Happy Monday, happy mamas!

Cross Body Michael Kors
If you're anything like me, cleaning out one handbag to switch to another is a chore that is less fun than cleaning the cat's litter box and takes more time than summiting Mt Rainier.  Where on earth did all these dirty Kleenex come from?  Why, exactly, do I have four pairs of sunglasses in my purse?  THERE'S the lipstick I've been looking for, couldn't find and bought a replacement for!!  Sound familiar?  If you're like many women, you hate this task so much that you've switched to " the summer purse " and " the winter purse " and have one "dressy" bag, probably black, for going out at night which holds your license, a credit card, cell phone, Kleenex, keys and a lipstick.    But!!!!!  Bags are an accessory just as jewelry is and can make or break an outfit like shoes can.  So why do you go to the trouble of planning an ensemble and selecting accessories, only to spoil it by grabbing the "summer purse" which doesn't go with your outfit at all?  C'mon, ladies, we can do better than this!!!

The bags-of-the-moment are adorable little cross-body bags in the vibrant colors of spring and summer.  Another trend is the large, roomy but structured satchel.  Yet another popular purse is the tote, which holds the kitchen sink, along with every electronic gadget you could possibly pack. The list of shapes and sizes and colors is endless!  I tell my clients yet again to spend on the classics and scrimp on the trends.  But, again like shoes, there are some basics that belong in everyone's closet.  If you will take care of them, buy the best that you can afford.  If you treat your bag like a backpack, though, buy less expensive pieces and you won't feel bad when they give up the ghost.
Every woman should have a good black and a good brown handbag.  These are the foundation pieces of a solid "bag wardrobe" and will be used A LOT, so spend here.  Buy a classic shape and style that holds your necessities but has room for extras.  These two bags should be ones that you can see yourself carrying to go out for dinner - that will ensure that you buy pieces that look good, along with functioning well.  You will also need an evening bag and color here depends on your lifestyle.  If you go out often, you should invest in a
Hermes - The Classic Kelly 
spiffy clutch and the most neutral is not always black.  Metallics go with EVERYTHING and if you also buy a small black bag on a chain, you've got your basics covered.

Every woman should have a tote bag that goes with you on days when you need "roomy". You know, when you're carrying your stuff along with two bottles of water, a few snacks and an extra pair of shoes for trying on clothes.  If you're only going to buy one, I would suggest a fun color that will go with jeans and black pants ( face it, that's what we wear 50% of the time!). Try a red patent leather, a yellow canvas or a denim bag!  You'll look sharp without stretching your other bags til they cry "uncle"!  You will also need the kind of everyday bag that looks right with jeans, skirts and shorts.  I go for camel, stone and grey here, in a satchel shape that has a shoulder strap and carry handles.  This is a casual bag so we're not looking for something structured.....more like a soft, floppy bag but this one can be worn summer or winter.  The last of the foundation bags is one that goes with your summery dresses and outfits.  I suggest a light colored bag here but I stay away from leather.....light leather is easy to stain and looks battered fairly quickly.  Canvas and straw are great choices  and look modern and pretty in pale blue, natural and cream or white.

Now is when the fun really begins.....when you have your basics and can get a little more
Pink Hobo - Marc Jacobs
creative and edgy.  A large envelope shaped clutch in a bright patent leather looks great with jeans as well as dresses.  A summery hobo in a floral adds to your look when wearing shorts or summery skirts.  A knockout color can be a neutral too; imagine jeans shorts, a black T and a pink messenger bag!  And for evening?  How about a small square clutch covered in sequins?  Or a long, slim satin bag?  There's no end to the possibilities once your basics are taken care of.  So approach purses the way you would any other accessory.  Get your workhorses first and add on as your budget and needs allow.  Another bonus? Switching purses frequently cuts down on the amount of crap you end up carting around.  Can't you just hear your wardrobe saying "thank you"? But always remember - "trend" is today, "style" is forever!