+ Look for Less

10th Commandment: May 14


Something was amiss last week.  Maybe it was a disturbance in the Force.  I don’t know.  But whatever the cause, I was seeing a lot of ugly handbags.  And I mean a lot.

There was the woman on the metro with the canary yellow bag made from seat belts.  The two women in the Longworth security line carrying matching Vera Bradley with their company logo printed on them.  There was the lady who was carrying a pleather purse that had once been black, but had faded to sickly greenish-grey except on the bottom.  And my favorite, the intern carrying a red satin evening bag into work.

Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for a bit, you know that even when I was a broke Leg. Correspondent, my handbags were a priority for me.  (I saved for a year to buy my first Rebecca Minkoff handbag (a black mini-M.A.B).) But even if you don’t want to spend more than $100, you can still have a stylish bag.  

So by the power vested in me by the hosting services at Squarespace, I pronounce this week, Handbag Week.  Look forward to five stylish, functional bags that won’t break the bank or sear a fashion blogger’s retinas.

Mahogany Muse Bag (Modcloth, $65)

This is a great weekend bag.  This crossbody bag has a slightly I-bought-this-at-a-vintage-shop feel to it with an interesting shape and a top handle.  It would be perfect for the weekends or a casual day at work.  Wear it with wide leg denim jeans, or with floral summer dresses to bring a hint of masculinity to the soft fabrics and prints.



  1. giggling gourmand says:

    Agree, a bag can easily elevate or ruin an outfit. In the mid-range I've been seeing a number of cute furla and kate spade bags. I also like the look of the coach classics line.

    May 14, 2012/Reply
  2. R says:

    Super plan!

    May 14, 2012/Reply
  3. sara says:

    Belle, I have to say you are spot on with the bag recommendations. Last year, I bought a bag from Modcloth you featured on the blog and I always receive compliments when I use it. Thanks!

    May 14, 2012/Reply
  4. UB says:

    YAY bag week… I just had to buy a new one, after two years. I am obsessed with bags but never find bags I like (it's almost as difficult as finding a good calendar/planner).

    May 14, 2012/Reply
  5. RA says:

    I've been seeing Cambridge Satchel Co bags everywhere…especially the very bright ones. What are your thoughts on those? I've been dreaming of neon bags but am not sure if they look too…I don't even know…help! ­čÖé

    May 14, 2012/Reply
  6. Belle says:

    RA: That was a big trend last year and this spring. Frankly, I think it's fading. So if you're not sure about it, I wouldn't worry. I don't think anyone will be carrying them come next fall. But that's just my opinion.

    May 14, 2012/Reply
  7. Heatheresq says:

    I am glad you posted this. I spotted this bag in Daffy's a few weeks ago and was desperate to buy it. But when I picked it up, it felt off. At first, I thought the leather had just been coated. There were no material indications on the bag and at the price, I decided that it HAD to be manmade material and left it alone. Thankfully, modcloth confirmed my sinking suspicion. I seriously hope to find a like bag in leather soon. This has all the details that I love!

    May 14, 2012/Reply
  8. Ann says:

    Just back from a lunch meeting where the woman at the table next to be had a Hello Kitty backpack. I was, to say the least, aghast.

    May 14, 2012/Reply
  9. Sarah says:

    Belle, that brings up an interesting question; if your company gives you a Vera Bradley bag with the logo imprinted on it, are you required to bring it to work? What would you do?

    May 14, 2012/Reply
  10. Belle says:

    Sarah: I know! I would just “forget.”

    May 14, 2012/Reply