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The Style Report: Handbags

The Perfect Arm Candy

Karla Colletto Lace Suit available at Tahiti Street


Did you know... a handbag can make or break an outfit or that having a bad handbag is like having a bad hair day? Well it’s true, my sexy swans!

Does size matter? Me personally, I like them big and well proportioned! Like a pair of jeans, a handbag should fit your body type. A taller woman should be darning a larger satchel.

Too many women get caught up in nostalgia; still carrying their first teeny tiny Kate Spade or Coach….please recycle to your daughter or niece!

What bag should I carry? Stick with the classics, many to choose from such as the Kelly bag, made for Grace Kelly by Hermes. This version led to the prestigious Birkin Bag, a great segue to the episode of Sex and the City when Samantha purchased the “oh so coveted Birkin” for new client Lucy Liu to avoid the waiting list of one year. In typical Samantha style, she snagged it for herself… until Lucy reclaimed it.

Styles Include: stachel, boho, clutch, constructed, unstructured, evening and so on. As I tell all my clients, a woman needs a few different styles to fit the various looks that you are wearing. A night at The Met? A palm-size glitzy clutch to fit lipstick and cell just in case Mr. Wonderful calls and you need to leave the ball early.

Fendi or Fake? My honest answer to that is that if you are in the market for a Gucci, Louis V or a Fendi bag; treat yourself to the real deal! Wannabes are a no-no. You do not have to spend thousands, you can find the real deal for much less. One of my clients is trotting around with a vintage Prada and fantabulous Gucci snagged from one of my connections for a couple of hundred each.

I was in the market for two bags, a Valentino Garavani and a Birkin. Short of hocking my family jewels, I was on a mission to find these bags for my collection to be handed down to my lucky daughter… (Not yet, Caroline). I found and purchased my consigned Garavani bag for $450. My friend, Deb, spent $2200 wholesale, you decide! As far as the Hermes, the compromise was to go for the linen summer bag with the leather top with a price of $550. Balk if you will but the bag retails for $5000!

One might ask is there such a thing as an everyday bag? Oh gawd, NO! Your bag should match your mood and your outfit. But if you simply must have an everyday catch all bag, I recommend getting a taupe or camel bag. Why? This color is more sophisticated and elegant that your average old black bag plus it goes with everything black matches.

Does my bag have to match my shoes? I like to keep the shoes, belt and bag in the same tone family...be it the taupes, the browns, the camels, the blacks and the grays. Full circle...can I use this bag every day or all year round? The answer is yes BUT I tell my clients that variety is the spice of life so a woman should have multiple handbags in varying shapes and colors.

What’s always in my bag? The three things that I bet you don’t have in your handbag are double faced tape, scissors and safety pins. Double-faced tape can be used to secure your belt, to keep your shirt skimming your shoulders, to hide your bra straps, etc. Scissors you ask? I was at a party when the host was spotted with threads hanging down from his jacket. Out came my scissors, the host was turned around and I cleaned him up. While first put off, he later emailed his appreciation. You never know when you will need them. And safety pins are handy for any clothing unraveling at inopportune moments.

Please note that fashion goes in cycles. These bags are investments and you should hold onto them as they will not become old but will become "vintage" and your daughter or granddaughter would slay a dragon to claim your bag!

Lynn CesariaLynn Cesaria is a fashion maven, image consultant and personal shopper. Known for her no-nonsense attitude, her unerring eye and her Fashion 911 house calls to her clientele. Lynn has also owned and operated LRC Photography for over 20 years. She is based in Fairfield County but available to transform people worldwide!

For more information contact:
Lynn Cesaria
Lynn Cesaria Styling
Personal Shopping


Photograph by LRC Photography


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