6 luxury (adjacent) purses under $500

This posts shares purses under $500 that are luxurious and timeless.

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Lead with the bag honey

My friend Peggy always used to say. I have another friend who has 100s of luxury bags. She buys them all from RealReal, but still. It’s a museum style collection of purses.

Some people put a lot of importance on a purse. It can be an accent piece to add color or flair. It can make a statement about who you are. Practical, fanciful, a mom, a career woman, you get the idea.

Having the right bag is important. But having a luxury bag can be unattainable. Or just something that you’re not willing to drop a mortgage payment on. 

Or if you’re like me, maybe you want something different. 

If I had a dollar for every LV bag at school pickup, I’d be loaded. They’re great bags, just not my style. You know what catches my eye every time? A different bag. One I’ve never seen before. One that has an element of surprise or an unusual piece of hardware or design. One that is still a basic, but a very elevated and unique one. 

I love a bag that looks luxurious, is one-of-a-kindish but won’t break the bank. I realize expensive is a relative term. So when looking for affordable purses I set the bar at $500. This is for a classic bag that is well-constructed, eye-catching, and has luxury details. 

Oftentimes emerging brands bags are better made than well-known luxury brands. A brand you’ve never heard of, or seen before doesn’t have the same name recognition or cache. So they are priced accordingly, but still very well constructed.

I’ve gathered a list of places to purchase the best designer bags under $500 as well as my selection from each of these brands. The styles that I liked the best. But be sure to shop around and see if something suits you better. 

A timeless purse is right in line with the essential pieces for your capsule wardrobe or the best jewelry basics. You will wear all of these pieces time and time again.

Different purse styles

There are lots of different purse styles that are out there. Over the shoulder, clutch, tote, top-handle, boho, cross-body the list goes on. So many different ways to carry your stuff around. You need to decide what works for your lifestyle and everyday look and choose that as your everyday bag. You can always use a different bag to spice up looks, add some color, or a statement piece. But your everyday bag should be a neutral (for you) color and something easy to grab and use on a day-to-day basis. 

Luxury purses under $500

I went in search of some places to shop for purses under $500 and found some really great options that were high quality at a lower price point. 

Behno is a New York-based purse company. This means sister in Hindi. They are very focused on the success and upward movement of garment workers and artisans. They have 6 guiding principles. These include health, family planning, women’s rights, and eco-consciousness. Behno goes way beyond creating a beautiful bag, it cares about all the people who do it. 

These were the highlights for me, but be sure to poke around their entire site. There are some beautiful options. 

navy blue round cross body or over the shoulder purse for under $500
Navy bag/ green baguette bag

You don’t often see a round purse, which is what caught my eye. This bag is round and flat and you cinch it closed. The navy is a classic shade, but they also had a poppy red that was really pretty as well. 

This baguette shape is also a different shape for a purse. But what I love about this one is the beautiful green color. It’s vibrant and neutral all at the same time. This is a stunning purse that may be a bit trendier than the others, but I had to include it.

Edas started out with a focus on sustainability and unique designs. But it has evolved into a company that delivers feminine and staple accessories for the everyday eclectic woman. They are female owned. Their purses are simple and elegant with a little unique punch to each one. The Yshadia bag is my favorite, shown here are the regular and the mini. 

The Yshaia bag is such a simple, clean, and classic style. The oversized clip on the strap is what put me over the edge with this one. I love this bag so much that Included the full size in black and the mini in red. Both of them come in a handful of colors. You’ll wear this chic bag for years and years.

DeMellier is a London-based company that produces all its bags at ethical factories in Italy or Spain. Their vision is to do things differently: “to design handbags that would make women feel empowered, made ethically and sustainably while giving back to those who needed it most. 

These bags are a real mix of old and new. They are simple and timeless, but with a little something-something to remember them by. 

Gold shimmer bag, toffee colored shoulder bag and ruby red cross body bag with gold buckle are all purses under $500
Gold shimmer bag/ toffee colored shoulder bag/ ruby cross-body bag

Ask me how do you sparkle without wearing sequin head to toe, and I’ll show you the Mini-Seville. Textured gold is an understated way to add some shimmer to your look. While this is mostly an evening bag, you could have and use it for a long time to come. I also think it would be amazing with jeans, a t-shirt, and sneakers while out running errands. 

The Lisbon Smooth has classic lines and the rich touch of the gold bar on the closure flap. It’s hard to believe this purse is really under $500, but it is!! I love the dark toffee color, but it also comes in a couple of other classic colors. 

The Alexandria in ruby is a smaller cross-body option. The small gold detail at the closure is stunning and the stitching creates 3 panels, which makes it different. Red is a great neutral but adds a bit of flair to any outfit you throw it on with. 

Polene is a family-run brand based in Paris. You know there was going to be something from Paris in here, right? Polene was born in 2016 making it the youngest brand I’m sharing with you today. The brand creates pieces that are sculpture-like with their unusual folds and soft fluid lines. This brand is going for luxury. From the packaging to the actual product created by artisans in Spain, this is a top-notch brand that you can still knab at a decent price. 

The Number 6 bag can be worn as a cross-body or a belt bag. The color is stunning, it’s versatile and the price cannot be beaten for something that looks and feels truly luxurious. 

A Number 1 in Trio Gray, please. The three different shades of gray. The clean simple lines. And the versatility of this being a cross-body, over the shoulder, or held by a top handle makes this purse something special. Again a timeless piece you can wear forever. 

Better-known brands that are still a steal

Clare V opened its doors in 2006 at its LA headquarters. They make handbags, accessories, and some clothing items. Their main focus is on bags. They have seasonal items and classic staples as well as some trendier pieces. I chose a few trendier items for this post showing that this is a great place to add a little personality to your bag situation. These it bags are under $500.

The hematite beaded bag is so fun. This is a classic in the sense that you can carry this as an evening bag forever and ever. It’s retro and modern all at the same time and so much fun. 

Puffy bags are having a moment, so I had to include Clare V’s version of one. Sometimes you need a U-haul to carry all that you need. This one gives you tons of space but looks stylish. Functional and pretty is where it’s at. This tote will get you where you’re going looking your best. 

Cuyana is a San Francisco-based brand that has a bit of a cult status. They have built their entire business on selling classic pieces both purses and clothing, that are sustainably made and timelessly styled. This is a great option for a luxury bag that is affordable. 

The double-loop bag is a staple at Cuyana, but this seasonal chocolate brown suede version is gorgeous. It’s a staple but a standout due to the deep rich brown suede. This comes in a handful of other colors and there is a smaller size available. This goes from the boardroom to date night seamlessly. 

The tall tote in ecru is such a pretty winter or spring bag. The unique orientation of the bag and the double straps depending on how you’d like to carry the bag are very well thought out. This would be stunning with an all winter white look, or contrasting with an all-black outfit. You cannot go wrong with this tote. 

Last few words on purses under $500

A luxury-looking bag does not need to be expensive. Find something unique and simple from an emerging brand and wear it. Simple as that. Purses under $500 doesn’t mean they are junk, just less known than their big brand cousins. The brands I’ve included in this post will get you going but dig around to find others. Look for things that are sustainably made, have a simple design, and come in basic colors. These will always look more expensive than they are and give you the look of luxury without the hole in your bank account. 



I show women over 50 how to get noticed, stay relevant, and be connected through their wardrobe. Getting dressed is something you have to do each day, why not make it fun.



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