Friday Feets: Mini Bags 9

Trends fascinate me. One month, seemingly out of nowhere, every fashion magazine is singing the praises of wide legged pants or high heeled oxfords. The only way I can explain it is that the night before fashion magazines all go to press, the Anna Wintour Fairy visits the dreams of each magazine editor and whispers softly in their ear the trend they should be pushing that month.

As it happens, this month every magazine on my desk is singing the praises of the cross body mini bag (yes, those are a lot of modifiers for such a small purse). I should probably embrace the trend and downsize my purse, but I get the vapors when I can’t carry a water bottle, three lipsticks, a magazine, a book, a pack of Kleenex, my wallet, half a pack of gum, cuticle clippers, and several old receipts with me at all times.

Even still, I can appreciate the trend – there’s something simultaneously classic and rock and roll about a small cross-body purse. Maybe it’s the almost ubiquitous chain strap, or the way that you can wear it slung across your torso – I don’t know what it is about the bag, but there is something inherently cool about the cross body mini bag. Maybe it’s the idea that the wearer doesn’t need to carry all her belongings on her like Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club.

Obviously, with all this lead-up, Chairman Kaga’s reveal shouldn’t be too shocking. He must hate this preamble every week – he’s a showman, and explaining the ingredient of the day before revealing it kind of undercuts the excitement. Sorry, Chairman Kaga.

He forgives me … this time.

Left: Forever 21 Quilted Shoulder Bag – $19.80
Center: Forever 21 Small Shoulder Bag with Pleats – $19.80
Right: Forever 21 Date Night Leatherette Bag – $19.80

There are going to be a lot of colors in this post and very little black. I am not a big believer in neutral purses, especially with a bag as small as the mini bag. The only way to describe these bags is “sherbert-toned,” as far as I’m concerned, and I love it. They’re bright and springy, but they’re not garish. Whenever you’re dealing with a brightly dyed leatherette you’ve got to apply the in-person rule (check it out in the store because it could go horribly awry). I have to say, though, almost all my purses are from Forever 21, and I have yet to find a purse that looks cheap or wears out quickly. If you’re going to go with a low-cost, brightly colored bag, go with Forever 21.


Left: Rosetti Spare Change Snakeskin Mini Crossbody Wallet – $25
Center: DKNY French Grain Leather Shoulder Bag – $195
Right: Tory Burch Classic Mini Bag – $250

Some brights that match up with colors from my now oft-referenced palette cleansers post. I’ll be honest – I’m having a hard time finding things to say about the Rosetti bag because color-wise, because the bag itself just isn’t my thing. It is, however, a very good example of a cross-shoulder mini bag. It would probably work well for someone with paler coloring than I. The DKNY bag, on the other hand, is so totally sharp. It reminds me of an old school camera bag and would pair nicely with a Vespa driven by a cute Italian guy. The Tory Burch bag makes the list because of how well that rich pink works with the sateen. I don’t generally go with sateen when it comes to purses because I tend to drop them in puddles or spill food on them, and it’s much easier to wipe down leatherette. This purse definitely makes me wish I were a little less … messy, though.

Left: Asos Leather Saddle Bag – $44.83
Center: Club Monaco Maia Shoulder Bag – $149
Right: Tory Burch Amanda Mini Bag – $350

A definite shift away from the girly Forever 21 pastels – army inspired shapes and colors. The Asos bag is that perfect mix of polished and rugged which is so hard to find. It’s definitely tempting me to downsize my pack mule-esque pursedrobe (totally a word, btw). The Club Monaco bag bridges the Asos bag and the Tory Burch – same saddle bag shape, but definitely a softer look than the other two. The Tory Burch bag might be on this list partly because it’s named the “Amanda” bag, and I’m just narcissistic enough to like anything with my name. Plus, olive is the perfect color for anyone afraid of wearing a non-neutral purse.

Left: Cleobella Cantina Mini Bag – $49.50
Center: Juicy Couture Perforated Heart Chain Lock Mini Bag – $148
Right: Milly Star Perforated Patent Mini Crossbody Bag – $250

Perforated bags, to add a little texture to the post. I love this Cleobella bag – it’s so 70s, it feels like something you’d find in the back of your mom’s closet, next to her platforms and scarves – which I pretty much did while moving my grandmother out here. My mom and I found a giant bag of my mom’s old scarves – that she did not save, much to my disappointment – and a briefcase that was reminiscent of this bag. There are a lot of Juicy Couture bags in this post,

Left: Marc by Marc Jacobs Preppy Straw Canteen Messenger Bag – $148
Center: Marc by Marc Jacobs Sneaky Snake Percy Messenger – $158
Right: Marc by Marc Jacobs Totally Turnlock Percy Messenger Bag – $198

Weirdly enough, when I first put this post together, all the Marc Jacobs bags I picked were neutrals, which just seems totally wrong given that Marc Jacobs is anything but neutral. Obviously, I fixed that. The straw bag is definitely different – so summery and light, perfect for a sundress and a bicycle with a little basket on it. The Sneaky Snake messenger reminds me of a little pumpkin. As for the Turnlock messenger, that rich green is totally cool, and I’m not sure how I missed it on my first attempt. Both the Sneaky Snake and Turnlock remind me of summer and fall rather than spring, color-wise, which is unfortunate because I’m not sure I can be bothered to wait.

Left: Kate Spade New York Union Square Mini Brennan Bag – $175
Center: Kate Spade Head in the Sand Isabeli Bag – $193
Right: Kate Spade Mod Squad Isabeli Organizer Cross-Body – $195

My biggest problem with Kate Spade is that the leather is often really stiff. That kind of works here with the mini bag, given that it’s small and needs to be structured. My favorite of these three is, hands down, the Mod Squad Isabeli Organizer. It’s just so much damn fun. I don’t know what else to say about it. It kind of reminds me of a Mondrian painting, which isn’t even remotely accurate given that the colors aren’t right, but I don’t care. I’m also pretty crazy about the yellow ostrich bag, if for no other reason than the fact that it’s so bright and kind of reminds me of Big Bird in purse form (which, as I write that, makes it kind of morbid, but whatever).

Left: BCBGeneration Roxy Mini Crossbody Bag – $78
Center: Juicy Couture Quilted Mini Bag – $99.99
Right: Chanel Vintage Mini Bag – $2,860

I couldn’t do an entire post about the crossbody bag without including the gold standard: the Chanel mini bag. My grandmother loves these, and with good reason: they’re classic. Ridiculously expensive, but classic. Some slightly cheaper options are this BCBGeneration bag (a little shiny, so it runs the risk of not passing the in person test). The Juicy purse isn’t the classic black, but it’s a nice alternative. Let’s be honest, when you’re carrying a quilted bag, it’s not hard to guess what look you’re going for. As far as I’m concerned, if you can’t carry the original, you might as well make it fun – and this bag does a nice job of that.

And so ends another (late) Friday Feets. I’m not sure why I’ve been so delayed getting these up lately, but I’m going to blame it on solar flares and Melissa Leo.

Sorry it’s taken so long to get my Friday Feets up, guys! It’s totally because of solar flares and Melissa Leo.

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9 thoughts on “Friday Feets: Mini Bags

  1. Reply Amy Feb 28, 2011 4:51 pm

    Cross-body purses like those are my staple for nights out, they’re great for ensuring I don’t lose anything. I have a quilted silver one with a chain handle, and a sequin floral one. Cheap, pretty and useful. I couldn’t use them on a daily basis though, I carry way too much crap around.
    Love the yellow Kate Spade clutch, I think it’s talking to me. Must keep an eye out for knock-offs.

  2. Reply Kyra Feb 28, 2011 5:39 pm

    Stunning! I especially love the Kate Spade line.

  3. Reply Nicole Feb 28, 2011 6:33 pm

    Great post, Amanda!

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