Best Bets: A Mixed Bag

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The spring weather means it's time to retire the bag you've been lugging around all winter for a new model, but this year we're balking at the prospect of ponying up for a designer label. Ecofriendly Canadian designer Erin Templeton creates a line of chic, affordable handbags from recycled leather. She conditions the leather to a like-new sheen before cutting and sewing each piece herself, adding reinforced seams for extra durability. They're free of showy embellishments and chunky hardware, making the unmarred vintage leather the main focus. The bags are available in eight styles, but our favorite is the slouchy Palooka, a pocket-laden design that comes in three sizes and can be worn as a messenger bag or a tote.

$150 to $250 at Old Hollywood, 110 Meserole Ave., nr. Manhattan Ave., Greenpoint, Brooklyn; 718-389-0837.