During college, I logged a few years working at the local Best Buy, so you could say that I’m intimately familiar with the ins and outs of the holiday shopping season. We all know about the first two phases – Black Friday, followed by regular gift shopping – but the third is less talked-about. During my time in the retail trenches, we called it the Gift Card Apocalypse.

The Gift Card Apocalypse starts on December 26, and it’s the time when shoppers come in with their Christmas spoils, whether it be a gift card or cold, hard cash, and clean out the store shelves to buy the things they didn’t find under the tree. We have a feeling that a lot of you are in the same position – in possession of gift cards to your favorite retailers that are currently burning a hole in your pocket. Lucky for you, we’re here to help. These bags, starting at $278, are all solid choices for anyone looking for something that can be carried every day. Brights, neutrals, pastels, colorblocking – we’ve got a little something for everyone, and it’s all under four figures.

It’s the last month of the year, and that means the last round of birthdays for 2012 as well. I have many friends who celebrate their birthdays in December (including our very own Amanda) and I’ve always admired their birthstone, blue topaz, because it’s feminine and looks good on everyone. The light blue stone shines in the sun but stands brilliantly on its own as well. A blue handbag always comes in handy, and unlike the deep blue from September, this color is sky blue or Caribbean Ocean blue, which takes me away right when I lay eyes on it.

Happy Birthday December babies, we hope you had a great year and enjoy your birthday month. For your birthday gift guide, we rounded up nine of the best blue topaz handbags to help you celebrate.

The holidays are great for so many and varied reasons. The food (unless you’re on a diet), the family time (unless your relatives are crazypants), the fun holiday cocktails (unless you’re in AA) – it’s all so fun! (Maybe.) Of course, around here, we know at least one thing about the holiday’s that’s fun without caveat or exception: the sparkly little handbags that you get to carry to holiday parties from now until New Year’s.

Little bit bags not your thing, or just don’t want to spend huge money on them? We’ve included both a couple reasonably priced holiday clutches, along with a few metallic leather day bags that let you get in on the holiday spirit without committing to something that might not fit your phone and your keys at the same time. Check out our full selection below.

Every four years, Americans have the privilege to get out and vote for whom they believe should be their president. We never delve into the realm of politics here, but we do hope you all take the opportunity to vote. If you didn’t go yet, stop by your polling place after work to cast your vote.

To get everyone in the American spirit, we rounded up the best American designer bags in red, white, and blue. From Diane von Furstenberg to Michael Kors to Proenza Schouler, we are feeling the USA spirit in PurseBlog offices today. Vote!

This is probably the fastest moving year of my life or so it seems. November has arrived and that means the Holidays are upon us. Every month I feel like I say the same thing, but really, how did this happen? We kick off each month with a birthday gift guide and though November and December birthdays may get lost in the holiday mix, we haven’t forgotten about you November birthday babies.

The birthstone for November is the gorgeous citrine stone, which holds a medium deep yellow hue. Fall yellows are one of my favorite fashion statements, as the color works well with blacks and browns and burgundy alike. I rounded up the best Citrine Handbags for our November birthday girls. Happy birthday!

Some of our absolute favorite designers are also the most difficult to shop, whether you’re online or in-store. It’s hard to talk so much about Hermes and Chanel while not always having a place to tell you where to track down a bag of your own. The good news is our friends at Rue La La constantly update their site with some of the best bags available. Today, Rue La La’s partnership with leading online retailer of pre-owned bags, LuxeDH includes accessories from the world’s most coveted handbag designers, including Chanel, Hermes, Balenciaga, and Louis Vuitton.

From the Hermes Birkin to the Chanel Classic Flap, the most classic pieces are available today. If you are looking to add a Birkin to your collection in the hottest hue for fall, Rue La La has a Wine Clemence option. If you want a Chanel Classic Flap with a twist, they have that too. I love going through Rue’s list of hard-to-track-down Balenciaga colors and limited edition Louis Vuitton bags as well. Let me put it this way: there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss out and shop the sale beginning at 11 AM EST!

Like I said, burgundy is the hottest color for fall, and the ultimate way to add it to your wardrobe would be with this Hermes Wine Clemence Birkin 30cm GHW! Available via Rue La La.

If you are looking for a classic exotic Birkin, Rue La La has that too. The Hermes Cognac Ostrich Birkin 35cm PHW is for you. Available via Rue La La.

Everyone knows the Classic Chanel Flap, but the best part is all the renditions. I love the floral applique on the Chanel Black Lambskin Leather Flap Shoulder Bag. Available via Rue La La.

I’m not going to lie – I would love this Louis Vuitton Brown Canvas Graffiti Keepall! It is Limited Edition and totally funky. Available via Rue La La.

Balenciaga is all about colors, the green on the Balenciaga Pommier Agneau Leather First Shoulder Bag is vivacious. Available via Rue La La.

Everyone loves Balenciaga pink hues, this bag not be bubblegum, but the Balenciaga Pink Agneau Leather City Shoulder Bag is fun and feminine. Available via Rue La La.

I know white bags are hard to keep clean, but the Hermes White Veau Graine Coucherel Evelyn Shoulder Bag is ideal for the classic lady looking for a chic everyday white bag. Available via Rue La La.

Another Chanel bag, this time the Chanel Black Canvas Cruise Shoulder Bag. Available via Rue La La.

Lastly, Rue La La is offering a variety of other Louis Vuitton bags that were hard to nab. If you are into nautical themes, the Louis Vuitton Beige Nylon Bulle PM Handbag is for you. Available via Rue La La.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I typically don’t dress up anymore, but I love decorating our apartment and of course eating all the candy (ok that is my favorite part). This year, I have costumes for Vlad and I to put on when we hand out candy to our trick-or-treaters.

The only thing I’m still trying to figure out is which bag I will carry on Halloween to show my spirit. Black bags and orange bags alike work into a handbag rotation well, so I rounded up the best bags for Halloween that work well on All Hallows’ Eve and will work for the rest of your year too. From black and orange combos to black bags with that little extra something, one of these bags will suit your fancy, just wait and see. Tell us your favorite bag of our gallery and what you plan to dress up as in the comments below!

Hey October babies, this is your month! And here I am trying to put together the best opal bags as birthday ideas, but it’s tough. Really tough. Opal is a stone that changes color in light and glimmers and shines non-stop, which makes finding any type of handbag to coincide quite difficult. When I started to think about it, I began wishing that more designers would make bags that had flecks of color that could shine randomly. So here are the bags that I think are the best when it comes to opal handbags – a slight tinge of metallic with an off-white color is the closest thing out there.

Happy Birthday all our October gals and guys, your birthday is in one of my favorite months of the year! I hope you like your gift guide! (more…)

We already told you that oxblood is the new black for fall, and everyone is continuing to talk about the color burgundy. I can’t stop obsessing – it’s just such a rich, lush color that goes with practically everything. Want to wear blacks with it? Great. How about if you love brown colors? Perfect. This is a color that gives life to your wardrobe and complements so many different ensembles, which is why we are giving it its second major feature – one wasn’t enough.

As you know we always turn to our bags to add the seasons latest trends whether it be texture or color, and this time it is all about the the best Burgundy Bags for fall, and I’ve picked out 9 that are completely enviable. (more…)

If you’re a regular PurseBlog reader, you know that Megs, Hilary and I all have really different, distinct tastes in accessories and clothing. Megs tends to lean toward clothes with a hippie vibe, Hilary likes clean-lined, modern neutrals and I like lots of industrial black mixed with occasional bold prints and colors. Somehow, all three of us find a lot to love at British retailer AllSaints, which has a location in Soho that we all visit semi-religiously. AllSaints also has a handful of other US standalone stores, in addition to shop-in-shop locations at select Bloomingdale’s locations around the country. If you don’t have one near you, there’s always that old standby: the Internet.

We’re particularly fond of AllSaints Fall 2012, which marries cool-girl leather with effortlessly modern shapes and enough neutral earthiness and natural details to keep the whole thing from skewing too industrial. The end result feels extremely modern and current, and the contemporary price point keeps many of the brand’s pieces accessible to people who are looking add a note of edge to their wardrobes. Need some ideas for taking your style to the next level? Check out our recommendations from AllSaints Fall 2012 after the jump. (more…)

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