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Alexander McQueen Zip Around Tote

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Alexander McQueen Tote Bag

Well, i’ve added another member to the Purse Family. He’s a gorgeous McQueen zip around tote and i’m in love. I made this impulse purchase to celebrate quite a few things in life: a new apartment, new job, a birthday. Generally just to welcome this new chapter in my life. I’ve never done something like this for myself before, honestly. Purchased something spur of the moment. Every major purchase has been coldly calculated, saved for, and thought through. But to be completely transparent, it felt amazing to be able to do this for myself. And I couldn’t be happier.

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Also newly added to the wardrobe: these Nike tennis shoes!

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How To: Choose A Flattering Crossbody Bag

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Andrew Marc jacket, Anthropologie top (50% off!), BDG jeans, Steve Madden boots, Crossbody from Italy (similar below)

Over the last few weeks, I have received quite a few requests to do a post about crossbody bags. How I shop for them, how I wear them, and what I look for in the perfect bag. In my personal collection, the one that I use the most is a buttery leather black bag from a trip to Italy a few years back. It is the perfect size and has served me so well over the years. Here are the key components I looked for when shopping for the ideal crossbody bag:

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1). I always look for unstructured crossbody bags. The weight on the side of your hip looks better when the bag drapes around the body, versus adding bulk with structure

2). Size is key. A medium size bag is ideal. On someone of my size (for reference i’m 5’6), a super petite bag will look out of place. However a huge duffle is impractical. A medium size and shape holds everything I need without being the focal point of the outfit.

3). Play with placement. I always opt for bags that have adjustable straps. That way I can play with the length and have it sit just perfectly on my body. For me, this is square on my hip. I find that any higher and I look short, and any lower the bag pulls me down and looks sloppy

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Here are a few crossbody options in the general size range and structure I was speaking about. Any would be amazing, basic additions to a wardrobe:

How To: Mix Three Patterns

Pattern MixingJ.Crew gingham + skirt (old, but loving this floral), Ferragamo shoes, Kenneth Cole bag (reviewed here)

I like to go bold with mixing patterns and prints, but when I do I still like the look to remain streamlined and intentional, rather than appearing like a mismatched mess. To accomplish this pattern mixing, even with three distinct pieces, there are a few simple steps I follow:

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1) Pick a color palette. In this instance, navy blue was the neutral and the base.

2) Two of the three patterns should easily pair. Here it is the gingham and the paisley. They are the closest to each other and therefore should be, and are, the most complimentary.

Tri Pattern Mixing

Leopard Handbag

3) Pick one standout piece. Here it is the leopard bag. A showstopper piece and definitely unexpected.

4) Keep the rest simple. Basic navy pumps, no jewelry, and pulled pack hair keep me looking put together and appropriate.

Leopard Plaid and PaisleyDo you dare to mix three patterns? I’d love to see links to your examples!

Welcome To The Purse Family: Leopard Kenneth Cole + Review

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Leopard Calf Hair Leopard Handbag from Kenneth Cole

The newest member of the purse family has finally arrived! She is squishy, fat, and absolutely hairy but I love her all the same. I have been on the hunt for the perfect leopard handbag forever. I didn’t want to spend a fortune upfront as I wasn’t entirely sure how much I would wear such a loud print. With a small-ish budget and very specific taste, it took me nearly a year of searching to find the perfect one.

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This Kenneth Cole satchel retails for nearly $500 but I purchased it at half price for $255 with free shipping (score!). It is a convertible shoulder bag with a 10 inch drop, or a cross body when the leather chain cap is removed (as shown below). It is made of 100% calf hair with leather and brass details.

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The leather chain strap can be easily snapped on or off to change the look of the bag from a shoulder to a crossbody, or for a more “biker” vibe sans leather. The closure is a turn-lock closure with a metal chained pin that can be looped within for added security.

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There are two large pockets on the inside, and smaller cell phone and zipper pockets within. The bag is nearly as roomy as my LV speedy 30, and has flexible sides for extra stuffing. The sides are fastened with brass rivets and the interior is lined with cotton.

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My only negative about this handbag is the calf hair, though I imagine this would be an issue with any genuine calf hair bad: it’s itchy! The hair rubs against the body and can be itchy on bare skin. I plan to use the bag mostly in the Winter so it doesn’t bother me too much, but thought it was worth mentioning.

Here are a few other leopard bags I was coveting, at various price points, just incase your budget can stretch a bit further than mine:

Have a happy Labor Day Weekend!

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