We reported last week on the second, or maybe even third, wave of flared-gusset bags to hit the market in the wake of industry-wide Celine obsessiveness, and although most of those bags do have their charms, few combine the striking geometry of the originals with the kind of price tag that makes buying something other than Celine so appealing. The MICHAEL Michael Kors Selma Tote is one of those few winners, and so is this similarly proportioned Z Spoke Zac Posen Eartha East-West Tote. At $525, this bag looks a lot more expensive than it actually is.

Most contemporary designers have had a bit of a rough time transitioning from the slouchy silhouettes of a few years ago to the new modernism that has largely taken over the accessories world. Structured, minimal bags are harder to manufacture at an attractive price point than their slouchy counterparts, mostly because flaws in construction and moderately price materials make themselves all the more obvious when stretched to rigidity and unobstructed by pockets, zippers, embellishments and assorted other doodads. The chief victory of the previously mentioned Kors tote is that it avoids those pitfalls, as does this Posen tote.

In fact, it’s fair to say that this bag is the preppy Kors’ more fashion-forward cousin. Their shapes are very similar, but the smooth black leather and mirrored silver accents of this rendition make the end product a little bit more aggressively au courant. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $525.

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