For some reason, the last day of the work week is always the hardest for me. The things that I’m tasked with completing seem larger, take longer and don’t go as smoothly as they would on, say, a Tuesday. The looming specter of the weekend and freedom makes everything more complicated and time-consuming. And that’s coming from someone who loves her job; I can’t imagine how long Fridays must seem to people who don’t enjoy their occupations as much as I do.

Last week, we took a look at some of the best casual messenger bags at accessible price points – the kind of options that most of the men we know and love might not only consider carrying, but would also consider plunking down a couple hundred bucks to own, even if they don’t generally consider themselves to be someone who’s fashion-conscious or concerned with how they dress on a daily basis.

As I’ve said often, VBH is my absolute favorite source for a category of bags that I like to call Birkin Alternatives. When you want a bag that screams luxury and good taste from a mile away but you don’t want everyone to encounter to know exactly what it is or exactly how much you paid for it, you skip the Birkin and go VBH.

Python, brights, neon, trends, Spring 2012, etc. You guys know the drill. I’ve typed variations on that sentence a million times already and it’s only February, and based on my own personal contemplation of the purchase of an orange lace dress yesterday, I don’t think it’s going to abate anytime soon. That’s fine by me; summer is a time to enjoy a particular sort of fashion extreme, and that opportunity should be seized while it’s still available.

Ok, so we’ve spent plenty of time lately talking about brights, neons and other assorted eye-assaulting colors that you might want to wear for spring. While Megs and I love and adore those kinds of bags, we realize that they may not be for every, either in a practical or an aesthetic sense. If you’d like something a tad more neutral but you still want to update your bag wardrobe for spring, you’re in luck – snakeskin is still the texture that everyone wants to have.

December 15th: It’s 10 days until Christmas and we’re in the thick of the holiday party season, where everyone’s wearing great winter textures like cashmere and fur and wool and leather and heavy beading. This is the greatest time of the year for someone who truly adores clothing and accessories, and yet, I feel as though I’m stuck in a spring state of mind.

Without a doubt, snakeskin has been the biggest accessories trend of 2011. Everyone from Gucci to Valentino to Diane von Furstenberg has clamored for a piece of the exotic pie, and we’re betting that if you have a handbag lover on your list, she might want a little bit of snake in her stocking as well. Worried that you don’t have the budget for an exotic?

Proenza Schouler Python Suede PS1 Bag, $3645 via Barneys

As regular readers have probably noticed, Megs and I have different personal styles. I tend more toward black, she tends more toward brown. She usually chooses hippie-ish details, I prefer industrial finishes. Our tastes overlap more than you’d think, considering those big differences, and one place that we’re always able to meet in the middle is over our shared love for everything Proenza Schouler – especially the handbags.

WGACA Hermes Vintage Crocodile Bags, $8000 ShopBop here and here

If you’re not familiar with vintage powerhouses What Goes Around Comes Around, you should be. The New York-based retro aggregator, often abbreviated WGACA, searches out and resells some of the best pre-owned duds in the country, and today, that includes two lovely Hermes Vintage Crocodile Bags that are up for grabs via ShopBop.

Gucci 1973 Python Bag, $2900 via Net-a-Porter

I wrote a post on this topic approximately 800 years ago, which I cannot find at the moment, but I think it’s a topic worth revisiting in light of the handbag world’s continuing trends. A commenter over at TalkShoes mentioned late last week that she didn’t care for the shoes that match the Gucci 1973 Python Bag because she only likes natural-colored python, and I used to be the exact same way.

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