Whether you carry it over your shoulder or clutch it in your hand, a handbag is an unexpected way to change the entire look of your outfit. While a slouchy soft hobo looks easy and carefree, a framed patent purse can add polish and sophistication. By breaking down this season’s trends, Bobbie Thomas, TODAY style editor and author of “The Buzz” for In Touch Weekly, shows you how this everyday accent can put an exclamation point on your personal style.
ClearRain or shine, plastic can be extremely practical for spring’s showers or summer’s sandy days at the beach. Fashion editors flipped for Chanel's clear chain bags this season, and there are a number of other see-through styles that will tempt you to try out this transparent trend. But before you bare all, remember to organize your items. Stylish pouches will allow you to stash your personal belongings in a creative and convenient way.
Bobbie’s buzz: Try tinted plastics or bags embossed with prints to help camouflage your loot.
- “Naked” handbag, $895, available at select CHANEL boutiques: 800-550-0005
- Tinted gray trim buckle satchel, $69,
- “Tabriz” clear lace, $30,
- Clear white trim “Jelly Kelly,” $28,
Draw inspiration for your arm candy from a pre-school paint set. Primary colors are fresh for spring, and will match with more than you may think. There’s a rainbow of colors to choose from this season, and pops of patent are still a great way to go. For those who like to stick to simple fashions, a bright bag is an easy way to add a splash of your favorite color, without going overboard.
Bobbie’s buzz: A printed silk scarf can help tie in the hue of your bold handbag.
- Be and D “Deanna Hobo” green patent lambskin, $1250,
- “Casidi” yellow tote, $32.80,
- Worthville clutch in fuchsia, $35,
- Limited colored pouches, $26, 800-756-4449
I’ve mentioned before that white fashion is in full force this season, and handbags are a great way to highlight this trend. A stark white bag will instantly update your dark fall favorites, and can even make black feel fresh and bright. More than ever, there are a number of textures to choose from, with embossed croc, woven wickers and leather cut-outs leading the pack.
Bobbie’s buzz: A structured silhouette will enhance a crisp and clean look, while a soft white bag rings romantic and flirty.
White wish list:
- Yves Saint Laurent matte croc bag, price upon request,
- Xhilaration braid-trim tote, white, $19.99,
- Penelope clutch, $295 and Natasha bag, $625,
- Althea satchel, $288,
- Kate Spade “Havana Lawnchair” Monaco bag, $345,
- Sang A Jade Victorian clutch in python, $1,560,
We should all cheer for a trend that helps fashion meet function. Messenger totes, lightweight duffels, convertible clutches and sporty stripes all add a modern contrast to your office attire. Performer Gwen Stefani gets the sporty look spot on, and the handbags from her fashion line, L.A.M.B., help her carry off this cool style.
Bobbie’s buzz: You don’t have to display your team logo to strike a sporty cord. Simple styling and chic accents will help make you a fashion all-star.
- GoGo carry-all, $250,
- Tod's Roxy Messenger Piccola, $725
- United Colors of Benetton tan nylon duffle, $64,
- L.A.M.B. Carlisle clutch, $395 and Love Capri satchel, $550,
- Puma female grip bag, $45 and Puma core shopper, $45, Foxy Lady INC.: 212-206-7016
- Lacoste small bowling bag, $90, Macy's
GlamFlash has been refined, and glam is no longer gaudy. Metallics are taking shape in the form of sophisticated satchels, hard case clutches and structured frame bags, while new treatments like beads, oversized gems, studs and gold threads are making over mundane styles.
Bobbie’s buzz: Do-it-yourself! You can reinvent a solid satchel with just a glue gun and some stones. After all, who better than you to be puttin’ on the glitz?
- Sang A River square tote in bronze python, $2340,
- Erotokritos “Big Basquet” in silver, $782,
- Metallic lattice woven leather tote, $119,
- Dolce & Gabbana Capra metal shoulder bag, $1595,
- Whiting and Davis mesh bronze tophandle, $135,
- Burberry silver metallic hand embroidered jewel clutch, $1255, 800-284-8480
- Chrome-studded satin rocker handbag by La Regale, $49,
- Steve Madden Studio 54 bag, $34 ($68),
- Felix Rey jeweled mini purse, $315, Henri Bendel: 800.H.BENDEL