COS, Mango and Arket Have So Many Expensive-Looking Bags

Elinor Block
·2-min read

There is nothing I love more than finding an item of clothing or accessory that looks pricer than it really is. I like to think of my ability to spot these pieces very easily as a bit of a superpower. Rather helpfully, the high street is nailing it right now when it comes to affordable but expensive-looking accessories. Three stores in particular—COS, Mango and Arket—all stock totes, clutches and crossbody bags that look way more expensive than their prices. I'd argue they even look designer. In some cases, I bet plenty would say the bags come from places such as The Row or Bottega Veneta. These are bold claims, but I honestly believe that the high street has never been better for great affordable bags.

Over the years, I've honed down my criteria for this specific type of bag. Generally speaking, the item should be devoid of embellishments. A smooth, clean silhouette is ideal for making something look elevated. Next up on the luxe-looking list? The piece should look structured or, at least, loosely so. When it comes to bags, this means a decent strap, a solid clasp, or some pleated detail that gives the tote some shape.

Finally, one major aspect that gives off an expensive aesthetic is the material. Faux leather has never looked less faux, and leather bags will always have a more luxe vibe, as does woven material. As for colour, black, ecru and brown are always clear winners, but don't be put off by bright hues—although, try more muted versions for that rich appearance. To prove my point, I've created an edit of the chicest but most affordable bags I've seen recently. Keep scrolling for more…


COS Leather Mini Shoulder Bag (£99)

COS Leather Tote Bag (£225)

COS Classic Leather Clutch Bag (£125)

COS Leather Deconstructed Shopper Bag (£125)

COS Folded Leather Shopper Bag (£180)

COS Leather Crossbody Bag (£89)

COS Leather Belt Bag (£59)

COS Leather Padded Mini Shopper Bag (£135)

COS Leather Crossbody Bag (£69)


Mango Double Handle Baguette Bag (£20)

Mango Pleated Volume Clutch (£36)

Mango Minimal Bag (£30)

Mango Fabric Contrast Bag (£36)

Mango Twisted Strap Baguette Bag (£30)

Mango Twisted Strap Baguette Bag (£30)

Mango Baguette Bag With Flap (£30)

Mango Jute Basket Bag (£36)

Mango Ruched Baguette Bag (£18)


Arket Woven Leather Tote (£235)

Arket Ruched Leather Crossbody Bag (£89)

Arket Knot-Detail Soft Leather Bag (£150)

Arket Elongated Leather Shoulder Bag (£150)

Arket Soft Leather Clutch Bag (£150)

Arket Leather Flap Clutch (£150)

Arket Soft Leather Bucket Bag (£150)

Next up, The Biggest Spring/Summer 2021 Fashion Trends to Know

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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