my handbag collection

bags

satchels || coach borough bag (loving this similar one) | coach juliette (similar) | mk medium sutton | dooney & bourke domed satchel (vintage, from  my mom; bag pictured is very similar; this one is available)

totes || cuyana short tote | mbmj metropolitote | longchamp le pliage large shopper | longchamp medium short handle

crossbodies || coach city bag (vintage; check ebay) | rebecca minkoff mini mab | coach swingpack (current version) | fossil memoir novella (similar)

travel || lo & sons omg | warehouse backpack (similar)

clutches || clare v. leopard | shoplately grey suede (similar) | coach brown (similar) | rachel roy kindness (similar) | kultura raffia (old from the philippines; similar) | j. crew black (similar) | whistles w/ chain (similar)

over the years, I’ve built up a good collection of handbags. as someone who dresses more on the plain side, I know just how much bags & accessories in general can keep the most basic of outfits from being boring. along with shoes, I tend to spend more money on bags because I know that I’ll use them for a long while, but there are some high street pieces that I got for a steal & love just as much. most if not all of these pieces were bought on (major) sale or are vintage, and a lot of them were holiday & birthday gifts. I’ve linked the exact bags if they’re still available; otherwise, I linked to something similar.

I’m in the process of doing another closet clean-out, so this will be a fun way to document what I started with in the handbag department. 

p.s. I read somewhere that the average woman (whatever that means) has 21 bags…which means I’m right on the money. how about you?

5 x…dream bags

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 4.18.22 PM

gucci soho disco bag | céline trio (in céline stores or try ebay) | mansur gavriel bucket bag

sophie hulme zip top bowling bag | fendi 2jours medium shopper

my 5 dream bags. by “dream bags” I mean: “bags I will purchase when I win the lottery and/or when I have saved up for years because they’re d*mn expensive”.

I like bags that are streamlined & simple. I don’t mind hardware but I want it to be used judiciously & with purpose. I prefer black (can’t you tell?) because it’s timeless, goes with everything, & doesn’t get dirty as quickly, but I also love a good taupe or grey and a classic red.

red is a tricky color for me – it has to be the right shade where it’s rich & attention-grabbing without going over the top. the red bag of my dreams is the soho disco crossbody from gucci. I’m usually not into logos, but I actually love how modern & graphic the gucci logo is, and on such a small bag, I think it actually looks more like a design than a monogram. plus the tassel…just a nod of whimsy & 70s freedom. the other crossbody on the list is the céline trio in black. it’s sleek & subtle, and the design is genius – it’s like 3 bags in one (which, for the price, it better be!).

for big bags, there are two that have made the cut: the sophie hulme bowling bag & the fendi 2jours tote. sophie hulme exploded on the scene last year with this bag, but it was the less popular bowling bag that caught my eye. I prefer its east/west design to the tote, and I love that it’s a no-frills bag except for the edgy metal plates near the handles. the 2jours tote is the exact opposite – it’s classic & prim through & through, which is usually a little too traditional for my taste, but something about the metal trim across the top, the hang tag, and its angular shape gives it enough of a modern touch that I absolutely love.

last but not least, the mansur gavriel bucket bag, aka the bag that sold out everywhere last year. this bag is perfect. it’s striking in its simplicity. I’ve debated back & forth between which color to pick (I’m torn between the brandy & the black), not to mention which lining to choose. my current favorite is the combination above: black exterior with a ballerina pink lining. priced at $495, this bag is by no means cheap but it is the most affordable of the 5 I’m dreaming about by a long shot. I’ve been saving up my pennies on the side since last year for this baby, possibly as a “congratulations for getting into nursing school” gift to myself this fall (cross fingers). I believe in sartorially pleasing carrots. wink.

what’s your dream bag?

my school bag

schoollast fall, I went back to school to pursue a nursing degree. I had been out of school for 3 years, and I had forgotten how much I loved the feeling of having everything ready to go in your bag. when I was an undergrad, I lugged around a longchamp le pliage tote, and while I loved the roominess of it all & how durable it was (it’s a great travel bag, btw), I wanted something a little bit more compartmentalized this time around. this tote in navy was my Christmas present from James, and I use it both as my work tote & my school tote. I love the simple design of it & the fact that it’s in saffiano leather so that I don’t have to worry about scratching anything. it’s been especially great in the winter weather – any liquid or salt that gets on it is easily wiped away. the size is great (17″ W x 11-1/2″ H x 5″ D) – big enough to hold a class’s worth of things, but not so overwhelmingly huge that it looks comical on my 4’11” frame.

and the compartments! oh, the compartments. it has two roomy open compartments that are perfect for holding notebooks & textbooks, plus a padded & zipped middle divider compartment where you can put your laptop (my 13″ macbook pro fits). there’s a slip pocket on the front side of the zippered compartment that I use to hold my iPad mini & iPhone backup battery. there’s also a zip pocket & two slip pockets in the back, and a slip pocket & a cell phone pocket in the front. the back compartment also has an attached key lanyard, which is a much appreciated feature for someone who’s always digging around for her keys.

on a typical day, I carry around:

  • phone
  • wallet
  • keys
  • iPad
  • agenda
  • legal pad
  • pencil case
  • makeup pouch
  • document case with class papers
  • water bottle
  • textbook
  • laptop

I was worried that with so much stuff in it, the straps wouldn’t be able to handle the weight, but so far, they’re holding up & show no signs of stress. the bag does get quite heavy when it’s stuffed, but the bag itself is quite light. while it doesn’t have any feet on the bottom, it does stand up & keep its shape on its own. overall, I’ve been really happy with it, and it makes going to class prepared & organized that much easier.

what’s your go-to work/school bag?

backpack, backpack

backpacking

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m on the hunt for a backpack. I haven’t worn one since high school, making the conscious decision to eschew one all through college. all through undergrad, I used totes. but I find myself a student again at the same time that the 90s  are back…which means backpacks are in again. usually I do a double take before jumping on an obvious trend, but I have a soft spot for the decade of my childhood (Spice Girls forever!), and I actually do need one. now the only question is: chic or sporty?

chic || black grid| tan | black with zipper

sporty || grey | black | red

good buys

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 8.26.37 AM

I’ve got three things for this installment of good buys.

first up is this slip-on pair of chucks. I’ve always liked the low profile of the original, but as someone with a wide foot, they weren’t always the most comfortable or the easiest to get on. these fit my feet better – I think they’re wider in the toe box – and the slip-on factor makes getting into these a breeze. they’re incredibly comfy, with minimal rubbing on my pinky toes during the first wear (which lasted half a day!), and none at all thereafter. I was worried the stretchy heel might keep slipping off, but I haven’t had that happen at all. I usually wear a 7.5 and that’s the size I got, so I’d say these run true to size. if you have narrower feet, you might want to size down 1/2 a size.

it’s still not really warm around these parts, but it has been raining frequently. at this point, I don’t even mind getting wet so long as it’s not freezing rain or snow. on rainy days, this longchamp bag has been a lifesaver. I usually just wear this on its own, but I know of friends who carry this around folded up inside a nicer bag and when it starts to pour, take it out and slip their nicer bags into it as a chic bag-poncho of sorts. I wore the red version of this bag all through college, and my sister now uses it to lug her books around at school, so I can attest to how durable they are, which is why I sprung for another one even though everyone and their mother is wearing it. sometimes, things are popular for a reason: they work, and they work well. this time around, I went for gunmetal, a dark, cool grey that has a life-friendly black inner liner (the light colors have white liners).

and lastly, these rain booties. can you believe that these are my first ever pair of rain boots? I have big calves, and I’ve never found a rain boot with a shaft to fit so I’ve never bought one. when I saw these online, I immediately ordered them, and I’m glad I did. not only have they been useful in keeping my feet dry on rainy days, they’re also sleek and comfy enough to be worn all day if, like me, you’re not too keen on lugging around an extra pair of shoes to change into. admittedly, they don’t have the best support so keep that in mind, but I wore them for a whole work day in which I was on my feet often, and my feet were fine. fyi: I think the leopard strap is a fun addition, but I also appreciate that they’re completely removable. I’ve removed mine as I tend to dress in monochrome, but I’ve kept them to have the option to change things up sometimes.

and you? any good buys lately?