Affordable Alternatives To The Loewe Squeeze Bag, Fall 2023's Trendiest Purse

Loewe has reached Bottega Veneta status when it comes to handbag trendsetting, and we're glad to see it. After the woven Bottega handbag craze, we're itching for other brands to come along and give us inspiration for a new era of comfortable, classy handbags, preferably shoulder bags — The List's readers' favorite style of purse to carry — with plenty of room to tote around all of our stuff. 

And, just like an answer to a self-indulgent prayer, Loewe has an answer in the form of the new it-bag — the Loewe Squeeze bag. Named after its notable squeezable handle, which provides comfy padding for your shoulder and prevents its chic chain straps from digging in and leaving marks on your skin, the Squeeze bag is made of buttery soft nappa lambskin. It comes in small and medium sizes and six colors — chocolate, olive, black, oak, chalk, and seaside blue. And, yes, the price is steep for those of us who are not used to brand-new designer bags. It ranges from $3,950 to $4,450. But don't fret, as we did the research for you to find the best affordable alternatives to this squeezy cool-girl handbag.

When choosing more affordable alternatives, there are three basic characteristics we looked for: Loewe's Squeeze bag's loose croissant shape, its structured bottom, and its chain strap. We've arranged our recommendations from cheapest to priciest, all the while making sure the cost doesn't rise above half of the price of the Loewe Squeeze bag. 

Zara's Chain Strap Tote Bag

This medium-sized pleather tote bag from Zara is similar in size to Loewe's medium Squeeze bag. It sits at a comfortable length of two chain straps that can be worn over the shoulder or carried in the crook of the arm, depending on the wearer.

What drew us to it? In addition to its super affordable price, the bag's merits are plenty, including its similarities to our dreamy Loewe alternative. Like the Squeeze bag, Zara's tote bag scrunches beautifully at the opening where the chain straps emerge. The sack-like tote shape also comes close to Squeeze's croissant shape when the opening is scrunched close. As for the downsides, the first thing of note is the lack of a comfortable, squishy handle, which might cause the chains to dig into your skin uncomfortably. Plus, the structure of the Zara bag is that of any tote — flimsy and shapeless — whereas Loewe offers more structure.

All in all, not a bad alternative if what you're looking for is cheap but chic. Buy the Chain Strap Tote Bag at Zara for $40.

Anthropologie's Aota Darcy Shoulder Bag

This faux leather tote has a few similarities to Loewe's buttery Squeeze bag, including its sleekness, chain strap, and structured bottom. In fact, Anthropologie's Aota offers even more structure than Loewe's soft and malleable leather. It can be worn over the shoulder or in the crook of the arm, just like the Squeeze bag.

What initially drew us to the Aota Darcy bag is its croissant shape — which comes pretty close to the Loewe version — and its sturdiness. If you're looking for affordable alternatives that will last, sturdiness and structure are key elements to look for. And, while this affords Anthropologie's bag some brownie points, we have to point out its flaws — namely, its one-strap design. Yes, like the Squeeze bag, this alternative sports a single chain strap, but this isn't exactly a good thing. While Loewe's thoughtful design includes a padded shoulder pad, Anthropologie's one strap can easily dig into the shoulder of the wearer — something that a double-chain strap would help with by distributing the weight more evenly. And, yes, sadly the iconic scrunched opening is nowhere to be found on this bag.

If what you want is affordability that will last, this is the bag for you. Buy the Aota Darcy Shoulder Bag at Anthropologie for $120.

Mango's Chain Leather Bag

This 100% suede tote bag from Mango is every deal-lover's dream. The Chain Leather Bag is not only ultra-affordable despite being made with real suede, but it also boasts the best of the Squeeze bag's most sought-after details — bucket-croissant shape, chain straps, shoulder comfort, and scrunched opening.

All of the similarities between the two bags drew us in immediately in our quest for affordable alternatives. But it doesn't end there. This Mango bag, designed in Barcelona, is just as buttery soft as Loewe's already-iconic bag. Plus, just like with the Squeeze bag, you can scrunch your Mango bag as tightly or loosely at the opening as you desire with the help of the chain straps. And, while nothing comes close to the Squeeze bag's squishy handle, Mango's leather shoulder straps are a valiant attempt and provide just enough comfort for the shoulder area. The downside of this bag? Suede, while soft and nice to look at, doesn't hold up as well as sturdier leathers in the long run and is more susceptible to wear and tear.

If properly looked after, this bag is the best option for those looking for the next best thing at a reasonable price. Buy the Chain Leather Bag at Mango for $130.

By Far's Oslo Bag

You noticed right — this relatively affordable alternative is the only option on this list without a chain strap, but we can justify it. By Far's Oslo bag comes in three colors — black, copper-brown, and taupe — and has a few similarities to its more expensive counterpart, including the ruched opening and sturdy bottom. Plus, the leather straps afford all the comfort of the Squeeze bag's handle.

What's so special about this alternative? It's all real Italian leather, baby. From comfy straps to spacious body, the Oslo bag is just as buttery soft and pliable as the Squeeze bag and also just as sturdy on the bottom. Yes, carry all you want in this bag without a care in the world (no awkward jutting of fabric here). And, if you were wondering, the scrunched opening is, in fact, able to be tightened or loosened with the handy straps hanging on each side of the bag. The flaws? This bag sits at a higher price point than the previous choices. This said, we think the quality justifies the cost, and it gives you a similar stylish design at a fraction of the price of any Loewe bag.

Essentially, if you're willing to splurge for quality while still saving good money, By Far has you covered. Buy the Oslo bag at By Far for $660.

Stella McCartney's Chunky-Chain Detail Tote Bag

Lastly, this Stella McCartney alternative to Loewe's newest bag is our most expensive — for good reason. But you'll still save yourself half the money you'd be spending on the smaller of the two Squeeze bags. Who said you couldn't have it all?

What drew us to this one? Aside from the obvious similarities — stylish chain strap, croissant shape, and shiny, buttery leather — this bag is 100% vegan without sacrificing good quality, something that, as far as we're concerned, few outside of Stella McCartney do well. Plus, this high-end alternative is the closest in color to the oak shade of Loewe's Squeeze bag that you'll find. And don't get us started on the amount of structure you get with this one, because it surpasses even the Squeeze bag's sturdy bottom. Some of the negatives of the Chunky-Chain Detail Tote bag include its short chain strap, which cannot be adjusted, and its zipper closure.

In short, this one is for the people willing to pay for a high-end quality and cruelty-free option. Buy Stella McCartney's Chunky-Chain Detail Tote Bag at Farfetch for $1,830.