For the first time this winter, it is really, genuinely, bone-chillingly cold in New York City. Yesterday, I got my puffer coat out of the closet for the first time since last winter; I had been surviving since November on just a wool coat, but sub-20-degree temperatures made me a holdout no longer. Today isn’t any better.

To add insult to injury, all of the resort and spring arrivals look so bright and cheery that sometimes I forget the frigidity waiting for me outside my windows. It’s even sunny out there, but the sun is a lie! So, why not make it a little sunnier in here? Yellow handbags are a huge trend for spring, and a good one can make me feel warmer by merely gazing upon it. Join me to gaze below.

Now that Spring 2013 bags are starting to show up for pre-order all over the Internet, it’s time that we started talking about the season’s biggest trends so that we can all begin the delicate process of planning our seasonal handbag purchases. (I’d be lying, though, if I didn’t admit that at least half of the time, they’re a result of spontaneous lust instead of sound budgeting and a realistic appraisal of my existing wardrobe.)

If you’ve been studying your handbag textbook, you know that spring’s huge black and white trend has been a long time coming. Megs touched on a few bags that fit the bill back in September, and the new season brings exponentially more options for everyone who likes the crisp, modern, totally neutral look of a black and white bag. Check out our picks (for all price ranges) below.

Most trends lack real staying power, especially in these times of fast fashion and even faster attention spans. Last week’s studs are this week’s fur and next week’s embroidery, and by the time one set of stuff is in stores, many people are already hungering for what’s up next. One thing that’s stayed noticeably consistent for the past few seasons, though, is bold colorblocking, like on this Valentino Glam Lock Colorblock Flap Bag. Not only does each element of the design have a different color than the element next to it, but even Valentino’s signature studs are enameled to fit with the scheme.

I find myself still digging this bag, which is from Resort 2013, quite a bit, although maybe just a tad less than I did a few months ago when it made its debut in showroom previews. Colorblocking doesn’t have that special shine of newness anymore, but it still feels modern and clean to me when done well. Particularly when the weather starts to get warmer, this will probably be a really fun bag to incorporate into a wardrobe, but by then, will you want to? I certainly wouldn’t turn this design down, but has colorblocking worn out its welcome for you?

Perhaps it’s a little bit more complicated than that. Entirely bright colorblocked pieces strike me very different than those which incorporate neutrals. The neutral approach feels fresher overall, but mostly, it’s surprising how long the entire trend has endured. If you’re still in love, you can pick up this bag for $1,895 via Neiman Marcus.

After the last two springs and summers, I can imagine that a lot of you are really sick of seeing bright color blocking. A yellow top, purple skirt and red shoes looked fresh in 2010, but now, it just looks a lot like everything we’ve already seen. In light of that, all of the neutral color blocked bags that have emerged lately seem like a breath of fresh air – a new, subtle take on a trend that’s been anything but subtle.

Mixing neutrals also has its functional advantages. Not only is it easier to work a black-and-tan bag into a wardrobe than a cobalt-and-green one, but a neutral bag has a longer potential lifespan than a non-neutral one, particularly when you’re dealing with a bold trend like color blocking. Neutrals, even light ones, aren’t beholden to a particular fashion season or outdoor temperature, so these bags are perfect for seasonal transitions, in addition to being a strong closet staple for years to come. We’ve rounded up some of your best neutral color blocked options, from a little under $300 to a little over $3000, after the jump. (more…)

We already told you that oxblood is the new black for fall, and everyone is continuing to talk about the color burgundy. I can’t stop obsessing – it’s just such a rich, lush color that goes with practically everything. Want to wear blacks with it? Great. How about if you love brown colors? Perfect. This is a color that gives life to your wardrobe and complements so many different ensembles, which is why we are giving it its second major feature – one wasn’t enough.

As you know we always turn to our bags to add the seasons latest trends whether it be texture or color, and this time it is all about the the best Burgundy Bags for fall, and I’ve picked out 9 that are completely enviable. (more…)

As consumers, finding the right wardrobe balance of classic pieces and trendy accents can be tough. So many trends will look obviously outdated after a season or two that even if you love them, it can be hard to justify spending the big bucks on something that will look old almost immediately. That’s why Fall 2012 is so major – so many of the big runway trends are things that a well-stocked wardrobe should have anyway, all the way from knee-high boots to a good black bag.

Classics becoming “trendy” means that it’s a perfect time to stock up – trust me, you’ll never have so many options for knee-high riding boots as you will this fall – you can actually feel good about shopping because so much of what’s in stores will be wearable for a long time. We teamed up with our friends at Bloomingdale’s to scout out some of the best Classic Trends for the season. Check out our picks after the jump! (more…)

Now that aggressive colorblocking (and to a certain extent, pattern-mixing) has run its course, designers have moved on to mixing textures. One wonders exactly where the fashion industry will go once piling beads, fur, studs and jingle bells onto the same outfit becomes tiresome (all the way back around to stark minimalism, probably), but for the moment, your style pursuit for fall is to load up on all the wonderful textures you can.

We all know that fur and bags often don’t mix, and beading can make your purse look a little too precious for regular use, so what’s an accessories fiend to do? Embroidery is one big option for fall, and if you don’t mind channeling grandma (or maybe you really dig it), it might just be the perfect, detailed, texture-rich way to go. Check out our picks for the season’s ten best embroidered bags, from Jason Wu to Alexander McQueen, after the jump. (more…)

At a certain point, a popular bag design reaches such full saturation that designers who make bags in its image are no longer ripping off someone else’s work, but simply designing to fit a trend. It’s a bag designer’s job to interpret what consumers want for their own brand, of course, and lately, consumers want the Celine Luggage Tote. That’s great for Celine, but it also works out well for everyone else; at this point, the shape of the Luggage Tote has become a short-term icon, and consumer demand for it far outpaces both Celine’s ability to produce bags and the market’s ability to provide consumers who all want to carry exactly the same thing.

That’s where brands like 3.1 Phillip Lim, Reed Krakoff and even Marc by Marc Jacobs come in. By designing to the shape (flared, articulated gussets, short top handles, a body that’s taller than it is wide), companies can imbue their work with a vague feeling of aesthetic relevance, which can even rub off on people who aren’t familiar with the suddenly ubiquitous shape’s original inspiration. Fall 2012 seems to be where the tide has finished its turn and everyone has some version of the Celine shape on the market, so to start the season, we’ve rounded up some of the best non-Celine north-south totes out there. Check out our picks after the jump. (more…)

Color is a bit of a tricky proposition for cooler months; brights can feel inappropriate, and as much as I’m a fan of aggressive season-pushing when a piece is amazing and just must be worn immediately, the reality of winter is that even most people who love brights have to embrace darker, more neutral colors, at least for a few months. Fall has spring beat in the texture department, but what’s a color-lover to do?

This year, jewel tones are the way to go. In particular, oxblood was nearly inescapable on the Fall 2012 runways, and it’s a beautiful alternative to more mundane neutrals like brown. It’s richer, more noticeable and combines well with gold hardware, all of which makes burgundy and oxblood ideal for fall handbags. Brands from Louis Vuitton to Madewell have jumped on the bandwagon, and we’ve combed online retailers to find your best bets for fall’s biggest shade. Check out our picks after the jump! (more…)

It’s been a long time since the handbag world has had a new shape emerge. For the past several seasons, it’s mostly been wall-to-wall small crossbodies and tailored, ladylike satchels with a few popular north-south totes thrown in, and just like any predilection that’s been around for a while, those norms were bound to be challenged sooner or later. I simply didn’t expect ultra-wide east-west satchels to be the bags to do it.

And these aren’t just any east-west bags, which have always been a favorite. These designs are wide, some of them doubly wide as they are tall. It’s a tricky proportion to pull off, and although I’ve rounded up a bunch of good representations of the trend from Fall 2012′s new arrivals, I’m not sure that every bag on this list pulls it off. Lanvin, for example, does a better job on some of its bags than others, and I can’t say I’m feeling the extra-wide Louis Vuitton option at all. The blue Miu Miu and Chloe up top? Sign me up. Check out the bags we picked and let us know if you think this trend will catch on. (more…)

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