I know there might be some of you out there who might be interested in venturing out into the world of handbags a little more than you currently do. I know that is how I started. I wasn’t the kind of person who had tons of handbags while I was in high school or even college for that matter. Then, slowly but surely I started to expand my collection. I remember the first handbag where I thought to myself, “this is definitely different than what I am used to”. Well, it wasn’t a handbag, it was a wallet. So, when I found the Furla Red Croc Stamped Leather Continental Wallet I figured I would talk about it a bit and perhaps help some of you out there who are interested in venturing out to the amazing handbag world.

This wallet is fabulous. The red croc stamped leather and silvertone hardware combination is so chic. As to be expected, the interior has 8 card slots, slip pocket, and expanding compartment with two-zip pouches. If you aren’t ready to do a little overhaul on your handbags, you can always start slowly with a wallet like this. Each time I look at it, I love the red color – it just pops. Help spice up your collection with this wallet and buy through Bluefly for $110.

Right on first glance, looking at the smaller image of this bag, I liked it! Then there was a mini downer, the downer that showed embossing of the Tory Burch name across the bag. Do I yearn for this look? Not exactly. The thing is, I am not a huge lover of over-logoed bags. Read what I have said at Purse Blog, no over-logoing, thank you very much. But as much as it was a mini-downer, the Tory Burch Embossed Jordana Tote does not show off the logo too intensely on the patent leather bag. In fact, you can get away with just thinking that the bag has some texture to it, rather than the Tory Burch logo all over it. And at first glance, I love the bag! Especially in bright sunny yellow patent-leather. The contrast leather trim and logo studs at the front and back offsets the sunshine gleaming from the yellow leather. There are double top handles and the interior is lined and offers a zipper pocket and two patch pockets. Measurements are 11.5″H x 16″L x 3.5″D. And while there is a black version (blah) and a frost grey/brown version, the yellow version has my attention. So my final thoughts, well, I need to see how Tory Burch this bag is in person. Does it call out too much or does it slide by perfectly, showing the designer name but not over-doing it? Buy through Shop Bop for $495.

Do you ever find yourself looking at something and you don’t know why, but you just like it? Well, that is how I feel about the Gryson Lola Liquid Nylon Bag. As much as I like to find bags that stick with classic shapes, I also like to spice up my collection every now and again. Now, don’t think I am uber plain or anything like that, because I know you might be sitting there thinking, “umm, Shannon, this bag isn’t *that* out there”. But for some reason, this bag really caught my eye because it is so different than anything I currently own. I actually really like the way the bag has a mixture of texture and color. Shimmery Italian eggplant colored nylon is accented with black leather trim, a rib patent stripe and lined with my favorite… suede. All of this is then tied together with silvertone hardware and stud detailing. A snap closure secures the contents in your bag and there are several different interior pockets to store items you need to be able to quickly grab. I think more than anything else, this bag seems fun and who doesn’t like fun? At the same time, the bag is practical and versatile. I don’t think you would grab this as you head out in an evening gown, but there are plenty of places you could wear this bag to. Buy through Saks for $475.

What’s your favorite handbag style? I think most of us have a favorite, be it practical or not. For those of you who are familiar with Purse Blog you certainly know about my love for clutches. Of course I need a day to day handbag and a clutch wouldn’t be very practical, but I can’t help myself when it comes to clutches. I saw the Goldenbleu Carmen Clutch and had to take a minute to write about it. I like this clutch because it is fairly casual. This is the kind of clutch I would take with me as I head out for movie night or to grab dinner or drinks with friends. At the same time, with the right outfit I could see this clutch being perfect for a Friday or Saturday night out. With handbags, as much as I love to splurge, it has always been important to me that my handbags are versatile. I think that is one of the reasons I think this clutch is great. The crinkle patent leather clutch is perfect for holding the necessities: credit cards, money, ID and maybe even your lip gloss. Actually, the interior lining has credit cards slots which really couldn’t be any more perfect. Again, I simply love how usable this clutch could be! Buy through Zappos for $203.

Can you ever have too many black handbags? To me, the answer is, no. I absolutely love the color black. Black clothes, black cars, black handbags… love them. For whatever reason, I feel as though black is the kind of color that can look classy or laid back at the drop of a hat. That being the case, you can always spice up your wardrobe with something black and then a splash of color. The Lauren Merkin Rebecca Tote in black is fabulous. This is a great day to day bag which really emphasizes what she wants. The Lauren Merkin line promotes durable yet classy and fun handbags. When I looked at the tote, I did think it looked very durable while at the same time it had a soft touch. This glazed leather handbag has is accented with pleating at the front and back plus a splash of gold hardware. The double handles mean the bag can be carried by hand or thrown on your shoulder without a glitch. Who doesn’t like options? At the same time, the tote is roomy enough for everything you might need as you run around to work or on weekend errands. Buy through Shop Bop for $575.

Pumpkin Pie… delish! Well, actually I am not a huge fan of Pumpkin Pie, but I do like the smell of it. And while we enter Fall, I can’t help but notice the change of decorations in not only retail stores, but also grocery stores. Just the other day when shopping for groceries, I noticed the plethora of pumpkins that were available. I have to say, I truly love the deep, rich colors of the Fall, especially shades of orange. So as you can imagine, this orange Cole Haan Village Shoulder Bag instantly caught my eye. In fact, Cole Haan calls this color harvest orange which makes me like the bag that much more. (It’s the simple things in life that make me happy.) The silvertone hardware, belted sides plus a front flap pocket with buckle detailing all bring the bag together nicely. To state it simply, just looking at the bag you can tell that it is put together with thought and detail in mind. And of course, going back to what I originally said, I think the color is absolutely perfect for the Fall. Even better yet, although the bag is orange, it can go with many outfits! Buy through Neiman Marcus for $325.


Balenciaga City

There is this huge worldwide Balenciaga craze, and somehow I have never been part of it. It is not that I do not like Balenciaga bags, actually I like them quite much. I would go on to say I adore them even, as they are just my style. Is there a particular reason why I do not own one yet? I suppose the last few times we have been in NYC we had on our list to take a trip to Balenciaga, and we just never made it.

But our next trip to New York City will surely have a stop at Balenciaga and I will leave with a new BBag. Which one is not the question. Which color is the question. The color variety that Balenciaga churns out is so massive, so unbelievable, that it makes my super huge Crayola box look skimpy.

For one of the iconic Balenciaga styles, the soft vintage crafted lambskin looks sultry and stunning in black cherry on the Balenciaga City. The City is one of the most well-known designs from Balenciaga, and this color, well, I DIE! Love it. The deep black cherry is accompanied with aged brass hardware. The signature Balenciaga signs are evident; hand stitched handles, leather strings on zips, and leather framed hand mirror. Dimensions are 15” x 9.8” x 3.9”. Once I jump into Balenciaga, or even before my NYC trip, I know I will be coming to you all for suggestions! Buy the City through Balenciaga online for $1,295.


Prada Nappa Mordore Hobo

I am a lover of metallics, but I am picky about which metallic colors I like. I am much more of a pewter lover than a silver lover and more of a copper lover than a gold lover. The deeper hues are sultry, sexy, and elegant in metallics. Just much more my style. And with the Prada Nappa Mordore Hobo it is as if Prada came to me, asked me what I thought, and then proceeded to carry out my wants and desires. Why thank you Prada for taking my likings into account. And even more of my likings are on this handbag. The overall design is nothing amazing, but the hobo stands out with the leather pieces which are stitched together to create a stripe pattern. But this bag does it for me. I don’t need all the extras on my bags, just a bag that does its job but still stands out and grabs attention. And you know what this bag does, it adds that slight shine and glimmer that makes for a perfect metallic bag. There is a snap closure and two inside pockets. Available in anthracite and copper; if I were buying this bag I would most likely opt for copper. Buy through Saks for $1695.

I’ll go ahead and say it – I’m highly disappointed by the Anya Hindmarch Cooper Mirror Bottom Bag. Mostly that’s my own fault, though. When I went to its Saks.com page, I thought it said COPPER Mirror Bottom Bag, and I had high hopes that the bottom piece of the bag was going to actually be made out of a piece of metal, and that would have been awesome. I had no idea that I had any desire for a bag made partly out of sheet metal until I realized that I had never seen one before, and then Anya Hindmarch seemed like a genius.

Until I realized that the bottom of the bag was just made out of metallic patent leather, and the word in the title was COOPER not COPPER. And then I was tremendously disappointed. I actually frowned at the bag, and then I said to myself “Self, I’m not going to write about this bag, it tricked me.”

But then I looked again and realized that, hey, it’s kind of a cool bag anyway. They shape is perfect – structured enough to have really clean lines, but still with enough slouch to have the appeal of a hobo. The leather appears to be really thick, the patent on the bottom is probably shiny enough to be used as a mirror, and the interior is lined in delicious cream suede. So many designers cut corners these days, and it looks like Ms. Hindmarch is still make beautiful, discrete, high-quality bags out of obviously fine materials. As such, she deserves our heartfelt appreciation, even if the bag is not actually part metal. Buy through Saks for $1,195.

I think it should be clear by now: Kooba is a brand that keeps my attention despite making at least a couple of missteps per season. I’ve already written about one Kooba bag I loved and one bag I hated for their fall collection, and I’m about to write about yet another one: the Kooba Halle in red (also available in black and brown, but you know me…).

So do I love this one, or hate it? This one, I LOVE. Well, I love it without the chain. The chain is kinda awkward, right? But I love the color (the red leather is really saturated and bright, unlike a lot of red bags), I love Kooba’s super-soft signature leather, and I love that the flap is asymmetrical and with an unexpected zipper for emphasis.

Kooba went through a weird phase for a few seasons where their bags got increasingly more expensive, and I felt like they were pricing themselves out of their market a bit – their bags weren’t selling at nearly $700 for a regular-sized purse, so their stuff was continuously in the sale section. This last season, though, was a bit of a change – most of their really popular bags seemed to be in the $500-$600 range, and a lot of them never made it to the sale sections of our favorite shopping websites.

This season seems to be a continuation of that trend – the Halle, a perfect everyday bag, is a mere $495. I can personally attest – for the quality of leather that I’ve had in my previous Kooba bags, that’s a steal. Buy through Shop Bop for $495.


Gustto Umbria Bag

I’ve never written about a Gustto bag before, and the reason why is simple: I usually don’t like them very much, and sometimes I actually try to stick to the adage of “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” My discretion and ability to hold my tongue should be noted, because I don’t usually get a lot of opportunities to brag about it.

And now, all of that tongue-holding has paid off, because some of Gustto’s fall collection is actually quite attractive – particularly their Gustto Umbria Bag. And as such, I get to say nice things, and I feel like a good person for at least 20 minutes. Until I go and steal some of my roommate’s milk because I forgot to buy my own (shhh, don’t tell her, she never drinks it all before it expires anyway).

The Gustto Umbria bag looks like it’d be soft as a pillow and light as a feather, and if that extra strap is detachable (please, God, why must you assault our eyes with such unnecessary things on so many otherwise-beautiful bags?), then I bet it would be a great everyday bag for winter. I always prefer an arm-held bag to a shoulder bag during colder seasons since I find that it can be hard to wedge a regular hobo or tote onto a shoulder over layers of coats and sweaters, but you find no such problem with a bag carried by hand or in the crook of the elbow. Plus, the little airplane-like seatbelt detail is really cute and different and adds a touch of irreverent personality.

It also comes in some beautiful shades – both a to-die-for medium grey and a brown-based burgundy are available, plus a black for those of you that buy that sort of color. It’s available for a very reasonable $620 via ShopBop.

I feel like I am always on the hunt for a reasonably priced, functional and fun handbag. Aren’t we all? Of course, in an ideal world, I could walk into any store, see I bag I like and simply buy it. Let’s be honest, I don’t live in that kind of world. So, I have to say, the Rebecca Minkoff Nikki Hobo is a bag I would certainly save up for. I love most of Rebecca Minkoff’s bags as it is, but the Nikki Hobo is a bag I could see myself carrying around on a daily basis. It seems as if all of her bags have that element of functionality which most of us look for. Sure, every now and then I find myself making an impulse buy but for the most part, I want the handbags I own to serve several purposes. You know, so I get my money’s worth.

Once I started looking at the bag a little more closely, I noticed the amazing attention to detail. I love the distressed leather and shoulder strap combination. Looking inside the bag, the material and design of the lining is simply gorgeous. Sure, for the most part, nobody is going to be spending more of their time staring inside the bag rather than noticing the outside, but anyone who catches a glipse is sure to comment. I guess more than anything, I can see myself carrying this bag to the gym, grocery shopping, to work and even out on the town. Again, you can see how this all goes back to the initial idea of functionality and fun! Buy through ShopBop for $600..

Want PurseBlog's Email Newsletter?