Bottega Veneta: The Italian house has adorned the arms of fashionable women since the 1970s. Go for a $1,500 hand-painted python tube designed by Tomas Maier. Snap-closure compartments give it a practical twist, with enough room for your mobile phone and PDA.
Tod's: These tie-end bags, $1,200 apiece, are so soft they could have been made from taffy rather than leather. But they still look sophisticated enough to take to work.
Hogan: Part of the Tod's Group, Hogan's stylish bags have the same legendary quality but less of the sticker shock. The company's spring bags, aimed at the up-and-coming business executive, are classy enough to hold their own against more pricey models from the likes of Prada or Gucci. The Anelli bag is a steal at $690.
Lambertson Truex: When Richard Lambertson and John Truex teamed up five years ago, their bags became instant status symbols for chic American women. Now the boys are taking on the old European brands on the Continentals' home turf. And since they're competing on quality, not price, expect to pay $5,800 for the matte crocodile bag.