Alaia Leopard Tote, $4770. Jimmy Choo Gaia Leopard Tote, $2295. Both via Net-a-Porter.

Much to my eternal delight, leopard print is going absolutely nowhere. It came on strong as an accessories trend last fall, but the pattern has been falling in and out of favor for decades and it’s here to stay as long as fashion’s love for maximalism remains strong.

One should never underestimate the power of accessories. Not only can the right bag change an outfit, but it can make you sit up a little straighter, smile a little brighter and have a better day. I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me! Bags: They’re like self-esteem that you can buy.

Ok, sarcasm aside (and yes, that was absolutely sarcasm), this conversation is one that I’ve had with several friends recently: Do sales associates in high-end stores treat us differently when we’re carrying our fanciest bags, as opposed to bags that are just regular-fancy, or is it all in our heads?

Which Jil Sander Spring Market Bag do you prefer?

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In the realm of our Bag Battles, I feel like this one might the easiest for many to decide which bag comes out on top. In the past couple years Celine has reinvented themselves with a grand entrance into the bag world. The bags are hard to track down and people are clamoring for them worldwide. One of their highly sought after bags is their Luggage Shopper, which is my personal favorite.

A quick glance at either the Jil Sander Market Bag or the Maison Martin Margiela Oversized Leather Shopper will let you know that the structure of these bags isn’t some sort of new fashion invention. In fact, they closely resemble the shape and structure of a Target shopping bag, except rendered in luxurious leather instead of thin plastic. Sander’s also includes a leather strap that runs between the handles and allows the bag to be carried like a regular hobo, which Margiela’s doesn’t seem to offer.

The Mulberry Alexa vs the Proenza Schouler PS1 has been a much discussed topic on PurseBlog. Throw a DKNY bag that is eerily similar into the mix and we have a bag battle! It is as if Net-A-Porter is asking us to put up this post, seeing as how these three bags are lined up side-by-side on the website, all in black.

Miu Miu’s heralded Fall 2010 collection is best described as aggressively girly, which may or may not be a positive thing, depending on your personal style. I normally wouldn’t describe myself in such terms, but nevertheless, the collection has captivated me anyway. There’s an elegance and sharpness to it that is totally captivating.

Parameters for picking bags are different than those for picking clothes, however.

I need a new bag. It’s been quite a long time since I bought one – far too long for a person that spends eight hours a day pondering the finer points of various designer purses. I’m moving to Atlanta soon and I think that getting a grown-up clutch would be a great way to mark the transition. You see, I’ve spent the past two years taking something of a post-graduation victory lap around my college town, and when you go to college bars, a fancy clutch is kind of a dangerous thing to have.

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