Wedding Rings

When we set the date of February 20th, 2009 for our wedding it seemed as if that day was so far away. Slowly but surely the day creeped up on us and as it got closer to the wedding day, the amount of work for the wedding grew exponentially as did my excitement. And finally, when the day arrived, I was overtaken with excitement, nerves, and love. One week ago today, I was lucky enough to marry the man of my dreams. Seems so cliche, but it is absolutely true. Vlad and I have been together nearly six years. We swam together in college. He moved to Germany. We started a website together which turned into our company and full time job. He moved back from Germany. We moved to Florida. We went though so much together, but from day one I knew I was going to marry him and live my happily ever after. Our happily ever after began six years ago, but the wedding last Friday was the last little piece of the relationship finalization. (more…)

7 For All Mankind Metal Link Link Large ToteFor some reason, I’m in a slightly punk rock mood this morning. I want black leather, dark silver hardware, and something fashionable made out of both. The 7 For All Mankind Metal Link Large Tote fits that bill perfectly – the metal links on the front seams remind me of huge surgical staples, which is something so medical and un-pretty that I kind of love that I’m seeing them on a bag that’s actually quite nice-looking. A lot of the vision behind the punk look is being able to see the beauty in things that aren’t traditionally thought of as beautiful – industrial, non-fashionable things to which the average person doesn’t give a second thought. It’s incorporated in a way that’s still subtle and fashionable here, which makes it possible for a variety of people to wear it. Kudos to SFAM for doing something that’s less obvious than a lot of other brands. If their past few bags have been any indication, I may have to add them to my collection soon. Buy through Shop Bop for $595.

Pauric Sweeney Padded Patchwork Top Handle in FuchsiaSo, the 1980s throwback trend is, like, a thing. I get that. I’m even a moderate supporter of it, when done correctly. The 80s were a time of excess and fashion-forwardness and questionable taste, and everyone loves that, right? Right. Except when it’s done like the Pauric Sweeney Padded Patchwork Top Handle, I don’t love it. At all. Not even a little. It kind of makes my eyes hurt to look at it. This isn’t just a winking reference to 80s ridiculousness – this is taking something that was already fug back then and making it more fug and more expensive 25 years later. And I, for one, am not fooled and not impressed. In order to do “retro” correctly, a designer has to somehow make it sleeker and more modern than it was to begin with, and there’s nothing about this bag that looks updated in the least. It wasn’t cute then, and it’s not cute now, sadly; it’s a retro-gone-wrong monstrosity. Even if this bag was given to me for free, I sincerely doubt I would wear it to anything but a costume party. Buy through LuisaViaRoma for € 810.00.

Thomas Wylde Colossus Scorpion Bag in ViperIn commenting on one of my previous posts over on the Forum, our lovely member gacats mentioned a piece of classic style advice that I think many people (designers and fashionistas included) have totally forgotten lately: when dressing, always remove one accessory before leaving the house. It may sound a bit conservative to some folks, but it’s a great way to ensure that you don’t look like a fashion victim or someone wearing a costume. Now, if only certain bag designers would take that advice. Consider the Thomas Wylde Colossus Scorpion Bag, for instance. There are things about this bag that I love – the leather looks so soft that I have the strange urge to rub it on my face, the bike-chain handle is a cool, industrial touch, as are the spikes at the handle attachment, and the overall effect is full of edgy-but-fashionable personality that could really do wonders for the average outfit. And then…there are the scorpions emblazoned on the front in silver studs. I know that’s sort of Thomas Wylde‘s thing, with the random stuff depicted in studs, but I wish his look would evolve a bit and maybe become a little more subtle. This bag would still have attitude to spare without the bugs on it, and with them, it seems just a wee bit silly. Part of me also thinks it looks a lot less luxurious than it could – the scorpions break up all that delicious, wonderful, touchable leather. So, Thomas Wylde, please consider heeding some sage advice – next time you get the urge to put bugs on a purse, let it pass. Buy through eLuxury for $2500.

Christian Louboutin Piercing Softy HoboI don’t even really know how to begin. I am bringing you a Christian Louboutin handbag that isn’t a clutch? I think this is a first. While there are times I write about handbags for no reason other than shock or surprise; this time, being surprised is a good thing. I am so pleased with the Christian Louboutin Piercing Softy Hobo I almost don’t know where to start. The soft “makeup” colored leather is a shade that can go with so many outfits during so many different seasons. The way the leather is gathered as well as the pleating and vertical welts draw the eye to the detailing that went into designing and crafting the bag. And of course, as you might be able to tell, this is a bag that would be perfect to use during the day. Yet at the same time, I could see myself carrying this during the evening as well. If you aren’t a fan of the color, fear not, the handbag comes in black as well. If you ever doubted that this was truly a Louboutin handbag, open it up and you will find the signature bright silk satin lining. Gorgeous. And since you are pretty much sure to drop a pretty penny or two on a Louboutin, maybe a larger bag like this one can be more justifiable than one of the clutches. Buy through Saks for $1895.

Marni Slouchy Shoulder BagLately, Marni has been going slouchy and I like it. Sure, growing up my mother, grandmother and various family members would always tell the kids, “don’t slouch”. Well, I’m going to go against that and tell the folks over at Marni to keep slouching their way into our hearts and our closets! A little while ago, Amanda brought you the Marni Slouchy Leather Bag. Although that bag received mixed reviews from our readers, I had to bring you another Marni bag. The Marni Slouchy Shoulder Bag demonstrates how a bit of asymmetry can actually work. The caramel slouchy leather with silver-tone hardware, shoulder strap, zip across the top and turnlock fastening all come together nicely. In a season full of bright, Bright, BRIGHT colors, it would be nice to add a neutral bag to your wardrobe. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $1410.

Juicy Couture Queen Anne Clutch

Say what you want about Juicy Couture. They make their fair share of missteps, and they’ve produced some truly horrendous bags in the past. They don’t always get it right, which is the case with a lot of young brands. One thing I do know, though, is that occasionally they make something really interesting or really pretty, and it’s always a pleasant surprise. Another thing that I know is that the Juicy Couture Queen Anne Clutch looks way more expensive than it is. I could see Gucci or Dior making something similar (the hardware is reminiscent, don’t you think?) and charging four or five times as much for it, and people would gladly buy it. So consider, for a second, ignoring the branding and looking at this bag for what it is – a beautiful, functional clutch with beautiful-but-subtle details that you’ll use for a long time. Buy through eLuxury for $228.

Betseyville Cha Cha Cheetah Flap Shoulder Bag Hear me out on this one, folks. I know what a lot of you are thinking. You’re thinking “Holy crap, Amanda has fallen off the deep end and appears to be unable to claw her way back up.” And, in all fairness, you may be right. But I kind of love the Betseyville Cha Cha Cheetah Flap Shoulder Bag in all of its tacky glory. I’ve had a small obsession with animal print lately and just bought a pink-and-black leopard print linen scarf that, surprisingly, goes with pretty much everything I own. So take a risk, folks. Zappos shows it on a model, and it looks like it’d be the perfect size for going out, and you could probably tuck the chain strap in and carry it as a handheld. Plus, it’s super cheap compared to a lot of the bags we cover here, so why not? Even if you take it to a bar and accidentally sit it in a puddle of alcohol (not that I’ve ever done that…), it’s no huge loss. Put a little hot pink leopard print in your life. You know you secretly want to. It’ll go great with an otherwise-simple black dress that I know you have in your closet. Buy through Zappos for $64.80.

Sienna MillerYes, I’ve said it before, I love celebrity gossip. It really is a guilty pleasure of mine. I don’t know why, but as soon as I open a celeb infused magazine or type in a celeb heavy site, I am fixated. It’s not that I am trying to emulate one celebrity or another, but I love to see where they go, what they wear and who they are hanging out with. I can’t help it. And to be honest, I know many of you sitting there reading this feel the same way. Whether you openly admit it or feel some sort of shame admitting it, so many of us love celeb gossip! Today I came across some very interesting images of Sienna Miller. Many view her as a fashion icon or at least someone who keeps up, if not sets, trends. She could be in rainy London, sunny LA, or fast-paced NYC and she is always photographed and her clothes almost always commented on. Today is nothing different. A red cape? Really, Sienna? I realize she is in London, and it is probably frigid, but the Little-Red-Riding-Hood-look makes me go “hmmmm”. I can’t decide if it is fashionable or a fashion faux-pas. (more…)

J.Crew Silk Gala Clutch I can’t decide what my feelings are on the J.Crew Silk Gala Clutch. On the one hand, it’s totally warm-weather-appropriate and I kind of adore the color. On the other hand, it might be a little bridesmaid-y and I’d surely destroy any silk bag with which I was to come into contact. Ultimately, the deciding factor for me is that we’re having a cold front here – when I ventured out earlier, it was still in the 30s, and I live in Georgia, so I’m not supposed to have to put up with that. As a result, anything that reminds me of Spring today is something that I find absolutely captivating, and to me, this peachy-pink clutch couldn’t be any more warm-weather-oriented. This is the kind of clutch I’d carry during the day as soon as it just starts to get warm, just because I can, even if it’s woefully inappropriate to take a silk clutch to the grocery store. That’s how I roll. And for $88, you can all roll like that too, if you so please. And actually, come to think of it, this handbag would be a great option if you found yourself in love with the oh-so-pricey Valentino Bow Clutch. Buy the Silk Gala Clutch through J.Crew for $88.

Fendi Sfilata Divided SatchelAlright, I’ll admit it. I haven’t been overly friendly to Fendi in the past. You might even say I’ve been critical; some would say overly critical. I just say honest. But not only is the Fendi Sfilata Divided Satchel a major It Bag for spring, but I actually love it. It has its faults, don’t get me wrong. Most obviously, that it looks an awful lot like an Hermes Kelly. But the Kelly is a timeless shape, and one that many other brands have bogarted (I’m looking at you, Chanel), so you can hardly blame Fendi for giving us their own version. Theirs has a bit of slouch and distressing to it that the Hermes model is certainly not known for, and it may be designed in a way that is actually a good bit more functional. Instead of a flap, the Sfilata Satchel has a turnlock closure on both sides and what appears to be a fairly rigid divider down the middle (or perhaps only the top is rigid – hard to tell). For all of you organized women out there (of which I am certainly not one), something like this has to be a great way to help keep your purse neat and tidy, especially compared to a giant slouchy hobo that turns into a handbag black hole and eats your stuff (which describes, oh, basically all of my bags). At nearly $2600, I can’t call this purse inexpensive, but compared to the traditional Kelly option at more than twice that, it might be a downright bargain. Buy through Saks for $2590.

Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis Cosmetic Pouch MMI’ve been on the look recently for a very tiny pouch or wristlet to use as a clutch. I want something small enough to fit easily in my hand that will hold only the very essentials – house key, car key, ID, cash, phone. But the phone is where I’m hitting an impasse, because I have an enormous Blackberry with an even more enormous clear plastic shell to keep it safe (gotta brag for a minute – it’s one of the new click-screen ones! I love it!). As such, the thing is approximately the size of a small computer, and even if I can find a wristlet into which it fits, nothing else will fit alongside it. So I’ve decided to get a bit creative in my current search, and this morning came across something that could potentially work very well – the Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis Cosmetic Pouch MM. I realize that it’s meant to hold lipsticks and whatnot inside of a larger bag, but since it doesn’t have cosmetic pouch emblazoned on it anywhere, I doubt anyone would know the difference. Besides, I’m all for repurposing things (kinda of like the tv stand holding the microwave in my kitchen. Ahem). At any rate, it looks like it’s just small enough to fit in my hand while being just big enough to contain my giant brick of a phone, and it zips all the way across the top, lest I drop it or hit anyone in the head with it. Perfect! On top of all that, amarante is my favorite color of LV vernis ever and would go really well with all the black I tend to wear. Now if only LV ever went on sale. Buy through eLuxury for $450.