If you’re not a person who keeps a tidy handbag, skip this post entirely – you don’t want the world to see the various and sundry receipts, loose change and tampons you have floating around down there. (I know what’s in there because I am guilty as well.) For the rest of you with better cleaning habits than us, clear handbags are back again for one more season of see-through fun.

We had almost put the nail in the coffin of this trend, but then PVC got super trendy for shoes and everyone from Chanel to Tory Burch has gone clear for one more season. Thankfully, the PVC panels help prices take a bit of a nosedive, but whether that’s a fair tradeoff for showing your stuff to the world is up to you.

We briefly touched on the trend of miniaturizing successful bag designs last spring, but now that we’re in the back half of January and it seems like warm weather may one day come again at some indeterminate point in the future, it seems like the number of designers who have decided to make everything tiny has expanded exponentially. In fashion, unlike literally every other facet of human life, the warmth of spring doesn’t make things grow – it makes bags get smaller. Below, you’ll find over a dozen mini designer handbags to lighten your load, now and in the future. (more…)

Springtime flowers on fashion pieces are common enough to garner their own Devil Wears Prada reference, but there’s little use in arguing that a good floral can’t bring a smile to the face of most shoppers looking to thaw out from a long winter. As spring deliveries start to arrive at online retailers, it looks like floral bags are set to be even more popular than usual, from delicate embroidered clutches to large everyday totes. Check out over a dozen of our favorites below. (more…)

Anyone who’s an active pop culture consumer in 2013 knows that the things that are popular are not necessarily the same as the things that are the best. The two categories are related and often similar, but they’re not the same, and they’re both interesting for different reasons. We’ll be exploring the year’s best bags more thoroughly in January, but right now, we want to talk about The Biggest Bags of 2013.

Some of these designs (which are listed in no particular order) are new for this year and some have been around for a while, but they were all instrumental in shaping the way that consumers viewed accessories in the past calendar year. They’re trend-setters, they’re wait-list-makers, they’re the bags that have driven thousands of women crazy until they got their hands on them. Here’s to another year of bag lust.

Every year around this time, the color experts (which I would think were a weird title, if my own title were not “handbag blogger”) at Pantone get together and inform the world of the color we’ll be wearing in the next 12 months, as the result of some trend forecasting and also Pantone’s desire to remind people who are not graphic designers that it exists. The 2014 Pantone Color of the Year shall be a pink-purple known as Radiant Orchid, and it looks like a bunch of handbag designers figured it out before last week’s announcement. (more…)

Luxury accessories have an exclusivity problem. Because handbags are generally among a company’s most profitable and marketable product categories, most brands want (and need) to sell them hand over first in order to stay on the seasonal fashion treadmill. That’s a bit tricky, though, because one of the things luxury customers look for most in a new purchase is a sense of exclusivity; how do you sell lots of bags while still making every bag-buyer feel like she’s the only person in the world who has a particular piece? Lately, the answer is to turn a retail product into a one-of-a-kind handbag with the addition of the owner’s name or initials. (more…)

We’re all well familiar with animal print by now; it’s been a general fashion trend for years and manifests itself on bags season after season. I suppose that the current trend for printing actual animal images on bags is a somewhat extreme extension of the classic animal print idea, but the finishing ends up being quite different. One’s luxurious and often a little sexy, the other swings cartoonish and irreverent. You can probably guess which is which without much assistance on my part.

In execution, this trend skews similar to the odd trend of putting eyes on bags (and, notably, involves several of the same brands); simple totes or pouches emblazoned with a print that’s intended to be the bag’s defining feature. In some instances, though, the bags take the shape of the animals themselves, which means that they fit both the animal trend and the eye trend. I’d say you’re killing two birds with one stone, but that might be a tad on the nose.

When you consider the minimal, modern direction that fashion has been heading in for several seasons, plus the overwhelming success of the holographic leather trend, the emergence of mirrored metallic leather as a bonafide trend isn’t particularly shocking. Stiff and futuristic, high-shine mirrored finishes can only really exist in a fashion climate that encourages us all to dress like space ladies from Planet Street Style. They’re perfect for structured bags with limited details, such as the minimalistic zippered pouch-clutches that have become ubiquitous.

Indeed, mirrored leather does mostly manifest itself in clutches and evening bags, but for the adventurous, we found a few larger shoulder bags that will allow you to reflect enough sunlight that you can properly work on your tan through the frigid winter months. Remember, it’s not just about fashion, it’s also about function.

Fall is for jumping in leaves, pumpkin spice lattes and layering tons of textures. As I much as I love my cashmere sweaters, when it comes to accessories, this season is all about calf hair for me. For months, I’ve been lusting over more calf hair bags than you can possibly imagine; in fact, I’m starting to believe my heart may even be covered in the stuff.

Calf hair adds such an element of sophistication to every outfit and instantly makes you look a little more luxious. These 20 calf hair bags are so elegant and so soft that you may even find yourself snuggled up with one by the end of the night.

If brevity is the soul of wit, minimalism might be the soul of elegance. After season upon season of rococo embellishment, studs, beading, embroidery, print, fur and exotics, fashion feels like it’s ready for something a little simpler and a little less look-at-me. The street style ship as we know it has, to a certain extent, sailed. Because handbags are such a distinctive and enduring part of any outfit, the best way to get in the spirit of this sartorial shift is with one of the many minimalist handbags that are currently ripe for the picking. (more…)

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