Practical or Posh? Colorblock Handbags


I am seriously into purses (and shoes)—you could almost call it an addiction.  Sprawled on the couch with my laptop, chances are good that I’m browser-window shopping for handbags.  What started as a minor obsession to find a Marc Jacobs STAM bag, back in 2005, has become a weekly, if not daily, obsession to find the perfect handbag.

My handbag habit falls short of requiring an intervention because, not only am I not in Oprah’s tax bracket, I follow some self-imposed rules: 1) I only invest in quality. Yes, “invest” because certain handbags can appreciate over time like securities; 2) A quality purse must be well-crafted from high-quality leather (or other material), must be versatile, and must have staying power–meaning, its not going to be out of style next season; 3) I must find a deal – either a significant discount (at least 50%) off the original or a more modestly priced bag that embodies aspects of the upscale designer brand.

My quest for handbag perfection starts with scouting luxury and upscale department store websites to learn about the newest styles and designers.  When I find my next obsession, I then scour high-end consignment shops and eBay looking for that bag, or its look-alike that meets my rules.

I recently came across The Row’s yellow Lizard shoulder bag and I love their use of gold lizard on the front flap, which creates subtle color blocking in an otherwise neutral handbag. The simple gold accent near the closure adds to the elegance and simplicity making this a true classic.  Since its price tag is out of my reach, this Marc by Marc Jacobs version is a much more affordable way to showcase the color-blocking trend with a similar yellowy-gold front, a neutral flap, and just enough gold hardware accents to add some shine.

Both bags offer the versatility of a cross-body adjustable strap, which is perfect for traveling or running around town. For those who are color-averse in their handbags, the neutral leather on the rest of the bag off-sets the bright pop of canary yellow and helps either choice blend into any summer wardrobe.

Stacey Freeman: I am a Style Maven, Mommy, Educator, and Traveler.

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