Chic, functional and affordable messenger bags

Q. I want to graduate from the backpack to the messenger bag, mostly because, as my father told me, “no one looks good in a backpack,” but I don’t know what to look for and how to find one that will actually last without breaking the bank. All I need is something to carry my laptop and a few books (okay, not all).

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A. I tend to agree with your father’s style advice: backpacks are not the most flattering bag option. Luckily, cross body (or messenger) bags are hot right now, so there are many stylish options available in a variety of price points. We scouted out some affordable styles for you that are a bit more chic and feminine than the traditional (and typically masculine) messenger bag. Most of these should fit a laptop and some books.

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