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The Perfect Purse for The Fall

By Sasha Fastovskiy and Amanda Kiernan

The legend that is Coco Chanel once advised that the perfect outfit lies in the art of accessorizing; a woman must take one thing off before leaving the house. But with all due respect to the Chanel Goddess, today’s woman must be ready for all situations; therefore, anything we are coaxed into taking off, we throw into our purses ~ along with an identical copy of said item (in case of loss or damage) and its two cousins, Flashier Version and Casualer Version (in case of last minute venue changes). Pursuing purses is more than an absolute must these days; it’s a law that is to be respected and obeyed. It is an art that is to be expressed and valued. It is a child that is to be taken care of with love, devotion, and a bottomless bank account. The trends coming in this fall are as diverse as children themselves. Color, texture, size, and even environmentalism all compete for a spot to be the coveted hold-all on your arm. This time around, say, “Bag Lady” with pride.

Fall’s color palette allows for all tastes to indulge. Don’t be afraid to go bright and bold with a splash of color or to settle down with a warmer and richer color; deep purples, cognac, browns, reds, and greens abound. Primary colors are classic and clean, animal prints, metallic colors, black leather and hardware, or faux fur are more adventurous. While matching can be a good way to tie an outfit together, always take it with a grain of salt; being too matchy-matchy can make your slammin’ ensemble look tacky-tacky.

Whoever said size doesn’t matter has clearly never experienced a big…bag. Power purses ~ whether designer or discount ~ are the ultimate way of announcing, “I’ve arrived.” Big bags are not only convenient (Makeup? Check. Wallet? Check. Small dog with a propensity for Mexican food? Check.), they are also make-or-break-the-outfit worthy. When an outfit is as simple as jeans and a t-shirt, the bag becomes the center of “It’s hard to miss, isn’t it?” attention. These bags tend to be slightly softer and less patterned ~ leathery, solid colored, plush, or patent. Big bags range in shape too; hobos, totes, bucket bags, satchels, doctor’s bags, and bowling bags all offer different looks and sizes. If you lug your entire life with you (and what woman doesn’t?), then bag the perfect purse with an oversized beauty.

On the opposite side of the spectrum are the teensy clutches and wristlets. High-end designers are sending the petite pocketbooks out on the runways for everyday wear. And although this trend is just starting, ladies should begin sacrificing their must-needs now (the sooner we can make a break, the healthier it will be). The smaller clutches will be flashier; many will have envelope shapes, mirrored pockets, and hard-to-miss labels.

There are plenty of other eclectic trends that will definitely make a statement: chain handles, saddle bags, top-handle bags, crocodile embossed bags, and drawstring bags. Label-plates (small ~ but not too small! ~ gold-plated labels stamped on the outside of a bag with the designer name) are also an upcoming trend; what better statement is there than, “Mine is so much better than yours!”

Even green politics has a fashion say. Eco-friendly fashion ~ bags made with or entirely out of recycled wrappers, juice boxes, cotton, and recycled rubber ~ is budding all around, and purses are feeling the hippy repercussions. Do your fashion-friendly part to save the planet and sport a famed Anya Hindmarch “I’m Not a Plastic Bag.” Even knock-offs are selling like (vegan) hotcakes, which begs the question, “Are they called ‘Not a Not a Plastic Bag?’”

Bags scream more than just proper accessorizing; they tell tales of personality. Bags can speak of subtlety, ask for attention, and suggest an age (both yours and the bag’s itself). Today’s bags are for today’s woman who doesn’t have to carry the world on her shoulders. Instead, she can stash it in her satchel, right along with the diamond-encrusted umbrella, zero-calorie gum, the latest Pulse, and the entire works of one Candace Bushnell. As for the Chihuahua, get a leash. Amen, Coco.

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