Bright Bags

Bright Bags
Tuesday, April, 12, 2011 Every season, we get zillions of questions from our readers wondering what sort of handbag they should buy. There are always a slew of amazing options on the market, which makes it difficult to pick one style, but this spring the answer is easy: you need a bright bag. It doesn't matter if it's a long-strap flap bag or a drawstring bucket, a boxy shopper or a cool clutch, just make sure you're carrying something in a standout shade!

If you're wondering how to incorporate your bright bag into your wardrobe, simply look to the spring runways for guidance, where you'll find inspiration galore! While there are loads of well-executed examples, our go-to reference is definitely Fendi's S/S 11 show, as it offers a strong and comprehensive education in how to wear these vivid accessories. While some readers will love the bolder looks Karl Lagerfeld designed--like a peach skirt paired with an orange blouse and a red and violet striped bag--even the quieter ensembles are interesting. For example, one easy way to delve into this trend is to wear a black and white print dress, like the Silk Lantern Sleeve Drawstring Dress ($1880) shown above, accented with a cherry red bag, like the Patent Calfskin Logo Clutch ($1087). The resulting outfit is accessible and fashionable--a very fine combo, indeed!

1. Anya Hindmarch Lacing Cross Body Bag ($550, 310.271.9707) in Pink
There's something so sweet and slightly bohemian about this perfectly pink bag from Anya Hindmarch. The tasseled bow is a subtle nod to one of the season's microtrends and the across-body strap and small shape make it the ideal choice for a music festival, vacation (the hands-free element is ideal for sightseeing), or weekend errands. Plus, that long strap is detachable, so you can wear this versatile bag in a number of ways! No wonder we think it's wonderful...

2. Zara Colorful Shopper ($109, 310.458.0892) in Orange
If you haven't checked out Zara's rainbow selection of bags lately, we suggest doing so immediately. There's a gorgeous assortment in a slew of vivid colors in stock now, including this bold, boxy shopper. Available in the terrific tangerine hue shown above, as well as a stunning jade green, the leather tote is simple, chic, and reminds us a bit of the Celine Cabas shoppers, albeit at a fraction of the price!

3. Burberry Prorsum Patent Leather Crossbody Bag ($1195) in Lime
We went nuts over the neon-bright accessories at the Burberry Prorsum S/S 11 show the moment they came down the runway, and we're still mad about them months later. There are a number of notable styles that will incite drooling, including this small shoulder strap bag in a lovely lime green patent leather. We love its clean lines and rounded flap silhouette, and plan on using it to accent our neutral essentials--like military-influenced khaki jackets and slim black leather pants--per the runway show. If you don't feel like investing in this exact bag, we found two alternatives for you, both by Hobo International. Try the Rina Bag ($108) in Spring Green patent leather or the mini Aster Bag ($128) in either Spring Green or Apricot patent leather for a likeminded look.

4. DKNY Croc Leather Shoulder Bag with Strap ($195) in Yellow
While we're not focusing on handbag silhouettes in this Go Buy Now, we'd be remiss if we didn't point out that the boxy, petite, long-strap flap bag is definitely having a moment right now. As such, we're delighted to share the news that DKNY is currently offering a fabulous interpretation of this style in a slew of bright colors. Topping our list is the Croc Leather Shoulder Bag in a zippy lemon-yellow hue, as it will punch up your go-to neutrals perfectly. If you love the shape, but aren't sure about the color, be sure to check out the brand's Crocodile-Effect Leather Bag ($195) in Cherry and the French Grain Leather Shoulder Bag with Strap ($195) in Cherry, both of whch are also beyond darling.

5. Reed Krakoff Mini Shoulder Bag ($525) in Bright Blue
The amazing bag styles that Reed Krakoff produces never fail to delight us, and right now we're swooning over the Mini Shoulder Bag. It's the perfect hue of blue and we adore its diminutive size and extra-long shoulder strap. Whether you take a tip from the designer's runway and carry it as a clutch with an all-black outfit or wear it with a contrasting print per the Marc by Marc Jacobs runway, this bag is definitely an excellent purchase!

6. Proenza Schouler PS1 Leather Pouchette ($895) in Green
We couldn't possibly do a Go Buy Now story about Bright Bags and not show the coolest clutch on the market, hence our inclusion of the Proenza Schouler PS1 Pouchette. Its now iconic double-strap style might not be brand new, but the incredible leaf green leather is definitely fresh and decidedly fabulous. You could wear this bag with just about anything--it looks equally amazing with everything from denim to a darling print frock to a sophisticated, minimalist ensemble--which is why we think it's worth the investment. If you don't want to spend quite so much money, you could always go for one of Proenza Schouler's smaller leather accessories--like the PS 1 Wallet ($165) or the brand-new PS 1 Continental Wallet ($585)--or you might like Zara's XL Fashion Clutch ($109), which is also quite cute.

Fendi runway photo, courtesy of Fendi
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