I am also a realist. I will never have £700 "just lying around" to spend on a bag I have to carry around on my arms, so instead I went to The Outnet and spent £150 on a lovely brown Marc by Marc Jacobs shoulder bag number with a cheery lining. That, I felt, was a perfectly acceptable amount for me to spend on a reward handbag, and more importantly, it was something I really loved. However much you have to spend, you should always pick something you go gooey-eyed for.
I'm focusing on The Outnet's current crop of bags partly because they've got some fantastic ones in at the moment and partly because the internet is open to all, but Bicester Village is also excellent for heavily discounted bags should you have a spare day to make the trip.
This is an identical shape to the bag I bought, but is infinitely more snazzy (damn it). It's made out of canvas with leather straps that I *adore* for their crackly kind-of-Blue Peter-tin-foil look. It's Marc by Marc Jacobs again and costs £120 down from £295.
This stunning bag has my name on it, if my name were McQ Alexander McQueen. I love that rich tomato red, the leather looks sumptuous even from here, and it looks like you could fit a ton of stuff inside it. It's £172.50, down from £345.
Sometimes you just want to have something that is enormous fun. That is precisely what this fantastic leather and suede shoulder bag from DKNY is. It would cheer up even the most serious, boring, or last minute of outfits. It's £96.76 down from £215.
This Botkier bag is such a gorgeous colour, and I bet that leather smells wonderful (sorry, I keep obsessing over lovely, lovely leather. It's getting a bit Silence of the Lambs-ish). Such a pretty bag - it's £92.50 down from £185.
And if that's all still too pricey a treat for yourself - don't worry! Check out our bag lust section for gorgeous bags at all manner of price points.