There are a lot of oxymorons to choose from, but our favorite has to be affordable designer handbags. Thankfully, a few rogue designer brands understand that you shouldn't have to take a second mortgage out on a house to afford a bag you carry your license, some tissues, and loose change in.
Part of the mystique of luxury labels is their exclusivity, but these designer brand handbags have been catering to the masses for quite some time.
13 Must-Know Affordable Designer Handbag Brands
If you're an average handbag shopper, there are some standout brands that'll let you get the feel of a designer purse slung over your shoulder without breaking the bank. These are among the best affordable designer handbag brands to shop for:
- Betsey Johnson
- Dooney & Bourke
- Kate Spade
- MARC by Marc Jacobs
- Michael Kors
- Rebecca Minkoff
- Tory Burch
- Matt & Nat
- Foley & Corinna
1. Betsey Johnson
Betsey Johnson is almost as well known for her brand as she is for her wacky sense of style. Full of bright, bold colors and prints, the designer clothing and accessories line is full of cheeky vintage-inspired pieces. And if you love unconventional handbags, it's a wonderfully cheap option for you.
Generally, Betsey Johnson handbags cost less than $150, and come in the best array of interestingly surreal shapes. If you love Moschino's pop culture style but can't afford it, Betsey Johnson bags like this silver telephone and crossbody disco ball are perfect for you.
Coach bags are one of the most popular lower-priced designer brands and they tend to fall into the low to mid hundreds, with the cheapest eking out just around $100. Coach outlet stores are a popular place for people to find hot deals on the surplus from last season.
If you have a Coach retail store near you, expect them to have the widest range of colors and designs. If you don't, you can always turn to their trusty website. Additionally, you can pick up your next Coach bag at a department store like Macy's and Nordstrom.
3. Dooney and Bourke
Dooney and Bourke, with their subtle and functional handbags, offer accessories for less than $500, though most you'll find are in that sweet $100-$300 range. Stick to wristlets and crossbodies if you don't want to break out more than a hundred dollar bill.
As a more affordable brand, they're often available at department stores like Belk, Macy's, or Nordstrom. You can find everything from hobo styles to drawstring bags within the Dooney and Bourke line. Shop for them at Dooney and Bourke outlets or at Dooney.com.
4. Kate Spade
Kate Spade is one of those suburban staple brands, and their bags are similarly priced to the Coach and Dooney and Bourke's, with no bag in their current collection listed for more than $550. There are many department stores that carry Kate Spade bags, as well as outlet stores where you can get this affordable bag brand for a less expensive price.
If you shop at an outlet store, you might have enough left in your bag budget to get a matching wallet. You can always shop at the Kate Spade website, too, for a wide selection of colorful bags.
5. MARC by Marc Jacobs
MARC by Marc Jacobs (not to be confused with the pricey traditional Marc Jacobs line) is another designer brand that sticks with a $200-$500 average price point. The MARC line is no stranger to the 'bigger the bag, the higher the price' motto, and their most expensive $500+ bags come in the biggest tote sizes.
Look for these city-slicker metropolitan fashion bags at Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales, and the Marc Jacobs website. You may also discover a stash of these bags in an outlet store.
6. Michael Kors
If you love sophisticated but wearable fashion, then you're well-acquainted with Michael Kors' designer line. Or, you might remember the American designer thanks to his long-running spot on Project Runway as a judge. In the 2010s, Michael Kors bags were extremely popular because their initialed-logo designed bags share that old-school designer panache of brands like Louis Vuitton, but cost a fraction of what the legacy brands did.
Today, Michael Kors bags are still affordable, though the more expensive handbags could run you upwards of $500. Yet, their small crossbodies, clutches, and totes go for $300 and under.
Cut back to 2010 and every suburban teenager wanted a Fossil crossbody and matching watch. Despite rising costs, Fossil handbags are still some of the least expensive designer purses, with most of their prices falling short of even the mid-hundreds. In fact, the priciest totes in their current collection don't even break the $500 mark.
Expect prices to be in the low hundreds for GUESS bags, too. You may even be able to score one for less than that if you happen to find a sale on their site or in a department store. These are possibly the most affordable designer bags in general — so cheap, in fact, that many people forget they're a designer brand. But, if you've got a new paycheck burning a hole in your pocket you can still find a Guess bag or two brushing that $500 ceiling.
Find GUESS handbags at your favorite department store or GUESS.com. In addition to versatile everyday handbags, you'll find plenty of choices with interesting textures, prints, and embellishments.
9. Rebecca Minkoff
Since 2005, Rebecca Minkoff has been designing statement-making bags for fashion-forward women. Their collections are punctuated with handbags made of leather or suede with tassel charging key fobs and satchels that can convert into backpacks.
Handbags within the collection range from about $150 to $500 and are sold on the Rebecca Minkoff website, Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Shopbop, and Zappos. If you love edgy, multi-use and forever-in-style kind of bags, these are the ones for you.
Furla is an Italian handbag company proving that luxury doesn't have to break the bank. As a contemporary handbag line that maintains the brand's traditional design quality, the Furla handbag line includes leather mini bags, satchels and backpacks ranging from about $150 to $700.
The Furla line is sold on Furla's website and Bloomingdale's; however, discounted selections can be found at Nordstrom Rack as well.
11. Tory Burch
The Tory Burch handbag collection consists of designs that exudes loads of chic appeal with a vintage twist. Some of the designer namesake bag creations include half-moon shapes, satchels, crossbody styles and totes made of a variety of materials including leather, suede and more each priced between about $220 to $800.
So, they're not the most affordable, but they have a good mid-price selection to choose from. Tory Burch handbag designs can be found on the Tory Burch website, as well as the Tory Burch outlets stores for discounted selections.
12. Matt & Nat
Fashionable women living a green lifestyle need handbags, too. The handbag brand Matt & Nat offers designer vegan leather bags made of recycled nylons, cardboard, rubber and cork with linings made of 100% recycled plastic bottles. You can score Matt & Nat bags at Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, and the brand's site, Matt & Nat, for about $100 to $300.
13. Foley & Corinna
Fashionistas and celebrities both have a fondness for Foley & Corinna handbags. Their modern handbag line that has a slight vintage aesthetic runs from about $100 to $400 and includes a range of clutches, crossbody bags, hobos, satchels and totes in vegan leather. You can get Foley & Corinna bags at Foley & Corinna website and stores like Bloomingdale's, Shopbop, and Zappos.
Find an Outlet Store for the Best Deals
One surefire way to get the best deal on any designer bag without taking the risk of getting a counterfeit on auction sites like eBay, is to shop outlet stores. If you live in the United States, you can easily find one nearby using Outlet Bound. From Coach to Fossil, there are so many outlet stores for you to explore.
Luxury Brands You May Want to Avoid if You're on a Budget
If you're on a budget and you don't want to tease yourself, stay away from window shopping brands like Gucci, Marc Jacobs' regular line, Prada, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton. These brands are routinely out of the reach for most people's budgets. We know the Birkins were hitting big on social media, but $30,000+ for a handbag?
Though regular prices of the high-end designer handbag brands are generally steep, from time to time there's a rare gem within these designer's collections that'll land in the mid-hundreds. So if you've got the patience and are willing to wait to find the perfect season-ending sale, then go ahead and take a peek.
Good Fashion Doesn't Have to Cost a Fortune
Don't let multibillion dollar companies fool you. Good fashion doesn't have to cost a fortune. So, save yourself the credit card debt by shopping for these affordable designer handbags. It'll make you — and your wallet – happy.