Usually it’s a combination of attributes rather than just one in particular that makes a bag look cheap. My least favorite combination of characteristics is probably glazed, shiny leather on a structured bag. Without any slouch to juxtapose the finish of the material, non-patent shiny leather often begins to look like PVC rather quickly. Add to that few other design flourishes in a bag, and thinks stop looking so high-end all of a sudden.
Which isn’t to say that I hate the Frye Whipstitch Tote – I don’t hate it at all, it just isn’t as well executed as it could be. One really great characteristic that stands out is the beautiful tonal marbling in the leather. It gives the bag a great deal of character and makes me wish all the more that they had used this leather on a bag with a bit of slouch and movement to it. As it is, it’s just too stiff and too shiny to look expensive. Try again, Frye. Buy through Shop Bop for $598.