There are two schools of thought in handbags: you adore bags and need toooooons of them or you adore bags, but they're a practical love and you need a more curated collection. One of my best friends is in the former category (honestly, listening to her justify why she needs yet another bag is better than stand-up comedy); I fall into the latter category. My theory is that a girl can pretty much get through life with a collection that includes one bag in each of five categories. #1: The Neutral. The most basic of basics, your 101 piece, the first you should acquire. It will probably be black, but brown also runs in the realm of possibility. Pick your favorite, most appealingly useful style. I'm a fan of the tote. I am, frankly, devoted to totes and own pretty much no other style. Whatever you choose, go for a classic shape here: envelope/messenger/saddlebag, crossbody, bucket, or -as alluded to above- tote/shopper/satchel. I'm also partial to leather, as it's the most durable and this is an investment piece. #2: The 2nd Neutral. Yep. One neutral is never enough. To cover the widest variety of occasions, you'll need an alternate shade for when go-with-everything black just doesn't go :). All the above suggestions apply here as well. #3. The Statement Color. This is where you get to branch out and have a little fun. Do you have a color you go weak in the knees for? How about a color you pretty much live in? That's where you want to find your inspiration for the shade of this bag. This will be the piece that pops your all-neutral outfits, provides the exclamation point to your printed, floral or more exotic color pairings and makes you happy on rainy days. This is the bag that's pure hedonistic pleasure...spiced with the just the right amount of functionality. PS if you can't settle on that perfect color, consider red. It is the most classic of the non-neutrals, a style darling forever. #4: The Casual. No carry-all collection can be complete without one really laidback, chill bag. It's the one you need for spontaneous beach trips, ice-cream-sundae runs and that day your whole crew of best guys bought you tickets to International League baseball because they think you're awesome! (And that young, phenom pitcher just happened to be starting). This one has pockets galore (for your phone, keys, sunscreen, chapstick, toothbrush, needlenose pliers (trust me, the guys will be impressed) and twisty ties (not only practical, but a conversation-starter: "Umm..why do you carry twisty-ties in your bag?"). This is where you choose a non-fussy material like straw, possibly nylon (depending on the style. Gym bag = absolument no) or durable canvas (For real. I have a canvas tote that's over twenty years old and not frayed anywhere.). #5: The Formal. You should always, I repeat *always* have one grab-n-go dressy bag in your stash that you can reach for when you're off to a wedding, a fancy date, the Met Gala...you get the idea. Something special can happen any day, so be prepared! I like to think of it as a good karma-energetic thing that attracts fabulous opportunities to me...like, say an invite to the Met Gala ;). Choose either a multi-color or a neutral - you're looking for a piece that will go with pretty much anything. I especially love metallics (bonus points for multi-metallic like the one above) or black or white crystal-embellished pieces. Two critical caveats: make sure there's enough space for things like your phone, Kleenex, a credit card and for Gaga's sake, make sure the design offers an easy way to carry the piece! You don't want to be that chick who left her crystal-encrusted minaudiere on her seat in Sacre Coeur cathedral... or in the taxi on the way to the Met Gala ;). Happy handbag collecting!
Brie (Hi!) More re: me under About. I'm the moving spirit behind this little life-meets-fashion fairy tale world, the home of my non-wrestling-related style musings and loves.