Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Last night, my husband was out with the boys. Rather than mope about about the house, I made a scrumptious dinner for one (steak, bearnaise, spicy carrots, persian rice--this month's Bon Appetit, based on a dinner held at APC founder Jean Touitou's castle just outside of Paris, so chic!), poured myself a glass of Sancerre and chit-chatted on the phone with my girlfriends. While discovering out the latest news amongst my nearest and dearest, e.g. congratulating the one who's having munchkin #2 and consoling the one who's breaking up with husband #2, I grabbed a pad and was mindlessly scribbling as I dished with my ladies. When I got off the phone, I stared at my doodles. Was my subconscious trying to tell me something, some style wish gone unfulfilled that needed rectifying and fast?
Ah, the Chanel® bag. Calling on one these satchels an "It Bag" is a bit insulting. It's kind of like giving "It Girl" status to Catherine Deneuve or Charlotte Rampling or Julie Christie. These are icons, not ingenues. And yet, I've forgone the flap, thought that 2.55 just wasn't my number. But now, I'm reconsidering my refusal. I have to admit, the bag is so recognizable, that it turned me off a bit. But, there are many options other than your basic black Chanel® bag that have their own je ne sais quoi while maintaining their singular shape and style.

And I have to say, that I do enjoy the feminist origins of this bag. While the number 2.55 may not immediately add up to burning my bra (and why would I: it's Kiki de Montparnasse and pretty), Coco designed this bag because purses back in the day were only a means of adornment, not something functional to carry your essentials from A to B.

After all, in café society, ladies were meant to be seen at the table in the restaurant or the chaise on the lanai. They certainly weren't meant to be seen at oh, a desk working or anything like that. So, a satchel large enough to contain a wallet, a notebook, pens, etc. with shoulder straps for comfort and that would enable a lady to grab her gear and GO, was deemed unsightly.
But, Coco realized that the times, they were a changing. And as a working woman herself, she wanted something to lug her necessities, and that something had to be chic with a capitol C. So, as legend has it, she had her worker-bees sew golden chain straps to a bag that had a bigger body so she could stylishly tote her wares. And hence, the tote was born.

Personally, I'm taken with the charcoal option above with sienna crochet trim, but the printed camellia bag does have a certain whimsy and femininity I find appealing. This is the kind of bag I'd wear with leather pants a la Isabel Marant, a ripped-to-shreads old Striper tee, and strappy heels.
Of course, if you're looking for the gold standard, why try to fix what ain't broke. You could pick up this oversize black number, prefect for storing your iPad plus the trinkets and bangles and baubles a girl needs while navigating the concrete jungle, climbing the corporate ladder or simply bellying up to the bar.

Lucky for me, whenever I'm amidst a fashion conundrum, the gang over here at Decades excavates a treasure trove of options for my consideration. And lucky for you, they took my bag confusion and ran with it, posting a plethora of must-have bags, from classic carryalls to wild style satchels.

Whatever your handbag hopes, I'm sure their selection will satisfy. Of course, now looking at all of their amazing picks, I'm more frustrated than ever. That fringed Jimmy Choo is calling my name. Sigh. What's a girl to do? Although, I must say that when my troubles add up to picking out the perfect handbag (or two), I've got it pretty darn good.

Want to check out our amazing selection of must-have bags? Click here and get carried away!