Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sack Attack: A Strategy in Bag Selection

Fred Perry 
Considering your carryon is literally attached to your hip day in and out, its selection deserves a strategy. Man or woman, Ask yourself the following questions before you snag a bag. 

1. What do I wear? 
Consider your wardrobe and be conscious of it while selecting a bag. 
In the colder seasons, the most obvious item to examine is your coat. But first, let's start by dispelling common myths of clothing coordination: 

  • You CAN wear black with brown. A black leather jacket with a rick camel toned bag is a DO.
  • The goal is NOT to match your bag identically to your coat. In fact, it is far more stylish to pair a coat and bag with similar aesthetic properties but with characteristics that make them unique from one another.

Of course, the same principle applies to shoes. Ask yourself (), are you looking for a bag to go with your casual weekend KEDS, or the black leather oxfords you wear to work? You are likely wanting a bag to go with both! Well you should and you can! 

The Trick: An easy way to coordinate your bag, shoes, and coat is to select one of the three to be textured, one patterned, and one as a solid color, all in the same color scheme. 
An example of  The Trick : A warm toned green trench coat (Color) paired with a black and white polka dot tote (Pattern) with mostly black and white tweed pumps (Texture). 
A                B

List of Textures:List of Patterns: 
Basket/woven          Floral  
Tweeds                     Stripes
Plaids                        Abstract  
Leopard                    Polka Dots  
*Any combination of an item from list A with list B works! 
Note: Leopard is also considered a pattern.  
To bag it all up,  focus on complementing your shoes, coat and bag, which can generally be achieved my seeking a harmonious color scheme. But don't stress if they match well enough! Focus more on the quality of each item, with an awareness of any adverse clashing that may exist. Don't worry, you will know, trust yourself. In general, an effortless look made up of quality pieces is stylish, as are charming characteristics of each piece that make them unique from one another. 
2. What are my best options for versatility?
To get more wear out of your bag, opt for bags that are versatile, or match a greater variety of clothing. Some of the main options are:  

White/creme and black/brown combinations/prints

The black and creme in this bag is patterned together like a basket weave. Topshop $80

This bag has great stylish simplicity. Can be carried by the top handle or with shoulder strap. Urban Outfitters $59


A men's bag with great plaid accents. Strive for plaids that incorporate existing colors in your wardrobe. If you wear a winter scarf, look for its color as accents in the plaid. Found at Bloomingdales $255
 A pop of color 
If you tend to wear a lot of black, white, gray and neutrals, the pop of a brightly colored bag will elevate your look.  I love this bag's sturdy, structured shape. It's very Victoria Beckham. Aldo $45. 

 Black mixed with brown

If you are still unsure of your stance in the black/brown debate, opt for a bag that mixes both. Then you can't go wrong! Look for this combo in plaids and tweeds too!  H&M $49.95
Gray offers an alternative/refreshing color palette to any combination of clothing. Marc by Marc Jacobs $478, found at Bloomingdales 
Leopard print /camo print 

For the daring man and vivacious woman, leopard print is one of the easiest ways to guarantee your bag will match virtually anything you wear. For most men, the closest alternative to leopard print in camo print. If I were a guy, I think this Urban Outfitters item would carry me through my days off. Price undetermined. 

4. What will I need to be carrying? 
If you are anything like me, you want to have diversions while you sit on the train, or have cosmetics to use if you catch a free moment in front of a mirror. Needless to say, unless I am going out, I carry a larger sized bag so I feel equipped and prepared for the day. 
For the ladies, a small purse, ideally a clutch, is the desired bag of choice on a night out. Stacey London, stylist and host of What Not To Wear, recently offered a little trick at a recent Today Show appearance. She advised to carry a small clutch in your day bag, and at the end of the day before you go out, leave your large bag at the office. 

Whether you need day bag, work bag, or night bag, you must analyze your daily life, the characteristics of your wardrobe and your carrying needs. Ask yourself before reaching for that handle, if the bag itself can handle your lifestyle. 

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