Which budget handbag is best?
A lovely handbag doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Designers and retailers are savvy enough to recognize that not everyone can afford to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a purse. Advances in technology have greatly improved the appearance and longevity of materials like faux leather. Provided the material used is high quality and the craftsmanship and design are good, a budget handbag can look like a million bucks.
If you choose the INC International Concepts Riverton Crossbody, you’ll get the popular crossbody style with more storage space than you’ll get in other crossbody bags. You’ll have plenty of places to secure your valuables, thanks to one interior zip pocket, two interior slip pockets, two exterior zip pockets and one exterior slip pocket.
What to know before you buy a budget handbag
Consider how you intend to use your purse when making decisions about the style you need. The large variety of style options include:
Shoulder bag: A great everyday bag worn on the shoulder
Tote bag: One of the largest styles and usually designed with no closure and a single compartment
Hobo bag: Constructed with a slouchy, crescent-shaped profile
Satchel: A medium-size handbag with a great deal of storage space
Crossbody bag: Worn via the lengthy single strap, which you place around your body
Clutch: Typically paired with semi-formal or formal attire and small enough for small essentials
Construction vs. storage space
You shouldn’t assume that a handbag that’s large in construction size will have generous storage space. While the exterior dimensions of some handbags correlate to the storage space, this isn’t universally true. Make sure you open the bag and examine the interior compartments and all pockets before committing to it.
The right wallet can greatly improve the storage functionality of any handbag. The addition of a wallet can optimize the size and shape for your handbag by adding compartments.
Make sure you can carry it
Regardless of how visually appealing or highly functional, a budget handbag can quickly become a burden if hauling it around is exhausting. For this reason, you should avoid bags that are too heavy to carry long term.
What to look for in a quality budget handbag
Shade of color
Budget handbags come in a kaleidoscope of colors that suit virtually any taste. Keep in mind that neutrals tend to coordinate with more clothing and are therefore more versatile. That said, there’s nothing wrong with adding a pop of color to your handbag.
Pattern vs. solid color
While most handbags include solid colors, some do have patterns like logos, color blocking, stripes and animal print.
Type of straps
The crossbody is one of the most popular strap designs, and it is only one of several. Shoulder straps are the classic choice. Hobo bags have wide straps that extend from the body of the purse. Meant to carry in your hand or tuck against your side, clutches do not have straps. Some clutches are sold with a detachable strap to give you options.
How much you can expect to spend on a budget handbag
You can find budget handbags starting as low as $25, but it’s probably best to err on the side of caution and stay in the $50-$80 price range.
Budget handbag FAQ
How do you find a good quality budget handbag?
A. Some budget handbags are poorly made, but that’s not always the case. You can find a high-quality budget handbag by carefully inspecting the stitching to ensure it’s symmetrical and consistent. The hardware should be secure and in good condition, and the material should be free of discoloration, nicks and scratches.
Can you carry a budget handbag for special occasions?
A. Yes. You absolutely can use a budget handbag for fancy occasions. For example, some beautiful clutches on the market look like they cost far more than they do. It’s not about the price. It’s about the craftsmanship and the quality of the materials used.
What’s the best budget handbag to buy?
Top budget handbag
What you need to know: Inspired by the moto-style, this crossbody bag has a look that’s a bit edgy but still classic enough to wear daily.
What you’ll love: Available in two different versatile shades, brandy and navy, this handbag stands a good chance of becoming a wardrobe staple. Stud design details give it an aesthetic with a hint of rock-n-roll. This purse is larger than most crossbody bags while still being compact. One interior zip pocket, two interior slip pockets, two exterior zip pockets and one exterior slip pocket give you plenty of places to store your valuables securely. The high-quality faux leather resembles the real deal, making this purse look like anything but a budget find.
What you should consider: Quality control issues were the point of dissatisfaction most consistently cited by a few unhappy buyers. A faulty zipper was the main complaint.
Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s
Top budget handbag for the money
What you need to know: The chic look of this sleek, elegant satin clutch belies its budget-friendly price point.
What you’ll love: Constructed of satin in champagne, navy and black shades, this clutch makes a sophisticated statement against nearly any semi-formal and formal attire. The criss-cross detail woven into the front of the bag adds subtle interest and flair. This design detail elevates the aesthetic of the clutch, making it appear high-end. The champagne and navy versions have gold hardware, while the hardware on the black version is silver. You can remove the detachable chain strap to convert this purse from a shoulder bag to a clutch and vice versa. A convenient interior credit card pocket holds credit or debit cards and any necessary IDs.
What you should consider: A couple of buyers said the clutch was too small to hold their items, while at least one buyer reported the fabric stained easily.
Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If you need a bit more storage space from your handbag, this bucket bag with a roomy interior and a center zip compartment is a great option.
What you’ll love: The bucket bag style of this purse affords you adequate storage space without being bulky. You can tuck your valuables into the center zippered compartment to keep them secure. The center compartment creates a divider in the surrounding interior compartment that’s ideal for keeping everything organized. A magnetic snap closure secures the interior compartment. A second zippered pocket and two slip pockets offer additional storage options. The handle is adorned with studs to give this bucket bag a stylish edge. You can choose from black, cognac and khaki colors.
What you should consider: Some unhappy buyers felt the purse was too small, while others thought it was too big.
Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Megan Oster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.