That's my bag, baby. - Belle Année
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That’s my bag, baby.

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Kate SpadeI love bags. Is this a girl thing? I mean, obviously, it is a girl thing because my husband and my son don’t love bags, but does every girl love bags?

They should.

Because bags are pretty. And functional. And they really can make or break an outfit. I don’t really believe the last one but they can make you feel good. Remember your first purse at age, I don’t know, 13? Mine was a Liz Claiborne. It was my stepmom’s purse but she let me borrow it sometimes (or maybe I just helped myself – memory gets a bit fuzzy sometimes) and I was hot sh*t when I had that bag.  It was sort of clam shaped, light blue with dark blue triangles and dark blue piping.  I couldn’t imagine anything better.  Ever.  (I just googled it, by the way, and it is not aging well.  Birkin bag it is not)

Now,  how about your first business trip at 23 when you wheeled out your perfectly packed black ballistic nylon bag. That feeling of sophistication, of maturity, of worldliness. That is SUCH a fantastic feeling.  

And look, you may buy more bags now than you used to, and a new purse may not make you feel quite like that Liz Claiborne bag…but the right one at the right time and you’ll get all those tingly feelings rushing back again.  So if you are looking for some inspiration, here are some ways to spend your hard-earned money…just in time for your last vacation of the summer.

For the beach:LLBean
Classic L.L. Bean Tote Bag. 
No awards here for originality here but these bags are the best.  When you travel it can serve as a laundry bag, toy clean-up bag for the kids, a night away bag if you are taking a holiday within a holiday.  They also make strong housewarming gifts.  Embroider the recipient’s new post code on the bag.  Yessssss.

Hemingway by Billy Reid As an alternative,  The Hemingway Tote from Billy Reid looks cool and supports a pitless BBQ chef.  


For the gym:

Look, your boss doesn’t mind if you duck out at lunchtime and head to the gym but why rub it in her face? Why point out that you aren’t just grabbing a stale sandwich and heading right back to your desk by walking out with a neon pink shiny logo’d gym bag? Be subtle. Be cool. Be in possession of one of these babies.

West ElmOf all places, West Elm has a preppy little number that will disguise your mid day intentions.  Sure, your boss may think you’re off to Nantucket but won’t she be surprised when you actually come back at 1:30 a little sweaty?  

or if you want something a little more girly go to the girly girl herself, Kate Spade and get that neat little number at the top of the post for $200.

Everlane Gym Bag

Need to stay simple and inexpensive?  Look no further than our favorite online retailer, Everlane, for $40.

For date night:

Stop carrying that big ass leather satchel around ladies!  You are going out for dinner, not a foray into deepest darkest Peru!  For date night  – whether a blind date or out with your grumpy old husband (not mine, of course) all you need is some lip gloss, face powder, cell phone and the trinity:  Cash, Card & License.  For that, you need a lady-like, discreet bag.  

 Rebecca Minkoff Clutch BagThis Rebecca Minkoff bag comes in tan, white and orange – and is a steal at $250.  Cross body bags are great because they leave you plenty of room for hand holding.

But of course there is the clutch option as well…I like this one because it gives you an air of importance.  It says, “I will be doing no multi-tasking tonight.”  Obvious downside is what to do with it while engaged in some plebeian activity, like eating.  Alas if you have that taken care of, go with a clutch.

Moyna ClutchThis one is super fun and sexy.  By Moyna for $150.

JCrew ClutchAnd this one is neat and practical.  And $100.  Thanks, JCrew.


And this little beauty, by Valentino, is both impractical and expensive but hey, a girl can dream!  


For regular old “every day” living

Men may not understand this but for ladies we know that there really are days when you need to carry a phone, brush, gum, charger, book, kindle, wallet, keys, magazine, old receipts, a matchbox car, some doll clothes, headphones, coins from two countries, business cards, a bottle of water, 10 loyalty cards, powder, lipstick, blush and a broken watch that you MUST drop off to be repaired.  For those days, live large.
Sutra Hobo DVFSoutherners are really funny about white.  There are strict rules that govern the wearing of white shoes and lots of people (cough) extend that rule to jeans and bags too.   Because of that some southerners might not want to ever buy a white bag.  But if you live free of those constraints, this is a great bag!  

Albion HoboIf you are minted and aren’t terrified of being swallowed by a python while sunbathing (have you seen that CSI Miami?  EEK!)  Take this one out for a sssspin for a cool $2,000 (on sale). 

Kate SpadeThis one is totally Kate Spade + Marc Jacobs made a baby.  $325.  
Stella McLove this, but I love it with full knowledge that a chain strap is a ridiculous idea.  $900 from Stella.


And JCrew to the rescue…..again….with a combo shoulder / handbag in the perfect size.   And it comes in 3 color options.  Go crazy.

Coach bag for dayVery lastly, a shout-out to the way better design Coach is rocking now!  See their Bleeker collection.  (It has a NYC street name; it must be cool.)


For the baby.  Well, for the mom to carry for the baby:

Kate Spade Baby BagSuper stripy and super cheery.  From Kate Spade, of course.

JCrew Baby

A baby can use a summer freshener too!  Summertime baby bag by JCrew.

Ju Ju Be Baby


Don’t ever ask Baby Daddy to carry this one around.  Not if you want to see him like “that” again. But if you are doing the heavy lifting, this is soooo cute!

Skip Hop

Or maybe for the dad to carry for the baby.    


And, extremely importantly, options for use as a carry-on.  Because sometimes you just gotta G-O!

Lo and Sons

Practical. Loads of pockets and padding and all the stuff you need.

See by Chloe

Beautiful. SOOOO beautiful.

Max Poglia Bag

I found these beautiful bags courtesy of @maxpoglia on Twitter.  I insty-stalked them, emailed them and snatched two – one for me and one for a friend.  They are too good not to share.


My personal favorite is a beautiful bag by Aspinal of London. Remember, I said it was beautiful.  I didn’t say it was cheap.


And I like this one because it reminds me of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Just because of the name, of cvrse. 

Knomo Wigmore

Can you tell these are my personal weaknesses?  Check this one out!  

Michael Kors

Last one is by Michael Kors and is sold by Apple – it comes with an integrated, zip-top laptop compartment.

By Jessica Bride 






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Jessica Bride

I am a Notting Hill based lifestyle writer and Instagrammer. My reason for being is my family plus a combination of food + travel + art + life between London and New Orleans. Find me at @belleannee or covering arts & culture for @London.

1 Comment
  • Rap

    March 7, 2016 at 02:14 Reply


    While checking out DIGG today I found this

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