One of my many duties as the resident fashion girl in the life of my friends is to advise my guy friends on gifts for their boo’s.  This past Christmas my dear friend picked out an amazing pair of booties for his girlfriend that were pre-season (AKA hella expensive).  He wanted to get her a bag as well, but since he spent so much on the shoes, he didn’t think he could find one worth having for under a stack (that’s $1,000 for the aunties out there).  That’s where I come in.  When you think of good handbags your mind automatically goes to the designers whose brands are synonymous with leather goods (or the ones you’ve heard a hundred times in various rap songs): Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Céline, Prada, Fendi etc.  God knows you girls love your Neverfull’s but there’s so much more to handbags than the names you hear most often.

Don’t get me wrong, I think some of those bags are great aspirational pieces, but you don’t have to go out and spend your whole tax refund check to have a nice handbag.  Let’s be real.  My most sincere hope is that you guys will use those refunds wisely, but also treat yourself to a little something.  Let’s review a few designers that have great options for under $1,000.

Rebecca Minkoff

rm $345

Rebecca Minkoff has a great bag collection in an array of styles and colors. She has some very cute metallics for Spring. But for a good everyday bag, her signature Regan Satchel tote is a solid choice.

Alexander Wang


Many still consider Alexander Wang to be the street style minimalist God. And while Zara continues to create some stellar knock offs of his work, his bags tend to be a bit more accessible than his ready-to-wear line. The Rockie bag is a favorite on the streets of New York. It’s apparently really heavy because of all the feet/studs. Note: feet on a bag are the studs at the bottom that stop your bag from being fully on the ground. A sign of a good bag is that it has quality feet.


as $348

For rocker, minimalist, chic, clothes I freaking love AllSaints. They tend to have very decent sales and really good white t-shirts from what I gather. Their handbag collection is not to be slept on. One of their best sellers is the Mori Hobo bag, but browse the selection. You’re not going to find very fun, bright colors here, because the brand is pretty dark throughout all of their collections. Hence, if you need something to go with everything everyday, this is a good bet.


botkier $197

Their classic bag launched back in 2003, yet I only very recently stumbled across this brand. They have some really dope, affordable bags in cool colors.

Lauren Ralph Lauren

lrl $268

I personally do not enjoy logos on handbags. It’s just not my thing regardless of whose name it is. Hence, why I love that the logo tag on a lot of the Lauren Ralph Lauren bags are removable. If you shop at a department store for these, you’ll likely get a better price.  We usually assume this line is just for our mothers and grandmothers, but there are still some finds here.

Sophie Hulme


I freaking love gold hardware! If you too have the same affinity, you would love Sophie Hulme. This brand has very girly, cute color ways and patterns, and structured designs. They are a bit pricey, but as you should know by now, we are always looking for a good deal, and their sale is a real sale. I don’t see it for these kinda sorta Celine bags, but hey do you.

Elizabeth and James

The Olsen twins make some darn cute clothes, and their bags are pretty cute. The selection isn’t particularly wide, but they have a few nice, simple basics.

Henri Bendel

The selection at Bendel’s is so extensive, and you have the option of monogramming. Their bags come in an array of colors and design types, and most of them are relatively affordable.