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Video: Complete a fall look with a chic bag

TODAY contributor
updated 9/22/2011 9:14:13 AM ET 2011-09-22T13:14:13

Fall is officially here and it’s time to cozy up to a new carryall. Although this is an exciting adventure for most, it’s also a personal one — a bag is your constant companion and you never leave home without it. TODAY style editor and Bobbie.com's Bobbie Thomas researched the runways and rolled up her sleeves, searching through hundreds of bags to find the best buys for fall:

This season offers up wide variety of classic handbag styles in rich colors with unique hardware updates. Chanel once again reinvented their icon bags, this time with rigid structure and bolder chains, while contemporary brands such as 3.1 Phillip Lim and newcomer Jason Wu grounded their modern collections with timeless silhouettes. Satchels with top handles, framed purses and structured shoulder bags add polish to your work or weekend looks. And sophisticated shades such as burgundy, navy, maize and rust offer a subtle pop of color without overpowering. These ladylike totes are perfect for those in search of versatility through the season. Here are some of my favorite finds:

Boy Bag Collection, Chanel.comfor stores; 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Satchelin Ink, $895, 212-334-1160; Rampage Jackson, Chase, & Bardot Satchels $98, Endless.com; Harris for Mondani Brown Frame Bag, $70, 800-847-0072; Vianca Clutch, $68, Nordstrom.comfor stores; Samantha Crossbody Bag, $80, Bigbuddha.com; Melie Bianco Allie Messengerand Desiree Bag $61-$99, Modaqueen.com; Call It Spring Guilstorf Convertible Bag, $34.99, Jcp.com; Pony Hair Flap Bag, $34.95, Hm.com for stores; Kimchi Blue 2 Tone Lady Bag, $29.99, Urbanoutfitters.comfor stores; Steve Madden Bmarcela Bag, $108, Macys.com.

Fall runways were abound with all things inspired by mother nature. Valentino has fashion editors hissing over their exotic python bags, while Stella McCartney turned heads with her fab eco-friendly faux fur Falabella tote that she named after her horse. Expand your horizons and embrace the season's assortment of unusual fabrics including curly mohair and fuzzy feathers or keep it a little more classic with an embossed croc leather. You can even have fun with camping-inspired designs, a subset of the 'great outdoors' trend that encompasses shearling, Native American & Fairisle prints, for an effortless cozy look that may inspire you to curl up by a fire.

Valentino One-of-a-Kind Python Satchel $3,845 Neimanmarcus.com; Stella McCartney Eco-Fur Falabella Tote, $1245, Bergdorfgoodman.com; Patent Pending Bag, Croco Tote, Faux Chinchilla Tote, Faux Fur Trim Bag,$78-$125, Sondraroberts.com; Steve Madden Boxford Haircalf Satchel, $98, Macys.comfor stores; London Fog Fletcher Faux Skin Bag, $95, Nordstrom.comfor stores; Cruz Leopard Clutch, $89, Chicos.com; Greta Tassel Bag, $89, Nicoleleeonline.com; Mondani Galloway Faux Fur Bag, $75, 800-847-0072; Big Buddha Ricki Faux Fur Clutch, $65, Rosetreeboutiqueonline.com; Faux Fur Ivory Hobo, $24.95, Hm.com for stores

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While "glam" has been at the forefront of fashion for several seasons now, this year's bags take the concept to a whole new level with gemstone encrusted creations by Dolce & Gabbana leading the way. For the gal who loves over-the-top statements, there's no shortage of dramatic details and luxe textiles to suit your every whim, from brocade & velvet to mega metallics. Everyday bags in luxe lame or shimmering sequins offer a fun twist to everything from jeans and a T-shirt to your basic work suit. And there’s been a return of the "minaudiere", small ornamental evening bags. Whimsical pouches and ornate cases can offer the same wow factor that a statement necklace or earrings do. 

Dolce & Gabbana Gold Jewel Encrusted Clutch, Select DG boutiques; Steve Madden Bcrystal Tote, $148, Lordandtaylor.com for stores; Ivanka Trump Tiger's Eye Shoulder Bag, $145, Macys.com; Metallic Clutch& Bucket Bag $99.90 Zara.com; Ruffle Drawstring $98 ArmaniExchange.com; Dressy Sequin Bag, $89, Ninewest.com; Miss Gustto Clotilde Tote, $75, Endless.com; Jacquard Embroidered Bag, $66, Topshop.com; B.Bags Silver Beaded Clutch, $59.99, 212-868-4596; Calvary Gold Crossbody $50, Aldoshoes.com; B.Bag Blue Sequin Clutch, $39.99, 212-868-4596; Sasha Lame, Black Satin, Sequin Bow, & Gold Tassel Hard Clutches, $25-$45, Dodovici.com; Vintage Gold Clutch, $24.90, Windsorstore.com

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Photos: 5 fall trends you'll wear into the spring

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  1. 5 fall trends you'll wear into the spring

    By Bobbie Thomas

    Although most of us have yet to wear new favorites for this fall, the Spring 2012 shows just wrapped up here at New York Fashion week. And while Heidi Klum’s catch phrase “One minute you are in, and the next you are out!” may come to mind, there’s a glam silver lining. I’ve taken note of the looks we’ll be seeing again in the new year, so you can invest wisely now:

    Be bold
    The colorblocking trend that's all over stores this year continues to be a statement-maker for spring, with bold stripes and vibrant color on the runways at BCBG Max Azria, Tommy Hilfiger and others. The punchy pinks, bright corals, and neon-like yellows that turned up the volume on the runways could easily be worn this winter with black, browns, and caramel. Then come next year, lighten them up with white and beige.

    Neon Lace Mini, $82.33, Asos.com (AP, asos) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Go long

    Midi-length skirts, dresses and airy maxis flowed down the runways of Derek Lam, DKNY, Jason Wu and many more with hemlines of every kind – asymmetrical, scoop, handkerchief and slits have all been seen at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. So the longer lengths you’ve seen all summer and in stores this fall will be wise investments. Keep warm by pairing these ladylike styles with boots and textured tights and keep cool come spring by pairing with wedges or a simple flat.

    Box Pleated Hi Low, $58, Needsupply.com (Getty Images/Need Supply Co.) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Love leather

    Forget the clunky coats of decades past – recent runways have shown sleek leather dresses and cute, cropped jackets. A slim pencil skirt in black or rust leather is also great buy; it can complement a soft sweater or tie neck blouse for the office and can be worn with a dainty tee or top for a fresh, seasonless style.

    Leather Front Tee, $100, Topshop.com (Getty Images/TOPSHOP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Prints and patterns

    The fall runways were full of mixed motifs. Navajo met geometric, animal print paired up with stripes, graphics even met with polka dots. The clash of designs were seen again, and lots of digital prints were shown. Designers such as Prabal Gurung, Cynthia Rowley, and Alexander Wang paraded "look-at-me"-printed prints down the catwalk. Consider what’s already in your closet or pick up some bold pieces, so you can start experimenting now to perfect your favorite combos.

    Snakeskin Print Blazer, $79.99, Zara.com (Getty Images/ZARA) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Tribal motifs

    Tribal motifs popped up on fall runways and again in the Spring 2012 collections. The earthy ethnic looks are a great year round way to mix in a bit of bohemian chic. For just a hint, pick up a statement necklace or handbag, pair with black for a little edge, or go for head-to-toe with a dress.

    Flutter Sleeve Printed Chiffon Trim Handkerchief Hem, $34.99, Macys.com (Getty Images/Macy's) Back to slideshow navigation
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