I was talking to my friend Tanya the other day about her next handbag purchase, and the subject of patent vs. regular leather came up. Patent’s having a huge moment right now, with everyone from 3.1 Phillip Lim to Chloe remaking some of their most successful designs in the stiff, glossy material, but the look isn’t for everyone or every design, no matter how hard brands try to make us think it is.

I have absolutely positively no qualms in declaring my never-ending love for Proenza Schouler. The schoolgirl bags with their downtown vibe have yet to lose traction in the accessory world. With new materials, patterns and colors constantly being released on the many versions of the beloved PS1, there an option for everyone.

I rounded up four new Proenza Schouler bags that feature different prints and materials to see which one you’d like the best.

It occurred to me on Wednesday night, while I was fretting over skirts and sequins and my utter lack of shoe options for the start of New York Fashion Week, that I am indeed a very lucky girl. After all, if the biggest existential question you have to ask yourself at work is, “How many bracelets are too many bracelets?” then life really can’t be all that bad.

Handbag Resolutions

Happy New Year everyone! We are so excited to spend another year sharing our love of handbags with you. I stopped making the typical New Year’s Resolutions years ago, as I never seemed to follow through (eating better and exercising more only lasted for a few days). Instead, I have chosen to make resolutions that I can follow through with – and that involves my handbag collection (here are my resolutions from last year).

Alaia Arabesque Tote, $3395 via Net-a-Porter

Whenever I write about an Alaia bag, I can more or less pinpoint the range of reactions that it will receive. The people who think that Alaia is, like, a totally important designer will ooh and ahh. The people who haven’t joined Azzedine’s cult of personality will complain that it’s either too simple or too similar to all the other Alaia bags.

Take a look at this bag and guess how much you think it costs before you click to find out the answer.

Gucci Zoo Children’s Bag, $495 via Gucci

Designing for kids is all the rage lately. Brands who haven’t had children’s lines in the past are all lining up to expand into the marketplace, with Lanvin in particular launching a much-lauded collection for tots in the past few months. Which, naturally, brings about lots of questions about what role luxury goods should have in the lives of kids.

I think of myself as something of a maximalist; the outfits I like the best are often the outfits in which nothing matches and everything stands out on its own. That’s also a quick way to look like a complete crackhead, but hey, I bought foot-long neon pink feather earrings yesterday. I got over any self-consciousness or fear of looking silly a long time ago.

Alexander McQueen Gold leaf Metal Skull Box Clutch, $3295 via Alexander McQueen.

With the vast majority of handbags, I tire of a design almost immediately. So many beautiful options abound that I find myself in a constant state of “on to the next one,” and brands that rely largely on seasons-old products with only cursory changes from collection to collection grate on my nerves something fierce.

The Gucci New Bamboo Crocodile Shoulder Bag, $14,200 via Net-a-Porter

It’s easy to become price-blind when you spend your days hunting down and discussing designer accessories, but sometimes life has a way of reminding you just how much a dollar is actually worth. I experienced that recently when trying to buy my first set of post-college, post-Ikea Big Girl furniture and found that I could decorate my bedroom rather elaborately for the same amount of money that I’ve been contemplating spending on a crocodile-embossed Celine Phantom Luggage Tote this fall.

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