May 23, 2011

Summer Fashion: Bags! Bags! Bags!

This week my afternoon post is going to be fashion related.  I've made a substantial number of my summer clothing purchases over the last couple weeks, which makes me glad because shopping in a not very shopping friendly city without a car is hard hard work.  But there are a few things I am still looking for.  #1: bags.  And, goodness, I found a beautiful beautiful rose colored woven leather tote at Marshalls yesterday and, like an idiot, convinced myself I needed a new quilt more than a new bag.  (When in fact, I need them about the same. They've both been on my list for ages and ages.)  So I bought the quilt, and put aside the honestly perfect bag.  Tragic!

In a summer bag I look for a few things: 1) lightweight natural materials--because there is nothing worse than carrying around a heavy sticky bag in the summer humidity. 2) roomy but not cavernous--I am likely to be out in the evenings in the summertime because there are movie nights and bbqs to attend and bocce games to be played, and it is finally pleasant out, so I usually need to pack at least a scarf and a pair of flip flops, plus something to keep me dry during summer storms. 3) Summery feel without being kitschy--when I was in Florida I carried a straw bag everywhere, year round, and loved it.  In Washington, I need something a little more professional.  4) I like the tote shape best of all, because there is plenty of room, but it can be held close to the body, and doesn't endanger your fellow commuters.

Well, here are a few totes I am looking at:

Have I talked about Fabric+Handle yet? I can't remember.  Well, they make these awesome lined totes, with adjustable leather straps (see the grommets in the bag--you can make a much shorter handle that way).  The straps are leather, and come in thin or wide, black or tan.  And they are lined fully in canvas, so they are sturdy!  I think this is my favorite--a bold but not over the top patterns, and in some of my favorite colors.  But I love the red linen stripe one too.  Oh! The options! Fabric and Handle ($39) (Like them on FB and get 10% off.)

This canvas bag can be spot cleaned easily, and has leather straps, which will wear well, and be sturdy. The sequins and straw trim are fun without being over-the-top. Anthropologie ($59)
I am obsessed with olive green.  This bag seems perfect to me--horizontal pleating is so unexpected--and it comes with a cross should strap, too.  The leather base ensures your valuables are protected in a commuter's hustle.  From Etsy shop Quote ($88)
This "upcycled" tote has a huge exterior pocket (on the other side).  The grey and mustard yellow are so chic right now. Myrna would love this, methinks.  From Etsy shop Christinas ($49)
Blogger and jeweler Jess Constable has recently introduced these canvas and leather totes.  They are a little pricier than I'd wish, but so elegant and practical.  And navy is my summer neutral. Jess LC ($120)

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