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SHOCK!!! Rebecca Minkoff Darling Hobo for $379.99. AND…..“AWWW…” XOXO Oversized Hobo Bag for $15.00. (Both available at Amazon.com)

WHICH WOULD YOU RATHER SPEND YOUR MONEY ON???

I love a great purse (who doesn’t?), but I also find it hard to afford the new styles/trends that come out each season. Who can afford $3,000.00 for a Dolce and Gabbana purse just because it’s at the pinnacle of haute couture? I sure can’t. Heck, I’ve bought CARS for way less than that. Point being, just because you’re a frugal spender/wannabe Fashionista or can’t afford insanely priced designer handbags doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the new fall trends. You CAN find stylish, reasonably-priced versions of the REAL thing…at prices you can afford.

I did a little internet/fashion magazine research on the top fall/winter 2011 fashion trends for purses and handbags. There were quite a few showcased handbag trends making waves all over the net, but these FIVE trends stood out as the best and brightest (not to mention the most likely to stand the test of time so you don’t waste your money!) So, without further ado, I bring to you some of the most fashionable fall purses…one at a price that will SHOCK! you, and one at a price that will make you go “AWWW…” So don’t despair, my frugal friends! You CAN afford a purse that looks similar to the Fendi number some gal in NYC  bought at the same price I’m paying for my brand-new Hyundai Accent!

Fall’s Top 5 Purse/Handbag Trends

Numbers One AND Two…

Burnt Orange Colors/Satchels:  So sue me, this category is covering TWO of the top handbag trends for the fall season…satchel style purses and the color burnt orange. Both were HOT on the runways recently. I love satchels for their easy, versatile vibe, and burnt orange is such a great, natural autumn color that it’s hard to go wrong with this combination.

SHOCK!!! Longchamp Gatsby Satchel in Burnt Orange, $930.00, at Saksfifthavenue.com. And “AWWW….” “Rachel” Faux Leather Lock Satchel for $34.95 from Amazon.com

Even though the “burnt orange” color is slightly different, both of these satchels share a similar shape, design, handle, and accessories. I actually PREFER the $34.99 purse in this example, and usually my super-senses always gravitate towards the higher priced item…not this time!!

Number Three…Mod/60’s Vibe:  Sorry Nicole Ritchie but Boho is out, and the more graphic, symmetrical, black and white  Mod style of the 60’s in in!

SHOCK!!! Dolce and Gabbana Black and White Snakeskin Mod Bowler Purse, $3,695.00 at Malleries.com.  And “AWWW…” Black and White Mod Circle Bowler Satchel, $25.50 at Amazon.com (with free shipping!)

Again, the basic shape, structure and color scheme are the same, and both bags give off a similar mod, retro vibe.  But these two have a $3,670.00 difference in price!!

Number Four…
The Ladylike Clutch: (perhaps inspired by a nation that was all-too-obsessed with a certain Royal Wedding earlier this year.) This fall ushers in a slew of dainty, detailed, feminine clutches. While most of us in the real world only bust out this style of handbag at weddings and other formal affairs, the Fashion Gods of Fall say it’s okay to transition these little purses into everyday wear. The trick is to mix them with not-too-dressed-up clothing if you’re taking a clutch to the street.

SHOCK!!! Moyna Handbags Framed, Beaded Evening Clutch, $170.00 at Amazon.com.  And “AWWW…” Carlo Fellini Kimberly Satin Clutch, $35.99 (was $120!) at Amazon.com

If it’s delicate yet intricate feminine detailing that you’re looking for, then buy into the lady-like clutch trend this fall. Both of these bags fit the bill…similar colors, thoughtful details, and a feminine vibe that can’t be denied. The neutral hues in these bags are also sure to mesh well with whatever colors you’ve got in your closet, giving you a purse functionality that can’t be beat. Gotta say I adore that 1920’s feeling in accessories. The Carlo Fellini number was originally as much as the first purse! If you like it, snag it quickly; these kind of 75% discounts don’t last long.

Number Five…
Animal Prints (Snakeskin, in particular): I thought the fashion industry was finished with the whole animal print trend for quite some time, but how wrong I was. I looked at so many of these “wildly” popular purses online that I’m going to go to sleep tonight with visions of zebra, camel, and leopard prints dancing through my head. Snakeskin is one of my faves. It’s a bit less “flashy” than the rest of the animal prints, in my opinion.

SHOCK!!! Lanvin Canvas Snakeskin Tote Bag, $629.99 at Pronto.com.  And “AWWW…” Skin Tone Faux Leather Snakeskin Handbag by Fash, $12.99 at Amazon.com.

Similar coloring, print, and handles make this $12.99 trade-off a great bargain. Not to mention the SHOCK! handbag isn’t even genuine leather; it’s just a canvas tote. I’ll take the cute side-detailing on the Fash handbag over the gaudy, label-obsessed Lanvin bag any day of the week.

There you have it: 5 trends at a price you can afford!

This has been a guest post by Jennifer from Pittsburgh, PA
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