Now that designer handbag prices have really hit the stratosphere, it’s worth investigating mid-range options if you want to buy more than one or update each season. And let’s face it, one bag cannot possibly cover every aspect of your life: work, family, socialising, travel. Whatever you choose, make sure you always buy real leather or suede – it will look better, last much longer and keep its shape.
I’m a great believer in investing in classic pieces that stand the test of time. If you’re after an elegant and sleek look for the office, for example, choose a bag that reflects this; keep bling and logos to a minimum and choose a smart, structured shape.
Think carefully when choosing your ‘everyday’ bag, and take into account your working lifestyle, commute and the dominant palette in your wardrobe (including your coats). Make sure you also choose something that works with your proportions; huge bags can swamp petite women, for example. And if you commute by bus, train, bike or underground, you will want to consider the weight of your bag and how far you have to walk.
Building your bag wardrobe takes time (hence it’s better to invest in a classic first) but you should aim to include the following:
- Tote: a roomy option for work, with space for your laptop and other paraphernalia. Choose one both top-handles and a longer shoulder strap, and make sure you check the weight when you buy. If it’s heavy when it’s empty, imagine what it will be like when full!
- Bucket: fashionable for the past couple of seasons, the bucket shape is more casual (and more fun). This season, fringing adds interesting texture, tapping into the bohemian vibe that is so big at the moment
- Clutch: if you’re a minimalist, this is the bag for you. The trick (as with the men’s folio) is not to overstuff it. They’re best carried on a night out, when all you need is your card, keys and lipstick
- Crossbody: very fashionable this autumn/winter, and getting smaller in size. These are fine to carry for work if you’ve got your bulky essentials in another bag. This year, a chain link strap is essential
It’s always fun to play with colour and texture when choosing your accessories, and handbags are no exception. Claret, suede and fringing are all huge trends this autumn/winter, and will add a bit of interest to your look. I am personally coveting this little number from Russell & Bromley (more affordable than its Stella McCartney counterpart…) Whatever you choose, enjoy !