Expensive On a Budget – 10 Affordable Luxury Handbags (Under $200)

Affordable Luxury Handbags Under $200 - How to look expensive on a budget
View the stunning list of affordable luxury handbags that will elevate your appearance and closet so you can look expensive on a budget.

For the lady who wants to look expensive on a budget, some affordable luxury handbags still exhibit quality and elegance.

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When you are first developing your wardrobe, my most significant advice is to have good quality handbags in your arsenal. However, I understand that not every woman can afford a $5,800 Chanel bag or $20,000 Hermes bag (you will get there!). So, I decided to make a list of affordable luxury handbags under $200. This list is especially useful because I do not think that you have to spend an arm and a leg to have quality in your wardrobe.

Most designer handbags that women have are generally for the brand name, considered status symbols, or carry themselves as social signifiers. These are not bad things, but I don’t want women making bad financial decisions or feeling pressured because they are not there yet. Affordable luxury is the answer for you!

RELATED: The Secrets to Looking Glamorous On a Budget, How to Look Classy and Polished, Tips on When to Splurge Vs. When to Save

What is Affordable Luxury?

Learn how to look expensive on a budget with affordable luxury handbags.
Photo credit: Isabel Brown on Instagram (@Iamisabelbrown)

My definition of affordable luxury is primarily in the name. Affordable luxury is achieving a distinct quality within a reasonable budget. Additionally, ‘affordable’ is a relative term that varies from person-to-person. I measure affordable luxury handbags in this blog post, which is fair enough for a college student, yet does not sacrifice on craftsmanship, structure, and durability.

From personal shopping experience, it isn’t easy to find a worthy bag that lasts long, has a sophisticated appeal, and does not break the bank. There are inexpensive bags that I wish I didn’t spend my money on because I could’ve saved on a more worthy splurge for only $100-$200 more.

How to Choose Affordable Handbags to Look Expensive on a Budget

Notwithstanding the bags in this article, there are some key elements that you should look for when shopping for an affordable luxury handbag.

Neutral tones

Dress In Heels - Women in luxury, how to look expensive, luxe girl diaries
Photo credit: Shadi on Instagram (@dressinheels)

Even if you are considering your first designer bag, I think investing in handbags that are neutral tones, in the beginning, is a great idea. More importantly, as you decide to purchase an affordable luxury handbag, it is imperative to stick to more neutral tones. They tend to look more expensive, even if they aren’t.

Avoid Embossed Textures – Smooth Leather Only

Shiny or embossed textures do not always age well. Similarly, they can look very cheap if you are not careful. The key to buying affordable luxury is spending cheaper – not looking cheaper! To look expensive on a budget, try to opt for sleeker, smoother leathers, or textures.

Details – Metals, Color, and Stitching

Details are dead giveaways. When assessing the zippers, buttons, chains, stitching, and color of the metals for affordable luxury handbags, you have to make sure they have a decent quality level. The same can be said when purchasing clothing garments. YKK or other luxury zippers, careful stitching, and metal quality will help you determine if the bag is a good buy or not.

The More Minimal the Bag, the Better

Affordable luxury handbags, how to look expensive on a budget
Photo credit: Imani on Instagram (@imani_bosslady)

More minimalistic bags are good options when shopping for affordable luxury handbags. The reason being is that bags that have too much going on automatically denigrate one’s ensemble. Unless it is a known, maximalism-style brand, then I would steer clear of it. Minimalism doesn’t mean you have to be boring in your bags. My recommendation would be to go for a color block design or a distinguished yet delicately embellished bag, such as a bow or scarf.

Dupes, Not Fakes

People often get confused between dupes and counterfeit bags. A dupe is similar to a designer bag but does not imitate distinctive logos, monograms, or patterns. Buying a dupe can be a slippery slope, but my best advice is to use your discernment. I do not encourage buying counterfeit items or fake bags on this platform because I don’t think it is a smart choice.

10 Best Affordable Handbags

1. Cuyana – Classic Structured Leather Tote

2. Ted Baker – MINAA Evening Bag

3. Anthropologie – Freya Tote Bag

4. Amazon – DELUXITY Top Handle Satchel

5. Overstock – Dasein Padlock Satchel

6. The Cambridge Satchel Company – Poppy Bag

7. Kate Spade – Sam Medium Satchel

8. Mark and Graham – Fillmore Vegan Leather Tote

Italian Leather Handbags

Italian leather handbags are an excellent alternative for designer luxury when you’re on a budget. Tuscany Leather is an affordable brand that has Italian leather handbags of various styles. A lot of their bags are safe dupes and provide the affluent, upscale look without breaking the bank.

TL Neoclassic Bag

Get affordable luxury handbags. Learn how to look expensive on a budget with Italian leather handbags.
Find the TL Neoclassic Bag here. Photo courtesy of Tuscany Leather.

Aura Bag

A stunning list of affordable luxury handbags. How to look expensive on a budget with Luxe Girl Diaries. Fashion | Style
Find the Aura bag here. Photo courtesy of Tuscany Leather.

Concluding Thoughts

You do not have to break the bank to find a decent, affordable luxury handbag. When it comes to looking expensive (on a budget), all you need to do is pay attention to elements that make you look polished and find the right fit for you. I hope this post was helpful for some of you ladies!

If you have any questions or comments, leave them down below. I love to hear from you! Bye for now.

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