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Handbag trends come, and handbag trends go. But the styles that are enduring are those with classic lines and minimal embellishments. In fact, the most sought after bags are often those with the fewest obvious bells & whistles.

A brand like Hermes is known for inspiring months-long waiting lists for its classic Birkin bag. Then even if you can brave the wait, you must still shell out many thousands of dollars for the privilege of being the owner of an Hermes bag (the example seen top middle is priced at a whopping $77,000).

Carbotti Timeless bagMeanwhile the Birkin is actually quite simple in style. The top handle bag has a structured shape with a flap and padlock enclosure. The style truly is timeless, just like the Carbotti bag with that very name. The Timeless is a perfect example of the fact that you can get the same classic style and exquisite, Italian-made, quality and an tiny fraction of the cost (just over $400)

Carbotti Rachel bagBirkin’s might be at the top of the list when it comes to high-priced handbags, but many other popular brands, like Prada, Rochas, and Mark Scott (all pictured up top) charge a pretty penny for their clean-lined purses. Even trendy labels, like Marc Jacobs and Miu Miu (also seen above) make bags that are free of fad-driven bling and baubles.

The Marc Jacobs “Rio” retails for around $1,100. It’s another top-handle style, but with a double zipper enclosure. The Carbotti Rachel is the same style and costs only around $350. So if you’re looking for a handbag style that will stand the test of time, and make you look posh, go for one made in fine leather and with minimal embellishments.

Top collage created at polyvore.com