February 19, 2024

chic contemporary bags under $1000


i have always been a bag lover. from my early days of vintage (from my grandmother) to coach, to collecting marc jacobs and balenciaga moto bags, i believed a bag could shift the mood of a look from casual to date-right ready. a few years back though, the saturation of luxury bags not to mention their rising prices made me seek out more mid-range styles. i wrote a post highlighting bags under $500, which is where i discovered little liffner, a scandinavian brand that melds italian craftsmanship with unique shapes, like the tulip tote above. it has since become one of my favorite lines of mid-range bags under $1000. since then, i’ve found many more styles and brands in that in-between niche of not luxury and not budget. i’ve broken them down into a few categories based on your style or what high-end brands you’re drawn to.

clockwise from top left: by far miranda semi patent leather bag, aesther ekme midi shopper tote, ree projects riva calfskin tote, brandon blackwood nia bag, demellier new york calf leather tote, by malene birger, coperni heart shaped tote bag, dragon diffusion bamboo tote, mansur gavriel cloud clutch..shop them all

if you like old céline:
i found chylak browsing instagram, and then saw one of the styles on farfetch. i couldn’t believe the price (under $500) and it’s become one of my most worn bags. it comes with 2 straps, a wide crossbody and a shorter top handle. i constantly get compliments on it, and the leather has held up beautifully. some other favorites in this category are sézane (both the claude and the milo are reminiscent of the céline box), by malene birger (chocolate half moon bag, above), and demellier (black wide tote, similar to the céline cabas).

if you are into unique shapes:
want something you won’t see on everyone? little liffner is my top choice. the tulip tote comes in various sizes and finishes but i love their other styles too. some other standouts are polene, yuzefi, coperni (maker of the heart tote, above), vasic, and ree projects (the cream hobo, above).

if you love bottega veneta:
love the woven leather styles? j. mclaughlin makes some gorgeous options, or check out milaner, clare v and dragon diffusion (brown woven tote, above). the mansur gavriel cloud clutch (in red) has a similar look to the bottega pouch.

if you’re into quiet luxury:
it can be tricky to find a lux-looking bag that isn’t expensive and doesn’t look cheap. the good news is that there are lots of brands in this category i just purchased the wandler penelope bag from hampden clothing, and i’m very impressed with the quality and craftsmanship. some other minimal picks include aesther ekme (brown suede hobo, top), by far (cream faux croc pochette, above), cuyana, a.p.c., and manu atelier. with hints of gold hardware, parisa wang and cafuné give french vibes.

if you love to make a statement:
i bought a staud tommy bag in beaded black zebra for my birthday (under $250), and it’s surprisingly versatile. with so many variations in prints and colors, it’s easy to find one to fit your vibe. cult gaia and brandon blackwood (love the snakeskin pochette, above) are my go-to’s in this category.

outfit photos by shannon righetti strom