Luxury HandbagsFirst it was how small can you get. Finding a way to tote your lip-gloss, ID and mad money all in one tiny clutch would have impressed Houdini. Cell phones and clothes got smaller (any 00s out there?) then ? they got bigger. Blackberries, Sidekicks, billowing blouses. It?s like a perpetual roller coaster of consumer goods.
Now, the hottest trend in handbags is ?the bigger the better.? Maybe it?s all those big gadgets we need to carry with us. Whatever the reason, big handbags are the ?it? item this fall and winter. Oversized totes, hobo bags and Jackie O bucket and shoulder bags provide enough choices to accommodate business, casual and a night on the town.
?The hottest handbags for fall are big, bigger, biggest,? said Susan Sommer, former fashion editor turned fashion and business etiquette coach and founder of Dresszing, a wardrobing and visual communications company. ?Think oversized. Get to your essentials?wallet, keys, phone, compact and lip-gloss?quickly by putting them in a small zippered case tucked inside.?
Mary Jo Matsumoto, whose bags have appeared on the arm of A-list stars, chimed in on the big bag phenomenon. ?One of the biggest upcoming trends for fall bags is big, roomy, and black sack-like bags like the ones that Chanel put out this season. Also, oversized doctor's bags are a trend as seen in the Marc Jacobs collection for Louis Vuitton.?
Oversized bags are great for shopping sprees and day trips, plus they pull double duty as a workbag.
?There are many women in the work force who want to have a bag that will fit everything from their wallet and make-up case, to magazines or even a lap top,? said handbag designer Rebecca Ciccio (www.rebeccaciccio.com). ?However, make sure the bag is not too big and overly trendy.?
Black is Back
Wondering what color handbag to get? This season the color palette is subdued but classy. Black is back in a big way this fall, and not just for accessories. The popularity of black is great news for women with busy schedules?even if your PDA is packed with spa appointments and trips to the mall. One drawback to wearing black is standing out in a crowd if everyone else is also wearing black. This is where textures, fabrics and accessories play an important role.
So many people are now wearing black so much of the time that it's more difficult to stand out among a sea of similarly-clad people at a social event or even at work,? said Image Consultant Dianne Daniels. ?Wearing a color that flatters your skin and hair tones in monochromatic fashion and then emphasizing details with ornamentation or by adding a different texture or print to the outfit, will have a much greater effect than simply falling back to basic black.?
Break up the monotony of an all-black ensemble with a pair of moc-croc or patent leather platform or peeped-toe pumps. It may have been a faux pas in the past but fashion gurus have changed their stance?mixing and matching blacks is not only okay now, it?s encouraged. ?Mixing different types of blacks is the new way to go,? Yuchin Mao of Three Dots www.threedots.net). ?By mixing different textures in shades of black, playing with proportion and mixing solid with patterns (i.e., Herringbone). Dress it up by keeping it one tone and simple, dress it down by mixing and ?not so matching?.?
A bag for every occasion
Starting from scratch? Not sure where to start? Sounds like you need some advice on building a bag wardrobe (yes, there is such a thing). Take some cues from handbag aficionado Dianne M. Daniels, a certified member of the Association of Image Consultants International, has some advice of her own for building a handbag wardrobe.
* For work - choose a handbag that is no wider than your hips to keep it in proportion with the rest of your body. Nothing too big, keep the ornamentation to a minimum. Depending on your profession and your color choices, you may be able to limit initial purchases to three or four handbags.
* For play - look to more casual fabrics including canvas and fabric. Slightly more ornamentation is acceptable on a more casual bag, including fun things like studs and charms.
* For dates - take a bag that isn't too big, but still carries the essentials - house keys, identification and enough money to get you home in a cab if things go badly and you are not driving. You should also carry a credit card for unforeseen emergencies, plus a pen and paper for any notes you need to take.
* For the theatre - usually a dressier occasion, this is where a velvet clutch or a beaded bag could be handy. Normally small in size, these will also carry just the essentials, but should also have room for a cell phone (which you turn off before entering the theatre).
Luxe Handbag Favorites
J.J. Winters - Suede Camel Bag ($240). This bag is fun and casual?yet big enough to hold all of your essentials and then some. This very bag has been seen in InStyle, Lucky and Us Weekly.
Tammy Lyn Hobo bag ($398). Aka Angenelina?s favorite bag. This leather fringed hobo bag is perfect for everyday use. Shoulder strap has Swarovski crystals, which gives a trendy elegance. As seen on Mrs. Pitt Number 2.
Madison Braid by Rebecca Ciccio ($495). Big enough to fit this season?s call for roomy bags, and made out of suede, offering depth to this season?s favorite hue: black.
Large Cleopatra in Olive ($396). Cleopatra was the ultimate seductress, and while we can?t promise you an empire, you?ll definitely have room for everything a busy girl needs and still look sleek and pulled together with this bag by Aaneta.