Ok, so I’m going to level with you here. It’s Friday, it’s the end of summer, and I just wanted a reason to post the above hilarious picture of a Manhattan woman carrying her Brussels Griffon in what can only be described as a camouflage (on trend!) crossbody pup-sling. The picture appeared in the New York Post yesterday and caused me to laugh for approximately a full minute. The accompanying article doesn’t include any information about the woman or her dog, but there’s just so much going on in that little dude’s face. (I’ve decided he’s a dude.)

Before I moved to NYC a couple of years ago, I never understood the allure of carrying your dog in a bag. Dogs are heavy, and even the tiniest ones start to feel heavier after a while. Plus, they have legs! They have legs and they walk. Now that I’m here, though, I get it. Sometimes they don’t walk in the right direction, and when people are moving quickly on a crowded sidewalk, a dog suddenly stretching his leash across the flow of traffic (something dogs are wont to do) to dart after a bodega cat is a hazard waiting to happen. Also, even small dogs have to be inside a bag or carrier to board the subway, so if you have a small one, you might as well just get an oversized purse and be done with it. One less bag to carry.

I’m not an expert, though – I’ve never had a dog that weighed less than a sturdy eight-year-old child, so dog-bag decisions are not a decision with which I’ve ever had to contend. Do you carry your pup in your purse? If so, do you have a special bag for dog days, or do you just plop that lil’ nugget into your designers bags with confidence?

[Image via the New York Post]

Humans are creatures of habit. We’re predisposed to find routines, create schedules and return to behaviors over and over again. Even fashion, which encourages newness and exploration, becomes somewhat rote over time. Most fashion people find a uniform for themselves as they spend more and more time thinking about style and what makes them feel like themselves, and at least for now, my uniform is pretty much set – a black (or black and white) maxi dress, silver sandals and my trusty Proenza Schouler PS1. That uniform will shift with the seasons, of course, but the spirit of the pieces that I’ll incorporate into it will be the same. Especially the bag. (more…)

This is a topic that will easily elicit strong feelings on both sides, but it is a conversation worth having. I got my first designer handbag in 7th grade. I was 13. I had been begging my mom for a Coach bag, and after what felt like years of annoyance, my mom got both me and my sister the purses we desired. It was my first designer handbag, and it’s easy for me to now say that moment changed my life forever. I’ve told this story many times, and I’ve had some people say that 13 is far too young for a Coach bag and others tell me that they were given their first bag far earlier than that.

Recently, I’ve ended up talking to several mothers of young girls, varying in age from 1 to 10, and we’ve delved into the topic of buying a designer handbag for their children. I know my view is skewed – I am surrounded by designer bags everyday and someday, if I have a little girl, I’d love to share this passion. My goddaughter turned 9 recently and I wanted to get her a Gucci bag for her birthday – this one, to be exact. While I thought this was a great gift, I was met with great resistance from Vlad. That’s when the questions came to mind: how young is too young and what are the pros and cons for giving a designer bag to a child?

I believe everyone can instill value and appreciation in their kids no matter what, but I’m not a parent yet so I am not aware of all the problems parents face. Of course a little girl with a tiny Louis Vuitton Speedy will look adorable, but is it too much? To me it seems a personal opinion, one that I would love to hear from you.

As we all know, it’s sale season, so perhaps you’ve ventured outside of your retail comfort zone recently to order an item you’ve been pining after from a retailer that you’ve never shopped before. After all, what’s a better reason to try new things that the promise of a steep discount? When you do that, you learn all sorts of interesting things about new stores: which places offer free shipping, which places take forever to process your orders and perhaps most interesting, which places have the best packaging. We’re ready to crown a new champion. (more…)

Although I can often see the appeal in things I wouldn’t necessarily want to own or wear (being able to step outside of one’s own personal taste is, after all, an important qualification for writing any kind of criticism), my own taste is usually pretty predictable, at least to me. I like crossbody bags, calf hair, leopard print and purple or red mixed with black. On the other hand, I generally don’t like wearing or carrying bright colors, logos or brown of any kind. Somehow, though, I still want every single one of the MCM Logo Backpacks that you see above.

When I came across these backpacks a week ago, I had no idea that Megs and Vlad had used them in their LUISAVIAROMA Style Lab. They had yet to return from Florence, and I was over here, frittering away my time on the Internet, as one does. (Or as I do, anyway.) I had put them aside to write about them, and when Megs returned, we got to talking and realized that we were similarly obsessed, despite the fact that these backpacks don’t fit either of our personal styles particularly well. Objectively, they might even be a tad tacky, but in a way that makes them fun and adventurous. Like Diane Vreeland so famously said, a little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. Being utterly refined all the time is bland, and these backpacks are anything but.

Still, that doesn’t explain why I want one so badly (the lime green one, to be exact), despite the fact that they’re entirely outside of my normal aesthetic footprint. I’ve been looking at them for a week, and I still can’t figure it out. Sometimes, though, you just have to go with your gut; style is, after all, intuitive. When was the last time you were completely thrown off by your own taste in handbags?

MCM Stark Medium Backpack
$620 via Bloomingdale’s

MCM Stark Medium Backpack

MCM x Craig and Karl Medium Backpack
$970 via Bloomingdale’s

MCM x Craig and Karl Medium Backpack

MCM Logo and Studs Small Backpack
$660 via Bloomingdale’s

MCM Logo and Studs Small Backpack

When it was first announced that Sofia Coppola would be directing The Bling Ring, which comes out tonight in NYC (the rest of the country will have to wait a week), I nearly jumped for joy. It’s been a couple years since the original story of Alexis Neiers and her crew of celeb-robbing buddies came into the public eye, so naturally I went back and read just about every news article and story on the case I could find. I refreshed my memory by watching old YouTube clips of the short lived show Pretty Wild, which was based on Neiers’ life in LA, reread the ever-so-popular Vanity Fair article by Nancy Jo Sales, and eventually fell into reading the book (which I’m currently finishing at the moment). It’s safe to say my parents, friends, boyfriend and co-workers are all eager for the movie to come out just so I can stop talking about it.

However, for as much as I’ve read on the subject, it still boggles my mind how a group of high schoolers were able to pull off some of the biggest heists in Hollywood history. They managed to break in and steal millions of dollars worth of clothing, bags and shoes from their favorite celebrity stars, eluding capture for months. With all that in mind, we couldn’t help but ask ourselves: if we could raid any celebrity’s closet whose would be it? After much deliberation, we’ve come up with ten favorites, but whose do you wish you could raid?

I remember the heyday of the hobo. Back when I first got into handbags, circa 2005, hobos were just as popular as crossbodies are today; they weren’t the flashiest It Bags on the scene, but they were the thing everyone had in their closets for when they needed to, you know, actually carry something functional. Then, of course, the era of the “optional crossbody strap” dawned, and after that, the straps weren’t so optional anymore – if you were carrying a shoulder bag, it had a long strap, with few exceptions. Trends are inevitably cyclical, though, so is it possible that hobos are ready for a comeback?

A couple of people have mentioned to me recently the idea that maybe hobos are ready to make a big splash, and I can’t help but think that I heard the same chatter a few seasons ago, to little avail. There will always be a market for hobos in the classic Gucci vein, but if women are used to having their bags a little further away from them – either crossbody or on a long shoulder strap – I doubt many will want to go back to stuffing a hobo in their armpit. (Seriously, why couldn’t those strap drops ever just be a little longer?) Every now and then, I break out a beloved Balenciaga Day Bag from 2007, but it rarely replaces my standard PS1 for more than a day or two – a longer shoulder strap just feels more modern and versatile, not to mention ideal for public transportation.

That last part is important, though. I seem to remember caring less about a bag’s structure when I drove myself everywhere, which is what the vast majority of Americans do, so my current existence in the bubble of New York City might be skewing my perception of the relative hobo-readiness of the rest of the country. At this point, I defer to you, our lovely readers: do you wish designers offered more exciting hobo options?

If you like the Gucci Emily Hobo Bag above, you can pick it up for $1,590 via Neiman Marcus.

I’ve worked in the fashion industry for the vast majority of my post-college life, so occasionally, I forget what it’s like for people in more traditionally corporate or conservative environments, who likely constitute the bulk of women who have the funds to buy themselves designer handbags and shoes. When I read the Washington Post’s piece on White House council Kathryn Ruemmler, though, I found myself served with a stark reminder that not all workplaces are as welcoming to designer bags and expensive shoes, no matter how by-the-book-appropriate. (more…)

In my heart of hearts, I know that literally any type of bag can be executed well. Despite my own personal tastes and biases, there is a “best” version of everything, and more often than not, that version is objectively quite attractive and will look great when styled appropriately. Before today, I might have told you that the exception to those rules was belt bags, but now that I’ve seen the Rachel Zoe Belt Bag and B-Low The Belt Tassel Belt Bag, I’m feeling more open-minded. Are you?

Fanny packs, as they’re more commonly (and derisively) known in the US, are one of the last great handbag taboos. Despite the fact that Carrie Bradshaw once famously made a Gucci belt bag look great in an episode of Sex and the City, they’re a look that the overwhelming majority of women just won’t try. As temperatures rise, though, outdoor activities (and the general feeling of being burdened by one’s handbag) become more common, and the idea of a chic belt bag that’s not too bulky or obvious starts to sound more attractive. If you’re going to wear a maxi dress or tunic that requires a belt anyway, why not kill two birds with one stone?

The best way to go with bags like this is to keep everything very boho – loose, flowing, maybe with a little bit of print. If you decide to strap one of these bags on with a pair of skinny jeans and a tank top, it simply won’t work. There’s a reason, after all, that Queen of Luxe Boho Rachel Zoe has included a belt bag in her eponymous line. Check out the reasonably priced belt options below, and then let us know – would you ever wear one?

B-Low The Belt Tassel Belt Bag
$248 via ShopBop

B-Low The Belt Tassel Belt Bag

Rachel Zoe Belt Bag
$248 via ShopBop

Rachel Zoe Belt Bag

A few weeks ago, I realized I hadn’t bought a new bag in a while. Don’t get me wrong, I still absolutely love bags; at this point, though, my collection is expansive and I’m surrounded by bags every single day, both of which help curb my consumerism. However, I started to get an itch and realized it was because I wanted a new bag. I was yearning to add a fresh touch of spring to my collection, and since pastels are the new neutral, I began my search.

I landed upon the mint version of the Loeffler Randall Rider Bag and pressed order as quick as I could. The color is extremely beautiful and feminine, a pastel green that screams spring. Since it arrived at my doorstep, I’ve carried it for two weeks straight and have been loving it. I’ll have a full review to come soon, but I wanted to open up the conversation to you to hear the last handbag you bought and if you love it. Buy my new bag via ShopBop for $495.

[Clearly, I really was itching for a new bag because soon after I bought this bag, I scooped up the Olympia Le Tan Book Clutch, which I am asking you all about as well.]

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