Think back to the last time you were scrolling through MATCHES or walking around Selfridges and suddenly spotted it—the item that made a wave of electricity run through your body. Chances are you've experienced the emotion of falling in love with an item (maybe a pair of boots, or a coat that just spoke to you). But, if we're being honest, that moment can quickly switch from exhilarating to disheartening when you turn over the price tag. As much as we love the idea of buying a designer bag, it's not always something that aligns with our budgets. The It styles of the big-name brands can reach heights of two, even three thousand pounds (and the rest), which for many will be outside of the realms of possibility. But whilst we could easily write these off as unattainable, maybe you're looking to invest in a high-quality forever piece, or simply want a little slice of your favourite brand.
With this in mind, we've hunted down the entry-price bags from those coveted designer labels that are usually out of reach for most of us. Now, it's important to note that when we talk about affordable in this context, this is relative to the average price points of the brand and within a luxury price range. What each of us deems as affordable could differ greatly from someone else's interpretation, and we realise this here. In the below roundup, we've considered longevity, craftspersonship, versatility, wearability and, most importantly, price (they're all £1000 or under), so that you can find a bag that gives you goosebumps in a good way. Scroll on to see what we found.
SHOP DESIGNER BAGS UNDER £1000:
1. Gucci Bags Under £1000
Even with my extensive handbag knowledge, I was surprised to find a Gucci bag for under £1000, which is also why I had to show it to you first. This sleek crossbody features the iconic interlocking GG iconography and is the perfect size to carry your essentials. From the high-quality leather to the gold hardware, this is a great choice for an entry-level designer bag.
Perhaps it's the nostalgic silhouette, or the heritage monogram, but this bag instantly caught my eye. The vintage look makes it feel like you've got a little piece of the brand's history, and is sure to be a style treasured for years to come.
For those looking for an alternative to bold monograms, look to Gucci's Dionysus emblem. Introduced at the start of former creative director Alessandro Michele's role, it has become a clear link to the brand, in a more discreet manner than the instantly recognisable interlocking GG. The elegance of the silhouette and the crystal details of the hardware make this mini bag a great evening companion. It also comes in cream, gold and monogrammed versions.
2. Saint Laurent Bags Under £1000
There's a lot to be said about the refinement of a clutch bag, and one brand that always has a stellar offering is Saint Laurent. Crafted from textured pebbled leather and featuring the brand's well-known YSL plaque, any evening look will be upgraded with the addition of this elegant clutch. Plus, it comes in sleek white and classic black, too.
Featuring a detachable double chain strap, there are various ways to style this leather shoulder bag. The chevron-quilted leather is a style long favoured by the brand, along with the refined composition that will ensure its timeless enough to bolster your wardrobe for years to come.
Trust me, this charming vintage-style bag won't stick around for long. First, there's the eye-catching silhouette that lends a unique look to the bag. Next, the mix of brown hues adds to the retro feel, alongside the heritage monogram. Finally, the seal of approval comes in the form of the oval frame's quiet YSL logo.
3. Bottega Veneta Bags Under £1000
At 5.1" wide, this micro bag is very micro. You'll only be able to fit the essentials (cards, your phone and a lipstick), but if you're keen to own a slice of Bottega's iconic intreccio craftspersonship, this is the place to start.
A miniature take on Bottega's bucket bag, this one features all of the brand's signature intricate details, but on a smaller scale. As ever, Bottega offers this style in a wide range of colours, ensuring you find the perfect shade to suit your style.
4. Prada Bags Under £1000
When the '00s revival occurred, Prada reissued one of its most iconic bags of the time—the nylon shoulder bag. The original was the younger, more wearable sister of some of Prada's heritage styles, but at a much lower price point, making it a no-brainer to release it again when the noughties came calling once again. The pared-back silhouette ensures that this bag can actually meld with any aesthetic, and it remains completely relevant almost 19 years on.
5. Fendi Bags Under £1000
It's rare to find an entry-price bag that is also a cult piece of a brand's repertoire, meaning this Fendi Baguette find is extra special. Launched in 1977, this bag has become a symbol of fashion history, especially after Carrie Bradshaw's declaration, "It's not a bag, it's a Baguette." Whilst the shape has developed over the years, the basics of an elongated rectangle are clear and present in this logo-embossed iteration.
When searching for introductory designer bags, wallets on chains are a great place to start. Though a much more compact size, they come with a chain strap which offers the look of a crossbody bag, and many have room for the essentials (keys, lip balm, chewing gum). This one in particular offers plenty of organisation options, with two removable card holders—one zipped and one with pockets—so you get a little more bang for your buck.
6. Loewe Bags Under £1000
What's brilliant about Loewe's bag selection is that each style, from the Puzzle to the basket bag, is equally covetable, and they fall within a wide enough price range (thanks to the varying sizes) to suit different budgets. The small basket bag is the ideal sunny-day companion, and despite its size, is roomy enough for your essentials plus a book and plenty more.
With the success of the brand's basket bags (see above), it's no surprise that Loewe followed up with this raffia style. This features a more structured silhouette but also demonstrates the exquisite craftspersonship of the bag's creators. Tote it around by the short handles or attach the leather strap for an easy, hands-free crossbody.
There's a particular ease to Loewe's designs that is evident in the Cubi. From the soft edges of the cube shape to the understated canvas monogram, nothing about this bag is try-hard. It's the kind of bag that can move with you from day to night and therefore easily earn its keep in your wardrobe. Plus, it's so pretty that you'll want to pull it out come rain, shine or even snow.
7. Miu Miu Bags Under £1000
Florrie embarked on her fashion journey while studying French and History at university. Her career began with an initial role at Harper's Bazaar, followed by a stint with the fashion team at Conde Nast Traveller.
There, she contributed to international photoshoots, styled pages and covers, and produced engaging digital content. During a freelance period, Florrie honed her skills in editorial work in various digital and print publications like Vogue Italy, Stylist, and Departures magazine, as well as styling e-commerce photoshoots and personal shopping.
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