My first response to the Betsey Johnson Sweet & Tart Hobo was, of course, “Oh, honey. No.” Because it’s Betsey Johnson, and if she’s on her game, then that should always be the first thing that springs to mind. She’s all about shock value and bold statements, even if those statements are always in the best taste. Good taste gets boring after a while, anyway.

But her genius has always been in getting you to take a second look, which is what I did here. And when you get past the fact that this is a red plaid handbag, things start to make a little more sense. Trust me on this one.

Betsey Johnson Sweet and Tart Hobo

The first thing I realized about this bag, upon taking a second look, was that the structure was strikingly similar to the Valentino Bow Hobo that I raved about last week on PurseBlog. It’s slouchy, easy-to-carry, and adorned with an enormous bow on the front. This is obviously the poor man’s version, without a doubt, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still work. Because it does!

And then, there’s the plaid. My biggest opposition to this bag was the lumberjack red material that it’s made out of, and I’m still not entirely convinced that I should be ok with it. But I’ve seen plaid all over the place for fall, and can’t wait to get a couple of plaid shirts myself to wear with black skinnies and a thick belt, so I can’t hate on the material entirely. At the very least, she’s on-trend, and if you were to combine it with an outfit of blacks and greys, you just might pull it off. Buy through Bloomingdale’s for $198.

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