1) A Large Everyday Tote or Satchel that can hold everything, in a neutral color. Hermés Birkin a classic; Marc Jacobs provides a more affordable alternative. Try to find something with feet on the bottom, so you can set your bag down on the floor or counter at Starbucks without worrying! Check out the coveted Chloe Paddington bag pictured below in the lovely shade of Whiskey at thesimplychicboutique.com.
2) An Adorable Clutch that can go from day to evening, either in a bright shade (magenta! kelly green!), an interesting material (like python), or metallic. Rodo is always reliable for more formal purses. For something a bit more modern, check out Temperley London's Small "Ida" Clutch, pictured at right and available at shopbop.com.
3) A Petite Shoulder Bag. When shopping or going out to dine, you need a gorgeous piece that actually fits more than a lipstick. I am thinking along the lines of a Fendi Baguette or a Gucci Jackie Bag. But be creative here! Make it fun and handsome – something you wouldn’t mind setting on the table during cocktail hour.
4) A Sturdy Weekender. It is okay [nay, nearly mandatory!] to invest in an overnight bag, like those by Coach or Dooney and Bourke. I find them quite useful for a 2-day getaway, an airline carry-on, or a lovely place to stash those five items that didn’t fit in my suitcase. Of course, if you have the means, the most desirable luggage brands are as follows: Goyard, Valextra, and Louis Vuitton.
5) A Picnic or Beach Bag. J. Crew and L.L. Bean both have affordable options here. Washable canvas is a classic. And I adore a monogram. See my post from a few days ago for more info. about Bean's Boat and Tote, which has gone totally mod in an array of colors and stripes that aren't just for Martha's Vineyard!
Don’t be afraid to explore color here, ladies! A scarlet tote really matches almost anything (see the Botkier hobo at right, courtesy of shopbop.com). Also, be willing to INVEST! This is an item that you are going to use every day, and if you care for it properly, it can last you a lifetime! If you are going to go super-trendy, it is okay to buy a PVC bag at Target. But for that Statement Piece, you want something durable, of unparalleled quality. My favorites these days are Botkier, Sissi Rossi, Luella Bartley, Kooba and Longchamp.
Stay tuned for helpful hints on how to care for your precious handbags. Happy toting!
P.S. Look who's designing handbags these days! The Designers branch out . . .
Victor & Rolf