Style

Cheap thrills: 15 chic handbags under $50

May 9, 2014 at 12:44 PM ET

Looking for a new statement bag this spring? Update your wardrobe without emptying your wallet:

Keeping score

Dorothy Perkins mini bowler
Dorothy Perkins

Some bowling bags are best left on the lanes, but this salmon pink version is a sweet, scaled-down take on the retro silhouette. (Dorothy Perkins mini bowler, $29, dorothyperkins.com)

Vermillion sky

ModCloth ‘Phenomenal Freelancer’ bag
ModCloth

Think of it as a next-generation hobo bag: still slouchy and light on the hardware, but modernized with a crossbody strap and polished piping. (ModCloth ‘Phenomenal Freelancer’ bag, $49.99, modcloth.com)

Kick of cayenne

Oasis ‘Jemima’ satchel
Oasis

This saddle bag from Oasis combines fiery summer color with work-appropriate structure — perfect for days when we wish the office felt more like a balmy isle. (Oasis ‘Jemima’ satchel, $45, oasis.andotherbrands.com)

Teacher’s pet

Pepa Loves ‘Buckle Up’ satchel
Modcloth

One look at this shrunken satchel makes us want to shop for (designer) pencil cases and schoolboy blazers. (Pepa Loves ‘Buckle Up’ satchel, $44.99, modcloth.com)

In the buff

Forever 21 tan tote
Forever 21

Here’s our nominee for the top carry-everywhere tote of the season, in a pale tan shade that looks sophisticated and feels luxe. (Forever 21 tote, $27.80, forever21.com)

Split screen

Dorothy Perkins colorblock bag
Dorothy Perkins

Practical and adventurous at the same time, color-blocked neutrals play well with prints and brights. (Dorothy Perkins bag, $49, dorothyperkins.com)

Crisp finish

Forever 21 white carryall
Forever 21

There isn’t an outfit this pristine white bag won’t complement, from a beachy maxi to an interview suit. (Forever 21 carryall, $29.80, forever21.com

Shape shifter

Tulle ‘Fashionably Late’ bag
Tulle

Sure, we love trapeze-style totes because they let us cram more stuff into our bag, but the slouchy sides also look modern and fresh. (Tulle ‘Fashionably Late’ bag, $23.50, tulle4us.com

Two times a lady

H&M handbag
H&M

Want to lighten up your accessories for spring but still look totally polished? We suggest this two-tone stunner. For purists, it also comes in solid black. (H&M handbag, $39.95, hm.com)

Eighties revival

Old Navy bucket bag
Old Navy

Back in the '80s, every cool girl had a swingy, tasseled bucket bag to complement her preppy pieces. The shape is back in fashion — big time — and this pick gets the all-American vibe just right. (Old Navy bucket bag, $32.94, oldnavy.com)

Cool character

H&M handbag
H&M

Gray has been dubbed the color of the decade and it’s easy to see why: The shade oozes elegance without being the least bit boring. (H&M handbag, $39.95, hm.com)

Pale beauty

H&M bag
H&M

This pastel tote is anything but cloying. A lovely taupe-mauve shade, it coordinates with everything in your wardrobe — a must-buy for fans of rose gold. (H&M handbag, $39.95, hm.com)  

Island time

stella & dot slim clutch
stella & dot

It’s always nice to bring a bit of breezy, vacation-style fashion into our real-world wardrobe, which is why a raffia envelope clutch is on our shopping list. (Stella & Dot slim clutch, $49, stelladot.com)

Sense of scale

ModCloth ‘Dapper and You Know It’ bag
ModCloth

Keep the shoulder strap for running errands, then take it off for evening glam. Either way, this beige-and-black, fishscale-textured bag is utterly chic. (ModCloth ‘Dapper and You Know It’ bag, $45.99, modcloth.com)

Cold shoulder

H&M shoulder bag
H&M

This little number has everything we want for spring: graphic color-block, mixed textures, gunmetal hardware and a versatile clutch-meets-shoulder bag size. Pretty impressive for an under-$30 investment. (H&M shoulder bag, $29.95, hm.com)

TOP