I Basically Have 4 Handbags, But They Go With Everything I Own

I'm no minimalist when it comes to my clothes (my husband can attest to this thanks to his lack of space in our shared wardrobe), but I do like to know my clothes and accessories work hard for me. What that means is that I like a considered edit of pieces I wear again and again. Even if the brand I'm wearing is fast fashion, it doesn't mean I shouldn't wear it once or twice.

This attitude is particularly important to me when considering my handbags. In my early 20s, I had a lot of handbags, many of which were the kind of going out clutches you could only wear with a dress or something with sequins. Annoyingly, you could only fit in a phone and maybe some money if I was lucky. Practicality wasn't the defining aspect of these bags—they were all party and nothing else.

Sandro Cross-Body Bag

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Who What Wear
Sezane Leopard Bag

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Who What Wear

As I've gotten older, I've been more discerning about my bag choices and what works for me. I want to be able to wear my totes and crossbody bags with various different outfits. Not only does it mean I wear them on repeat, but it also means I'm doing my part to be more mindful (and sustainable) when it comes to fashion.

I finally arrived at the conclusion that the way to ensure all my bags went with my clothes was to stick to some key colours (black, navy, tan and the occasional bold hue) and textures (wicker and leopard print). To show you what I mean, I've worn my four favourite bags with one outfit I wore to the office this week. While every one definitely serves a slightly different purpose, I truly believe these are the only four you'd need in your wardrobe.

APC Shoulder Bag

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Who What Wear
Holiday Straw Bag

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Who What Wear

In the top image, I'm wearing a bold blue bag from Sandro, which is surprisingly big and can fit my keys, phone, money, and lip balm. The second bag is what I consider to be my tan bag, even though it's leopard print. This Sézane piece is great for the office but also brilliant for weddings when I'm just not sure what bag to wear. Next up is a classic handbag from A.P.C. This is really my ultimate smart handbag, as it has a chain that makes it so much more elegant. It also fits so much. Finally, the straw bag is one I picked up from a random shop on holiday, and I use it all the time, especially on trips.

How Others Are Wearing These Bags

1. Classic Black Bag

Style Notes: When you dress in just black and white or grey, it can feel like your outfit is a bit bleak. However, add a black handbag and you’re immediately making it look super chic. 

Style Notes: Another brilliant thing about the black bag is that it even makes sneakers look smart. 

2. Tan Bag

Style Notes: Tan bags just look so good with a dress and boots. 

Style Notes: This tan bag makes simple sandals and a shirtdress look incredibly smart. 

3. Basket Bag

Style Notes: Jeanne Damas is the MVP of wearing basket bags. This one she wears regularly and with plenty of different outfits. 

Style Notes: The above look might be autumnal, but this one is all about summer. 

4. Boldly Coloured Bag

Style Notes: The best way to wear a brightly coloured bag is with more bold hues. 

Style Notes: This bag colour also looks great with any sort of print. 

Next up, the biggest autumn/winter 2019 trends you need to know.