Last year the honor went to Reed Krakoff, and the year before that, Alexander Wang, so Phillip Lim should find himself and his brand in good company as the 2013 CFDA Accessories Designer of the Year. It’s a well-earned award; Lim’s Pashli and 31 Hour bags are enduring favorites among fashion industry insiders and regular consumers alike, and he was among the first to figure out that the Celine-style flared gussets would be an enduring, far-reaching trend. A brand that can check all those boxes at once and keep its bags at a fairly accessible, mostly-under-$1,000 price point is impressive indeed.

Most of you are likely already familiar with Lim’s greatest hits (and I’m guessing that more than a few of you might call them your own), but there are some particularly good 3.1 bags on the market right now. Below, our favorites. Huge congrats to the 3.1 Phillip Lim accessories team!

We talk about this from time to time, but there is perhaps nothing more difficult in handbag design than creating an attainably priced bag that looks as conspicuously expensive as the ultra-premium bags that contemporary customers lust after. Someone willing to pay $500 for a purse is likely well aware of what a $1,500 bag looks and feels like, after all, which creates an extraordinary balancing act for designers who come in at a three-figure price point. Perhaps no one is making that balancing act look easier right now than Z Spoke Zac Posen. (more…)

There’s a lot to love about Loeffler Randall handbags: they’re functionally designer, modern-looking, attainably priced. The brand uses real snakeskin and still keeps its bags under $700, even for the larger styles. For leather styles, the price point is even more tempting, and the brand’s Pre-Fall 2013 bags, which are now available for pre-order at Nordstrom, have our credit cards cowering in fear under our desks as we speak.

For me, the standout of the group is the snakeskin (which looks like watersnake, but the product details don’t specify) Rider bag in black and jade, which would provide the perfect transition from summer’s brights to fall’s more subdued palette. That’s not to say you couldn’t wear it longer than that, of course – one of the best parts of pre-fall as a season is that the pieces that come out during that time period are usually the type of thing you can wear year-round, and that’s definitely true of these bags. Our favorites are below, but you can see the whole collection (plus shoes!) at Nordstrom.


Loeffler Randall Shooter Crossbody Bag
$350 via Nordstrom

Loeffler Randall Shooter Crossbody Bag

Loeffler Randall Snakeskin Lock Clutch
$395 via Nordstrom

Loeffler Randall Snakeskin Lock Clutch

Loeffler Randall Rider Leather Satchel
$550 via Nordstrom

Loeffler Randall Rider Leather Satchel

Loeffler Randall Rider Snakeskin Satchel
$660 via Nordstrom

Loeffler Randall Rider Snakeskin Satchel

This summer, there’s only one thing that everyone on the PurseBlog team wants: handbags as bright as the July sunshine. Everything about summer is flush with color – the plants, the sky, the clothes – and this summer, your bag better follow suit or it’ll be left out of the fun (and you along with it). This weekend marks the official start of the season, and if you’re not prepared with a bevy of bright bags at your disposal (and even if you are, everyone always needs another bag), Gilt.com has an absolutely killer selection of kate spade new york bags that are just the pop of color you’ll need, all at below-retail prices that make stocking up the only option. (more…)

Depending on your age, odds are that you automatically associate Coach with one of two things: solid-color leather bags in basic shapes, or logo canvas bags with lots of luggage tags and other attendant doodads. While both of those things are still readily available from Coach for the brand’s huge, diverse customer base, many of you have likely noticed that there’s a big middle ground between those two extremes at which Coach has become quite skilled. For Spring 2013, a lot of those bags feature fun textural elements that feel like an exciting direction for the brand.

The collection runs the gamut from matte, python-embossed white leather to animal-print canvas, and every piece feels fresh, spring-like and appropriate for a wide range of customers. When a brand has a reach like Coach’s, developing products that don’t alienate one demographic while satisfying another can be difficult, but I could see most of these bags being carried by women of a whole host of ages and lifestyles. Balance is hard to find, but with bright colors and the right textural elements, Coach seems to have worked it out.

In my heart of hearts, I know that literally any type of bag can be executed well. Despite my own personal tastes and biases, there is a “best” version of everything, and more often than not, that version is objectively quite attractive and will look great when styled appropriately. Before today, I might have told you that the exception to those rules was belt bags, but now that I’ve seen the Rachel Zoe Belt Bag and B-Low The Belt Tassel Belt Bag, I’m feeling more open-minded. Are you?

Fanny packs, as they’re more commonly (and derisively) known in the US, are one of the last great handbag taboos. Despite the fact that Carrie Bradshaw once famously made a Gucci belt bag look great in an episode of Sex and the City, they’re a look that the overwhelming majority of women just won’t try. As temperatures rise, though, outdoor activities (and the general feeling of being burdened by one’s handbag) become more common, and the idea of a chic belt bag that’s not too bulky or obvious starts to sound more attractive. If you’re going to wear a maxi dress or tunic that requires a belt anyway, why not kill two birds with one stone?

The best way to go with bags like this is to keep everything very boho – loose, flowing, maybe with a little bit of print. If you decide to strap one of these bags on with a pair of skinny jeans and a tank top, it simply won’t work. There’s a reason, after all, that Queen of Luxe Boho Rachel Zoe has included a belt bag in her eponymous line. Check out the reasonably priced belt options below, and then let us know – would you ever wear one?


B-Low The Belt Tassel Belt Bag
$248 via ShopBop

B-Low The Belt Tassel Belt Bag

Rachel Zoe Belt Bag
$248 via ShopBop

Rachel Zoe Belt Bag

If you haven’t thought about California contemporary brand Linea Pelle in a while, it might be time you seek out the brand’s bags once again. They’re casual, made of wonderful, soft leather, and best of all, they won’t absolutely empty your bank account – everything on the brand’s website currently retails for less than $400, all the way from mini crossbody bags to large, carry-everything tote bags. If you’d like to add a little bit of Linea Pelle to your closet, now’s definitely the time – we have a 30% off code for you, plus some exclusive photos of the brand’s Fall 2013 collection! (more…)

The contemporary market is full of cute little crossbody bags, and for good reason – not only are they functional weekend pieces for the market’s young customers, but because of their diminutive sizes, they’re at the lower end of the brand’s price range, which helps entice new customers to check out the brand’s wares. The problem, though, is that not all designers are particularly creative when it comes to these pieces – there are a lot of zipper-topped rectangles out there right now. If you need a palate cleanser, check out the Rebecca Minkoff Craig Camera Bag.

This adorable little bag provides the same advantages of its more obvious counterparts – easy-to-carry size, room for your essentials, fun colors, affordable price point – without looking like everything else available right now, which is the biggest win of all. Another perk: that front pocket looks like it might be just the right size for a smart phone.


Rebecca Minkoff Craig Camera Bag, Pink
$195 via ShopBop

Rebecca Minkoff Craig Camera Bag Pink

Rebecca Minkoff Craig Camera Bag, Purple
$195 via ShopBop

Rebecca Minkoff Craig Camera Bag Purple

If you haven’t taken a look at Furla handbags recently, it might be time to take note. We were lucky enough to attend the Furla Fall 2013 Handbag Preview recently, and the attainably priced line is looking more luxe than ever. Fine leathers, rich, bright calf hairs, metal embellishments here and there – the collection strikes just the right note between trendy and traditional, yielding a set of bags that won’t drain your bank account while still looking current for seasons to come.

In the images below, you’ll also find new variations on Furla’s ever-popular “Candy” clear bags, which will come in ombre colors and jewel tones for fall. Some of the collection is exclusive to Saks Fifth Avenue stores, which means that their shoppers will be extra lucky come fall. Check out our exclusive photos of the bags below and let us know which designs you’re loving the most. (Personally, I’m partial to the black and white bags.)

Furla Fall 2013 Handbag Preview (1) (more…)

For a trend that’s going to be very easily identifiable as “so last season” in a year’s time, holographic bags are expensive. With brands like Celine, Stella McCartney and Proenza Schouler leading the way into a more iridescent future, getting the look for a price that feels commensurate with the trend’s staying power (or probable lack thereof) has been challenging. Plus, what if you just want a little bit of holo accent, instead of a whole bag? There has to be a reasonable way to achieve that without breaking the bank, right? Enter Marc by Marc Jacobs. (more…)

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