Cheap Thrills: 18 Adorable Bags Under $50

Our goal: Find the season's best bargains on handbags in every style, from colorblocked to quilted. Mission accomplished.

Twice as Nice

modcloth

Here’s proof that classic, go-with-anything accessories can still be utterly adorable.

To buy: ModCloth ‘My Fair Latte’ bag, $49.99 at modcloth.com 

Colorblock Party

Oasis

Taupe and peach team up in one of the season's most wearable designs.

To buy: Oasis 'Xandy' cross-body bag, $45 at oasis.andotherbrands.com

Envelope, Please

dorothy perkins

Nothing’s chicer than a flat envelope clutch (even if most of its contents should be, well, flat…) Dorothy Perkins’ striped take comes in combos of taupe, white and silver or beige, peach and gold.

To buy: Dorothy Perkins stripe clutch, $29 at dorothyperkins.com 

Star Studded

dorothy perkins

After a winter full of heavy studded satchels and totes, this clutch is like a wardrobe palate cleanser. The color is dreamy, the studs are delicate and the shape is light-as-air.

To buy: Dorothy Perkins ‘Studd’ clutch, $29 at dorothyperkins.com 

Box Seats

modcloth

Don’t save this clutch for evening. Its Audrey Hepburn-inspired details look great with crisp summer separates and pretty day dresses.

To buy: ModCloth ‘Sweet Structure’ clutch, $49.99 at modcloth.com 

Cutie Pie

aldo shoes

It’s as if Zooey Deschanel’s essence were distilled into one bite-size bag: feminine, charming and fun.

To buy: Aldo ‘Tison’ bag, $35 at aldoshoes.com 

Saddle Up

oasis

The handbag equivalent of a sailor-stripe tee. In other words, classic, chic and eternally polished.

To buy: Oasis ‘Skye’ bag, $45 at oasis.andotherbrands.com 

Le Chat Noir

h&m

Motif clutches and shoulder bags (think fruits, seashells and cute animals) are everywhere this season. We love this black cat because it blends whimsy with sophistication.

To buy: H&M shoulder bag, $17.95 at hm.com 

Optical Illusion

dorothy perkins

Givenchy, Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors have made bold black-and-white striped bags a key statement accessory. This under-$50 version is plenty chic for about $1,000 less.

To buy: Dorothy Perkins wing tote, $49 at dorothyperkins.com 

Black Tie

modcloth

Not a pastel person? This satchel’s diminutive shade and darling details provide all the joie de vivre you want in a new summer bag.

To buy: ModCloth ‘Verbs and Nouns’ bag, $49.99 at modcloth.com 

Quilting Circle

forever 21

You can’t go wrong with a quilted, light-on-the-logos bag like this one from Forever 21. It pivots beautifully from weekend casual to meeting polish.

To buy: Forever 21 ‘Posh’ satchel, $27.80 at forever21.com 

Bucket Brigade

old navy

Here’s the sort of swingy, tassel-trimmed bucket bag we imagine our moms carried back in college. If you can’t unearth one from her archives, pick up this spot-on style from Old Navy.

To buy: Old Navy bucket bag, $32.94 at oldnavy.com 

Lemonade Stand

nasty gal

As refreshing as a glass of the real thing, this lemonade-colored tote balances posh styling with youthful attitude.

To buy: Nasty Gal ‘Lemonade’ bag, $48 at nastygal.com 

Pyramid Scheme

baghaus

This bold studded bag makes us want to put on high heels and sing the late-seventies summer anthem “Hot Child in the City.”

To buy: Urban Expressions ‘Rush’ bag, $40 at baghaus.com 

Pale Beauty

h&m

This bag’s matte gold hardware, cool gray color and etched texture fooled us into thinking it cost hundreds. 

To buy: H&M shoulder bag, $29.95 at hm.com 

Boxed In

Forever 21

Available in spearmint, blush and ivory, this boxy crossbody is perfectly sweet—and perfectly proportioned.

To buy: Forever 21 ‘Subtle Thing’ crossbody, $16.80 at forever21.com 

Soft Touch

Aldo Shoes

One of the prettiest, most wearable (or is it “carryable”?) bags we’ve seen for summer. The pale mint color acts like a neutral, but it’s also available in beige for true classicists.

To buy: Aldo ‘Bodner’ bag, on sale for $29.98 at aldoshoes.com 

Pet Snake

old navy

Trade in your dark, bulky tote for this Old Navy carryall. The faux suede interior is plenty room, and there’s a little pocket for your cell or keys.

To buy: Old Navy tasseled tote, $39.94 at oldnavy.com 

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