We all want the real deal, but sometimes a stamped leather will give you the same thrill without the hefty cost. In my experience, croc is the look designers recreate best, but snake is up there too (it’s worth noting, though, that snake is often the least expensive exotic if you are wanting to break into authentic exotics at an affordable price point). There are so many gorgeous options these days, and really, you need not feel like there’s anything faux about them; the sophistication is real, and that’s what I’m looking for!
1. Vince Croc Embossed Crossbody Bag: When you spend less, you feel like you can have a little more fun with color, making this cobalt Vince crossbody an easy accessory to justify. On Shopbop for $265.
2. Botkier Python Embossed Soho Tote: Botkier also does blue well, this time with python-embossed leather, accented in the brand’s downtown-cool zip trim. On Shopbop for $298.
3. Dries Van Noten Croc-Stamped Large Shoulder Bag: Thanks to elegant structure, glossy shine, and an OCD-approved set of double zip and double compartment pockets hiding inside the accordion-style gussets, the most expensive of the bunch is worth every penny. At Barneys New York for $920.
4. Victoria Beckham Croc-Effect Leather Clutch: VB’s texture blocking gives this flat clutch a serious sense of dimension. On NET-A-PORTER for $750.
5. Elizabeth and James Cynnie Croc-Effect Leather Shoulder Bag: No fall wardrobe is complete without a burgundy bag, and when yours comes with enough card slots to allow you to leave your bulky wallet at home, that just makes navigating the holiday shopping and partying scene all the easier. On NET-A-PORTER for $345.