A number of friends and peers have told me that purchasing a handbag causes them a lot of anxiety. Sounds crazy, I know! But it's often a relatively big-ticket item and there are so many choices. One pal confided that the process of selecting a bag feels like trying to tune in on a secret language that she doesn't understand. That made me sad. Shopping for clothes and accessories should be a treat, not a burden.
My response to my friend was to stop worrying about tracking down the latest "it bag" (I have come to hate that phrase!) and to invest in a subtle, well-made shoulder bag, satchel or cross-body style in a neutral color. Avoid big logos, identifiable- or fancy-hardware, if you want it to go the distance. Obviously, an Hermès Birkin bag or a Chanel 2.55 shoulder bag are classics, but few women can shell out that much on a single purchase.
Choosing an investment bag is a little like choosing a husband. You may be overwhelmingly attracted to the most gorgeous, flamboyant one -- but so will a lot of other women -- and that kind of passion tends to cool off quickly.
Give some serious thought to how you live your daily life. A structured shoulder bag or top-handle satchel is a solid option if you work in an office and dress in a classic manner. If your style is more casual, a saddle bag, a bucket- or cross-body shape may better meet your needs. Just make sure that whatever you choose is big enough to hold all your essentials: phone, wallet, glasses, makeup kit, etc. If you travel light, a little cross-body style may do it; If you schlep a lot of stuff -- a laptop, an extra pair of shoes, an umbrella, a Kindle -- on a daily basis, a large tote should be your next purchase after this one.
Black is a safe choice but don't rule out gray, tobacco, beige, navy, wine or olive. These muted shades complement a wide range of clothing colors and can add a little visual interest. Don't worry about matching your shoe color to your bag -- that "rule" has long been broken.
The most successful marriages are a compromise -- between ardor and common sense. You don't want to leap at the first exciting offer, nor do you want to settle for a mundane existence. Browse the bags we have selected at Apprécier and see which one is worthy of your hand (or shoulder!):