Must-Have Bags For The Perfect Closet

The perfect closet is like an elusive unicorn. It’s the closet that has all the latest on trend pieces mixed in with the classics and basics. The perfect balance between minimal and chic. Getting to this closet takes time, financial investment, and the knowledge that you won’t get away with abusing your clothing, but that you’ll have to take really good care of your things. (No tumble drying!)

The quest to the penultimate closet also includes organizing your bag situation. Slimming down your wardrobe from tons of semi great bags you only use a few times, to the few quality bags you’ll use over and over again will take diligence and self-control. If you’re serious about tackling your bags but the financial investment part scares you, then shop at places like TJMaxx, Zara, Mango, and other department stores that have really great leather products but for a fraction of the cost of high-end names. Same material quality, different price point.

Here’s my list!

The Tote: An Every-Day Bag

A tote bag is a necessary bag not only for style reasons but for functionality. You can use a great tote for work or school to pile in your books, laptop etc or as a great weekend travel bag. Think about traveling and using it as your carry on. When you’re looking for a tote, look for one that’s structured and leather. Always do leather. Make sure it’s not too small (should be tall and wide enough to fit a laptop and some books, in my opinion), and a neutral color with not too many flashy aspects like buckles and zippers. You want to go for timeless. Will this bag be in style next season and 10 seasons from now. Think colors like black, grey, tan. I’d try find one that has a zipper closure so you don’t have sticky fingers rummaging in your bag if you live in a place with pickpockets around.

 

The Weekender

Your weekend bag is something you can toss on your shoulder and go. It’s small, no hassle and carries the essentials. You can run about town and do your thing without lugging something heavy around. Stick to your neutral colors, that way you don’t have to worry that neon pink is clashing with your look. It goes without saying, choose a quality leather item.

 

The Black Tie Event Clutch

We’ve all been caught in situations where we’ve been invited somewhere nice and realize we don’t have a bag to go with the elegance of the evening. That being said, a “black tie event” clutch will go a long ways to ensuring your date, broadway, and fancy soiree nights are fully prepared for. You’re most likely wearing a gorgeous black dress to one of these events, so have fun with a clutch that is both elegant but has some great style elements.

The Wallet/Every-Day Clutch

This little guy is where I live. I despise carrying around my tote (it’s usually full..), and that weekend bag isn’t always appropriate. But what IS appropriate is this wallet that doubles as a clutch. It’s small enough to throw into your tote or weekend bag, but big enough to carry like a clutch. It fits all the necessary things like your phone, a lipstick, a few credit cards, some cash,keys, and your license. So adorable!

 

The Fun Bag

This is sort of a bonus category, but in case you feel like you may get tired of your neutral colored bags, it’s fun to have that “other” bag for the days when you feel like you’re made from sun rays. We all have those days! Try a fun colored bag, or if colors aren’t your thing, go for a neutral color with crazy amounts of texture. Thing tassels, buckles, zippers. Make sure when doing a fun colored bag that your overall look is well balanced. Depending on the outfit, looking like a neon eye-shadow palette might not be so hot.

 

Hope you found this article helpful! Let me know what you think!

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Summer/Fall Inspo!

Here are a few of my favorite looks and must-haves for this summer going into fall..I love every piece. Similar items can be found in just about any store, whether consignment, thrift, department or boutique. Have fun shopping!

Easy to put together and comfortable to wear, these outfit ideas will definitely easy you into fall weather while you slowly wave good bye to those summer looks, while trying to extend the endless summer. Transition these pieces into fall wear by layering your favorite sweaters, stockings or booties.

Cool Summer Days

Minimalist

Denim Jacket by Zara, skirt by Zara, Sass & Bide wide leg pants, Womans YSL tee from Etsy, Heather Black Cut Out Crop Top, Gianvito Rossi Suede Pointed Pumps, Saint Laurent Leather Sandals, Opening Ceremony Round Oversized Sunglasses, Rag and Bone Moss Distressed Boyfriend Jean, 3.1 Phillip Lim Scout Small Drawstring Crossbody. 

Cool Summer Nights

I love these looks because it can go from pretty casual to dressy in a snap. Reserve those leather pieces for cool summer/fall nights, over heating is the worst! Pair those leather pants with a cotton lacy tank for a nice mix of edgy and cool while appearing breezy.

screen-capture-3TopShop Tall Leather A-Line Skirt, Rebecca Taylor Every Day Tank, americanvintage-store.com silk and cotton tank, American Vintage White Scoop Neck Tank, Old Navy Jersey Tee Hoodie, La Garconne Moderne Sylvia Alpaca Handknit Cardigan, Saint Laurent Leather Trousers, storeenvy.com pastel oversized sweater, Givenchy Leather Sandal with gold plate, SuperTrash hat Hogan Orange, DSquared2 Womens bracelet, Common Projects black leather sandals, Lucky Brand Triumph muscle tee

Check out these looks and have fun experimenting!

Fall Cozy

Get ready this Fall to experiment with layering! Different textures, materials, patterns etc. Don’t be afraid to mix your tweeds and your leather, your glitter and your knits. This season, Comfort-Classy is key, especially if you’re the one living in the small town where high fashion isn’t actually the name of the game. Chic flannel will be a real thing, paired with those little heeled booties and Chanel earrings, chunky bracelets etc. You’ll find that dressing cozy can be more fabulous than you ever thought.

Have fun when layering and remember, nothing needs to match, it just has to “go”. Pair soft camis, silky blouses, over-sized knit sweaters, chunky earrings, leather leggings and booties and your layering winter wardrobe is off to a good start. Alternatively, pair black cropped pants, old tees, flannel, vintage denim button up over that, sparkly studs and lace up booties and again, golden.

When layering jackets and tees, never be afraid to mix and match the posh with the plain. A tweed blazer with a simple modal tee and black (or dark dark blue) skinnys with booties or moccasins can be a beautiful thing. When I get dressed in the morning I hardly pay attention to texture of materials, rather to the color palette I’m starting with and what it is that I feel like wearing, usually coinciding with my mood. That’ll ensure your outfit stays fresh and fun but put together well. The other thing that I do focus on is accessories. Quality is key! When it comes to great style, its all in the details. You could be wearing an outfit from a thrift store but pairing it with a patent leather handbag, shoes and quality jewelry will lux up your outfit and take it up a notch.

Have fun playing dress up and don’t be afraid to try new things!

Check out these different layering looks..

Shoes of the Season!

by Cat Russell

It seems like the sun has finally decided to show us it’s beautiful face! Gone are the morose clouds, endless rains and foggy mornings. Instead we find the birds chirping and the kids frolicking. You finally have peace about putting your heavy winter boots away and embracing the warm tingling sensation of the sun on your feet.

It’s time to revisit our shoes, the ones we wear in the Spring and Summer, and if you’re like me, sometimes, in the Winter. I’m loving everything native, leather, easy, comfortable and something that reminds us of when we were young and carefree. Summer in California is about re-living your childhood. Everyday.

To start off with, you need a good, solid, go-to summer sandal. It’s the shoe that you’ll end up wearing the most, and with most everything in your closet. If you choose a good leather pair, they’ll even last you a few seasons. The style should be simple, but classic. A slip-on, so you can run out the door. Next you’ll need a good solid ballet flat, something that’s comfortable and makes a bit of a statement style-wise. Whether its a fun color or a classic tan, be sure its something that you can live in and something you won’t be afraid  to possibly wear with everything. Either a peep toe or closed toe are super cute, but why not get both. Last but not least I always suggest having a good wedge sandal. Nice enough to wear to garden soiree’s and tennis club luncheons, but fun enough to do your grocery shopping in. Pair them with flowing linen pants or cotton sailor pants and a loose tank tucked in a little and you’d be the talk of the town.

Below are a collection of sandals and flats we love for this season.

The list, and why we love them:

1. Hive and Honey Claudette Sandal – We love because of it’s simple leather design, but the ankle strap adds a touch of flirt. Can be paired with your favorite skinny’s (make the ankle strap go over the jeans to add spice) and white tee, or add a boho flair to a pencil skirt and tank.

2. Mulberry Signature Ballerina Candy Pink Smooth Patent – Love this, the color is bright and fresh and the design modern and simple. Any flat with these elements would be a great purchase. Pair these with red skinny’s and striped black and white tee for a foxy look or simply with white sailor pants and loose off the shoulder tee.

3. Lucky Brand Silvia – This chunky wedge is such a perfect answer to any outfit dilemma. Its versatile style and detailing, along with the nude color will go with practically any outfit, from skinny jeans, to a long skirt, short skirt, wide-legged pants, lace shorts etc. This is definitely a summer must-have.

4. Marc by Marc Jacobs New Love China – Rose Gold Leather Shoes – What we love about this shoe is the color, it’s bold and fresh. The shape is flattering to your feet and it’s also easy to slip on. The peep-toe adds that extra touch of foxy. Pair this shoe with those red, high-waisted cotton shorts and tee or your LBD.

5. Coconuts Native Womens’ Flats – Love this simple, every day shoe that you can throw on while running errands or simple puttering about. It has a feel of that coastal town life and, paired with the right outfit, will make it seem like you’ve been on vacation your whole life.

6. Madison Harding Camel Delilah Platforms – Love the simple design. The Wedge is a new “flatform” type and brings a fresh and trendy aspect to any outfit. In the Winter time, wear it with socks or tights to add aspect to your outfit, or to just make a statement. This shoe speaks of relaxation and full on Summer fun. Wear with just about anything.

7. Cynthia Vincent Laurie Flat – This flats’ simple elegance yet bold statement is perfect for Spring and Summer days. A white shoe is a necessity in any closet and this beauty looks small but it’ll say a lot about the woman that decides to wear them. They speak of vacations in Venice and strolled streets in Paris. Again the key elements to look for in a similar shoe is the fact that it’s white and has that cute peep toe. Anything along those lines will work.

8. Rick Owens Leather sandals – The beauty in these sandals are the simple design, the non fussy-ness and the fact that you can just slip them on and run out the door. The thin lines serve to accentuate the elegance of the foot and again, this can be worn with any outfit. Something to keep in mind when looking for your perfect slip-on flat is that the shoe has to look good on your foot. Make sure you keep those feet looking fresh!

9. Ancient Greek Sandals Melpomeni braided leather sandals – I love this shoe! This is the kind of sandal I would wear every single day of the Summer. The design is simple and elegant. It has that foreign flair that suggests you found it in a flea market in Bali and the color would look gorgeous against your tanned summer feet. Simple key features are the the slip-on factor, the braided string down the middle and the toe.

10. Qupid Puffin 28 Stone Canvas Lace-Up Ankle Booties – These are perfect for those cooler Spring days, paired with anything from colored tights and mini skirt to skinny jeans or high-waisted flared pants. The light color suggests the lightness of Spring and warmer weather, making it the perfect combination with your more Spring-esq outfits.

11. Madewell Belle By Sigerson Morrison® Suede Flats – Your basic ballet flat with an extra kick! I love the old, classic victorian style. This shoe is more versatile than it lets on and can be paired with black tights and a black skirt for an up-do situation or with your favorite harem pants and off the shoulder tee for a light, summery day. Wear these well! This unique design is sure to garner attention. Key elements in this shoe are the frontal area and the pointed toe.

Ladies! Coat Season is Around the Corner!

If you’re anything like me, you’d have saved every coat you’ve had for the last few Winter seasons and now find yourself with an abundance of cold weather wear. In taking stock of the coats you have, you’d notice that maybe you own one of every style, maybe missing either a good leather, or maybe a pea coat? Or you’d find yourself having three of the exact same style, just different colors.. (I have two leathers, almost had three, until I realized I was being ridiculous). Now if a certain style is your thing, like for instance leather jackets, and that’s all you have then consider experimenting this season with something different.Imagine for a second a gorgeous wool pea-coat with a fur collar, it’s simply a different statement than the one you might be used to. Same person, different look.

J.Crew

 Adding variety to your closet will ensure that you’ll always remain eye-catching. It adds mystery, curiosity and intrigue. It does take risk but your sense of self awareness will be alluring.

A few coats that I’m loving for this Fall and Winter include pieces that have a military flair to them. Also anything with fur (maybe not the stringy kind, we don’t wear Alpacas) and then outerwear that have fun angles or zippers, especially when it comes to leather jackets. Down-filled coats (the big puffy kind) can be pretty sporty so be sure that you’re whole ensamble is sporty. Nothing makes me cringe more than seeing a beautiful lady wearing a big puffy coat over a classy outfit. They dont precisely “go” together. Remember; nothing has to match, per say, it just has to “go” together.

When it comes to collars I’ve always been an intense lover of the high collar and tend to stick to that specific style. High collars (without hoods) tend to add a bit of power to your outfit no matter what style the coat is. On the other hand hoods add that homey girl-next-door feeling whilst no collar adds a bit of posh-ness, for instance, with a wool pea-coat. If it’s a leather jacket it can make your outfit be that hard-core look you’re probably dying to have. (Throw a neutral zip up hoodie and a white tee underneath with your fav pair of skinnies and flats and you wont look like you’re about to jump on a motorcycle with a stranger.)

All in all experiment with a different style of coat this season, something you wouldn’t naturally go after and you’ll see how your whole winter wardrobe will spruce up and be Holiday ready.