10th Commandment: June 21
Jun 21, 2013
Can we have a quick chat about the importance of casual handbags? A few weekends ago, I saw a woman wearing a v-neck slub-cotton tee, knee-length khaki shorts and flip-flops while carrying an $800 black leather work satchel. The absurdity of the juxtaposition hit me like a Fendi purse to the head.
I understand that despite my encouragement to bump up their casual wardrobes, some women just want to wear shorts and a t-shirt on the weekends. But if that’s your chosen wardrobe, do yourself a favor and buy a casual purse. Because when you carry your nice, structured, leather work handbag with uber-casual clothing it not only looks funny, it emphasizes just how relaxed your attire is. And while most women are committing this mild-faux pas unconsciously, some are doing it on purpose.
Years ago, when I was working at a tanning salon on the weekends, women would come in on Saturday mornings with dirty hair and no makeup, wearing yoga pants, a tank top and flip-flops and throw their designer purse on the counter like the expensive handbag somehow excused their outfit. It drove me mad to see how poorly they were presenting themselves and how they would use their expensive purses to try to deflect judgment.
So what do I mean when I say a “casual” handbag?
How about a simple leather or canvas shopper? I own a bag very similar to the IIIBeca tote above and it’s a great casual bag because it has structure and style but is perfect for running errands or going to brunch on the weekends. Looking for a bag that costs under-$75? I like this faux-leather BCBG bag and this textured one from JPK.
Crossbody bags are also perfect for the weekend because they hold the essentials without being too big. I like the stylish and highly recognizable Cambridge Satchel Co. crossbody (or this inexpensive knock-off from Nordstrom). I also like this Marc New York bag and this Steve Madden number with decorative zippers. But my favorite is probably this simple, equestrian-inspired bag from Fossil.
Whether you choose a crossbody, a hobo, a shopper or some other style, a casual bag pulls your outfit together and stops you from looking like you’re going to the park but your purse is headed to the office.