For a season like Spring 2011, it’s hard to pick just one bag. Covetable trends in color, texture and print abound, and when a season comes along with so many good options, it’s tempting to lunge at every new bag you see. If you want to spread the wealth around a little bit and get a few bags for your money, we have six different designs, all under $600, that would be great on their own or even more drool-worthy as part of a larger warm-weather accessories wardrobe for the season.
Over at PurseBlog Savvy, we already dubbed the Kate Spade Essex Scout Flap Bag the one bag to buy for Spring 2011 if you’re on a tight accessories budget. Since it comes in a number of delightful candy colors as well as a couple of staid neutrals, it should be the first bag on your list even if you plan to make several purchases for the season. This bag can do it all – go to work, go shopping, go to the park – without batting an eyelash (bags don’t have eyelashes to bat, duh), and at a very reasonable price point, you might have some cash left over for another one of our picks. Buy through Nordstrom for $395.
We’ve given the Marc by Marc Jacobs Hayley Straw Tote a recent shout-out over at PurseBlog Savvy as well, but like the Kate Spade bag, it bears re-mentioning here. The process of shopping for a luxurious straw tote can be a little weird since straw is almost inherently a non-luxury material, but the bright color and generous amount of leather on this bag make it special enough that it might just be worth the splurge. After all, what says summer better than a pool-blue straw tote? Buy through Nordstrom for $398.
Ok, so not everyone can bring a neon yellow or hot pink bag to work, and even some women who can probably don’t want to. Luckily for them, the Kooba Kiley Satchel is pretty spectacular in this shade of graphite. I’d be more inclined to save this bag for fall, but it’s undeniably suited to year-round use in a wardrobe that’s more conservative than my own. The glint of silver hardware and the subtle embossed texture are perfect touches to make this bag special, and the metal corner covers at the top are a detail we’ve seen recently from the likes of Alexander Wang and Salvatore Ferragamo. Buy through Nordstrom for $595.
Normally, we’d try not to repeat any brands in a list like this, but Kate Spade’s Spring 2011 collection is too chock full of quirk and loveliness to ignore. The Kate Spade Small Framed Lella Pineapple Clutch may be super bright and almost prohibitively small, but it’s also covered in chunky retro-modern rhinestones that makes me want to bedazzle my entire existence in something similar. And, I mean, it has a pineapple on top of it. This bag is awesome, your argument is invalid. Buy through Saks for $225.
If you like the idea of a small shoulder bag for weekend or casual use but your personal style is more boho-slouchy than preppy-structured, maybe the Tory Burch Jamie Small Bucket Tote will suit your needs. It provides a similarly blazing pop of color as the Kate Spade bag at the top but with a completely different mood, and the sharp red-orange color is expected to be one of the biggest trends for the entirety of 2011, not just spring. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $450.
And finally, a bag for a rainy day. Spring weather in most places is not to be trusted, and having an inexpensive, weather-resistent bag like the Longchamp Darshan Flowers Le Pliage Nylon Tote around is only good common sense. Using the opportunity to tote a lovely printed bag with a floral so pretty that it’ll brighten up even the gloomiest day, though, is good fashion sense. When those two can get together and live in harmony in a single bag, it’s an opportunity not to be missed. Buy through Nordstrom for $198.