Zara consistently remains my top shop on Ireland’s streets for great bags across a mix of materials, styles, colours – and always at decent prices. You can rely on it for something bloody excellent – in leather – that will be oohed and aaaahed at, for under €100.

And that, people, is the kind of money I want to pay for a carryall if I’m not shelling out for something on the BT bag floor. And weeping a sort of salty confusion of tears of joy/terror/remorse while I’m at it. That’s for a whole n’other post.

I don’t, however, want to be handing over the guts of €300 to some basically-a-chain-store that’s decided to get all fancy on our asses and demand billions for something we’ll be sick of next season.

Reiss, Whistles and Ted Baker, I’m really beady-eyeing you here. No wonder that Reiss Frankie bag is sticking its tongue out at us, above: it’s €310. Ok, considerably cheaper than the Celine it’s inspired by but still … I could nearly get me a Marc by Marc Jacobs for that. Nearly.

Whistles bagThis beauty from Whistles doubles up as a clutch and a slim shoulder bag. Again, it’d kinda want to considering the pricepoint: the Stevie is €185. Is that not a bit chancy from a brand straddling high street and luxe, but which isn’t quite at the designer level?

Ted baker kamilo bag

Pseudo-designer brand Ted Baker is at the expensive handbag trick too and wants €260 of your cash for this Kamilio oxblood leather bowler bag.

So tell me, am I fixating on the wrong thing here and labels be damned – it should be all about what you love? Which, of course I absolutely agree with too, but, you know, when the bag goes over a certain amount I kinda sorta feel I’d like some label-return – and a modicum of exclusivity – for my spend.

Let me know what you think in the comments – and don’t hold back!