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Whether you keep up with the fashion market or not, you probably know designer handbag costs are soaring (think Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Hermès). These luxury brands seem to be playing hard to get, and we often can’t justify spending much of our paychecks on them. The good news? Mid-range brands are recognizing the demand for designer bags under $300.

Today, designer handbags under $300 are the perfect pieces for those who want the look and feel of a high-end purse but are on a slightly more affordable budget. These accessories don’t sacrifice quality for cost and remind shoppers that “you should always make your purchases based on quality and design rather than a brand name,” says Alexa Eshaghzadeh and Jordan Gross, celebrity stylists and co-founders of Alexa Jordan Curations. “While there are definitely higher priced bags that we would encourage clients to invest in, there are many attainable designer bags that marry a high-quality look and an affordable price, and we always recommend them to our clients.”

Wondering where to find these bags? “Those looking for designer handbags under $300 should look to brands like St. Agni, Flattered, Masur Gavriel, and Loeffler Randall,” notes celebrity stylist Zoe Gofman. “These designers craft high-quality bags, from tote bags to gym bags and crossbody bags, with durable fabrics and various color choices.”

Keep reading because we’ve rounded up the best designer bags under $300 that are elevated and on par with the luxury bags on our wishlist.

Best designer bags under $300, at a glance

What to consider when shopping for a designer handbag

Colorway

A designer handbag in neutral colors is always a good choice. These hues are the most versatile, able to be paired with other neutrals, pops of color, and prints alike. Gross and Eshaghzadeh agree that a simple black, brown, or tan is a safe way to invest in an expensive bag. However, they recommend bold colorways for trendier, less expensive bags, as they don’t have to be as adaptable to all seasons and outfits.

Quality

The saying “quality over quantity” holds true when it comes to owning designer handbags. That is because the higher the quality is, the less likely you will have to replace it. “You also always want to make sure the quality of a handbag is good,” says Gross and Eshaghzadeh. “When doing this, examine the hardware, stitching, and materials. Bags with strong stitching are usually less likely to tear and have a longer lifespan. We also always encourage our clients to invest in bags with metal hardware.” Metal can withstand heavy loads and wear and tear, so you can feel comfortable that your bag can hold anything hefty you throw in it. If you’re looking for more education regarding which designer handbags are worth your dollars, check out Tanner Leatherstein, an internet personality who distinguishes between goods made with quality leather and quality craftsmanship and those that cut corners.

Size

Before purchasing a designer bag, consider how big or small you want the bag to be based on what you will be using it for and what you will be carrying in it. “For an evening bag, we will always push for something smaller as our clients typically won’t want to carry a large bag on a night out,” says Gross and Eshaghzadeh. “For a daytime bag, we encourage bigger bags that will fit everything you need for the day.” If a client or customer is looking for a trend-forward or seasonal bag, Gross and Eshaghzadeh recommend spending less on those designs as they won’t be worn often. “For example, we’ve been loving the ALC Simone Raffia Bag for summer,” says Gross and Eshaghzadeh. “It is a lower price point and chic for the summer, rather than spending over $1,000 on a designer raffia summer bag as it likely won’t be used as the season changes.”

Versatility

“When considering versatility in a designer handbag, think about when and where the bag will be used,” says Gross and Eshaghzadeh. For example, when shopping for a day-to-day handbag, you’ll want to ensure it fits everyday necessities. You also want to make sure it’s easy to carry throughout the day and has features like a soft strap that rests comfortably on the body and pockets that allow you to organize your goods.

Personal style

Gofman notes that your style is the most important thing to consider whether you’re shopping for a $250 or an over-$1,000 designer bag. “Since my style tends to be more classic and simple, I love sprucing up my look with a colorful bag or something a bit louder,” she says. While there is always a time and place for a minimalist bag and outfit, choosing a bag with more personality can help counterbalance a simple outfit and make it visually intriguing.

Shop the best designer bags under $300


Fréja Caroline Bag

Fréja Caroline Bag — $258.00

If your Instagram feed is anything like ours, then you’ve probably noticed Fréja’s Caroline Bag on the arms of your favorite style influencers. This bag is all the rage because it’s designed in collaboration with digital creator Caroline Lin, made locally in New York City, features vegan leather that feels and looks durable, and has no hardware, which the brand notes is intentional for maximum versatility. “Many of our clients have this one and get a lot of use out of it,” says Gross and Eshaghzadeh. “We love it, especially for the daytime.”


Staud Carmen Beaded Box Bag

Staud Carmen Beaded Box Bag — $295.00

Staud’s Carmen Beaded Box Bag is perfect for anyone attending a wedding or gala. The intricately beaded design has a feminine feel, while the structured box construction adds a touch of sophistication suitable for black-tie events. Despite its small appearance, rest assured that you can fit all your evening essentials and more.


Behno Elizabeth Baguette Bag

Behno Elizabeth Baguette Bag — $295.00

A glance at the F/W 2024 runways and you’ll notice that east-west bags were having a major moment. So, hop on this year’s biggest bag trend with Behno’s Elizabeth Baguette Bag. It has a logoless design that works for all styles, a strong magnetic closure that keeps your belongings safe, and two long shoulder straps that allow the bag to hit your lower rib cage. “This is the perfect low-key statement bag,” says Gross and Eshaghzadeh. “It is timeless and well-made. We also love the wide array of color options from red and lilac to silver and gold.”

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Loeffler Randall Billie Flap Bag

Loeffler Randall Billie Flap Bag — $295.00

Update your collection of white handbags for this season and beyond. The Loeffler Randall Billie Flap Bag is a perfect choice. It features a complete woven design similar to Bottega Veneta’s handbags but without the high price tag. The bag also has a magnetic snap closure to keep your belongings safe and a card slot in the interior for easy access when making a purchase. Trust us, this bag looks luxurious, especially with an all-white outfit.


Tory Burch Mesh Tote

Tory Burch Mesh Tote — $248.00

Between footwear and handbags, mesh is the hottest fabric this summer. So, hop on the bandwagon and invest in Tory Burch’s new Mesh Tote. This bag has a screen-like weave that’s cool-looking, breathable, and summer-ready. It also has a napa leather-trimmed tulle around the perimeter of the bag and on the straps for maximum durability.


Ganni Small Shopper Tote

Ganni Small Shopper Tote — $195.00

Customers are raving about Ganni’s handbags due to their eco-friendly approach and charming designs. The Shopper Tote has a small, lightweight design with a nautical stripe pattern that makes it perfect for pairing with a suit and heading to the beach. It comes with an adjustable and removable shoulder strap and an embroidered logo. This tote will elevate your summer looks whether you opt for the blue- or red-stripe version.

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Mansur Gavriel Large Tote

Mansur Gavriel Large Tote — $235.00

Mansur Gavriel is a luxury accessories brand known for its classic handbags, all made in Italy. The brand’s products are crafted with quality materials that improve with age. The large tote bag is a great example of the brand’s expertise, featuring a clean, structured design suitable for everyday use. This bag is versatile whether you’re off to the office or dropping off your kids at school. According to Gross and Eshaghzadeh, “This is a great travel or work bag.” Gofman adds, “We love that it can fit a laptop and is durable enough to hold all your travel necessities.” This timeless bag has stood the test of time and remains stylish, making it a safe purchase.


Simon Miller Lopsy Bag

Simon Miller Lopsy Bag — $295.00

“We also love the Simon Miller Lopsy bag,” says Gross and Eshaghzadeh. “This is a great summer daytime bag that can also be used for a casual summer night out. We love the size as it can go from day to night, and we love the faux leather material since it’s eco-friendly. This is a great alternative to the Bottega Jodie Bag.” Gross and Eshaghzadeh note that it is the perfect addition to any summer or vacation look and recommend styling it with a white outfit or sundress.


Manebi Raffia Bag

Manebi Raffia Bag — $205.00

Don’t leave for your next vacation or weekend getaway without Manebi’s Raffia Bag. This slouchy, hand-woven purse exudes the relaxed feeling when you’re finally lying on a lounge chair with a refreshing beverage in your hand. It completes all outfits, from linen pants and bathing suits to a maxi skirt and cardigan, making them look effortless. “This is a great summer bag, especially perfect for vacations,” adds Gross and Eshaghzadeh. “You can take it from day to night, from the beach to the bar, and beyond.”

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St. Agni Mini Bon Bon Bag

St. Agni Mini Bon Bon Bag — $210.00

“St.Agni is one of my favorite brands—I love their quality and minimalist style approach,” says Gofman. Its Mini Bon Bon bag is a perfectly sized crescent bag that can fit a phone, large wallet, keys, and multiple lip glosses. It also has a short handle that rests comfortably on the hand. The simple design pairs nicely with its sustainable-forward construction, which features vegetable-dyed suede leather lined in organic cotton. “You can wear this bag super casually or dress it up,” notes Gofman.


Dragon Diffusion Pom Pom Bucket Bag

Dragon Diffusion Pom Pom Bucket Bag — $265.00

If last year’s fashion trends indicate what this year will bring, it’s safe to say that Dragon Diffusion’s woven leather bags will be in high demand. While I and other fashion enthusiasts love the brand’s totes, we are particularly interested in the brand’s bucket bag. It has a cylindrical shape, a deep interior, pom pom details, and a long shoulder strap. Gross and Eshaghzadeh say, “This is one of our favorite summer bags! It’s so easy to travel with because it’s small and can be folded neatly into a suitcase. Plus, whether you choose the white or tan option, it will elevate any outfit!”

Why are designer handbags so expensive?

While it’s not entirely black-and-white, the high cost of designer handbags can be justified by several factors. Designers take into account the cost of materials and craftsmanship, as well as supply and demand and inflation. Brands aim to maintain exclusivity by setting higher prices, as the more expensive a handbag is, the more difficult it is to obtain, leading to increased demand.

“Designer handbags have higher price tags because brands want to keep their customer base exclusive,” notes Eshaghzadeh and Gross. “The higher the price of a handbag, the harder it is to obtain, increasing demand.

The rising cost of designer handbags is also influenced by brand value. As a company’s value and reputation grow, the prices of its products tend to rise. This ties in with exclusivity, as brands may limit their inventory when they receive a lot of buzz to maintain their prestige.

“While some designer price tags may be getting out of hand, I think more times than not, it’s worth your dollars,” says Gofman. “Of course, there are more amazing options under $1,000 each season, but these bags will not hold the same value as designer handbags. Ultimately, when you spend more, you may get more value because the bag typically lasts longer and is more versatile.”

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