Fall handbags are taking shape — and we like what we see. With the continued presence of ladylike dressing, purses are decidedly boxy. In favor of oversize totes and slouchy satchels, bags are structured and framed. From Alexander Wang's super-chic variations to the return of Coach's classic bags, this group of Fall handbags remind us to keep it classy and outfit a look that's fit to pair with our gorgeous arm candy. Click through to shop our editors' picks.
While some say diamonds are a girl's best friend, we think our handbags are just as loyal. After all, these totes, satchels, and messenger bags are here for us everyday, (stylishly) protecting our daily essentials as we herd our way through the morning commute. So to help kick-start your Fall shopping binge, we compiled a list of the top 15 designer dream bags — from the likes of Marni, Jason Wu, Chloé, and Proenza Schouler — to help you find that perfect, magical statement handbag to go with all of your cool weather ensembles. Click the slideshow to begin the bag envy.
From red carpet events to a casual lunch with friends, there were seriously delicious bags in tow this Summer. Celebs know just as well as we do that switching up your handbag may just be the boldest way to change up your look. It's a statement-making accessory that draws the eye and says a lot about your personality. Worn leather satchels, like Nicky Hilton's Balenciaga scream effortless cool; sophisticated totes like Sienna's YSL are a favored celebrity luxury, and Rachel Bilson's ladylike Chanel 2.55 is a coveted classic. Every bag of choice helps to hit that pitch-perfect styling note on each of these celebrity looks. Click through for 20 of our favorite celebs toting their fabulous Summer arm candy.
When Coach launched its Heritage collection this Summer, the clean, classic lines and '70s-inspired shapes were an instant hit. Many of you expressed joy that you could simply buff up your mom's vintage Coach bag and start wearing it again. Reed Krakoff, Coach's creative director, said of the brand, "Heritage is our hallmark," which is why they went back to the archives for their latest colors. Eggshell, vermillion, and lime were first used by the company in the '70s, and we drummed up one of the original ads that highlights that super '70s vermilion shade. It's a testament to the brand that the bags are still so chic. If you are one of the lucky ones who inherited a vintage Coach bag, Coach women's handbag designer Elisa gave us a helpful hint for making it look brand new: "to remove dirt and condition after cleaning, apply leather moisturizer evenly with a clean, soft cloth using circular strokes, then wipe off the residue and buff gently to produce a natural luster." Click the slideshow to see two of Coach's original ads (one features the now heritage Stewardess bag) and highlights from the new collection.
The new Classics collection is on sale at Coach.com, with prices ranging from $168-$498.
>> Hey, boxy lady. Lanvin, Celine, and Kenzo all showed hard-structured bags for Fall 2011, and ever since Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen turned up to last month's CFDA Awards sporting a pastel pair from The Row (left), this retro-inspired silhouette has been topping the hit list. Polished enough to go from office to evening, and streamlined enough to look chic with almost anything, this compact style will also take you straight from Summer to Fall with ease.
While Fall 2011 collections won't hit stores until August, that doesn't mean you can't capture a little box magic right now — J.Crew, Alexander Wang, and Akris all have similar ladylike options available now. To get in on the trend, look for super-structured satchels with single top handles, cross-body straps, and sleek, minimal hardware — or just click through to see a few of our favorites.
You probably spend most of your time obsessing over shoes and bags (we're guilty of it as well), but don't forget about that other necessary accessory: the wallet. We use it everyday — more times than we'd like to admit — so it's time we pay ode to our trusty friends with a lineup of the best wallets on the market right now. From Jerome Dreyfuss's sparkly gold confections to Kate Spade's hot pink designs, there's enough reason for you to store your cash, cards, or checks in something new. Start clicking and start shopping.
Summer vacations require a different kind of wardrobe: think easy, breezy, and not too expensive. After all, who wants to worry about losing a $500 bag in the middle of paradise? With that in mind, check out our picks, perfect for walking on the beach, boulevard, and even on the city streets. The best part? Each bag or clutch costs under $150.
>> This Summer, we suggest you swap out those heavy leather totes for a cooler option. Our picks from Stella McCartney, Prada, APC, and Marni are sure to lighten your load tenfold. After all, who wants to walk around the city with hot and sticky straps? Click the slideshow to see more options, ranging from bucket totes to woven satchels, now.
It may be the most functional bag out there: the satchel. It's got a vintage feel, can be slouchy, and is defined by a front flap and a long strap so you can throw it over your shoulder. Iconic satchels, like the Proenza Schouler PS1, have graced the arms of countless celebs including Leighton Meester, Ashley Olsen, and Jessica Alba. We've highlighted our favorite satchels for the season, shoppable below. Just click on them to buy.
Street style photo courtesy of Greg Kessler