I don't remember exactly when I shifted from hating Gwyneth Paltrow to absolutely loving her, but it's a relatively new phenomenon. I had always been annoyed by her macrobiotic proselytizing and her Tracy Anderson workout-endorsing and her general little-miss-perfect-ness, until one day, it finally occurred to me: that's actually who Gwyneth Paltrow is. She's just being herself, despite the fact that it annoys a lot of people and gets her some bad press and causes people to say nasty things about her on the Internet. She just keeps on being Gwyneth, even though it would likely pay dividends for her to pretend to be some kind of self-effacing, less-than-Gwyneth version of herself who eats gluten and cares about finding a good deal on a pair of shoes. Once I realized that, my love for her was instant.
Since my moment of clarity came to pass, I've kept up with her like the fangirl I am. I'll never be trying any recipes from her cookbook, to be clear, but I like the neat, modern perfectionism that she brings to things, particularly her personal style. Of course, it doesn't hurt that she's friends with Tom Ford, Stella McCartney and Hedi Slimane, but something tells me that if Gwyneth weren't rich, she'd still be out there hustling to look just like she does now. Some people are just like that, and I can't hate on it. I also can't hate on most of her handbag choices, which I've detailed below for easy reference.
Since we've already mentioned Tom Ford, let's start there - Gwyneth carried this Tom Ford Natalia Bag to an in-store event at Apple. $3,690 via Neiman Marcus.
Black and gold is something of a thing for Tom Ford - Gwyneth carried the Tom Ford Natasha Anaconda Wristlet Minaudiere with a very Gwyneth white dress. $1,980 via Neiman Marcus.
I don't know for a fact that the black clutch Gwyneth carried to GOOP's summer launch party was Tom Ford, but I have strong suspicions. After all, everything else she wore that day was Ford's exquisite handiwork. Buy Tom Ford via Neiman Marcus.
Gwyneth has a very neutral color palette that she prefers for her bags, and lately, she's been spotted with several ivory-and-black options, like this Celine Luggage Tote. Shop pre-owned Celine via Portero.
This Gucci Stirrup Raffia and Leather Shoulder Bag also fits the ivory-and-black rule. Buy the all-leather version for $2,200 via Neiman Marcus.
In the right light, this Stella McCartney Perforated Metal Clutch also looks ivory and black. Shop Stella McCartney via Net-a-Porter.
We interrupt your regularly scheduled ivory and black programming for Gwyneth's white and grey Pierre Hardy Leather Tote. Shop Pierre Hardy via Net-a-Porter.
It's hard to tell from this photo (and it was the best one we could find), but Gwyneth's Victoria Beckham Two Tone Shoulder Bag appears to be largely grey as well. Shop Victoria Beckham via Net-a-Porter.
More grey for Gwyneth, this time by way of the Alexander Wang Emile Satchel. Buy through ShopBop for $925.
And even more grey! Gwyneth was the first celeb spotted with the Saint Laurent Classic Duffel Bag. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $2,650.
Perhaps the biggest departure from what I expected to see from Gwyneth was that she has a couple of Coach bags, like this Coach Legacy Penny Shoulder Purse. Then I remembered that Gwyneth did an overseas ad campaign for Coach and it all made sense. Buy for $198 via Coach.
The Internet tells me that this snakeskin clutch is also Coach, and that Gwyneth carried it to a Coach party, but I'm dubious. Shop Coach via the brand's website.
Gwyneth's always a good sport when she goes to a brand's events - here she is in London, celebrating the opening of a Louis Vuitton Maison, carrying a Louis Vuitton Sequin Clutch.
On the red carpet, Gwyneth's clutch choices are a little bit more subdued, like this lovely Roger Vivier Pilgrim Clutch.
This Jimmy Choo Cosma Clutch, paired with a netural, figure-flattering gown, is classic Gwyneth. $1,595 via Nordstrom.
This tonal Prada Satin Clutch blends in with Gwyneth's dramatic gown. Buy a similar clutch for $650 via Saks.
Gwyneth's sweater and skirt aren't exactly the same shade of ivory, so that's how you know she's human. (Nice little Chanel Classic Flap Bag, by the way.)
Believe it or not, Gwyneth does occasionally look like the rest of us - when she's coming from the gym, for instance. Except her gym bag is a Goyard St. Louis PM Tote.
Balenciaga might be known for its colors, but believe me when I tell you that Gwyneth's are all dark, like this black Balenciaga City Tote. $1,895 via Neiman Marcus.
Gwyneth's Balenciaga Weekender Bag, which she uses a lot for travel, is similarly inky. $1,845 via Neiman Marcus.
The Givenchy Antigona Bag maybe be a huge celebrity favorite now, but Gwyneth got in on the ground floor - back when some of the Antigonas were still slouchy. Buy through Bergdorf Goodman for $2,405.