Of all the pieces I have ever written , it’s this one I’m the most excited and passionate about. If there’s something I LOVE its shoes and handbags! I must admit, I am probably more of a bag girl as I find shoes hard to fit my huge feet, however if you pass me a pair of red soles I might just bite your hand off!
When it comes to bags I’m all about classical, investment pieces. Once you’ve got your basics, you can expand on your collection. Trends come and go so stick to classic styles, shapes and materials that will take you from season to season, last a life time and in some cases increase in value (this is my kind of stocks and shares!)
Classic bags are usually those created by iconic designers. They come in neutral colors and simple, sophisticated shapes. With a classic handbag, you can afford to splurge because you will be able to carry it year after year. Do your research on the style, brand, material and all the other factors that go into creating the perfect bag.
The handbag you choose will of course depend upon your own personal taste and preferences but I’m going to give you my top five handbag styles every woman should own. They are essential to compliment any outfit:
A classic every day handbag – This would be your go-to bag. One that will see you through all the jobs you need to tick off your list like picking the kids up from school to doing the supermarket run. It’s generally medium in size, a neutral shade and can go from day to casual evening to shopping during the weekend. My perfect bag for this would be the Mulberry Bayswater in oak. Wheelers in Loughborough are always very accommodating of my clients and give great customer service. Another would be the Louis Vuitton Speedy. If designer isn’t your thing you can try Mint Velvet or Jigsaw for some great taupe coloured everyday bags.
A structured tote bag – This is a great choice when you need your bag to serve as a work bag to hold files and such during the week and as a very smart shopping tote on the weekends. These are usually of a larger size to hold a variety of items you may need. They are a harder leather so when they are stood up don’t slouch or crease. My dream bag for this would be the Hermes Birkin or Prada top handle tote(you need to remortgage your house for these) alternatively Dune have done some great structured bags at about 99% less!
A clutch bag – My bag is huge (the bigger the bag the smaller you look) however this can play havoc with my shoulders and back as I carry absolutely everything in it including the unnecessary! When you’re out and about whether it be at a party, a bar, the movies or even dinner the last thing you want is a weighty and bulky bag that will only get in the way and stop you from drinking that glass of wine so elegantly. A small clutch or wristlet is just the thing you need to hold your absolute essentials. My dream bag for this would be the Alexander McQueen skull clutch, my inner rock chick trying to escape. Alternatively the high street have some fab offerings, take a look in Accessorize and Topshop.
A cross body bag – now I’ll be honest I’m not a fan of these, that’s because they’re practical, something I’m not personally very good at! However most of my clients own them when they need hands free moments (perfect for mums with young children.)This is a bag you’d take with you when you’re off to the park, beach or a concert. A small messenger, cross-body or sling type bag would be perfect for practical moments. My dream bag for this would obviously be the Chanel 2.55 flap bag purse (not practical or affordable) so I’d try the likes of John Lewis or TK Maxx for some more affordable inspiration.
A weekend or overnight bag – There are many options for these, they can be leather or a tough canvas, patterned or plain. Perfect for an overnight trip or a weekend away. A beautiful weekender bag will carry your belongings for years, shove in a few outfits, toiletries and an extra pair of shoes (or three!). If you want a classical one that will never date and last you for years try Mulberry or Louis Vuitton, alternatively Barbour do some great ones as do Paul Smith.
Here are my top five shoe styles every woman should own:
A pair of black patent court shoes – No woman’s wardrobe is complete without some plain black heels. Opt for a patent leather as they look chicer for longer. Find a style of court shoe that suit your foot and legs and above all are comfortable. You don’t necessarily have to have high heels but do think about timeless style. With footwear, what you pay for generally represents the quality and comfort, take a look at LK Bennett for these.
A pair of flat ballet pumps – Some women only ever wear heels, however even Victoria Beckham now wears flats! Think comfort, practicality and of course style. If you wear a lot of black, navy or grey why not add some colour or pattern into your wardrobe with some bright fun pumps. I’d opt for this seasons trend of snakeskin, they look great with all different coloured skinnies or tapered trousers.
A pair of jeweled sandals – In either silver, gold or pewter to go with everything. Covered in as much bling as you can shake a stick at! Perfect for your holiday worn with dresses. Dune do some lovely pairs at affordable prices. If you don’t like a toe post go for something straight across the foot.
A pair of neutral coloured wedges – If you like the feeling heels give you but don’t find them too comfortable then wedges could be for you! Look for a pair in nude or taupe, what style is entirely up to you. They are a great at dressing up a pair of jeans or a maxi dress. They are a summer wardrobe essential.
A pair of ankle boots – Yes you can still wear boots in summer, just the right ones. My favorite are the Ash Jalouse boot available locally from Luxe in Loughborough. I have them in all the colours, great for the transition in seasons and can be worn with so much.
Now get shopping girls! x