Spring is my favorite season to shop for, especially since my birthday is in March so that means right about now have some extra birthday money burning a hole in my pocket.
First on the list is a new carry-all commuting tote that is lightweight and preferably handmade. Any new bag also needs to go well with my J. Crew army jacket from last season that I plan to wear (again) all spring.
I’ve been looking for an excuse to buy the Bookhou zip tote (#5) in the triangle pattern ever since I saw the small tote posted over at Door Sixteen. I love the simplicity of the black/white/leather combo, and the triangle pattern is so interesting to look at. The size looks just about right for my commute and nice long shoulder straps look like they will fit comfortably over the sleeve of every type of jacket. I am a little concerned with the fabric, since it looks rather stiff in the photos and I would prefer a softer bag. Also, while I like the black waxed canvas that lines the bottom I wish it was more weathered looking like the smaller Grey triangle tote bag. The Grey triangle tote seems more my style, but not sure if the bag is big enough to handle my daily commuting.
Update: And now there is a grey triangle bag!
Some other bags I’ve been looking at for Spring:
1. Everlane Classic Tote – Grey: Love the color and simple design, but worried the depth isn’t enough to carry all my daily essentials.
2. Longchamp Medium Tote: I love my large Longchamp so much I need a smaller one for the weekend.
3. Longchamp Medium Cosmetics Case: For all the extra stuff that always seems to be floating around the bottom of my bag
4. Park Slope Denim Tote: I still love my Queens Maptote, but time to update to my current nabe
5. Bookhou Zip Tote – Triangle
6. Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Compact Travel Cosmetic Pouch: Just because I love pink!
I’ve tried to steer clear of the return of 80′s fashions for the most part. (Acid washed jeans – no thanks! I remember them too well from the first go round!) But hot pink…this 80′s trend I can wear day after day.
I’ve been half joking recently that my new thing is to wear a boring outfit – but then add on a crazy accessory like a statement necklace, or in this case a bright, eye catching acid hot pink belt for instant pizazz. This belt is from H&M where I was originally looking for a leopard belt, but they didn’t have one in my size so I ended up with hot pink, and couldn’t be happier.
Oxford button down: Uniqlo – Men’s
Jeans: Siwy (purchased secondhand from Housing Works) Similar here
Belt: H&M (No longer on web site, but here is a good option)
Bag: Longchamp Le Pliage in graphite (blogged here)
Shoes: Minnatonka mocs (purchased used from Ebay)
Watch: Swiss army, Men’s watch with a couple links remove. (Similar here)
Jacket: Madewell (Old – but love this one)
Sunglasses: Marc by Marc Jacobs
This bag is a great example for me of “shopping your closet.” I purchased it about 2003 or 2004 at a Coach outlet while visiting my grandmother in South Carolina. At the time I spent what I considered a fortune on the bag, and when I brought it home I felt guilty about spending so much money on it. In addition, the bag couldn’t hold the (at the time) large camera that I carried around with me daily, so the bag was sadly folded away in the back of my closet where it stayed for the most part. Fast forward to this spring when I was sadly attending my grandmother’s funeral and this was the first bag I reached for since I had such warm memories of my many trips to visit her.
Ever since then this bag has been back in a frequent rotation. It is too small for a daily commuting bag, but PERFECT for a weekend bag. The best feature is the adjustable strap so I can wear it as an under the arm pocket-book, or extend the strap to wear as a cross body bag. Here is the lovely Michelle Williams carrying a very similar vintage-looking bag.
It doesn’t look like Coach is still making this bag, but here are two similar bags: Legacy Leather Large Duffle and Coach Classic Leather Duffle.
What bags do you find when you “shop your closet”?
We celebrated New Year’s Eve with a delicious meal at a local restaurant, cocktails, and then rang in midnight watching fireworks from our Brooklyn rooftop. In the sprit of keeping things easy and casual, I wanted my outfit to reflect the same.
Jacket: H&M tuxedo jacket
Top: Sequined sweatshirt. This is my go to fun top. I love that the sequins make it look fancy, but I feel like I am wearing a comfortable lounging sweatshirt. Mine is silence + noise from Urban Outfitters, but there are many options out there.
Jeans: Seven for All Mankind, The Skinny. From my local consignment store, $40
Shoes: Frye Allie Softy Pump, beautiful but 100% impractical. I could barely make the 4 blocks to the restaurant and back.
Bag: Thrifted bag from a Queens consignment store
Tinted Moisturizer: Clinique BB cream, I’m still on the fence about the BB creams, but this shade does match my skin well.
Mascara: Benefit They’re Real Mascara, I used to use this as my everyday mascara until I realized it made my lashes a little too over the top. Perfect though for special occasions when you want to look like you are wearing fake eyelashes – something I have never been able to master.
Lipstick: MAC Hot Tahiti, a vibrant pink/red, but still feels like a natural color.
Blush: NARS The Multiple Riviera, I really like this shade on me, but I would never overpay for “The Multiple” tube again since I never use it for eyes or lips. Next time I will stick to a blush only.
Eyeshadow: Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow in r.s.v.p, I got this free once from Sephora and I have loved it ever since and will happily pay for a new pot when this one is gone. A great sparkly shimmery champagne shade.
Cover up: Benefit Erase Paste, almost done with this pot and looking for a new cover up. Need one that lasts and lasts and lasts. Any suggestion?
Nail Polish: OPI Birthday Babe, I’ve had an obsession with silver nail polish that has gone on for about 10 years now. It never changes even if the trendy nail color is something totally different. This shade is easy to apply, dries quickly, and has just the right amount of frost.
Chapstick: Duane Reade generic brand. Don’t leave home without it!
My outfit from New Year’s Eve 2012
What did you wear for New Year’s Eve?
May fashion resolution for 2013? Embrace minimalism! Have fewer clothes that I love more.
And some fireworks!
I am on an eternal quest for a lightweight every day bag, and have a new find to share. Recently I ordered the Marc by Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Tate Tote in black to use on my daily commute, and I couldn’t be happier. It now has a spot in my permanent commuter bag rotation, right next to my Longchamp Le Pliage.
My commute to work takes about an hour each way and involves a crowded subway, a couple transfers and walking on either end. I learned pretty quickly that while leather bags are beautiful and long-lasting they are sadly much to heavy to carry back and forth from work every day. I need a giant bag that is both lightweight and can carry all my daily stuff, which is basically what suburban people would keep in the trunk of their cars.
I had seen this Marc by Marc Jacobs bag online a couple of times, but it wasn’t until I saw it in person that I realized the size and shape are perfect. The nylon is strong and sturdy, and so far is wearing very well. I went with basic black, but my second choice was the Quartz Grey which is a lovely mushroom-y taupe. The oversized letters are nice, but with black on black subtle enough to not feel like I am being ostentatious with loud logos.
The center of the bag has ample room to hold my leftover lunches, iPad, make up, wallet, water bottle, and all other larger items. The outside side pockets keep my subway pass and phones right up front for easy access. It also has two patch pockets and an inside zip pocket that I use for all my lip glosses and keys. I was worried that the straps would be too short to easily pull on my shoulder when wearing my winter puffy coat, but turns out they are just the right length. The best part is that I ordered through Piperlime and was able to apply all my Gap discounts and ended up getting about 25% off.
What is your favorite lightweight/commuting bag?
Here in NYC the wind and rain from Hurricane Sandy are starting to pick up, so I thought I would do a “What’s in my bag?” for my Go Bag that we keep on hand for emergencies. I used this list from the City of NYC to put it together. The important thing about your Go Bag is to make sure you have everything in one place, and you can grab the bag and go if you ever need to!
1. Multiple flashlights
5. Radio. I marked the local news stations on the dial with a sharpie.
6. First Aid Kit. We grabbed a generic one from CVS.
The bag is an old tote with some extra pockets that are great for stashing extra batteries and matches. I actually wrote about this tote back in 2004, and here it is again as my Go Bag.
What do you keep on hand for emergencies?
As soon as I could start to feel fall in the air this year I reached for my Foley + Corinna Mid City tote that I purchase second hand on Ebay about two years ago. The worn in coppery metallic color is perfect for an autumn day as the leaves change.
You know how I love my pockets, and this bag doesn’t disappoint. Two outside side pockets and two inside side pockets hold all my small items, leaving a ton of room in the main section. I don’t wear the bag cross body too much, but it is great to have the option if I’m shopping or temporarily doing something that I need both hands. With the long bag and high sides I feel like this bag is very secure while walking around the city and riding the subway.
This bag needs to be worn with a thin coat, since the top handles are so shallow, so I need to get in most of my use now before the puffy coat comes out for winter.
What bag do you reach for in the fall?
I picked up this vintage Coach bag on Ebay a couple years ago, even before the new Coach Classic bags were out. I love how simple and timeless this bag is, and how it works equally well with jeans and a professional outfit. I’ve used the bag with a dress for the evening (held onto the top handle) and thrown on cross body along with jeans and a flannel. The latter is probably my favorite look, I love a structured boxy bag with a casual outfit. A bag like this can make a sloppy outfit look put together for my morning coffee run.
I’m on a hunt for my next vintage Coach, which I am hoping will be a large duffle bag in a broken in tan leather (similar new bag here).
So what to do when the man in your life decides to make a mid career change from attorney to high school history teacher? My reaction (of course) was to start researching the perfect bag for the new career, since the leather Kenneth Cole bag (similar) I got him for his old career seemed a little too formal and heavy. I was on the hunt for something more casual. A durable light weight canvas messenger bag, preferably with a hunting/preppy twist.
My favorite was the LL Bean Sea-Washed Canvas Messenger Bag in olive. I liked the idea of “sea-washed” right off the bat, even though honestly I have no idea what that means. The zippered pocket on the front would be perfect for a subway pass, a side pocket for phone, and and organized interior for notebooks and school supplies.
His favorite (and the one we will be ordering) is the JCrew Abingdon Laptop Bag in slate grey. Size is good and handles at the top so it can be carried both ways. I like the black leather contrasted with the grey waxed canvas. The canvas makes this bag casual, but the briefcase-like shape keeps it crisp and structured.
Here are some other ideas I can up with on Pinterest when brainstorming bags for men. What are your favorite men’s bags? Any other brands I should be checking out?
I’ve been long overdue in writing a post about this fabulous bag I got about a year ago from Madewell from Quality Mending Co. I had seen this bag at the Madewell store on Fifth Avenue a few times but at $68 I couldn’t justify the splurge.
After a few more weeks I peeked in the store again and the bowling ball bag had been marked down (around $20-30 though I forget the exact price) and there was one left in stock, which I grabbed right away and headed over to the check out line.
This bag is perfect for a casual evening out. I usually grab it when we get drinks in the neighborhood. It it the perfect size to hold a phone, keys and some make up, and thanks to the round round shape it can hold more bulky items like a large scarf. The army green is my favorite colors and the canvas is thick and durable, and the gold colored hardware is a nice touch like the rivets on the handle.