In general, we like to focus on how to work luxury into our everyday wardrobes; handbags are great for that, and most people just don’t have lives that require them to dress up all that often. Every now and then, though, we see a celeb dolled up in such a pitch-perfect way that we start making mental lists of the places we could wear something similar.

Over the past few years, a new handbag market has emerged. It’s not exactly contemporary, but it’s more attainable and casual than premiere designer, and it’s probably most accurately referred to as “premium contemporary.” It offers the same sophisticated finish that comes with much pricier bags, and pioneering premium contemporary brands like Alexander Wang and 3.1 Phillip Lim have found a market flush with consumers looking for a particular mix of style and ubstance.

This is it, the moment we’ve been waiting for. You guys have winnowed down our PurseBlog March Madness field to your two favorite bag designers, and now we’ve locked Chanel and Celine into a winner-take-all cage match (or maybe a West Side Story-style knife fight; the mental image is up to you), and only one winner can emerge. We’ll announce who prevails later this week, but before we can do that, you need to cast your votes for who you think should win.

Friends & Family sales are our favorites – they take the power of the markdown out of the hands of some shadowy stranger and bestow it on us, the customers, who may wield it with impunity. Now through April 6, our friends at Bloomingdale’s want us to do just that at the Bloomingdale’s Friends & Family Sale. They’re offering 20% off almost every purchase with code FF14, so if you’ve been eyeing a new spring bag, some summer sandals or a whole new wardrobe, go right ahead.

Another week down, another round of bag deals to celebrate the weekend! This time, we’ve got a nice mix of cute spring bags and neutral all-season classics, plus a deal of particular note. Now through March 31 at MATCHESFASHION.COM, you can get 20% off any of their Style Steals (that’s what they call their sale section) with code EXTRA20. The site has some great bags, as well as tons of clothes, shoes and accessories at already-impressive discounts that the extra 20% just makes that much better.

There’s perhaps no more controversial brand in fashion right now than Saint Laurent. Since Hedi Slimane took the reigns three seasons ago, the company’s look has gone from conservatively luxurious to all-out rock-n-roll excess, with plenty of detractors and proponents alike. Although I like Saint Laurent shoes, the company’s bags have always felt a little bit off to me, even on their best days, but I can finally say that I’ve found one I love without reservation: this black-on-black version of the Saint Laurent Betty Bag.

Intermix Flash SaleIntermix is one of our favorite stores, both in person and online – its mix of cool-girl essentials and perfect statement pieces is what we wish our own closets looked like every season. Right now, our friends at Intermix are giving everyone an opportunity to upgrade their wardrobes at a reduced price. Today only, you can take 40% off a huge selection of Intermix’s best in-season pieces at the Intermix Flash Sale!

Like the majority of fashion sites, we tend to stick to the ladies when we look at what celebrities are wearing and carrying. Women have far more options, after all, and we make up the vast majority of the population that’s interested in the details of high-end handbags. We like to think of ourselves as completists, though, which means that it’s time for us to plug a significant hole in our coverage: famous dudes who love bags.

The fashion industry is as much about promotion as art as it is about clothing and accessories as art. Without a well-honed message, it’s pretty difficult to get anyone to spend thousands of dollars, no matter how pretty the product. During designer transitions, a brand’s ability to self-promote is even more important; it needs both to explain to existing customers why they shouldn’t look elsewhere and attract new customers who had previously ignored the brand.

Despite the fact that it snowed last night, the PurseBlog team is determined to think spring. Maybe if we embody the season’s aesthetic hard enough, we’ll force the weather to turn over and stay that way, or at least that’s what we’re telling ourselves. In that spirit, we’ve chosen to pepper this week’s Want It Wednesday with a bevy of pretty, soft colors.

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