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Mama’s got a brand new bag

Judy Gordon, “Today”style editor and creator of, shares a look at the hot new handbags for fall.
/ Source: TODAY

It’s a great season for handbags and that means only one thing. It’s time for everyone to pick out a brand new bag! Will it be mock croc, bright, studded, ladylike or hip? Whatever you choose, loose the shoulder strap and go for a hand-held bag to bring you right up to date.

Killer mock croc

If you buy one trendy handbag this season, make it a sleek, structured mock croc bag in a bright color like green, orange, yellow or blue. The long-range option? Invest in a classic black, brown or red mock croc bag styled in one of

fall’s ladylike shapes. Real or faux, these structured bags are perfect with tweed suits, menswear and glamour-girl styles. Look for chic hardware details and a shorter, handheld strap.

Heavy metal

The newest handbag look of the season is the sleek, structured bag liberally finished with metal hardware like studs, rings, buckles or chains. Opt for an elongated-shaped clutch (with a short chain strap to free the hands when needed) or a more practical tote style with handles. Either way, hardware touches give handbags an edgier look that works with various fall fashions - think skinny pants, ‘80s-inspired styles or rocker chic. Extra trend points are yours if you nab one in mock croc.

Wrist watch

The leather wristlet — or small clutch with an attached strap — is a trend that has been quietly gaining momentum. For fall, it explodes full force as the perfect complement to ladylike suits for day. And it’s the essential carry-all with just about any dressy look for evening. The wristlet adapts well to practically every trend — look for it in everything from mock croc to polished leather to metallics — with clip-on pockets in front or hardware touches, of course.

Perfect frame

Handbag aficionados love vintage-framed handbags and they’re back in style! What your grandmother might have called her “pocketbook” is one of the hippest looks around, whether in classic leather, tapestry or gussied up in animal prints, velvet or menswear fabrics. This polished purse usually snaps shut at the top of the frame, which makes it the perfect partner to streamlined, ladylike fashions that demand a pulled-together finish.

Sexy satchel

Make way for updated, highly decorated versions of the sexy satchel. This classic shape is the perfect playground for interesting color, pattern and texture combinations. Favorites include menswear fabrics like pinstripes or tweed

paired with leather; bright or white with dark colors, suede or snakeskin with leopard or zebra and brown distressed leather with pink trim. This season’s satchel shape is streamlined and slightly pouchy, in keeping with the trend toward more structured, ladylike styles.

What you saw today:

Bone-colored mock croc tote with bow and tassles, Dooney and Burke, $345

Black retro-inspired, Kelly type bag with bamboo handle, Elaine Turner, $395

Red ladylike clutch, Maxx, $122

Bright red motorcycle-inspired bag with the silver chain from Nicoli, $295

Large white tote with silver buckles and grommets from Rafe, $595

Black studded clutch with big ring from Kazuyo Nakano, $314

Blue mock croc bag with hardware from Kooba, $395

Orange Mod-inspired bag from L.A.I., $305

Pink suede bag with front clip lock pockets from Banana Republic, $48

Brown distressed leather bag with pink handles from Sequoia, $245

Leopard hobo-satchel bag with grommets from Carla Mancini, $270

Framed tapestry doctor-type bag from Furla, $300

Tweed evening clutch with black satin bow from Laura Madrigano, $150

Judy Gordon is a New York-based style consultant and “Today” show style editor. She has been covering fashion for the past decade and is the former style editor of Indie Magazine. You can visit her Web site,, which highlights fashion trends in America. Check out the site for this week’s latest feature.