It’s late April, and that means one thing to those of us in our lates 20s and early 30s: wedding season is upon us. I already have a few save-the-dates under my belt, with invitations to arrive shortly, and as usual, I have no idea what I’m going to wear. Warm-weather weddings and my penchant to wear black year-round just don’t quite jibe, but there’s also no part of me that intends to buy a handful of pastel dresses just to make it to August. After all, I’m already buying gifts. I’ll probably find something reasonably neutral to get me through the handful of events on my summer schedule, and if I had my way, I’d pair that probably-grey dress with the Jimmy Choo Mini Tube Mirrored Clutch and Joomi Lim Future Perfect Spike Bracelet. (more…)

There’s just something about warm weather that makes me positively frantic to stray outside of my sartorial comfort zone. Although I almost always dress in dark colors and have what I like to think is the world’s largest collection of black sundresses, summer does something to me that requires me to occasionally splurge on something that looks more than a little out of place with my usual array of blacks and greys. That compulsion also extends to handbags, and right now, it extends to these Juicy Couture Beach Print Clutches.

At $78 a pop, scooping up one of these clutches to use for outdoor events during warm weather is certainly within the realm of reason. The clutches themselves are simple – a woven textile in a photographic print, folded into an easy envelope shape – but it’s the prints that really matter. If a handbag could ever look warm and exciting, these definitely do. I’d opt for the palm tree view – the black tones would make it great for evening, even when you’re not attending a bonfire on the beach.

Juicy Couture Wave Print Clutch
$78 via ShopBop

Juicy Couture Wave Print Clutch

Juicy Couture Palm Tree Clutch
$78 via ShopBop

Juicy Couture Palm Tree Print Clutch

I’m a bit too young to have been dating back in the days when, “So, what’s your sign?” was a hot pickup line (thankfully), but I’ve seen enough movies to know that there are probably still awkward bachelors out there, plugging away with that same old cliche at a bar near you. Without a doubt, when the Charlotte Olympia Cosmic Collection asks the same question, it’s a much more interesting proposition.

Designer Charlotte Dellal has festooned a group of her popular Charlotte Olympia Pandora Box Clutches and matching loafers with zodiac symbols to match up with her customers’ astrological signs, and Net-a-Porter sold out of most of the six clutch options almost immediately. The other six signs have yet to arrive, but when they do, it’ll surely be to quick sales. I can tell you from experience that the fashion industry as a whole has an often enthusiastic relationship with astrology, with AstrologyZone’s Susan Miller influencing many of fashion’s Queen Bees as much as anyone does. With Charlotte Olympia’s plum spot as the current obsession of many in the style set, pulling in some zodiac fun to her designs is a very savvy move. Would you buy a bag or pair of shoes celebrating your astrological sign?

Net-a-Porter only has the Gemini clutch in stock currently, but all of the bags retail for $995. All six loafers from the first set of signs are still available, and they retail for $695. You can shop them all via Net-a-Porter.

Charlotte Olympia Gemini Clutch Charlotte Olympia Taurus Clutch Charlotte Olympia Leo Clutch Charlotte Olympia Libra Clutch Charlotte Olympia Virgo Clutch

I’m always so thrilled when a young designer whose clothes I love finally dips his or her toe into the accessories waters. Because of the profitability of bags, shoes and small leather goods, adding those lines to a brand often helps smaller designers grow their businesses and expand their capabilities, which is great for fashion lovers on two fronts. Not only does the influx of cash nurture young talent, but it gives us great new bags like these Mary Katrantzou Printed Leather Pouches.

If you’re not yet familiar with Katrantzou, she’s a London-based Greek designer known for her inventive textiles and highly conceptual collections. Her cocktail dresses will run you well into the four figures, but if you want to add just a bit of print to an ensemble, these leather clutches are a beautiful option. With their oversized, simple shape and bright patterns, they’re the stuff street style dreams are made of.

Mary Katrantzou Sorbonne Printed Leather Pouch
$925 via Net-a-Porter

Mary Katrantzou Sorbonne Printed Leather Pouch

Mary Katrantzou Kathmandu Printed Leather Pouch
$925 via Net-a-Porter

Mary Katrantzou Kathmandu Printed Leather Pouch

Mary Katrantzou Pound Printed Leather Pouch
$925 via Net-a-Porter

Mary Katrantzou Pound Printed Leather Pouch

Last week, we clued you in to the insanely well-edited selection of clutches and evening bags that Moda Operandi has squirreled away in its “boutique” section. Today, we’ve got one brand of handheld bags in particular that the site has just started carrying and that you’ll want to know: Serpui Marie. If you’ve got a garden party or outdoor wedding to attend this spring or summer, the brand can solve any clutch conundrums you might encounter without breaking the bank. (Yes, Moda Operandi occasionally stocks some reasonably priced pieces alongside its premium designer wares.)

Serpui Marie originally hails from Brazil, and the country’s sunny Latin culture is evident in the design of the brand’s bags. Naturally, that makes them perfect for warm-weather events, but the prices, which start around $200, mean that there’s likely a cute little clutch to fit almost anyone’s budget. Without a doubt, the line’s standouts are the pieces inlaid with mother of pearl mosaics; the subtle sheen and color variation of the nacre is like carrying the ocean itself in a little bag. Check out our favorites below or shop the line via Moda Operandi or ShopBop.

Anyone who makes a habit of online shopping (which I’m assuming is all of you) knows that most sites that carry premiere designers have roughly similar assortments. That’s not a coincidence, of course; retail buying is a precarious balance of data and intuition, and making a miscalculation on a piece that’s too avant-garde or “specialty” for a mass audience can be quite costly. That’s why Moda Operandi is in such a unique situation; the site’s pre-season trunkshow system gives them valuable data on what their particularly fashion-forward clientele wants, so when they stock their recently launched “boutique” section of in-season items, select to carry interesting pieces or lesser-known designers is less of a risk. That’s led to, among other things, a particularly excellent selection of clutches. (more…)

For some reason, I didn’t see this studded clutch trend coming. I don’t remember seeing a plethora of studs on the runway for Spring 2013, and heavy metal embellishments are usually more of a staple of fall collections (more on that tomorrow, actually). The more I thought about it though, these bags may have come about, at least in part, as a response to the enduring, perhaps even increasing, popularity of the Valentino Rockstud line, which has enjoyed seasons of success because of its smart combination of traditional femininity, luxury and toughness.

Some of these designers, like Alexander McQueen and Christian Louboutin, would undoubtedly be using the punk metal embellishments. For a brand like Tory Burch or Diane von Furstenberg, though, the Rockstud’s longevity is proof positive that women are drawn to the combination of two such disparate styles. Perhaps because bold details are more easily digestible in small amounts, the trend has manifested itself in tons of clutches, pouches and minaudieres. Below, we’ve picked the best, including plenty of colorful options that will make studs easier to pull off in the coming warm weather, starting at $128.

It has come to my attention that St. Patricks Day is this weekend, which makes me worried. Not because I find something inherently terrifying about green beer or drunk people with a theme (although those two things are, arguably, inherently terrifying for a whole slew of reasons), but because “drinking holidays,” as days like St. Paddy’s are often termed, mean that somewhere out there, a girl is going to have one too many Irish car bombs and lose her clutch. If we all had a bag like the Reece Hudson Bondage Minaudiere, that wouldn’t be a problem.

The name of this Reece Hudson clutch is sort of self-explanatory; it features a bangle in the same material as the hard body of the bag, which fits your wrist like a cuff and connects you back to your bag with a gilded chain. Think of it as the grown-up equivalent of the wristlet that you might have carried in college, but miles more sophisticated. If you’ve never heard of Reece Hudson, it might be time to become familiar. The line is run by New Yorker Reece Soloman and her business parter Max Stein, the bags are produced in Italy, and the brand just keeps on growing.

You can pick up this clutch for $1,295 via Barneys, but even if you don’t, promise me that you’ll keep a good eye on your purse during the St. Patrick’s Day revelry.

One of my favorite things about Moda Operandi is that the flash sale site’s staff has an eye for new talent and smaller designers that are ripe for their big breaks. On any given day, you’ll find a relatively unknown upstart listed alongside the Valentinos of the world, which is exciting for anyone looking to be the first person in her group of friends to wear or carry the Next Big Thing. Odds are, Moda Operandi knows who that might be, and today, it’s just might be evening bag brand Rauwolf.

Behind the thoroughly modern (both in design and materials) Rauwolf is New York-based designer Kristine Johannes, who isn’t as taken with delicate, sparkly clutches as some celebs seem to be. These bags are about as in-your-face as a small evening bag can be, but they use that boldness in smart ways; none of them are over-embellished or too kitschy. Instead, they provide strong lines and the most contemporary, intelligent sort of glamouor. Check out our picks from the collection below or shop the full assortment via Moda Operandi until March 8.

I love expensive bags just as much as the next girl, but just because I talk about them often doesn’t mean they magically appear on my doorstep when I wake up. I might not be the best deal hunter, but I am great at finding beautiful bags at great prices. Lately, my go-to has been BCBGMAXAZRIA, who continues to prove that a great design doesn’t always need to cost thousands of dollars. (more…)

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