So this weekend is Labor Day weekend. Do you have special plans? Right now we don’t have any, but I think I’ll force myself to take a little personal vacay on Monday. I probably need a break from the normal work day. Honestly, it’s hard to take a break when you work for yourself at home. I tend to drive myself a lot harder than anyone else ever would. But I’ve been suffering from some sort of virus or inner ear thing or something the last few days. And I feel my body and mind yelling for some time off.
Of course Labor Day is also traditionally the official day for packing away summer fashion accessories and pulling out the fall hues and fabrics. No, I’m not going to suggest you revert to those rules, but it is time to at least put a little thought into how we’ll transition our accessories so that we reflect the season we’re in.
Remember, by nature I’m more of a rules girl than a rebel. And for those of you who are rebels (and you know who you are…and by this time I know who you are, too!) I’d just like to remind you that generally there’s a wise philosophy behind most rules. Sure, some regulations are established on a whim as a hasty reaction to things gone awry. We definitely need to rethink those, and potentially toss them. Arbitrary rules are silly and unnecessary. But most style guidelines actually come from the rules of science and art, and they make sense aesthetically.
So while you are welcome to keep using that straw or canvas handbag if you’d like, I’ll be tucking mine away until next May. Not because that’s the rule, but because nature and my inner clock are beckoning me to carry a bag made of more fall-like materials – corduroy, leather, patent leather, suede, leopard print, alligator or their man-made equivalents.
How to Care for Your Year-round Handbags
I use my cognac leather Fossil satchel year-round, but I think it’s time to give it a once over. This is a good time to go over it with some Kiwi Leather Lotion and buff it so it shines again. I’ll also empty out the contents and even use an attachment from my vacuum cleaner to spiff up the inside. I’ll do the same to any other bags that I’ve continued to use through the summer and plan to use during the fall, like my green Fossil tote.
It’s not a bad idea to clean out and care for the bags we’re packing away, too. I’ll be packing away my straw bags in duster bags that came with some of my purses. I’ll probably stuff it with tissue paper to help keep its shape.
If you have a beloved bag that is looking a little worse for the wear, it may be time to let go of it. If it’s just gently worn but you know you won’t be using it anymore, you can put it aside for a trade-in event. I know Dillard’s has one annually in the spring, and I’m sure there are other retailers that do as well. You can turn in a gently worn handbag and receive a discount on a new purchase. Plus the old handbag goes to a worthy cause. (So I wouldn’t try to trade in a bag that is broken in some way or badly damaged.)
How to Upgrade Your Handbags
Next, as you look to the fall season, this is a great time to begin thinking about upgrading your handbags. Carrying a well-made handbag or shoulder bag is one of the easiest ways to elevate your style. Remember, most of us women carry our handbags everywhere we go. They’re a constant extension of ourselves.
So if your purse is falling apart or showing signs of poor construction, it immediately detracts from the rest of your ensemble. On the other hand, a well-constructed, beautiful bag pulls your outfit together.
My favorite go-to bags have been Fossils for quite a while now. In fact, my three essential bags – a satchel, a tote and a convertible crossbody/clutch – are all Fossil bags right now. I have gravitated to Fossils because they generally have classic lines and colors, but also offer fun fabrics and shades. They are a good mid-price leather bag.
Like me, maybe you would want to watch for sales on some of the better constructed handbags. That really is the best time to get the best bang for your buck. And I’ve even purchased all of my Fossil bags when they were marked down at least 40%.
Here are some tips to consider as you watch for the sales for those well constructed bags, whichever you may fancy.
- Shop sites like Nordstrom Rack, Haute Look, Off 5th or Thred Up (for second hand designer bags) for reduced prices.
- Use Shoptagr to help you keep a lookout for reduced prices on your favorite bags. (Check it out! It’s easy to use and so worth installing.)
- Steer clear of knock-offs. I know the temptation, but knock-offs are not the answer. It’s really better to just buy a less expensive bag that’s not pretending to be something it’s not.
- Consider spending more money (within reason) on quality bags with simple, classic lines and standard colors, and choose less expensive versions of the latest trends.
How to Select the Right Handbags for You
When considering purchasing a new handbag or two, think about the following:
- your lifestyle – are you on the go, living casual, dressing up for business, toting grand kids around, etc.?
- your preferences – do you prefer to carry your bag on your shoulder, across your body or in your hand?
- your needs – what all do you need to carry in your bag? Try to keep the contents to a minimum.
Here are a few rules of style to consider next:
- a casual outfit such as denim, khakis or athleisure can be paired with a slouchier bag, one that’s more casual – think bucket, satchel, hobo or tote
- a tailored suit or dress or separates call for a more structured bag like this Kate Spade, this Sole Society or this Sole Society.
- when choosing your go-to bag, consider the colors of shoes you wear most often. You don’t have to match exactly, but do you wear more brown, black, or navy? Choose a bag that will compliment your shoes best. My daughter Abby was wise and bought a Fossil satchel in black leather with brown leather trim that is extremely versatile.
- keep your size in mind when purchasing a bag. If you’re petite, you will look dwarfed by a large bag. Conversely, if you’re tall or large you’ll look out of proportion with a tiny bag. Choose a bag that works with your size.
- don’t over stuff your bag. A bulging bag never looks classy.
- consider where you’re taking your bag. Here, I’m referring to safety concerns. For instance, I stay away from bags that don’t have a true closure because I don’t want items like my cell phone to fall out of my bag when I toss it in the car. When I’m traveling and touring a city, I always choose a crossbody bag that I can wear close to my body and tucked under my arm.
- when choosing your go-to bag, stay away from trendy elements or embellishments. Instead, choose a classic, clean-cut silhouette that will endure at least a few years and can be worn with a variety of outfits.
How to Update Your Bags for Fall
Finally, if you’re choosing a new handbag or two for the fall, here are some things to consider. For a dressier bag, I’d choose something in taupe, beige, gray or black. You can wear these with so many colors and fabrics. But for a more casual bag, I like to have one cognac or brown bag on hand as well as one that reflects the shades of the season.
I’m considering a leopard print satchel right now, or maybe a leopard print clutch. Also, I love some of the bags I’ve seen in merlot, cranberry or fig. Gold or squash is another big color for bags right now.
Here’s a shopping widget filled with beautiful bags I found. They represent all price points. Many of these I’ve been watching like a hawk for a while now and deliberating over. I think I would like to buy a very structured elegant bag, maybe in a soft taupe. That seems to be the one hole I have in my handbag line-up. What kind of bag are you contemplating buying for the fall?
I hope this post was helpful to you. If so, maybe you could share it on Facebook or Pinterest. I’ve included affiliate links in this post so that you can shop easily and I can make a little commission (but at no cost to you!). Thank you so much for reading today. I love hearing from you, so leave a comment if you would like. And if you’re not already a subscriber, I hope you’ll check into joining the Dressed for My Day community. Have a blessed and beautiful day!
Blessed for My Day
Whenever I write a post that includes shopping tips and even the encouragement to buy something new, I always feel the need to balance it out with a call for good stewardship. While I love to buy new things and my taste just seems naturally to gravitate toward expensive things, I know that the resources I have are a provision from God. That realization makes me want to spend carefully, wisely and prudently. Besides, I don’t want to spend all that I have on me. I want to be able to use my resources to bless others, too. So as we consider buying new things for the fall, let’s ask the Lord to give us wisdom, restraint and good judgment. I pray that today you would be blessed with the knowledge that God graciously supplies everything you really need. And so much more, really.
No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. ~ Luke 16:13