I hate traveling. More accurately, I hate getting to places; once I’m there, I love it. I was not alive for the days when air travel was a glamorous and refined experience, but based on the vaguely bus station-like feel it has now, I have a hard time believing that those days ever even existed. With the holiday-travel trifecta of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas looming large in the near future, odds are that most of you are going to board a plane or two in order to visit family and loved ones sometime in the next six weeks. In an act of blog-based commiseration, I’ve assembled 15 GIFs that I feel accurately portray the process involved in packing that most annoying of bags: the suitcase.

[All GIFs via Tumblr]

1. Checking the weather at your destination a few days before your flight.


2. The weather is terrible


3. Pretending the trip is not happening so you can delay packing for as long as possible.


4. Spending the evening before you leave frantically doing laundry, picking up dry cleaning and pulling your suitcase out of storage.


5. Getting distracted while choosing things to pack by trying on clothes you forgot you had.


6. Rewarding yourself for your hard work with a Netflix movie.


7. Remembering that you actually, in fact, need to pack because the plane will leave without you.


8. Ok, let’s just get it over with.


9. Trying to figure out what you forgot.


10. Realizing that your bag is too big to carry on.


11. Letting your bag go and convincing yourself that nothing will get stolen out of it and you will, in fact, see it again.


12. Realizing what you forgot while your plane is in the air.


13. Waiting for your bag to come around the baggage carousel.


14. There it is! Your bag!


15. Buying too much stuff while you’re away and having to shove it all in your already-full suitcase to do the whole process again on the way back.


By now, most of you have probably considered the advantages and disadvantages of buying a Celine bag. They’re beautiful! But they’re everywhere. They’re modern! But they’re everywhere. We’ve spent some time thinking about the exact same conundrums, and we’ve got one piece of advice, plus ten reasons to back it up: you really should go ahead and pull the trigger on a Celine bag if you love it.

My job can be described in a lot of ways. Blogger, fashion writer, managing editor. Once in a blue moon, I might actually commit acts of journalism. What I am all the time, though, is a professional enabler. I spend my entire workday fantasy-shopping so that I may help assuage your doubts about potential purchases, should you be looking to have them assuaged. I’ve spent more time thinking about Celine bags, their price points and their merits than I care to admit or is probably healthy. I’ve come to some conclusions, which I’ve enumerated below. Happy shopping, if that’s the way you go.

Despite the fact that most of us are at least a little bit desensitized to the exorbitant prices of designer bags, making the decision to actually pull the trigger and splurge is a mental exercise that always serves as a reminder they do, in fact, cost a sometimes-incredible amount of money. Spending that much on anything, even if you have plenty of money to spend, is an emotional process that most of us know all too well, with its high highs of delivery confirmation and the low lows of assessing the damage via online banking. Below, we break down the step-by-step process of buying a designer bag, from love at first sight to the triumphant Instagram at the end of it all.

1. When you first see a bag you love


2. When you see the price


3. When you start negotiating with yourself


4. When you shop around, hoping to find a sale or free shipping or SOMETHING


5. When you decide that free shipping is, in fact, a great deal


6. When you convince yourself to sleep on it and decide in the morning


7. When you go back to visit the bag’s page


8. When you check your bank account


9. When you ask your friends if they think you should buy it


10. When you talk yourself into it


11. When you frantically type in your shipping info before you can talk yourself back out of it


12. When you see the order confirmation email


13. When you continuously refresh the tracking info


14. When you realize you cannot afford to go out for at least a month


15. When the tracking info finally says “out for delivery”


16. When you unbox your new bag


17. When you revel in the afterglow of your purchase


18. When you Instagram your new baby


Some people read tea leaves, I read handbags. Trust me, my readings are way more accurate than your average beverage-based guesses, and today, in celebration of National Handbag Day, I’m here to share them with you. Fashion, of course, is an outward expression of how we see ourselves, and perhaps more importantly, how we want others to see us. Different goals beget different handbag purchases, and after nearly five years writing about handbags and the people who buy them, a few, uh, trends have emerged. Below, a tongue-in-cheek look about what your daily handbag of choice reveals about your personality.

The day has come! Today is the first annual National Handbag Day, a holiday which we founded this year to celebrate our clearly undying passion for the things that help us schlep around our stuff. We’ve been preparing all week, with everything from a handbag travelogue to a handbag playlist, and now we’re ready to unleash the rest of our holiday glee, including a big giveaway announcement at noon.

First, though, we thought we’d start with something simple. We could probably enumerate zillions of reasons that we love bags, but today, we’ve boiled it down to 10. Let us know your own in the comments, and we hope you’ll check back throughout the day to see what we have in store.

1. Go ahead and get seconds – handbags always fit.

2. You can carry the same bag for weeks at a time and no one thinks you’re gross or unshowered.

3. A good handbag makes whatever clothes you’re wearing an insta-outfit.

4. They’re your safe place – everyone knows never to rifle through a woman’s bag, even a friend.

5. In an emergency situation, a handbag can sometimes be used as a weapon.

6. If you buy from the right brands, handbags hold their value better than anything else in fashion.

7. Handbags allow us to safely transport our smartphones, which we need for playing Candy Crush.

8. Most bags come in a variety of colors and are produced for more than one season. Choices! Options!

9. Your bag, unlike your clothes, won’t be wrinkled and slightly haggard-looking at the end of a long workday.

10. There’s no way around it – carrying a designer bag makes you look like a fancy lady, and we like looking like fancy ladies.

By now, some of you have likely read Friday Night Lights author Buzz Bissinger’s instantly infamous GQ piece on his Gucci leather shopping addiction. (If you haven’t and you’re interested, you should read it, but be warned, the whole thing takes a bit of a strange turn circa page four.) I’ve known a few people with compulsive shopping issues in my time in fashion, but Bissinger’s story caught my attention because, for him, it all started online and eventually mushroomed into a half-million dollar habit. But how much damage can you really do with online shopping? As it turns out, quite a bit – we searched out the Internet’s most expensive handbags, and with these kinds of pieces, it wouldn’t be hard to blow through a couple hundred grand in an afternoon, let alone in a year or two. (more…)

Seasonal transitions are among the most difficult things to deal with in fashion. It’s cold in the morning, warm by afternoon and then cold again for happy hour, and who knows what it’s going to be like tomorrow? Do you wear your stuff from last season, or your stuff from next season? Some combination of the two? And what colors and textures won’t make you look like you’re stuck in the recent past or near future? Today, we’re here to answer those questions in handbag form.

There are a lot of effective tactics for picking a bag to last you through a seasonal transition. You can go with mixed neutrals, metallics, mid-tone brights, a mixture of neutrals with a bright accent – the color options are nearly endless, as long as you don’t go too light (except for winter white, which is perfect for transitions), too dark or too neon. As for textures, we’re always partial to leather, but exotics get a special mention, especially python, which lends itself to the kind of color-mixing that’s great for seasonal shifts. Below, check out our picks for the best ways to update your transitional handbag wardrobe without breaking your budget.

One of the most interesting parts of this job is seeing how people arrive at our site. You guys get here in a zillion different ways, but one of the most persistent is your interest in the Louis Vuitton Neverfull, in all of its many sizes and incarnations. And really, I can’t blame you – the Neverfull is a foundational piece in the most important handbag line in the world, and it’s so versatile that it can be a useful wardrobe addition to almost anyone.

I’m getting ahead of myself, though. It seems logical that a lot of the people visiting our site in pursuit of the Neverfull are trying to make a purchase decision of some sort, and because we like to consider ourselves a service-y bunch, we thought we’d put together a handy guide as to why, exactly, the Neverfull is such a smart way to go when looking to buy a good take-anywhere tote.

It really is never full

That might be a slight exaggeration, but the point stands – no matter which size you opt for, you’re going to be able to fit more in a Neverfull than you’d expect. Because the sides aren’t rigid and the shape is fairly loose, the bag conforms to the size of your belongings. With the biggest (GM) size, I’m pretty sure I could fit anything I ever really want to carry anywhere.

It comes in a million versions

Like the Louis Vuitton Speedy, the Neverfull is a foundation piece in the enormous Louis Vuitton line. That means that when it comes time for Vuitton to do one of its world-famous artist collaborations, the Neverfull is almost always on the list of bags that get the treatment. The works of artists like Stephen Sprouse, Yayoi Kusama and Takashi Murakami have all graced the bag, and that’s on top of the myriad permanent and seasonal iterations available at any given time. Whether you’re in the market for a collector’s piece or a basic Monogram Canvas or Damier model to start your collection, the Neverfull can scratch that itch.

All of the versions are durable

Longtime Louis lovers don’t even need to read this one, because they already know – Vuitton’s treated canvas products are well-nigh indestructible. I have 20-year-old Vuitton pieces that still take a beating like a champ. Some customers have reported issues with the handle glaze on the Damier Ebene version specifically, but Vuitton stands behind its pieces very well – all the mentions of issues that I could find on our Forum also included details on how the product was either exchanged in the store or repaired by the brand. That’s a lot more than a lot of brands will do for customers, unfortunately. (Although it’s fortunate if you’re looking to buy a Vuitton bag.)

It’s a great way to start a Vuitton collection

Depending on size, basic monogram Neverfulls will run you between $800 and $900. Considering how enormously expensive Louis Vuitton bags get when you start to look at leathers (and, god forbid, exotics), the Neverfull is an excellent value and a great place to start a collection and find out if you like a brand’s products enough to save up and branch out within the line. It’s something that can be carried every day and that will serve a lot of purposes – that’s exactly where you want to start.

The Neverfull is totally reversible

Somehow, I didn’t know about the Neverfull’s biggest feature until recently. Sick of the monogram? Just want to switch things up? Need a different color? Flip the bag inside out, problem solved. Few designs give you that level of versatility, and that’s on top of how functional the bag is to begin with.

So what are you waiting for? Pick up a Neverfull of your own via Louis Vuitton, starting at $800.

Now that the dust has settled around the various global fashion weeks and we know what to expect from the most important collections for Spring 2013, well…what can we expect? The handbag trends weren’t quite as clear for the upcoming season as they have been in the recent past, but if nothing else, you should count on things getting a little more modern. Fashion as a whole has decided to pick up and head into the future, and that means that bag design is headed there as well.

After searching all the weird textiles, textures, color combinations and a few (fewer than you’d expect) straight-up leather bags, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 Best Runway Bags of Spring 2013. For this season, you won’t find any of Louis Vuitton’s 70s-hued Damier bags on our list, but you will find the triumphant return of Dior under the leadership of modernist wunderkind Raf Simons. Check out our full list below or take a look back through all of our Fashion Week coverage.

Even though tomorrow starts August, which many people think of as the last bit of summer, the fashion industry is buzzing with the upcoming trends for the fall season. New seasons mean new ideas, and while houndstooth is not new, handbag designers are integrating it into their new collections. I can’t say it is one of my favorite looks, but these three designers came up with a way to make it look fairly chic, and even I might want to carry one.

From the coveted Chloe Elsie to a travel tote from Jil Sander to an affordable satchel from Juicy Couture, I rounded up three houndstooth bags that deserve your attention. (more…)

Follow Closely