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'It' Look For Less

A new fall tote doesn't have to empty your wallet. 'Moderate designer' bags deliver on style.

October 19, 2008|Melissa Magsaysay | Times Staff Writer

AFTER THE Dow's plunge this month, it's safe to say many people aren't rushing out to buy the season's latest "it" bags. Even for those who've got the cash, that $2,000 might do better in the bank than hanging from a shoulder.

And yet, it's only natural to want a new fall carry-all after years of buying back-to-school backpacks and filling them with shiny school supplies. If you can afford to usher in the season with a leather satchel or oversized tote from Valentino or Prada, live it up. But there are also lots of great bags in the "moderate designer" tier, with prices under $700.

This "affordable luxury" category has never looked better, with lines such as L.A.M.B. and MZ Wallace doing the season's graphic prints and floral patterns well enough to pass for high end. They are stylish, and they won't make you wince when your card is charged.

Here are a few of our favorite fall "it" bags, along with their less expensive counterparts.

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