[Editor's Note: This week, we're taking it a little slow to enjoy one of the last weeks of summer, so we'll have a mix of both new posts and the most popular articles we've published in the recent past. This is one of the latter, in case you missed it.
For almost anyone, a thousand dollars is a lot of money. It may not be for the very wealthy, but that rare tier of shopper isn't the one who buys the bulk of designer bags sold in the luxury market; instead, they're mostly snapped up by shoppers like you and me, who live normal lives and have normal jobs and like to treat ourselves to something fantastic when possible. Designers are well aware of that, which is why even the fanciest brands often start their handbag lineups somewhere slightly south of $1,000.
What you can get for three figures from top-tier brands can be very revealing about larger trends in the bag market—for instance, most of the good, simple bags used to be soft totes, and now most brands have shifted to crossbody camera bags for their entry-level options. Below, we surveyed two dozen of the biggest brands and found out what you can get from each of them for less than four figures.