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Hot buys: Fall's best (and affordable!) handbags

TODAY style editor Bobbie Thomas researched the runways and rolled up her sleeves, searching through hundreds of bags to find the best buys for fall for under $150.
/ Source: TODAY contributor

Fall is officially here and it’s time to cozy up to a new carryall. Although this is an exciting adventure for most, it’s also a personal one — a bag is your constant companion and you never leave home without it. TODAY style editor and's Bobbie Thomas researched the runways and rolled up her sleeves, searching through hundreds of bags to find the best buys for fall:

This season offers up wide variety of classic handbag styles in rich colors with unique hardware updates. Chanel once again reinvented their icon bags, this time with rigid structure and bolder chains, while contemporary brands such as 3.1 Phillip Lim and newcomer Jason Wu grounded their modern collections with timeless silhouettes. Satchels with top handles, framed purses and structured shoulder bags add polish to your work or weekend looks. And sophisticated shades such as burgundy, navy, maize and rust offer a subtle pop of color without overpowering. These ladylike totes are perfect for those in search of versatility through the season. Here are some of my favorite finds:

Boy Bag Collection, for stores; 3.1 Phillip Lim in Ink, $895, ; Rampage Jackson, Chase, & Bardot Satchels $98, ; Harris for Mondani Brown Frame Bag, $70, ; Vianca Clutch, $68, for stores; Samantha Crossbody Bag, $80, ; and $61-$99,; Call It Spring Guilstorf Convertible Bag, $34.99, ; Pony Hair Flap Bag, $34.95, for stores; Kimchi Blue 2 Tone Lady Bag, $29.99, for stores; Steve Madden Bmarcela Bag, $108, .

Fall runways were abound with all things inspired by mother nature. Valentino has fashion editors hissing over their exotic python bags, while Stella McCartney turned heads with her fab eco-friendly faux fur Falabella tote that she named after her horse. Expand your horizons and embrace the season's assortment of unusual fabrics including curly mohair and fuzzy feathers or keep it a little more classic with an embossed croc leather. You can even have fun with camping-inspired designs, a subset of the 'great outdoors' trend that encompasses shearling, Native American & Fairisle prints, for an effortless cozy look that may inspire you to curl up by a fire.

Valentino One-of-a-Kind Python Satchel $3,845 ; Stella McCartney Eco-Fur Falabella Tote, $1245, ; , , , $78-$125,; Steve Madden Boxford Haircalf Satchel, $98, for stores; London Fog Fletcher Faux Skin Bag, $95, for stores; Cruz Leopard Clutch, $89, ; Greta Tassel Bag, $89, ; Mondani Galloway Faux Fur Bag, $75, 800-847-0072; Big Buddha Ricki Faux Fur Clutch, $65, ; Faux Fur Ivory Hobo, $24.95, for stores

While "glam" has been at the forefront of fashion for several seasons now, this year's bags take the concept to a whole new level with gemstone encrusted creations by Dolce & Gabbana leading the way. For the gal who loves over-the-top statements, there's no shortage of dramatic details and luxe textiles to suit your every whim, from brocade & velvet to mega metallics. Everyday bags in luxe lame or shimmering sequins offer a fun twist to everything from jeans and a T-shirt to your basic work suit. And there’s been a return of the "minaudiere", small ornamental evening bags. Whimsical pouches and ornate cases can offer the same wow factor that a statement necklace or earrings do. 

Dolce & Gabbana Gold Jewel Encrusted Clutch, Select DG boutiques; Steve Madden Bcrystal Tote, $148, for stores; Ivanka Trump Tiger's Eye Shoulder Bag, $145, ; & $99.90; ; Dressy Sequin Bag, $89, ; Miss Gustto Clotilde Tote, $75, ; Jacquard Embroidered Bag, $66,; B.Bags Silver Beaded Clutch, $59.99, ; Calvary Gold Crossbody $50, ; B.Bag Blue Sequin Clutch, $39.99, ; Sasha Lame, Black Satin, Sequin Bow, & Gold Tassel Hard Clutches, $25-$45, ; Vintage Gold Clutch, $24.90,