Thursday, November 11, 2010

Handbags for Liz.

Darling Liz of a belle, a bean & a chicago dog, recently posted a request for help in finding a new handbag after years of carrying a diaper bag. Liz wants to bring sexy back! And I applaud anyone with children under the age of two who actually brushes her teeth daily.

Times with wee ones are hard. I remember the days. Days when I needed a backpack so I could still carry one twin on each hip. I didn't carry a handbag for years. Years! But then my duo started walking and using the potty properly and voila! As quickly as it all begins, it ends and you find yourself needing only a few extra crayons, tissues, band aids, notepads, books and perchance a random DSi or two. And so the handbag returns, albeit possibly larger then the pre-baby bag.

And let's be clear: we are discussing handbags, not purses. "Purse" is a verb and describes something you do with your lips { definition notwithstanding}. "Tote" is fine but generally refers to a utilitarian-type bag shaped somewhat like my reusable grocery bags. And "clutch" is appropriate if it is indeed clutched under your arm. Purse, however, is not a word a Southern lady uses to describe her handbag. "Handbag" is the the Coke of the bag world -- it applies to all shapes and sizes {and though I realize that translates better as Pop for  Yankees, I just can't bear to say it}. 

OK, back to the matter at hand: a new handbag Liz for Blissdom. Liz is a classic broad {albeit a Yankee by her own admission}. She is not a lady who should fall prey to the latest trends -- tassels and grommets and fringe. She needs a classic bag that will last for years and which can transition from outfit to outfit to outfit without looking out of place. A classic every day driver. The Suburban, or rather, let's think Mercedes SUV of handbags. 

Here are a few choices, in no particular order:
via Kate Spade

Kate Spade churns out classic styles every season. If you want a pop of color, she offers that as well.  You cannot go wrong with any of her line. I am particularly smitten with this 34th street printed treesh. It adds a little extra zing to every outfit. And the classic, lady-like shape balances the trendy print nicely. 

Leopard is a neutral these days and can truly be paired with anything {truly - I've had a leopard runner on my stairs for years and I swear it never gets old to me). 

And for those who still want their shoes to match their bag {though this is clearly an out-dated practice}, this bag will go nicely with black and brown. 

I love this bag and am officially adding it to my Christmas gift list {are you reading this hubs?}.

via Piperlime
The Beirn Jenna received a lot of hype preceding the release of the Sex and the City 2 movie. Every fashionista sat up and took notice of this utilitarian water snake line of bags. They are super lightweight {empty, of course} and virtually indestructible. 

I adore the snake skins and do think this golden number is quite a scene stealer! 

via Piperlime

Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Q Hillier is a classic bag by all accounts. It nods to the hobo influence of the times, but it's styling is simple, elegant, and yet, utilitarian as well. I love the optional shoulder strap and this cashew color is just different enough to make a statement without hitting anyone over the head. Absolute classic that would last for years and years and years. 
via Cole Haan
Cole Haan's Chelsea Small Print Denney Bag is only slightly edgier with it's grommet strung handles. It is still a classic shape updated with a neutral snake print. This is a year-round bag you could carry for three - five years without fail. 

via Tory Burch
No list would be complete without a Burch bag. I am not a HUGE logo fan. I tend towards discreet logos such as that gracing the Dena Hobo from Tory's line. This gorgeous worn leather will only get better with time. It nearly has a vintage feel.

I can remember my mother carrying something quite similar
{though it was most likely made of Naugahyde, not sumptuous leather}.

via BlueFly
And just in case you have a Mercedes budget, I offer the scamosciato by Prada.  The suede, the bitty logo, the perfectly crafted handle -- it is all perfection! Yummy love. A girl can dream!

I hope this helps focus your efforts. We did not discuss budget constraints {which we all have, especially this time of year}. I will say, however, that if you own one single handbag, make it a good one. You will feel good when you carry it and it will last you for years!! You do indeed get what you pay for. That said, there are a variety of shopping sites which offer quality items at deep discounts. I would scour those daily if I were on the hunt. 

Best of luck to you in your search. Do not be overwhelmed or daunted by the choices. Hone in on the unadorned classics and you cannot go wrong. 

And a final thought: the prettiest lady in the room is not the one who is the skinniest or the best dressed or the most exquisitely manicured, but the one who is the most comfortable in her own skin. A welcoming smile on your pretty face is all your really need to carry you along! 

Dear readers, do you have any additional suggestions or advice in searching for the perfect bag?

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