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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

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 #3: The eco tote bag

Nothing is more stylish than going green, so keep a simple fabric tote folded up in your everyday bag that you can use in place of the traditional paper or plastic when you make a shopping trip.

 Beautifully basic bags

Splurge: Marc by Marc Jacobs and a huggable penguin tells us to "Save the pole" in the form of this natural hemp canvas tote. $110 at

Save: It doesn't get cuter than this "Think of the critters before you litter" tote bag, which flashes a much-needed reminder in the most adorable way possible. It doesn't get more affordable either: $1.50 at

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