Last year we tried to find the best work bags for women under $100. It wasn’t easy. To qualify, a bag had to have pockets. It had to be big enough for a day’s worth of stuff. It needed to come in a color that would either go with all of your clothing, or clash pleasingly with everything you own. And of course, it had to be non-hideous. At $100, this turns out to be borderline impossible. So this year, we raised the budget to $250. And you know what? While we obviously found a lot more nice-looking, practical bags in that range, we also turned up some hidden gems that are under $100, including a few that cost less than $50. Which is great, because while the Cut loves a truly beautiful luxury handbag, we also believe style should be accessible to everyone.
Read on for to check out our discoveries.
The Bag That Made Us Do a Double-Take
Your eyes are not deceiving you: This really does cost under $20. It just looks much more expensive because of the simple design and pretty coral hue.
If You Want Something Small, But Not Too Small
Reviewers say this compact bag has a surprisingly large interior — you can easily fit an iPad mini, your wallet, and even a small water bottle.
The Throwback Bag
If You’re Picky About Leather
Reviewers love how soft and luxurious this handbag feels.
A Classic Black Bag
Mansur Gavriel vibes for about the cost of a Sweetgreen salad and an iced tea.
If You Want Something Slightly Trendy
With plenty of compartments, you’ll be able to find your keys and wallet quickly. And the line of studs up the side keep it from feeling too dull.
If You Love Everlane
If You’re Into Neutrals
The Designer Dupe
Is it The Row? Margiela? Only you know the truth.
The Artsy One
Who says you have to carry a big tote? If you prefer a well-designed bag and like to travel light, this is the one for you.
The Fun, Bright One
A Stylish Backpack
If you’re lugging a laptop and gym clothes and want to relieve the load on your back, try a grown-up looking backpack.
If You Need a Big Bag
Measuring at 15.5 inches wide by 13.5 inches high by 8 inches deep, this has more than enough room for everything you’re carrying around. Worried about losing your stuff? Add some pouches for organization.
The Trendy Buy
The little tote handle make it appropriate for post-work plans.
The Sporty Option
Made to be waterproof, even in the worst downpours, this backpack comes in a pretty lavender, pale blue, and classic black. Added bonus: There’s a hidden pocket next to the right strap, so you can access your phone and keys quickly.
For Madewell Fans
The brand’s aptly named Transport tote is a perennial favorite and for good reason — it’s soft, lightweight, and looks just as good after years of wear and tear.
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