ELYSIAN’s list of the hottest arm candy for the season
I often wonder why I have a closet full of handbags, and yet my day-to-day carryall for the past eight months has been a simple black leather tote. It has ample space for a make-up bag and a magazine or two, plus it comes with a detachable wristlet and an internal hook for my keychain. I take a quick look inside it before I leave the house and know instantly whether I’ve forgotten something. It’s my dashboard. My portable organizer.
Sure, I’ll audition other handbags from time to time. I’ve squeezed my essential accoutrements into a crossbody for a night out. I’ve dumped everything into a straw tote for a ladies’ brunch. And occasionally I’ll tuck a lipstick, cell phone and key into a cheeky little clutch so I can travel light at a party or formal event.
When the party ends, I always return to my old faithful tote. But in the crisp spring sunlight, my beloved portmanteau starts to look a little wilted. It speaks volumes about the grimy hardscrabble of winter, but nothing of the jubilant rebirth of spring. Then it hits me: it’s time for a new handbag.
I want something bright and cheerful, but it must be a case of form and function. Pure white is a nice idea for other people, but in my world, it starts spotting grey within a week. Straw and raffia are fine for special occasions, but are far too delicate for every day. Linen is out of the question. My daily carryall cannot take time out to convalesce at the dry cleaner. Ring handles might be big this season (and they are lovely for occasional use), but I never know where the day will take me, so a shoulder strap is a must.
You might think that amply-sized, durable, cheerful handbags are as plentiful in spring as cherry blossoms in Tokyo. But, no! I’ve had to hunt for the perfect bag like a truffle hog sniffing out tubers in the Périgord. But I’ve always believed that good fortune should be shared, plus this beautiful weather has me in a great mood. So without further ado, here they are: Ten Perfect Handbags for Spring.
Tory Burch Block T-Printed Mini Leather Tote
As a busy mom and entrepreneur, Tory Burch knows what women want because she designs the clothes and accessories that she wants. Her Block T tote offers a burst of color for spring with a tasteful refinement that is perfect for daily use.
Kate Spade Carter Street Tyler Tote
The buttery leather on this Kate Spade tote has been specially treated to protect it against scratches and daily wear. The double handles with gold hardware are reinforced to accommodate heavy loads but look effortlessly elegant. An interior slip pocket keeps your keys and sunglasses in order.
Tory Burch Half-Moon Balloon Stripe Mixed-Media Satchel
A perfect way to dress up jeans or add personality to a suit, the Half-Moon Balloon Stripe Satchel is another winner from Tory Burch. It is exquisitely crafted from leather, canvas, suede and calf hair, and has a zipped closure to keep your valuables safe.
Halston Heritage Elsa Convertible Shoulder Bag
The elegant leather hobo from Halston Heritage comes in a cheerful marigold hue, and is equipped with an adjustable shoulder strap for crossbody versatility. It is lined in suede and comes with with an internal zipped pocket and a removable coin purse.
Rebecca Minkoff Slim Regan Hobo
Rebecca Minkoff nailed the perfect hobo design with this beautiful Regan bag which comes in Almond and Octavio. It is beautifully embellished with hand stitching along the side, and its internal pockets are specially designed to accommodate keys, sunglasses and credit cards.
Dooney & Bourke Pebble Zip Zip Satchel
Dooney and Bourke are no strangers to exquisitely-crafted leather goods in vibrant colors. It’s what they’ve been doing since 1975. The Pebble Zip Zip Satchel in azure blue with almond trim represents the very best in handbag design and construction. A detachable shoulder strap gives you options on how to carry it, and the interior lining consists of a zipped pocket, a cell phone holder and a key hook. As perfect as an azure sky on a spring day.
Michael Kors Reagan Large Satchel
The amply-sized Reagan satchel from Michael by Michael Kors has a nautical color scheme which works inherently well during warm-weather months. It is loaded with interior pockets to keep all of your essentials organized, and a navy handle and shoulder strap make it easy to keep ship-shape.
Coach Prairie Satchel in Pebble Leather
The buttery-soft pebbled leather satchel from Coach is a masterwork in design and construction. Hand straps are attached with durable metal hardware, and an external zipped pocket is a natural home for your phone. You can choose from four charming spring hues (Peony, Beechwood, Marine and Washed Red), and since we know you can’t help yourself, it’s also available in black.
Brahmin Melbourne Bristol Satchel
In 1982, husband-and-wife team Bill and Joan Martin set out to create handbags with European style and quality that were designed in America. Mission accomplished. Over the past 40 years, Brahmin has become synonymous with timeless style and quality craftsmanship. The Melbourne Bristol satchel with a croc-embossed print is the epitome of sophistication. Interior pockets galore and an adjustable shoulder strap make it as practical as it is beautiful.
Gucci Re(belle) Large Suede Top Handle Bag
Your new spring handbag doesn’t have to be retired in autumn like leaves falling from the trees. The Re(belle) masterpiece from Gucci, is the apotheosis of timeless: It will be as stylish years from now as it is today. It is constructed in suede with leather trim and logo ribbing, and has a microfiber lining and a removable shoulder strap. Since 1921, when Gucci was founded in Florence, its handbags and shoes have been favored by royalty and movie stars because Gucci is what you wear when you can wear anything you want. As the Italians are fond of saying “A Gucci handbag is forever.”