Even I Wouldn't Guess These Expensive-Looking Handbags Are From the High Street

Ask any fashion-loving person what they have on their dream shopping wish list, and they'll likely mention at least one handbag. What can we say? We're suckers for beautiful accessories. A few years ago, you could probably guarantee that the bags at the top of our lists would come from one of the biggest designers—something like LoeweGucci or Chloé. And, sure, those super-high-end bags still hold a place on our vision boards for special occasions and major milestones. But recently, with designer bag prices rising higher and higher, there is now a space for premium-looking styles that sit at the more affordable end of the scale, and they've been wooing us in just the same way.


(Image credit: @_marisamartins_)

Marisa Martins carries the COS crossbody bag.

The next level down includes some really exciting contemporary accessory brands, from Demellier and Staud to Neous and A.P.C.—all sitting in the £200-to-£700 price range and perfect for a payday treat to yourself or a big birthday gift. But what's really got us bag-loving folks excited over the past couple of seasons are the seriously expensive-looking styles coming out of the high street. 


(Image credit: @alexisforeman)

Alexis Foreman wears a COS tote bag

We're talking supple, buttery leather styles and chic baskets that get our hearts racing almost as much as a brand-new Prada. COS, Arket, & Other StoriesJigsaw and Mango have all stepped up their bag games recently to include minimalist takes on classic shapes that elevate any outfit just like luxury designer styles do, except these come in at around a tenth of the price.

So if you've been feeling like your wardrobe is missing a gorgeous bag of late, keep scrolling to see and shop the most expensive-looking styles on the high street right now.

Shop Expensive-Looking High-Street Bags

1. Shoulder Bags

2. Tote Bags

3. Crossbody Bags

Up Next: I'm a Fashion Editor, and These Are My All-Time Favourite Handbag Brands

This piece was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

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.