As the resident handbag pundit, I a delighted to be posting about something so near and dear to my heart: the handbag! As with all closet staples, I am referring to the handbag that lasts you YEARS and doesn’t go out of fashion. I am aware that some people like to buy quite a few and switch them around, which is fine, but not for this post.
Your handbag says a great deal about you. (Or your lack of one.) I have had friends, one in particular who said to me last week “look! I finally got a big girl purse.” Why yes, yes you did. I must note it was gorgeous. I’m not saying that everyone needs the exact same one, but let me provide some guidelines for you.
1. It must be made with real leather or a quality vegan alternative. Sorry ladies, but the bags at Target, Francesca’s, etc are not quality. They may look cute, but they won’t last. The craftsmanship is not there. Also, go for a basic and timeless design. Nothing too trendy (not zippers, bows, etc.)
2. Dark or neutral color. The staple handbag isn’t trendy. If this is your go-to bag, it needs to be black, navy, brown or nude. I’m not saying don’t grab a fun color (I always have a bright bag) but once again, if this is your ONLY handbag, you need a darker color.
3. There is nothing wrong with a colored bag, and if you can afford more than one lovely handbag, I absolutely ADORE a pop of color. My current handbag always adds a little color to any outfit. I typically go for green, navy and the past two have been coral because the color is so hot right now!
4. Buy as big as you need. If you don’t carry a lot of stuff with you, don’t get a massive bag! Get a smaller one that suits your life. I have to have a larger bag because, to quote the spouse, “those other ones won’t hold all of your crap!” If you get a bigger purse please look into a purse organizer so you’re not the lady digging in your tote bag at checkout making everyone want to throw things at you.
5. In order to get quality without the hefty price, I often suggest consignment stores, ebay, or even higher end thrift stores. A good handbag is made to stand the test of time. A gently used version of your favorite bag is the easiest way to step up without blowing the bank. A word of caution on the internet with handbags: there are a LOT of knock offs that are illegal and of terrible quality, so just because you see a gorgeous handbag for the low low price of whatever, doesn’t mean it’s a deal. It means it’s fake. Go with someone that has a good track record and positive reviews.
On that note, if you EVER see this bag in a consignment/thrift store:
BUY IT! It’s a Hermès Birkin bag, and it is the magical unicorn of all fashion high end bags. Urban myths are told about finding these occasionally in a consignment store. They are IMPOSSIBLE to get and start (yes I said start) at $10,000 new.
Let us know what bag is your closet staple, and where you found it!