I confess. I have a major vice. Ask any of my friends (and my husband) and they will probably tell you straight away what it is. I’m addicted to handbags!
I’ve always loved and admired them, even when I didn’t have the money or access to the high end. I’ll never forget buying my first “luxury” bag. Remember when the nylon box-shaped Kate Spade bags were popular? Back in 2000, when I was in college, all of the sorority girls had one! The minute I graduated and got a job I opened a Saks card and bought the black one with a cherry red wallet.
My next big purchase was in 2005 when I went to Houston and bought a black leather Marc by Marc Jacobs slouchy shoulder bag. I remember the exhilaration I felt buying that bag and wearing it. I bring it out every once in awhile now so I still consider it a good buy.
A few years later, in 2008, the Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag came out in the brown Damier print. I just HAD to have it and it wasn’t being sold in San Antonio yet. So my co-worker’s brother graciously bought it for me on his honeymoon in Hawaii. These are the lengths I will go to for a handbag!
On a business trip to Vegas in 2013 Jeff bought me my first Chanel as a surprise. As thrilled as I was to receive Chanel, the small mint green bag was not the classic style I had envisioned. So I returned it and bought a black caviar shopper style with silver chain details. It was a high only true shopaholics will understand!
You know how they say an alcoholic shouldn’t work in a bar? Well, what did I do. Went to work selling handbags at Tory Burch and Neiman Marcus. You can just imagine! I admit, I went a little overboard. But the discounts were unreal! Looking back, I actually don’t regret much of it. Now that I don’t work retail, and the discount is gone, I’m not the type to pay full price. Honestly I haven’t even been tempted much.
The crazy thing was, working at Neiman Marcus, they made us carry clear bags to work. I couldn’t even use the bags I was accumulating! It’s a different story now. I’m having lots of fun rotating them.
Here are my recommendations for the handbag styles I think you should have in your closet and when/how to use them. *Keep in mind this is only a suggestion on STYLE of bag, not the brand specifically, and I don’t own all of these bags. I wish!*
1. Cross Body Classic: The Chanel Wallet on Chain. This is a fabulous and functional bag that can be worn both dressy and casual. I just love that it gives you the option of being hands free and stylish! You can wear this bag four different ways, and has pockets for credit cards, cash, phone and lipstick. My suggestion, if you decide to invest in one, is to think hard about whether to get silver or gold hardware. I tend to wear more gold jewelry for nights out and silver casually. I’m picky about the metal on my bag matching my jewelry and shoes. These bags typically have wait lists, so make sure to get on one. Currently Neiman Marcus is the only retailer who sells Chanel in San Antonio. It doesn’t have to be Chanel either. Every girl needs a good cross body!
2. Best travel bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs backpack in black quilted leather. Backpacks aren’t just for school anymore and you should definitely have one in your wardrobe! This one is the perfect size, light even when full, and has an edge to it. You can also wear a cross body and backpack at the same time which I did on my last trip to New York City.
3. Spring 2016 Trend: Twice a year Neiman Marcus comes out with its Top 10 trend list. For this Spring they list confident reds, embellished bags and lace as what’s going to be hot in the handbag world. Red is such a great way to spice up an outfit and people definitely notice it! Here are four options in “look at me” cherry red. Can you say Valentine’s Day gift?
Lace is also something interesting that I might buy at a lower price point, just for the trendy aspect.
4. Work bag: Tory Burch Ella Tote. If you’re like me and have to lug a laptop, paperwork, chargers, and other stuff back and forth to the office, this is the work bag for you! It’s roomy, easily accessible and fairly affordable at $195. One thing to consider is that the handles are short. It’s probably not a bag to carry all day long when traveling or running errands.
5. Best daily bag: Louis Vuitton Neverfull. As I mentioned above, I’ve had this bag for almost 8 years, and it still looks brand new. I absolutely love the long straps, roomy red interior of the brown Damier, and the way it carries weight. As I said, it does wear well, but keep in mind you are paying for coated canvas. The only leather on the bag is the straps! And color transfer will happen on the white Damier version when you wear denim. There are 3 sizes to choose from in the Neverfull.
6. Put this in your luggage: Longchamp Le Pliage Large Shoulder Tote Bag. Have you ever had the problem of coming home from vacation with way more than you originally packed? Well then you need this bag! It folds up flatly and you can tuck it into your suitcase. On the way home you can fill it up with souvenirs or items that don’t fit into your main luggage. This light bag holds a ton! It’s also a great pool or workout bag. The large version is $145 and I definitely recommend the long strap option.
7. “It” Bag: Chloe Drew. I asked my friend who sells high end handbags, as well as my most fashionista friend, what the “It” bag is right now and they both said the Chloe Drew. I’ve seen tons of bloggers and celebrities like Blake Lively, Reese Witherspoon and Olivia Palermo wearing it. This bag is definitely #1 on my dream list! I just love the day to night appeal and 70’s vibe. The hardware and latch really make a statement as well.
8. Edgy with no logo: Balenciaga Classic City Bag. San Antonio is a logo driven town. The bigger, the better. That’s why I love the Balenciaga City Bag. It doesn’t scream its brand, it’s edgy and it’s oh so light. The leather is soft, thin and distressed. It can be worn casually or with dressy jeans for a night out.
9. Clutch: Saint Laurent. I’ve seen beautiful clutches from brands like Jimmy Choo, Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Rebecca Minkoff. But my absolute favorite is Saint Laurent! The bags are fun, fashionable and timeless. Every girl needs a good clutch for events or when you just don’t feel like carrying everything but the kitchen sink. I’ve also seen some cute, trendy, affordable clutches at H&M and Zara.
10. Fun & Bright: Valentino. Every season this brand knocks it out of the park with fun and unique patterns! They also do bright colors the best with their instantly recognizable rockstuds. Whether you’re looking for a seasonal bag, or a classic investment, Valentino is always a sure bet.
There are so many brands, styles and price points that I like, it was hard to narrow this list down. The best article I’ve read about Spring 2016 handbag trends is on Popsugar. Click here to read more! I’m glad fringe is still in and I absolutely LOVE the brown Altuzarra and Alice + Olivia bags shown on the runway.
Looks like this spring is going to be playful, cheery and bright!
Living with soul,