerulean, turquoise and fuchsia, which you see above.

The only problem, naturally, is that the Louboutin clutch costs a thousand dollars. For those who would rather go the faux-snakeskin route (or who would rather have a similar clutch in a neutral instead of a bright), check out the MaxMara Embossed Evening Clutch for less than half the price of the Louboutin bag. Sure, MaxMara calls it embossed lizard, but I think we all know faux python when we see it. (more…)

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