In the spring and summer, my credit card bills are always a little higher. Maybe it's the floral jumpsuit I couldn't resist buying, or the third round of margaritas...or the online shopping I did after said margaritas. Whatever the case, I know I shop more when the weather's nicer and I can show off my newest dresses, handbags, and sandals. (Wondering what the latest trends are? I've got that covered here.) Because of my bills Mint alerts that inform me when I'm approaching my budget in the shopping category, I've been slightly more financially conscious in 2021.
The lesson learned? You just can't splurge on every new trend you see on the runway or on the arms of your colleague, especially for bags. If you're nodding along, then you understand. There's a healthy way to indulge your handbag addiction without spiraling into a state of unpaid credit card bills. In an effort to be a smarter shopper, I found 15 of spring's newest and best handbags—all under $50. The options range from a woven raffia circle bag to a plaid canvas tote that you can fit a small pup into. And now you'll have room in the budget for that extra marg or rosé!
Brixton Nina Straw Bag
A Circular Straw Bag
Unsure about the whole woven/wicker trend? Test it out first with this affordable option from Brixton. The circular shape is trendy for the season while the orange and brown yarn designs add a creative touch that goes a long way in style. Pack this with you for all your warm-weather travels.
Topshop Nina Crossbody Bag
A Beaded Bag
Missed out on last season's craze for beaded bags? It's not too late, we spotted a cute option for you. Here's one from Topshop coming in at $30. Stuff it with a card holder, sunglasses, or your favorite sunscreen for summer.
Anthropologie FEED Conversational Tote Bag
A Message Tote
We all know several boss ladies in our lives, so surprise one with this inspirational tote bag. She'll be able to use it for work, when she shops at the farmer's market, or even as a casual beach carry-all. There's also another incentive to buy this bag: Its purchase provides 10 meals to children in need.
INC International Concepts Lindsay Velvet Clutch
A Black Clutch
A classic black clutch is essential to your handbag collection because you'll always be able to break it out for special events, whether it's a company party or a wedding. Bag trends will come and go, but this black-and-gold option is timeless.
Zara Embroidered Tull Bag
A Tulle Bag
Maybe you don't take accessorizing that seriously, which is why you're completely drawn to this embroidered tulle bag with daisy prints. It exudes the spring/summer vibes you've been craving these past few months. Style it with a summer dress or jeans—the options are endless.
A Beige Shopper
A clutch might not be big enough to hold everything you need on a day-to-day basis. For the ultimate workout that will hold your laptop and a spare change of gym clothes, buy this faux leather H&M shopper. The off-white color goes well with your lighter wardrobe for spring/summer.
Baggu Duck Bag
A Leopard Print Bag
Sneak a little leopard print into your outfit with this canvas bag. It's a functional bag in that you can stuff it with groceries or use the adjustable straps as a messenger bag for the office. With this on your shoulders, the rest of your outfit can be as simple as you want.
Mango Small Knot Bag
A Knotted Bag
When the days feel longer and everything feels lighter and relaxed, take this tiny knotted bag out of the closet. The soft cream shade is great for anyone who shies away from bright colors, but wants to swap out their darker winter handbags. It also comes in a pretty Easter green/mint hue.
Donna Karan Two-Tone Leather Shoulder Bag
A Two-Tone Crossbody Bag
A clutch might not be big enough to hold everything you need for that wedding, so consider this two-tone crossbody bag as an alternative. The white and beige combination makes it look fancy with whatever dress you're wearing.
Urban Outfitters Super Mini Trapezoid Crossbody Bag
A Mini Bag
Spring cleaning helps you get rid of everything you've been hoarding for winter. Stick with the idea that less is more by rocking this mini trapezoid-shaped bag. You'll only be able to carry what you need the most.
Guess Mesh Logo Belt Bag
A Fanny Pack
Handbag trends come and go, which is why this $48 fanny pack is the best way to wear the trend without depleting your checking account. Aesthetically, it looks as luxe as its designer counterparts and it comes in two versatile colors for your outfits. All the signs point to buy it.
Banana Republic Plaid Canvas Tote
A Plaid Canvas Tote
We all know that one person who's always carrying a million things around. Give her a little help with this plaid tote that can carry just about everything she needs for spring, from a change of sandals to a water bottle and visor hat.
& Other Stories Clear Rainbow Tote
A Transparent Bucket Bag
Diversify your bag collection with this crossbody bucket bag. Since the accessory is completely transparent, keep your belongings hidden from sight in a pouch. Display the items you don't mind attracting other people's attention with, like your favorite summer beach read.
Truss Woven Raffia Effect Clutch
A Woven Clutch
This woven clutch comes in yin and yang colors and works as a more casual clutch for that seaside wedding. The pattern is interesting yet easy enough on the eyes for even the pickiest shoppers.
Like Dreams Clear Amber Chain Handbag
A Chain Bag
Diversify your handbag collection with this almost transparent amber colored chain handbag. It even incorporated spring 2020's latest trend with lucite chains and has a detachable pouch to make it more useable given its semi-sheer material.
For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.
Stay In The Know
Marie Claire email subscribers get intel on fashion and beauty trends, hot-off-the-press celebrity news, and more. Sign up here.
Marina Liao is the former fashion news editor at MarieClaire.com, where she covered celebrity style (from Meghan Markle to Katie Holmes), fashion trends, and shopping advice, plus conducted original interviews with industry insiders. She's also had many opportunities to write content in other areas such as beauty, food, tech, and even home. Her previous fashion stints include POPSUGAR and Cosmopolitan.
Zendaya Helped Timothée Chalamet "Set Up" His First NYC Apartment
By Iris Goldsztajn
Before Fame, Fortune, and Two Academy Awards, Hilary Swank and Her Mother Slept in a Car As She Chased Stardom
“Despite the challenges, I feel nostalgia for those days, when we had nothing.”
By Rachel Burchfield
Meghan Markle’s Cousin Says She Was “Really Mature for Her Age” and “Looked After Everyone” When She Was a Little Girl
He said she “had a star quality about her” even then.
By Rachel Burchfield
Colorful Cowboys and Celebs Galore: Pharrell William's Latest for Louis Vuitton Men's
A special shoutout goes to Williams' revamped Speedy bags.
By India Roby
This Under-the-Radar Jacket on Amazon Is My Newest Winter Obsession
And, no, it's not the "Amazon coat."
By Jaimie Potters
The Best Black T-Shirts to Buy In Bulk
Done right, the black tee is the most versatile item in your wardrobe.
By Taylor Ayers