Instagram Tricked Me Into Thinking This Arket Bag Was Designer

PSA: I think I might have found the perfect handbag. And no, it’s not from The Row or Chanel, and it isn’t going to cost you your entire mortgage to secure (Although, if you saw it on the street, I wouldn’t blame you for thinking it was designer.) It’s actually from the high street. To be exact, it’s from Arket, which makes sense when you consider the Scandi brand’s track record for producing seriously expensive-looking pieces at the more affordable end of the scale. I’m used to finding amazing clothing there by now, but the Rigid Leather Bag—which was originally released last year—has taken the brand’s accessory offering to a whole new level. 

Arket has always done minimalism so well, and this bestselling bag is no exception. It has polished, clean lines and is crafted from supple double-bonded leather that’s made with a chrome-free tanning process (much kinder to the planet). There are no loud logos or cheap-looking details—just a chic oversized leather buckle on one side of the handle. It comes in a handy crossbody size for every day as well as a larger tote if you prefer space to carry a laptop and more.


(Image credit: @emilyjdawes)

You can't go wrong with a classic black handbag. 

When I first laid eyes on the bag online, I could have sworn it was designer, so I went into the store to see if it lived up to expectations IRL. The answer? Yes, it did. Since then, I've seen a handful of influencers also carrying it, so it's clear I'm not alone in my thinking. Arket has managed to hit that sweet spot, creating a bag that’s utterly desirable for right now but timeless enough to hold its own in your wardrobe for many years to come. It’s one of those styles that will make every outfit look polished no matter which colour you have it in, which, in my opinion, is a key attribute to look out for when investing in a handbag. 

Keep scrolling to see if you agree with me and to shop the bag below. Some of the iterations are already starting to sell out, but this has already proven to be a hero product which the brand restocks often in OG and fresh colourways, so keep your eyes peeled…


(Image credit: @anoukyve)

The suede iteration has since sold out, but the tan leather style is just as beautiful. 


(Image credit: @emilyjdawes)

The interior is roomy and has handy compartments for storing valuables. 


(Image credit: @_jessicaskye)

Content creator Jessica Skye makes a case for the cream version. 

Shop Arket's crossbody bag:

Shop Arket's tote bag:

Shop more bags from Arket:

This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.

Up Next: The 9 Most Expensive-Looking Pieces on the High Street This Week

Emily Dawes
Affiliate Editor

Emily Dawes is the very definition of a fashion multi hyphenate. An editor, stylist and writer with over eleven years’ worth of experience in the industry, Emily is known for her impeccable taste, elegant outfit choices and being able to spot the next big thing in fashion from a mile off. Our readers loyally trust her advice and shopping suggestions; so much so she began her own column documenting the most expensive-looking pieces on the high street, which has become a top-performing piece of content for the Who What Wear brand.

Emily has worked for Who What Wear UK since 2020 in a myriad as roles, spanning from contributing editor and branded content editor. Now, she holds the position of affiliate editor and is responsible for the brand’s overall affiliate strategy, ideation and content execution. Working closely with Who What Wear UK’s affiliate manager, Emily has been instrumental in securing and nourishing brand partnerships, surpassing her goals as standard. Leading the team in tentpole shopping moments including Black Friday and Peak Trading, with Emily’s guidance and leadership, team Who What Wear is in a stronger affiliate position than ever before.

Prior to joining the Who What Wear team, Emily served as YOU Magazine’s acting fashion editor where she managed the fashion team and oversaw all fashion content output for the fast-paced weekly title. Emily is a stylist in her own right, having worked with a slew of VIP clients including writer and television personality, Elizabeth Day, as well as styling and art directing several celebrity cover shoots for glossy print publication, Grazia. Her adept fashion knowledge means brands regularly sought out to work with her as a consultant: previously she has developed marketing and content plans for brands for Cocoon and Edge of Ember. Before entering the industry, Emily obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and American Studies with International Study from Nottingham University. Fun fact: Emily spent a year studying in America which saw her join a sorority during her time there.

When she’s not working or tracking down the chicest, new-in items to share with our audience, you’ll find Emily bestowing her East London home with her stylish flair, reading everything from the classics to cowboy romance novels and escaping to the country with husband, baby boy and dog, Roo, whenever she can.

Emily is currently on maternity leave.