Fall can be a tough time to find a reasonably priced bag. Not only do the straw and linen options of summer suddenly vanish, but they’re replaced by far more expensive materials, particularly for Fall 2011 – python, fur, crocodile. The accessories industry seems to have conspired to make us spend more money on this season’s trends.

Fret not, though. I spent most of yesterday tracking down the past bags of the season under $600, and these aren’t little box clutches are nylon totes, because that would be a total cop-out. Nope, what we have here are leather bags big enough to be used regularly, and they’re so chic that you’ll want to do just that.

Coach Poppy Pushlock Satchel

Again and again, Coach proves itself the perfect place to start looking for an everyday bag at a relatively nonthreatening price point. The brand’s reimagined Poppy line, and the Coach Poppy Pushlock Satchel in particular, are surprisingly affordable for how chic the bags are. The best part for shoppers like me who hate obvious branding? There’s none to be found. Buy through Nordstrom for $378.

Olivia Harris Toggle Clasp Satchel

The Olivia Harris line is only a few seasons old, but I’ve been impressed with its bags (and their prices) since the beginning. If you want to sport an eye-catching color but still stay neutral, a rusty shade of orange-tan like that of the Olivia Harris Toggle Clasp Satchel is perfect. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $455.

Rachel Zoe Melissa Satchel

Based on the slightly steep prices for Rachel Zoe’s ready-to-wear line (the maxi dress that I ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE is $550, ugh), I was ready to dismiss Zoe’s handbags as overhyped…until I saw them and their price points. The Rachel Zoe Melissa Satchel comes in at less than $500, and it’s the kind of seasonless, just-structured-enough black bag that you’ll keep reaching for again and again. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $475.

Botkier Apollo Crossbody

As I mention often, I do love a crossbody. I love Botkier‘s in particular; I have two of them, and I wear them more than probably any other bags in my collection. The Botkier Apollo Crossbody does that legacy justice. It’s just the right size, the color is perfect for fall, and you’ll want to carry it everywhere. Buy through Zappos for $345.

Elie Tahari Lanie Snakeskin Bag

Snakeskin is the trend of the season, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t include some of it on this list. Usually for less than $600, all that you can hope for is faux, but the Elie Tahari Lanie Snakeskin Bag offers the real thing in a neat little package. With cute pleats and a chain strap, I don’t see how you could need anything more. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $498.

3.1 Phillip Lim Lynus Mini Envelope Bag

Of course, no mention of Fall 2011 trends would be complete without red, and to fill that gap, I’d like to offer the 3.1 Phillip Lim Lynus Mini Envelope Bag. If I were you, I’d remove the stiff black shoulder trap and use the flat red one with the little fur puff, or remove them both and you’ve got a perfect minimalist clutch. Not only that, but this is a bonafied runway bag for less than a grand. Buy through ShopBop for $595.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Kat

    I like the Elie Tahari one the best, altoguh I’m still not crazy about it. Great price point, especially since it’s real snakeskin. And it still looks hip and young, in contrast to most snakeskin bags that look too luxe and in-your-face for me.


  • rose60610

    Nice selection. Especially the Lim and Tahari.

  • Cate

    I really like that Lim bag AS A CLUTCH, but I just don’t understand the fur pouf.

  • ellenbakes

    I think the stand out for me in that bunch is the Olivia Harris–rich and supple looking with clean lines. I also like that Botkier, especially in the color offered. The Rachel Zoe…meh, which is kind of disappointing.

  • estlin

    That Rachel Zoe Melissa satchel looks so much like a Modalu Bibi Grab.
    Her other bags are pretty much MICHAEL Michaek Kors & Marc by Marc Jacobs mash-ups.

  • 19yearslater

    I like the Coach and the Olivia Harris.

  • Cathy Fitz

    That Rachel Zoe looks very nice. Makes me quite interested in checking out her bags.