Confession: I’m a certified handbag addict. Even though I am fully aware that I own way more purses than any one woman could rationally require, I still lust after new handbags and always adore the first-time feeling of placing my wallet, phone and daily essentials into the crisp lining of a new one. However, after years of collecting I have learned a few things. Namely, you don’t need to rush out and buy the latest “it” bag to look stylishly accessorized. By sticking to a few core colours and styles, you can build a hip and practical handbag collection slowly, over time. If you’re looking to expand your handbag wardrobe, here are a few timeless pieces that will keep you looking stylish for years to come.
1. Classic black handbag
Although I try and add a different style and colour of bag into my wardrobe every year, I always find myself gravitating to the most basic, classic styles. No wardrobe should be without a stylish black purse. Choose a sophisticated look, like this MICHAEL Michael Kors black bag with a chain strap detail (available at Net-a-porter), perfect for a job interview or a day shopping with friends.
2. Neutral-coloured bag
Once you secure a Classic, invest in a neutral-coloured handbag (in a colour other than black). If your black handbag is quite structured, look for a more relaxed, “hobo”-style bag, like this brown pebbled leather bag by Tory Burch (available at Saks Fifth Avenue) that includes a detachable strap for extra versatility.
3. Coloured handbag
With the basics covered, add some pop to your wardrobe. Get a fun purse in a bold colour like yellow, turquoise, kelly green or hot pink. This playful pink satchel by Proenza Schouler (available at Forward) is fun and flirty but also practical, making it the perfect bag for toting around on the weekends or any time you’re in the mood for some colour.
4. Cross-body purse
Ideal for travelling or those busy days when you just want to have your hands free and all of your essentials right at your fingertips, a cross-body bag is a great investment. Choose a neutral colour or go bold with a chic chain strap bag, like this one by Rebecca Minkoff (available at Endless) that also doubles as a trendy evening bag.
5. Chic clutch
Sometimes less is more. That’s why everyone needs at least one stylish clutch that they can grab for nights out on the town or quick jaunts to the store. Try an ultra-glam (but surprisingly versatile) metallic style like this Marc by Marc Jacobs clutch (available at Seasons), or go for basic black. If you’re looking to stay on-budget, check out your local vintage store. From my experience, most vintage stores carry a great selection of clutches for a fraction of what you’d pay for something similar at a department store or boutique.
6. Stylish tote
Last but certainly not least, no bag wardrobe is complete without an all purpose stylish tote that can double in a pinch as a carry-on, gym bag, beach bag or laptop bag. Go for a solid colour, or stand out from the crowd with a whimsical printed tote, like this Mary Karantzou design by Longchamp (available at Bloomingdales).
What are your favourite handbag labels and styles?
Simone Paget is a freelance writer and the author of Skinny Dip, a cheeky blog about love, sex, relationships and everything in between. When she’s not writing her heart out, she loves wandering around her city, large cup of coffee in hand, in search of the next great story.