Second trimester is already bringing nesting for me, and although I’m still not back to full energy, I’m slowly plowing through my list of to-do’s. And most of those are organizational projects. So last week I tackled my purse collection, and ended up clearing out more than two-thirds of them. And still have a pretty decent hoard. I was never much of a purse girl growing up, but over the last few years I’ve fallen in love with them and recognize how they complete an outfit, add personality, and can be a great functional accessory, and with that mentality my collection just never stopped growing. In fact, it was overtaking our nursery closet (AKA my spare closet).
As I started clearing them out, I began to think about which ones I used all the time, and why. I landed on four styles of bags that are the foundation of my purse collection and if you have at least one of each of these styles of purses, you’re covered for all occasions.
Here are the four you should own:
1. The Crossbody. This is my very, very, very favorite style of bag, and it’s such a popular style so there are a million different varieties available right now. They come in bold colors, fringe, quilted, saddle bag shape, or even fun and crazy shapes. They have a chain strap or a leather strap. Embellishments or buckles on the front. Medium, small, or tiny sized. Really the style options are endless. But they’re all that simple and casual strap across-your-chest style.
If you’re going to buy just one, choose a medium sized bag in a neutral color like tan, camel, or black. And try to find one that can work for both casual and dressy so you can wear it with everything.
2. The Clutch. For those dressy occasions, a clutch is a must. And even if you feel like you never go to any dressy events, at some point you’ll have to and you’ll want a clutch. However, if you choose a clutch that’s a little more on the casual side, it’s a great choice for date nights — not just cocktail parties.
Again, they come in all sizes and shapes and materials, but a simple black envelope bag is probably your best choice. It’s easy to dress up or dress slightly down (like for date nights), and you’ll be glad to have something to bring along when you get an invitation to a cocktail holiday party for work.
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3. The Shoulder Bag. This is an everyday bag that every woman should definitely own, and you probably all do. It’s the kind of bag that comes with short straps for your shoulder, or an optional long strap. It’s roomy so you can carry everything in it, and should be neutral so it goes with any outfit.
Since this is an every day kind of bag, you’ll probably literally wear it every day. So don’t waste your money on a cheap one — invest in a quality piece that will last you for years and just get better with time. You’ll be glad you did instead of having to buy a new one every six months because the straps are breaking, the zipper is jammed, or the faux leather is peeling off.
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4. The Tote Bag. Tote bags are such a classic style of bag and absolutely necessary for certain occasions. They’re a nice big, boxy shape and are meant to hold a lot of things at once, so they’re great for school, motherhood, grocery shopping, or just everyday style if you have a lot of things to tote around. I have a couple of nice tote bags, but I also own a few canvas ones and if your style is more casual they might be a better choice than a nice leather one. Although the nice leather ones are insanely gorgeous (I mean, how long have I been drooling over this one? Too many years to count).
As with your shoulder bag, if you choose to buy a non-canvas one, don’t scrimp on this one. It’s another investment piece that will last you for years and will never go out of style, so choose one made of quality material, whose straps won’t snap in six months.
BONUS BAG: The Backpack. While a backpack is definitely not an essential, I added one to my closet this year and as a mom it’s a game changer. Having a roomy bag that evenly distributes the weight on my body, and lets me be hands-free with my kids is invaluable. So if you’re a mom, think about picking up a chic backpack too.
So how’s your score? Do you own all of them?