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5 Basic handbags every woman needs

Erica Mayyasi is a Red Sox fan in Manhattan. After stints at various magazines she now works full-time in public relations, though she continues to write for a number of sites including her blog etsymay.blogspot.com.

Beautifully basic bags

Seemingly endless amounts of handbags are on the market, so it's easy to get distracted on your path to purchase. Here we help you focus on five bags every girl should have -- and even give you examples of the splurge and frugal versions.

Basic bag #1: The everyday bag

Every girl needs an everyday bag -- a large carryall that can weather abuse and still look stylish whether you're at work or at a bar. For maximum versatility, look for a bag that is solid-colored (or has a very, very subdued print) in a neutral tone so that it will match with as much as possible.

 

Splurge: Chloe's Ethel patent lambskin leather tote is truly a drool-worthy bag. It may be simple, but this elegant bag's beauty will not be lost in a crowd. $1,395 from Net-a-porter.com.

Save: The Camilla Handbag from Lulu's may be faux leather, but you'll have to look pretty closely to tell. This classy bag has plenty of room for all of your goods, and its stark white color makes it a must-have for summer and a stunning winter-white piece. $47 from Lulus.com.

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