Ladies! Can you help another lady out by helping her man find the right handbag?
July 20, 2012 11:50 AM   Subscribe

Ladies! Can you help another lady out by helping her man find the right handbag?

My lovely wife would really like a new handbag for her birthday. I haven't a clue. Well, I have ONE clue: this leather Park Tote bag. She really likes the style and the color. Neither of us likes the price. So, where does a fellow find a similarly styled bag for less? It doesn't have to look just like this bag but it really should be a similar style, leather, professional looking (fabrics will not do for her taste in this way), and maybe it has more internal pockets. I'm thinking (hoping?) around $200 or less (don't be afraid to suggest higher priced alternatives as long as we're not approaching the price of the example. Thanks!
posted by brokeaspoke to Shopping (25 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Oh! More information if it helps:
She's a college professor and would be carrying professorly things. It might be nice if the bag were also big enough to also carry a MacBook 15" among those professorly things. Internal pockets galore? Other little containers that might go nicely? You tell me. Please?
posted by brokeaspoke at 11:58 AM on July 20, 2012


posted by Requiax at 12:08 PM on July 20, 2012

You might find something in this list from Zappos. I'm partial to this DKNY one as a substitute for the Park Tote. You can narrow by price, color, and features, like whether it has a cross-body strap or what type of closure.
posted by stellaluna at 12:09 PM on July 20, 2012

I spotted this tote from The Sak the other day and thought it was pretty cute... leather is multi-color but it's in the same family as the one she likes.
posted by jabes at 12:11 PM on July 20, 2012

There's also this place called eBags which lets you check bag compatibility with different laptop models. Here's their list of camel totes.
posted by stellaluna at 12:12 PM on July 20, 2012

There's a lot of leather totes on Etsy, and as it's a fairly simple shape and doesn't require as much labor, the prices are generally much better than the one you link.
posted by Frowner at 12:13 PM on July 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

You could try the recently resurrected Modista to look for options. Looking on there, I found this and this, just to start.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:15 PM on July 20, 2012 [3 favorites]

(Re etsy: some of them are obvious semi-sweatshop Asian labor vendors, but 1. any mass produced bag is probably made by semi-sweatshop labor; and 2. there are some vendors who are clearly individuals working on their own. You could probably get a pretty sweet bag made by one of them for ~$200.)
posted by Frowner at 12:15 PM on July 20, 2012

Searching for images visually similar to the original bag comes up with lots of potentially good options.
posted by CarolynG at 12:16 PM on July 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Diaz Bags on Etsy makes some really nice stuff.
posted by elizardbits at 12:16 PM on July 20, 2012

$595 for an unlined bag? That's highway robbery. Hobo has good quality. Piel bags are very well made for the price point. Latico makes decent bags in the $200 range (here's another from them).
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:22 PM on July 20, 2012

I was going to suggest using the awesome modista, bit showbiz_liz beat me to it
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:22 PM on July 20, 2012

Oh, now I want this.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:23 PM on July 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Two more:
Madewell $168
Yoox $109
posted by beyond_pink at 12:25 PM on July 20, 2012

Some good Knomo bags on sale now. They all tell you what size laptop they can handle.
posted by cushie at 12:50 PM on July 20, 2012

I knew someone who used this LL Bean tote to carry professory things (or college student things, in this case), including lots of books and notebooks and a laptop. It looks pretty similar to the one you linked but has more pockets, is lined, and is a little larger.
posted by MadamM at 1:14 PM on July 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Have you tried a local leather store? My sister found a great bag that would have been over $1000 but the store made all of the products they sold and the quality is better than the designer stuff for a lot less money.
posted by Yellow at 1:34 PM on July 20, 2012

MadamM, did the straps seem long enough to wear the bag over the shoulder? There are several complaints stating they are not but I'm gathering that complaint probably applies to the mini version of the bag.
posted by brokeaspoke at 1:42 PM on July 20, 2012

Personally been lusting after this rib and hull leather bag for ages. $285
posted by bodyofproof at 1:59 PM on July 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding the rib and hull leather bag posted by bodyofproof. I'm not into this style of tote bags, but that is yummy!
posted by peripathetic at 2:05 PM on July 20, 2012

Unlined bags can be problematic if you live in an area that's at all rainy. If the bag gets wet, the leather dye can get onto everything.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:09 PM on July 20, 2012

My friend wore it over her shoulder, but she's pretty short so it might have fit her better than it would a taller person. The only other caveat I can think of is that the bag by itself was moderately heavy, so it got pretty heavy when fully loaded.
posted by MadamM at 3:55 PM on July 20, 2012

I was going to suggest a tote by Coach (like this one) but I see they've crept up in price since the last time I've shopped. If you're near an outlet and you like the styles on the website then definitely go check it out.
posted by tealcake at 3:59 PM on July 20, 2012

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