I'm an avid follower of your blog, and I loved your post How To Shop For A Purse You'll Love! I'm looking to buy a bag that's suitable for spring/summer, so I was wondering if you have any suggestions on styles/colours/materials that would be suitable for the upcoming seasons. I only own 3 black handbags & 1 off-white one, so it'd be nice to have something in a different colour for once, but perhaps something that's versatile enough to use during other seasons. I also can't really afford designer bags, especially if it's for something I might only use for a few months per year. Maybe you could do a blog post on this if you have the time? If not, a simple suggestion would also be appreciated. :)
Thanks a lot!
Handbags are one of those subjects that set my heart aflutter, so of course I was thrilled to oblige Fiona with a blog post! Although they're one of the pricier accessories purchases you can make, it is possible to buy a quality bag that lasts beyond this season for under $200. I still stand by the tips I gave in this post on how to pick out a handbag you'll love, but here are a couple of other things to keep in mind while shopping for a spring/summer handbag. Enjoy!
1. Consider materials other than leather. Leather is a classic handbag choice for good reason: it's durable yet supple, comes in a variety of finishes and colours, and looks better with age. But the downside of leather is that sometimes it can give off a heavy wintery vibe. Lighten up by considering alternative options such as canvas, nylon, and textiles. I'm particularly partial to coated textiles because they're easy to maintain and clean and come in a variety of patterns. Lately I've been drawn to the "surprisingly affordable for a brand name" coated nylon and leather Longchamp 'Le Pliage' tote ($153.30 Cdn). I've met a few happy Longchamp tote owners who attest to its indestructible nature.
2. Consider where and how you'll be using this bag. You should ask yourself how you envision using this bag before you go shopping. Is it going to be for patio parties and late-night movies? Accompanying you to Sunday brunch in the sunshine? Tossed around on a sandy beach? A roomy carry-all you can tote to work with you? The more likely your bag is to encounter dirty situations (like the beach) or take a beating from your daily routine, the less you should spend on it. That doesn't mean you have to settle for a bag that will fall apart in a few months, though. This linen blend tote ($39.50 US) from the Gap is a cute affordable option for carrying loads of work files or for beach time.
3. Consider colour. If you want a colourful accent bag as a fun alternative to the black bags you own, do a mental run-through of your wardrobe first, particularly the coats, jackets, and sweaters you own. Mostly monochromatic wardrobes with lots of gray, beige, white, black, and denim blue might benefit from a bag in a bright yellow, coral, or electric blue hue. Meanwhile, extremely colourful wardrobes may fare better with alterna-neutral bags in gray, cognac, navy blue, burgundy, brown, or blush pink.
Kate Spade 'Darien Jan' crossbody bag ($137.33 Cdn)
4. Consider vintage. It requires some effort on your part, but great deals can be found in local vintage and consignment shops. Alternatively, you could try scouring Etsy for vintage bargains with classic silhouettes, colours, and styles. While researching this post, I found this $50 vintage Coach saddle bag on Etsy which would make many a modern hipster turn green with envy. (Sadly it sold out the last time I checked--you really need to act fast on these!)
5. Consider trends. Finally, have FUN with your handbag purchase! Sometimes it's good to just go with a style you instinctively love instead of a safe and reliable classic. This season, hot handbag trends include:
- crossbody silhouette
- stud detailing
- chain straps
- blush pink and beige leathers and hues
Aldo 'Puyear' bag ($42)
Fiona, I hope you found this post helpful! To my other readers, are you contemplating a handbag purchase this season? What are you looking for? Any tips or suggestions you'd like to share?