Help me find a new everyday bag!
March 6, 2019 9:11 AM   Subscribe

Purse mavens of Mefi! Please help me find a new everyday bag. I've used my current one daily for over four years and it's time for a new one. PLUS, I have a milestone birthday coming up, so I can splurge a little. Requirements inside.

--I want it to be stylish/a cool color/something--I get a lot of compliments on mine.
--BUT it also needs to be work-appropriate.
--Crossbody preferred--no totes (I have a great tote but it's too big for daily use).
--I want it to have at least three pockets, or some compartments. I tend to lose things in my purse.
--Big enough for a large accordion wallet, a kindle, sunglasses, gloves, my phone, various lipsticks and pens and other miscellany.
--I want it to either zip closed or else have a flap over the top so things stay inside.
--say like $500-$750?

My current purse. It's about 13" x 9" x 1". I don't want anything much bigger.

What are the cool, classy bags y'all are into? I've been scouring Nordstrom's website but nothing is really striking my fancy. Where else can I look?
posted by leesh to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (24 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Check out Queen Bee, hand-made in Oregon. This one is a tad smaller than your current, but their website has a lot of other ones that are cute too. Both their Messenger bags and Cross-Body bags might suit you. It is well under your budget though... Maybe add a wallet to match?
posted by hydra77 at 9:30 AM on March 6 [1 favorite]

I have had Queen Bee bags in the past and they are SUPER cute, but I am looking for something a little fancier, I think?
posted by leesh at 9:34 AM on March 6

So as to not abuse the edit window, you can also customize your Queen Bee bag, choosing colors and fabrics.
posted by hydra77 at 9:35 AM on March 6

I have long lusted after the bags at Cambridge Satchel. I wouldn't presume to pick a style you'd like, but here's their women's collection.
posted by ApathyGirl at 9:40 AM on March 6 [2 favorites]

Dagne Dover might be worth a look. Pretty colors and lots of pockets!
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:43 AM on March 6 [3 favorites]

They both come in under your price point (so maybe you can get two?): Hobo Bags makes some fun, good quality stuff, as does Aspinal of London.
posted by stillmoving at 9:59 AM on March 6

I lusted after Cambridge Satchel for a while as well - however, I seem to remember that they do not really have the interior pockets/compartments.

I love looking at Fossil bags, but I haven't looked for a while, so I don't know what their current offerings are.
posted by needlegrrl at 10:09 AM on March 6 [2 favorites]

I like APC, Clare V, Larsen & Lund, Roh Seoul, Georgia Jay Little, Mansur Gavriel. I like looking for designers on Garmentory and Need Supply.
posted by sestaaak at 10:10 AM on March 6 [5 favorites]

If you're okay with non-leather, check out Tom Bihn bags. They have lovely, shockingly bright colors - this is mine, a purple/teal Sidekick that's probably too small for your needs. They've got a lot of useful storage inside, are high-quality, and made in Seattle, WA.

Here's a link to their cross-body/messenger bags.
posted by bookdragoness at 10:15 AM on March 6 [1 favorite]

I like the Marc Jacobs and Chloe bags in the first row here.
posted by Ruki at 10:20 AM on March 6 [1 favorite]

I really love my small Hammitt crossbody bag. Soft leather, excellent quality, has held up for three years and looks new. I'm not sure it has quite enough pockets, but the exterior phone pocket is a genius game changer. Try this, maybe? Bryant Crossbody Bag

Not gonna lie, I have mixed feelings about their hardware aesthetic: My bag, which isn't current, is black with matte black studs. But they have lotsa crossbody options, so at least worth a browse.
posted by purpleclover at 10:28 AM on March 6 [2 favorites]

Love your bag, the soft pebble leather, the color! Take a look at Shinola, particularly the Cass Crossbody model. Not such vibrant colors but handsome looking bags.
posted by lois1950 at 10:29 AM on March 6 [1 favorite]

My wife loves her Dagne Dover bag.
posted by notsnot at 10:31 AM on March 6

Normally Soprano (which is cheaper than your range, but still good-quality leather) has bright, vibrant colours, including reds, yellows, oranges and purples, but right now the selection looks a bit limited. I suspect they'll be adding more colour to the spring and summer lines in the next few weeks. (They're also usually good about producing matching or co-ordinating wallets).

I also like the quality of the Poppy Barley bags I've seen, but as with my other suggestion, right now, the company seems to have a plethora of basic-coloured bags, and is lacking some of its usual, brighter options.

I'm not sure when your birthday is, but if you've got some time, it might be worth keeping on eye on various lines to see what new styles and colours they'll be offering in the coming weeks.
posted by sardonyx at 10:48 AM on March 6 [3 favorites]

A Bayswater?
posted by praemunire at 10:59 AM on March 6 [1 favorite]

Check out SVEN, maybe? Highly functional and lots of neat colors.
posted by vers at 11:33 AM on March 6

Given your specs, you could also have one made specifically for you. This woman makes lovely bags and IIRC her prices are in your range. There are no prices posted on her website, but we bought a small shoulder bag as a gift a few years ago and I think it was about $90.

This gentleman also does lovely work and I've lusted after his bags for years.
posted by DrGail at 11:53 AM on March 6

I might be obsessed with Dagne Dover, too. The Spring colors should be coming out soon.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 12:06 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]

Here's another one; the bucket bags are specified as being crossbody. I have one of her art deco tote bags that has held up extremely well and was somewhere in the $100-$150 range about ten years ago.
posted by DrGail at 12:09 PM on March 6

I really, really like von holzhausen. The bags aren't leather, so they're light. But they're very tough and don't show much wear. I think the designs are more sophisticated than a lot of other purses, but that's obviously a ymmv situation. They're a little below your price range, but definitely still firmly in the fancy purse zone.

Plus, they're made in the US and are at least nominally environmentally-friendly.
posted by snaw at 2:14 PM on March 6

Il Bisonte’s is wonderful leather. The crossbody is my favorite.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:43 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]

I am crushing hard on Everlane's The Form Bag. They have a Form Mini too.

I love the look of Cambridge Satchels but I tried them out in a store and they are very stiff. Like, scrape-your-skin stiff, my hands were scratched up from trying to reach in.
posted by rada at 8:01 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]

Dooney and Bourke produce an exceptionally well-made line of leather purses. This Florentine medium satchel can be worn cross-body, and is capacious. Never pay full price - you can find them regularly on sale at or their main website, or at Macy's/Dillards. You may even live near a Dooney outlet. Would strongly recommend popping into Macy's (or whatever is local to you that carries them) to handle/touch/inspect and see how it looks on you.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:41 AM on March 7

Perhaps something from Freitag (1 2 3) or Hoibo.
posted by dobbs at 2:54 PM on March 7

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