Snob Essentials

Frugal Snob Fashion: KATIE HOLMES & The Structured Bag

Guest Blog by Julia DiNardo of Fashion Pulse

katieholmeshac.jpgEver since we saw the pic of chic, pulled-together Katie Holmes toting around the super-sized Hermes Haut a Courrois (HAC) handbag we were immediately hooked; where can we find something similar that costs 1/20th of the price (the bag is approximately $10,000)? As the structured frame bag and satchels are gaining popularity as important bag trends, we thought it would be helpful to pull together our favorites, ranging in size from standard to large enough to carry three-five toy dogs.

Although nothing quite says oversized and luxury like the Hermes HAC, we found a few bags that are still good replacements at prices that won’t require Tom Cruise to make another cheesy action movie in order to afford it. If oversized is the only way to go for you, we’d recommend starting with the Turnlock Doctor Bag, $68, from Urban Outfitters.

13962949_20_b.jpgWe love the color selections (teal, brown, or black), and for the price, it’s a good test-run to decide if a structured bag is too weighty for you, and when looking for your possessions becomes too much of a “needle in a haystack” challenge. For a softer shape and most likely a little lighter in weight, the Bo Bo Bags Turbo Diesel Gemma Satchel ($143, would almost double as a weekender duffle, yet is chic enough to tote ALL of your daily musts AND non-essentials in!

Add a splash of contrast color with the Olivia Harris Tote in Black $495, at Clutch Seattle; in our opinion it is just as eye grabbing as Katie’s version!  If you’re looking for more of a standard-sized model, ala Katie’s bud Victoria Beckham, we found the Laura Satchel, ($58 that looks quite luxe in grey and right at home on Fifth Avenue. Continue to veer in an upscale direction with the Fossil “Paloma” Large Frame Leather Bag ($248, Macy’s) or get our absolute favorite, the Brooks Brothers Vegetable Leather Small Quarter Flap Bag for $498. 

Segue the bag from classic to bold with this Antonio Melani “Abby” Satchel ($249, Dillards) that works embossed croc and an ombre gradient to perfection.  So there you have it – Hermes or not, you can still get the structured bag at a price that will allow you to also cop a version of Katie’s Louis Vuitton adorable skirt! 

Julia DiNardo is the founder/editor of Fashion Pulse — visit the site for daily updates on trends, runway collections, industry buzz, beauty and more.



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  1. Why would anyone want to carry something this big? seriously,this bag is pathetic. The only reason I can think of is to show off just how much money one has-remember Pharell Williams and his purple croc Birkin? sad!

  2. Big is a potential health hazard. Is the strain on the arm worth it? This isn’t about the bag or brand, more about a celebrity’s distorted view of things. It’s like she’s saying, “Look at me! Look at my bag!”

    Women/actresses of the fifties, sixties and seventies knew how to carry themselves. I don’t know if today’s swarm of female celebrities make high end fashion houses look bad.

  3. The bag is b i g -no doubt about that. KH is a tall woman,so the proportions are ok. A bag this size is not functional for everyday wear. Sure it´s roomy for lots of stuff,but then it´s too heavy to be carried all day long. But maybe TC will help her on that!

  4. Katie looks lovely and likely dressed knowing she would be photographed no matter what she did. Plus, she can afford the bag – why not carry it!

  5. The Brooks Brothers bag is really very classic and attractive. The size is large, but not overpowering.These super large bags were intended for traveling.

  6. Another great alternative to the Birkin is the Mulberry Bayswater – gorgeous leather, classic style, available in a variety of colors and sizes. The regular-size Bayswater is 14x11x7, but it also comes in a really big “Picadilly” style that’s 14x20x9 and under $1200. Not cheap, but nowhere near as pricey as the Birkin.

  7. She looks like she is lugging a suitcase. Just because it is expensive doesn’t make it nice. I think she realized how foolish it looked because I’ve never seen her with it in a picture again.

  8. What the heck is with all these haters. Who cares if she’s carrying a large bag ? Oh my goodness, let her be, she looks great.

  9. Katie looks really lovely! i got the same Hermes bag and it is soooo heavy… I cannot image that she is carrying the Hermes HAC 50 and wearing 4″ heels. amazing!!! but love her style and the RM skirt is the best “accessory” for the Hermes HAC Birkin 🙂

  10. Just got back from two weeks in Argentina. They have the BEST bags there. They’re known for leather products and it was all I could do NOT to purchase 40 different bags. Anyway, they have something like a Birkin bag, it was adorable and made of the best leather. I couldn’t do it because Birkins (and others like them) have been done before. I picked some awesome originals! Save $8000! Go to Argentina and buy awesome stuff for cheap:)