When you're giving your wardrobe a Fall makeover, don't forget your handbags. Lighter fabrics don't hold up well during Winter — and nothing helps change up your look faster than a new purse on your arm. Right now, we're gravitating toward structured trapeze shapes, chic clutches by day, and a few furry, textural finds that feel particularly seasonal. With an eye on the runways and the accessories we've seen from the street style crowd, we've handpicked the best bags to hit the shelves for Fall 2013 and shopped them out for every budget. Click through for the full report, or jump below to the trend you want!
The piece: Michael Michael Kors Selma Bag
The price: $358
Why we want it: Anybody who has tried to find a bag that will work equally well on the weekend as it does in the office will be the first to admit: it's not an easy search. That's why we were so excited when we came across the Selma bag. It's flared silhouette, besides being very on trend, means it can stretch to fit all of your stuff, while its zip top ensures nothing will fall out as you run to catch the subway. Even better, you can sling it over your shoulder to give your arm a rest. Your other bags better watch out — a new favorite may soon be added to the mix.
What's the secret to the It Brit's signature charm? Alexa Chung proves it's all about the bag with her top-handled Dolce & Gabbana satchel — it's the trick to nailing that sweet, ladylike vibe, even when she goes the more modern route with her look. That's the magic of adding a classic bag to the mix — it's perfect for sweetening a cool-girl mix or for furthering the effect of something more feminine, like a full skirt and pretty heels. Just shop our editors' picks to channel Alexa's look with one key piece.
The right bag can instantly transform your look, and to help you find "the one," we rounded up the best power-packed designer statement bags of the season. Step onto cloud nine with Forward by Elyse Walker and other crème de la crème brands like Alexander Wang, Valentino, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Lanvin, and Givenchy. It's an investment worth making — make them stare with our stunning lineup of sleek bags and party clutches.
If you're hoping to catch sight of the next It bag before it blows up, you've come to the right spot. In honor of the particular type of joy and lust that comes from a gorgeous purse, we've rounded up a single bag from each of the biggest designers and brought them together in one place for your viewing pleasure.
Carolina Herrera has more than a best buddy in her poodle Gaspar; she also has a muse! Her latest accessory collection is a line of fringed and furry CH Carolina Herrera bags inspired by her four-legged friend. "It's only fitting that he is the source of inspiration for a handbag collection," she told us. "My favorite detail is the paw print stud decoration on the bottom of the tote. The Gaspar bags are about having fun with fashion, and that is why I love the entire collection."
While on the topic of having fun with fashion, we asked Herrera which accessories are a must when dressing up as her for Halloween. "I've heard I'm known for my white shirt and skirt," she suggested. "They also of course have to have blond hair. They can use their imagination for the other accessories — after all, isn't that what Halloween is for?" Stumped about those extras? We have a few suggestions for you!
Your 40-hour workweek deserves a chic new handbag, and we have exactly what you're looking for — on sale! Keeping style and function in mind, the latest markdowns from brands like Michael Kors and Marc by Marc Jacobs are easy on both your wallet and your eyes. Check out all of our sale picks (up to 60 percent off!), and make sure to click the "sale alert" button on any ShopStyle item for email notifications on all your favorite clothes and accessories.
If runway shows leave you with a hankering for a pair of binoculars to zoom in on the bags, then you've come to the right place — we're assembling close-up shots of the best bags from Paris Fashion Week for easy viewing. New York's satchels showed us the labels we typically shop (think Alexander Wang and 3.1 Phillip Lim), and London's catwalks included European prepsters like Burberry and Mulberry.
What'll you find in Paris? Click through to see the best from labels like Saint Laurent, Chanel, Céline, and more.