6 Chic Backpacks That Don’t Cost a Fortune

August 24, 2014

These days, runways are rife with high-end backpacks that cost a small fortune. Chances are you never anticipated this when you were a mere tyke hoisting her Strawberry Shortcake bag onto her shoulders, but today’s styles catapult the look to another level. These all-grown-up bags are made with exotic materials and bear edgy details that make them just as viable as any shoulder bag or tote. Here are several styles that make the grade – minus the bank-busting price tag.

Edgy Chic

Do not discount a backpack simply because it is not made with genuine leather. BCBGeneration’s The Tricky Backpack ($ 69.99) is made with a high-gloss polyurethane that is just as edgy as its more costly counterparts. Tricky is not exactly a wallflower; this toughened-up carryall features a quilted finish that elevates its sophistication. The tonal hardware is a plus for those who follow a strictly monochromatic dress code, and the bag is equipped with every bell and whistle a backpack fiend could possibly need.

Classic with a Twist

backpacks1You will never want for space with the Herschel Supply Co. Settlement Backpack ($ 54.99) in your arsenal. Adorned with a mesmerizing pattern that channels a work of modern art, this is the one to watch if your concerns stem beyond pure function. Of course, it meets those needs well, offering everything from a roomy outer compartment (with key clip) to an inner laptop sleeve. The eye-catching design puts a little “fun” in functionality, but is not so bold that it threatens to overwhelm a school uniform or otherwise dressed down look.

Rucksacks Gone Glam

The traditional rucksack conjures up highly utilitarian imagery that evokes the no-frills spirit of the military. Modeled after the original design but with a personality very much all its own, the French Connection Buckle Up Rucksack ($ 68.60) is an apt choice for campus or even the office. With its textured finish, versatile nude hue, shoulder strap and practical handle, it offers style and substance at once. And since it is on the smaller side, it appeals to anyone who eschews the “pack rat” title.

In Bloom

backpacks2Floral prints run the risk of appearing matronly, wallpaper-like or simply obnoxious, but the High Sierra Curve Backpack ($ 24.99) offers a refreshing option that is both stylish and spacious. The tranquil cherry blossom print is accented by lime-hued birds in flight, all artfully arranged on a sea blue backdrop that channels a laid-back, summery spirit. Perfect for everything from a weekend excursion to another day at school, this backpack will brighten up any look with its fun pattern.

Vintage Inspiration

It evokes a touch of vintage-inspired charm thanks to its weathered material, but the faux leather Emperia Betsy Backpack ($ 48) does not feel at all antiquated. Featuring dangling tassels and standout silver hardware, it couples a slightly utilitarian feel with a distinctly country-western vibe. The interior surprises with its wacky leopard print – an unexpected touch that contrasts surprisingly well with the earthy, versatile cognac color.

Packing Trends

backpacks3You run the risk of overdoing it if you carry something too trendy. It may compete with your clothing or just lose its relevance within a year. That is not the case with the Expressions NYC Perforated Faux Leather Backpack ($ 89), which exhibits a youthful edge without venturing too far into over-the-top territory. The gilded grommets add a luxurious touch to the affordable bag, which is studded with perforated dots. Between its creamy tan hue and its versatility, this bag is appropriate for any student with budget-conscious style.

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