The Hermès Birkin. The 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli. The Céline luggage tote and trapeze. The Louis Vuitton monogrammed speedy. When you think of the classic designer "it" bag, these and many more often come to mind, investment pieces that we each lust for yet wince at the sight of the luxury price tags. The classic Chanel flap bag has always been my bag of choice, but as a grad student, it's far from my reach. Without buying a direct knockoff, I try to find bags that have similar qualities to the classic Chanel flap bag or boy bag until I can one day claim one for myself.
The other day while I was walking to work, I passed the Papaya window displays and this bag stopped me in my tracks. The resemblance to the Chanel boy bag is strikingly obvious from the leather and chain double strap to the leather panels framing the quilted body and modular center hardware. And at only $31.99, I wasted no time checking out. My only complaint? This bag is so tiny! It comes in at 5" tall and 8" wide and can't fit my daily wallet, relegating it to evening wear only. Regardless, I still adore it.
Obviously, like I wrote in my last Stitch for Less on this same Chanel boy bag vs. a similar Zara cross body, this similar Papaya style can't even compare in quality to the metallic calfskin small Boy Chanel bag pictured above. But at $4,000, owning one is not realistic for most people, so the under $40 Papaya bag is a great alternative without directly knocking off the bag (no interlocking CC logo here). In fact, there are plenty of affordable alternatives to your favorite "it" bags that will satiate your need while you save up for the real thing. Checkout the gallery below for these, including bags inspired by the Céline trapeze, 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli and more. Click on the "Less" bags for links to buy.