Monday, September 20, 2010

The Handbag Guide

(Obviously I am a little excited about my bag)
Bebe moto jacket, American Apparel tights, Aldo shoes, Gucci handbag

A girls guide to the perfect handbag.

So, I mentioned in one of my first posts that the most important accessory a woman can have out of her top 5 staple pieces is her handbag, and I'd like to elaborate on my favorite wardrobe item.  The handbag is the head of the staple group - and is the one piece of your wardrobe I'd advise to not skimp on one bit.  Handbags these days can be ridiculously pricey, and there is a lot to consider when going through the handbag selection process.  We all can't have 5 or 10 designer handbags to suit our every mood, so for every Lady out there who only can have one, here are some helpful tips to make sure The One you choose is the best fit for you-because lets face it, if you're going to spend a lot of cash better fit you well.

The biggest piece of advice I have for purchasing your Daily Default handbag is to envision yourself wearing this thing on a day to day basis, and imagine what it will be like to carry that one piece with you at all times.

One of the most common mistakes I notice women tend to make when buying a handbag is becoming enchanted with a beautiful bag in the store, picking it just based on how it looks on that perfectly lit pedestal, only to have it looking beaten to shreds after six months of wear.  Yes, there are some ridiculously gorgeous bags out there with mink-lined shoulder straps, the softest cream suede you've ever seen, luxe soft velvet or the prettiest metallic snakeskin trim you've come across.  HOWEVER: think about how that bag is going to age.  These bags are meant to be worn occasionally, and do not fit in the Daily Default category.  Also, you have to consider your personal that bag really going to go well with your everyday look?

When you wear a bag every day, it has to be sturdy and able to stand up to a lot of wear and tear.  Maybe that gorgeous lambskin cream colored Gucci isn't the best choice because after 3 months of wearing it, it is going to look like you dragged it through the gutter.  For this reason, I'm a big fan of patent leather.  I have two patent leather bags, and I've got to tell you that they stand up to basically anything.  Patent leather in colors like cream, nude, taupe and grey work for day and night, and are great Daily Default choices.  In addition, please note that metallic bags never have a long shelf life - the metallic always ends up coming off... better for nighttime clutches that are used sparingly.

Another thing to consider is how you feel comfortable holding it.  Are you the type to throw it over your shoulder?  Can you tolerate toting a bag around on your forearm all the time or will that get annoying?  Think about the daily mechanics of wearing the bag and what you are going to be irritated by.  Also, lots of bags that have outside lock/clasp hardware (such as this one: can become a pain in the ass to close each and every time you open it.  This would be a good example of a nice bag to have to wear on occasion, but not every single day unless you're ready to regularly "maintain" your bag.  Also, think about constantly opening and closing a zipper all the time as well.  That gets annoying...I'm the worst with that. My bags are always open and hanging all out because of this!

Last but not least, the style of your bag. Since you're wearing it every day, try to pick a bag that is tasteful, somewhat subdued but still fierce.  A big pet peeve of mine is all-over studded bags during the daytime.  And rhinestones are usually a NO, for day or night.  Also, think about how big your bag needs to be.  If you are a more petite girl, a big bag is not going to be the right fit, and will accentuate your shorter height.  Taller women tend to carry larger bags well, but a tiny bag would look silly.  And lastly, the color of your bag should accentuate the colors you like to wear most.  Black is always the safest bet, but nude is another out-of-the-box choice that goes well with mostly everything. As for patterns...I say stay away.  Even with label monograms (like the LV print) it can be cheesy.  If you're going to do it, go for more low key patterns, like black on black Gucci G print, or a stamped LV print, not the traditional brown LV print.  It has begun to look cheap and not classic like it used to be ever since the abundance of fake designer print bags has skyrocketed.

Here are some examples of what I have just discussed.

It's nice to have a versatile bag that can go two ways with a shoulder strap and tote handles as well, such as this gorgeous Alexander Wang:

For a more fierce, business woman look this would be a good choice (Gucci):

For the super low key, casual girl a style like this would be good since it doesn't have a zipper or clasp (Prada):

or this bag (Alexander Wang):

This is a good example of a subtle monogram print bag that doesn't overdo it (Louis Vuitton):

This would be a good example of a gorgeous bag that is not going to age well (Tory Burch suede bag):

This is a nice example of a different take on your usual Daily Default (Linea Pelle):

 Happy hunting ladies!

xo, Viva

Oh, and one more thing.  Jean is NEVER tolerated for handbags. Ever. :-)  

This is heinous.  Just because it's designer, doesn't make it right!


  1. Both of the Alexander Wang bags are studded on the bottom! I almost got the first one....I love that duffel.

  2. i bought a ridiculously expensive purse from europe about 3 years ago and i was not aware that it was the exact same design as the louis vuitton handbag u have up there. although the colors are different, lime green, with dark brown n silver, the handles, the strap on the outside, everything looks the same. im still in love with it n use it all the time.
    but i purchased my first louis vuitton handbag in miami a few months ago the artsy MM, i thought the handle was going to be too small for me, but i loved it so much i had to buy it. i use it everyday, im absolutly in love with it, it fits everything! and the handle is just perfect for me, i can carry it on my shoulder, and my forearm without it hangin down too low. its perfect. i reccomend everyone should buy at least one louis vuitton bag in their life.

  3. Can we come to a conclusion that anything that has LV LV LV LV all over it is just not cute! I agree jean purses are just ghetto, I remember when LV came out with them, and I admit that I bought one, big mistake! I think I wore it 2 times. I'm just really over LV all together, they have rude customer service (sales people) and the look is just so overplayed all together. Sorry Ladies I just wanted to vent! I love the Linea bag (addint to x-mas list). I know that a lot of people think the more a purse costs the better it is, I however have found the cutest purse by Coach! It is new from the Kristin collection. Vievie, do a post about Clutch's please I'm looking for one!