I’m currently suffering from something I like to term ‘Fash bag fatigue’.
Barely a day goes buy where I don’t open a magazine or click through a style site to be told, in no uncertain terms, that unless I’m saving up my council tax and muesli money for a tote I can carry a baby around in, I am missing a crucial fashion gene. It’s not that I can’t appreciate the quilty aesthetics of a Chanel 2.55, or a Mulberry tote, or even those satchels off the Google advert, but I’ve never managed to grasp the dreamy possibility behind the massive great throbbing price tag. Some see design and timeless craftsmanship – I just see a holiday or a Ford Focus swinging from the arms of the elite.
The Sunday supplements, bless their affluent hearts, have made it as far as realising that bags upward of a grand probably aren’t at the top of many women’s shopping lists, so they’ve started giving us bags for £500 instead. Which is marvellous if you’re one of those terrifying 23 year old hedge fund managers you occasionally read about in Vogue, or if your landlord has lapsed into a coma conveniently excusing you from paying any rent, but for the rest of us who don’t have a spare monkey in the bank yet still have to carry our stuff around, it’s not especially helpful.
So here, to prove they do still exist, are some seriously nice bags for under £100. Most are under £50. Some are under £30. Which, unless you plan to take inspiration from the late, great Nora Ephron, who announced that her perfect bag was a bright yellow and blue plastic MetroCard shopper from the Transit Museum in New York’s Grand Central Station (I Feel Bad About My Neck – And Other Thoughts About Being A Woman, 2007 – read it, it’s wonderful), is probably about the best we’re going to be able to do. But at least we can still afford muesli.
Note: I have included nothing from Urban Outfitters, because every bag I or my friends have ever bought from Urban Outfitters has always broken dramatically within three months. If you’ve got an UO bag that you’ve been lugging around unscathed for over a year, please do let me know.
Hardback doctor bag, £26.99 A-Shu.co.uk
Doctors can’t claim many professional style victories (word on the wards is they’re still wearing Crocs) but they do have some pretty tasty bag heritage. This cheap and cheerful take on the classic Gladstone from A-Shu.co.uk comes in a range of tasteful colours and will ensure that should you ever go to Gloucester in a shower of rain, you’ll be able to cart your brolly around in something stylish. NB: does not guarantee medical knowledge.