Bag: Saint Laurent Sac De Jour Small Tote

Price: $2,550 via Net-A-Porter

Why it’s the Bag of the Week: Saint Laurent may have dropped the Yves, but its handbags stayed front and center with the Saint Laurent Sac De Jour Bag. This bag quickly turned into a modern classic that’s is both easily recognizable but and stands out for its beautiful design and fashion-forward touches. I continue to see this bag on some of the most stylish ladies around, and trust me, it’s not going out of style anytime soon.

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Supreme bagmaster Jessica Alba was recently spotted en route to Paris Fashion Week via LAX, carrying a bright red Saint Laurent Sac de Jour Bag. She’s also wearing a pair of black leather Jenni Kayne d’Orsay flats. You can find Jessica’s exact “rouge” Sac at Nordstrom for $2,950. While we rarely see her carry the same handbag twice here on PB, we know for a fact that Jessica swears by her Jenni Kaynes. You can currently find a pair of black Jenni Kayne flats on sale at Saks for $418 (down from $595).

When it comes to the sort of handbag-centric celeb pics we specialize in here at PB, Jessica is one of our most premium suppliers. Her handbag stash is almost as vast and varied as her selection of acting roles over the course of the last two decades. You can peruse the majority of her ever-expanding collection in “The Many Bags of Jessica Alba” and “The Many Bags of Jessica Alba, Part Two.” We’ll continue to bring you coverage of Jessica’s by-the-minute handbag acquisitions, right here on PurseBlog.

Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, and a significant portion (if not all) of their brood were seen departing LAX earlier this week after returning from a lengthy family trip to Australia. Angie is carrying a black Saint Laurent Sac de Jour Suede Tote. Saint Laurent has dressed Angelina for several red carpets since Hedi Slimane took the reigns of the brand, so it’s not surprising that they sent a few new bags her way. You can find a black leather version of Angie’s bag for $2,950 at Nordstrom.

Angie’s bag selections have been pretty top-notch as of late. We saw her with a beautiful Louis Vuitton Capucines Bag just a few months ago. Unlike other celebs we feature more frequently on PB, Angie seems to pick a bag (a pretty high-end bag, natch) and stick with it for a while, rather than debuting a new (presumably free) bag every week and retiring it the next. I’m looking at you, Jessica Alba/Reese Witherspoon/Miranda Kerr.

Fox Sports football personality Erin Andrews was recently spotted heading from LAX to JFK for the impending Super Bowl festivities. As you can see, she’s overloaded with not just a Celine Luggage Tote, but also a Saint Laurent Sac de Jour Tote, which means her airport handbag game is about as tight as it gets. (Also, sports personality ladies, we clearly haven’t been paying you enough attention. Lesson learned.) You can get Erin’s exact “Bordeaux” Saint Laurent bag for $2,950 at Nordstrom.

I’ve never been one to pretend to have sentiments about the Super Bowl, and I certainly won’t start now, but I will say, in a head-to-head Celine Luggage Tote vs. Saint Laurent Sac de Jour Tote smackdown, I’m kind of feeling the Sac de Jour. Probably because the Celine Luggage Tote would be the team that ALWAYS goes to the Super Bowl in this metaphor, and the Sac de Jour clearly represents the scrappy underdog.

Just like the rest of Hedi Slimane’s runway collections, Saint Laurent’s runway bags tend to inspire both irritation and buying frenzies in fashion watchers. The man has a unique talent for creating strong opinions and for moving product, and the Saint Laurent Studded Minaudiere is the latest bag from the brand that is likely to do both. It’s straight off the catwalk, after all, and that always makes a product particularly intoxicating to a brand’s most ardent fans. Is this little clutch’s magic working on you?

As has been the case with many of Saint Laurent’s bags, my answer is, “not really.” Slimane has gotten close to potential bag magic several times in his short tenure with the brand, and although he’s hit paydirt with shoes several times, the bags aren’t quite there yet. There’s nothing wrong with this little clutch; it’s a perfectly adorable, slightly grunge-y take on an old-school luxury shape, which has become something of a calling card for the brand under Slimane. I simply wish the bag found a way to go a bit further, to feel a little bit more special. If the top was capped with a smooth silver plate, perhaps. For me, it’s that one more detail that’s usually missing from Saint Laurent’s bags, and Hedi will likely make it over the edge in the near future.

What about you? Would you consider this bag a viable alternative to your favorite night-out clutch? If so, pick it up through Neiman Marcus for $2,890. (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the price…)

Pretty Little Liars actress Ashley Benson was recently spotted leaving La Conversation Cafe in West Hollywood with an unidentified pooch companion. If her bag is giving you a little deja vu, you’re not alone – that’s the Saint Laurent Sac Du Jour Bag, and yes, it’s very much like a Saint Laurent Birkin. Even so, it’s a very attractive bag, IMO, and wonderfully minimalistic. Also, it’s about $7,000 less than your basic Birkin, which is always a plus. You can pick it up for $2950 at Net-A-Porter.

My high school French is a little rusty, but doesn’t “Sac Du Jour” translate to “bag of the day?” That’s quite an amusing name to bestow on such a luxe, nearly $3,000 Saint Laurent bag. I like that Hedi Slimane clearly has a sense of humor. For celebs like Ashley Benson (and countless others, of course), the title is probably quite literal.

Despite the fact that Saint Laurent bags confuse me at times, I’m actually a huge fan of the smaller versions of the brand’s duffel bags; they’re adorable, and compared to the slightly larger options, the price point is pretty good. I’d carry one in a heartbeat. Or, rather, I’d carry one in almost any non-metallic leather. When it comes to the Saint Laurent Metallic Toy Duffel, I’m not quite convinced.

In general, I don’t shy away from traditional metallics. I probably have more silver shoes in my closet than I have black and tan combined, and one of my favorite bags I’ve ever owned was a metallic pewter Balenciaga from 2005. In fact, Balenciaga did a lot of metallics, both neutral and not, during that era, and they’re largely quite sought-after to this day. When I laid eyes on this version of tiniest Saint Laurent duffel, I was immediately transported back to that era. The neutral metallics, like gold and silver, did that in a good way. The colorful metallics, on the other hand, were not quite as positive.

It’s extremely difficult to pull off a finish like this in blue or pink without it looking cheap, and in fact, part of the point of the bag is to reference the electro-punk look that is one of Hedi Slimane’s influences. In that regard, the bag succeeds in spades, but I’m not sure that the final product looks particularly expensive. Whether or not it needs to is up to consumers, I suppose. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $1,390.

If you already hate Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent bags, get ready to have another rage blackout!

We got on Hedi’s case a few months ago for the Birkin-aping Sac Du Jour, and for Fall 2013, Slimane is back with some more bags that are not-so-loosely based on handbag history. This time, it’s the Saint Laurent Cassandre Bags, which may or may not cause visions of vintage Chanel totes to dance in your head. In particular, the bags might remind you of the celeb-favorite Chanel Caviar Jumbo XL Weekender Tote, which is a highly sought vintage piece that has the same partially-chain double handles and flip-over logo closure as the Saint Laurent Cassandre Shoppers, both quilted and non. (And, it must be said, quilting has never made anything look less Chanel. It’s not a design feature you add if you’re trying to distance yourself from Chanel’s aesthetic.)

The line also boasts a shoulder bag with a flap top and logo closure, this one with the same diagonal quilts as the beige shopper. The design clearly mines the same 80s material that Chanel has taken to referencing recently, except that the material was, you know, actually created by Chanel back in the 80s. Rummaging through your own archive is quite different from rummaging through that of another brand.

That’s not to say that these bags are unattractive, of course. They’re attractive for the same reason that the original bags are getting a second look from both luxury vintage shoppers and Chanel’s accessory department alike: they reference a very specific period of time in fashion that’s very trendy among nostalgia-seekers at the moment. If I were you, though, I’d keep a lookout for the Chanel version, either secondhand or referenced in a new bag.


Saint Laurent Matelasse Chain Strap Shoulder Bag
$2,290 via Neiman Marcus

Saint Laurent Cassandre Matelasse Chain Strap Shoulder Bag

Saint Laurent Cassandre Chain Strap Shopper
$2,350 via Neiman Marcus

Saint Laurent Cassandre Chain Strap Shopper

Saint Laurent Cassandre Matelasse Chain Strap Shopper
$2,550 via Neiman Marcus

Saint Laurent Cassandre Matelasse Chain Strap Shopper

There are certain sartorial advantages to being female. Not only do we get the broader selection of styles, colors and prints to choose from in women’s clothing, but we can borrow from the boys at will. If we do, we’re just being edgy and androgynous, and no one accuses us of not “acting our gender” simply for having the temerity to like a men’s bag. Being female makes our lives harder in some ways, but that’s not one of them. What of the men who like women’s bags, though?

Some of you know that I got my start with PurseBlog as a moderator at PurseForum way back when I was still in college, and back then, it always surprised me that you’d occasionally see people insulting male posters for carrying a women’s bag. American men generally don’t break those kinds of taboos easily, and if that’s what a guy wants to carry, why would it bother anyone else? Especially enough to purposefully hurt the feelings of a stranger? (Some of you who spend a lot of time on the Internet are laughing at this right now, because comment sections! That’s all they’re for!) I hoping that perhaps some people’s minds have opened a bit since then, but you never know.

In the intervening years, a few things have changed. Not only have men’s bags become much more mainstream and luxurious, but “new minimalism” means that a lot of women’s bags have a more androgynous feel as well. If a guy, gay or straight, is fashion-conscious, I can see how he might be tempted to wade into the shallow waters of big, neutral handbags like the black Saint Laurent Sac Du Jour above. Hedi Slimane’s aesthetic is kind of unisex to begin with, and that bag is simple enough to look at home in a variety of hands. (Even if it is a Birkin ripoff.)

So dudes, weigh in – if you saw a women’s bag you liked, would you make it yours? And if you wouldn’t, is it because you’re nervous about what people might think? Pick up that Saint Laurent bag for $2,950 via Net-a-Porter.

I mean, really. Just go ahead and guess how much the Saint Laurent Betty Borsa Mini Shoulder Bag costs. Get your number in your head and you’ll find me after the jump, where I’ll be chuckling to myself just like I am right now. (more…)

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