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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 #4: The clutch bag

A clutch bag is the perfect way to tote all of your little must-haves in a minimalist way. Get the most bang for your buck by purchasing a clutch in a neutral color that's tame enough for day but still has a bit of edge to transition to night.

 Beautifully basic bags

Splurge: The lizard embossing on this Lucy Cloudy Clutch by Laura Merkin makes it exciting enough for a night on the town, while its subdued print makes it daytime appropriate. $250 at

Save: Pinch your pennies without pinching your style with this Angie & Lola Foldover Clutch in bone. Its sunburst design is sure to brighten your day. $29.99 from

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