Recently I have developed a liking for a shoulder bag and its tempting design – a slinky polished tan leather body with a touch of walnut and black, a sensual movement of a gold coloured chain and an overall fancy appearance. It’s medium, but roomy. I can carry it on my shoulder or turn into an envelope-shaped clutch. I am pretty positive I need this bag. It’s beautiful and different from the ones I have.
While marinating an idea of a possible purchase I got thinking about my other bags and the way the collection was acquired over the years. What was the driving force behind those buys? Love? Need? Practical thinking?
I have never been a bag lady – it’s the shoes, books and lingerie for me. I am pretty good with resisting the bags until the right one comes along and it doesn’t happen that often. However, whilst I believe that you can’t have enough shoes, I feel that there should be a set number for the bags because a good bag can compliment a few pairs of footwear.
But really, how many bags make a perfect collection? Have you ever thought of that yourself?
For starters, any girl needs a good roomy tote or shopper, best in classic brown/tan or black. Tote allows us to carry our life around, shop in style, house a laptop or anything equal or larger than A4. Incredibly useful. I got mine, a tan coloured Jet Set Michael Kors tote, a year or so ago and me and Peanut (named mine after its official shade) have been pretty much unseparatable since.
Of course, before Peanut, there were B and Ledbury. The hand-helders (but also from the Tote family). I could have done with one, but the girls were bought in different time periods when the soul desired and budget allowed.
The Fendi B was a dream bag. I saw it on a runway and felt a tight squeeze in my heart. It was a perfect summer city bag for me – the canvas and tan brown leather with a very distinctive look, both adorable and chic. I didn’t buy it straight away – the price was way too high for me and I didn’t want to join masses and masses of celebrities who carried it (really don’t do that whole celebrity thing…) A year later as the hype faded and seasons changed, the B was mine. Its fabric curves make it a bit of a high maintenance, but dreams are allowed to be.
And the Ledbury is my cuddly pet. I really can’t explain it, but touching that Mulberry leather is kind of therapeutic. Ledbury is my comfort blanket. She also made friends with a few pairs of shoes I had, they look really good together. Just like Peanut, Ledbury is a all year rounder with an anti-aging attitude.
I do think that having a hand-held bag is a good idea. Particularly if you fancy doing a bit of lady-like chic (think Louis Vuitton RTW Fall 2010). Again I’d go with tan or black, but for creative types anything colour-blocking is worth considering, particularly as they are very much in style right now and the choice is huge.
Having said that, if I could turn back time, I’d rather have a Bayswater instead of the above trio. If you are looking for the most practical solution and a bag that will last you for years and years to come without losing its classy appearance, Bayswater is brilliant – it still has the roominess of a tote, can be hand-held or worn on a shoulder and it’s just such a beautiful thing to have, especially in tan.
Another essential is a small clutch or shoulder bag that you can wear across the body during a day or take out at night. It took me a while to find something to fill the gap. Missoni did the trick. Chanel 2.55 or Le Boy 2.55, in particular, would be a dream come true (not happening any time soon, though).
For those loving a touch of minimalism, Celine (and who wouldn’t think Celine), Chloe (Louise or Jade) or Victoria Beckham are brilliant choices for any leather strap styles.
If your lifestyle require your presence at frequent fancy events, then I’d definitely suggest a separate box clutch (McQueen, Bottega Veneta or DvF) for those occasions.
And, of course, a raffia tote or basket for those summer walks through a sun-kissed town to the beach for years to come. Even if you think you don’t need one, there will be time when that very bag will seem like the most obvious and best choice to finish an outfit and carry your daily essentials around. In style. I often think that a good straw bag is not only great in its own rights, but can easily replace any white leather bag that we often see as a summer essential. I have the white leather, but now I wish I had the raffia instead.
Here we have it. Five essential bags (shopper, tote, clutch, shoulder bag, raffia/straw tote). Plus an indulgent item. Because no matter how practical we are trying to be, the fashion is about a little fan, too. And my recent find, the bag that inspired this entire post, is going to be that element of fan for me. Should I choose to buy it, I will certainly introduce you to each other. Promise.
As a P.S. I would like to add that buying a very expensive designer bag isn’t essential in order to be stylish. Use examples above, but look around. High street, especially Mango, Karen Millen (check their clutches and shoulder bags – AMAZING!), Reiss and Whistles produce amazing collections each season, while Monnier Freres offers a few stylish, but affordable designs by some of the “it” names including Phillip Lim, Sonia Rykiel, Furla, Vanessa Bruno, Marc by Marc Jacobs, DvF, Jil Sander, Michael by Michael Kors and more.
Photo source: Marie Claire Russia April 2011