Monday, March 18, 2013

The Handbag Search

For several weeks I have been searching for a light neutral handbag for summer such as the style I carried in this outfit photo from Sunday.

I was coming to the conclusion that I might have to pay up to $150 to find a style I liked, when my sister told me to check out the bags at Tuesday Morning. (Really?)

I found the one above by Nine West and another faux alligator skin shown below for about $20 EACH at Tuesday Morning. Thanks Sis!

I also found a lovely woven bamboo texture and cream faux leather combination one earlier in the week for about $35 at Stein Mart

The lighter colors and more delicate fabrications of summer bags means they might not last for more than one season of use. When I know the item I am purchasing is not going to be a long term addition to my wardrobe I cannot justify spending a lot of money for it.

These clutch bags were purchased last year at T.J.Maxx. If I am going out to dinner or to brunch I don't carry a larger daytime bag. These clutches get less use so they last for much longer than one season. Timeless styles that will still work for me in the future are always good choices in clutches.

I store handbags on shelves in a rarely used guest room closet stuffed with tissue and in dust covers if the bags come with them. 

This is another Nine West bag I purchased last year. Each time I carry this bag I use neutral shoe polish to clean and protect it. I like to wear this style of bag with platform sandals and Capri pants. That's an outfit I wear often in the heat of summer instead of shorts (never!). This is a youthful style which balances well with that look. It also can be carried on the arm or on the shoulder.

Your handbag can pull together your look and add that extra touch of elegance that also serves a purpose. A handbag can also make you look silly or sloppy. 

Consider scale and balance when shopping for a bag. For example, if you are six feet tall and weigh a few pounds more than you know you should, a small top handle bag will not be a good balance for your silhouette. Instead look for a larger bag that you carry on your arm or your shoulder if you prefer that type.

If money were no object, I might purchase this bag. (I don't think everything in my wardrobe added together would equal the price of this bag.) This is the Cognac RL Gold Spectator 40 Calfskin Tote by Ralph Lauren. It is $5,030!

You can see how the style, shape and color influenced my choice of bags in the first three images. I often look at the high end designer styles that appeal to me and then I go searching for the version that matches my budget.

I hope that these tips help you to find the right summer bags for you. 

Have a wonderful week!


Donna said...

Excellent post on handbag selection! I have adored purses since I was just a little tow-headed girl. You made some good selections and who knew you could buy nice handbags at Tuesday Morning! Please give my thanks to your sis! I love the fact that these bags are not mucked up with wall-to-wall logos.

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

Isn't that Ralph Lauren bag gorgeous..but not my world. My BFF, Gigi, has purchased many purses at Tuesday Morning and they are top designer brands. Her most recent is Michael Kors. I am a handbag freak..I have to keep myself in check and I love to find amazing handbags in consignment shops. Your selection here is your clutches!

Jill said...

Great selection of bags! And the Ralph Lauren is so great, I am slightly more partial to his Ricky bag (named after his wife) but it also has a hefty price tag. I wonder if Adrienne and I can use that great first picture of you for our post next month on handbags? You look divine! XO, Jill

Susan said...

Thanks Jill. I do love that Ricky bag too! You certainly may use the first picture.

Lori Draper said...

Susan! These bags are lovely! Thanks for the tips!

Linda Waldon said...

Thanks for the Tuesday Morning tip! I will check it out. The other place I buy my bags is consignment clothing stores -- they're like new, but the prices are not. It's the only way I'm going to buy a Dooney & Bourke or Ralph Lauren!

Cate said...

I'll definitely check out Tuesday Morning and I also like Linda of True Colors idea of consignment store shopping, especially the "high end" stores.

Irene Helms Designs said...

I also like the pricey Ralph Lauren but of course would never actually buy it. All the others are great - I particularly like the bamboo texture one from Stein Mart.

Myrina said...

thank you for showing us your great bag collection. I find reasonable to pay a little more for a good bag, it is the first look on us,women .
neutral shoe polish, thank you for this tip !

Unknown said...

Oh, but you have to admit that Ralphie bag is tres gorgeous!

Style4LessVegas said...

I never thought to look at Tuesday Morning for a purse! I will go have to go check it out!
You are one stylish, beautiful women!