Handbag selection is a serious matter, especially during the holidays. Just as you wouldn't wear an overexposed top to a family dinner, you shouldn't choose that fancy fur cross-body for a corporate affair.

With so many expenses this season, special-occasion handbags at less than $100 are worth investigating. Here are some tips for picking a purse that will score points (not scorn) at various celebrations, plus 16 handbag options that won't drain your wallet.

Now that you've got the bag, check out these cocktail dresses for any holiday party.