Whilst a beautiful clutch or top-handle bag is a nice addition to your bag wardrobe, there’s one style that is guaranteed to be the workhorse of your collection and that’s a nice, roomy tote. Being a mum, space is a premium when it comes to handbags these days so having something I can quickly pop everything into from my wallet and keys to one of the girls’ toys is deal.
And the great thing is there’s a tote style to suit virtually every taste and budget. I love opting for a neutral hue as I find I’ll get more use out of it but if you’re after a statement-making colour or one with loads of embellishment there’s definitely plenty out there to satisfy your needs. When it comes to bags I always veer towards something streamlined and classic, and if it’s a designer tote I always make sure that it’s a style that isn’t overly common (I hate seeing a million people with the same bag) and is something that the brand will bring back season after season so I don’t end up with something that’s easily identifiable as being from a particular collection.
Check out some of my top tote picks below. Which one is your favourite?
Investment purchases often have a few more zeros in the price tag than your average chain store buy but when you factor in the longevity and its cost per wear you’re definitely getting a bargain. I’ve spoken in the past about my approach to buying designer goods that you won’t regret, but there are definitely certain pieces that will forever remain stylish. Add these to your wardrobe and I promise you’ll have a long and happy relationship.
If you’re going to splurge on a trench coat make it one by Burberry. The coat was designed by Thomas Burberry for military personnel in World War One to keep officers protected against wind and rain and the design has been around ever since. The hardware and fabrication are of course top notch but one glimpse of the iconic checked lining sets this trench above the rest. I promise a trench coat is one purchase that you will get plenty of use out of all year round. Plus if you’re after a unique touch, Burberry now offer a personalisation service that allows you to monogram the inside of your coat.
Everyone knows the quilted 2.55 bag by Chanel and whilst its ubiquitous it’s also one of the few designer bags that will not only appreciate in value (research has shown that the bag has increased in value by 70 per cent over the last six years) it’s also the kind of bag that will not date, will go with virtually everything you own and will always be a classic staple that you’ll be proud to carry. It’s a hefty investment I know, but if you’re going to splurge on a designer bag this one is definitely worth considering.
The ultimate in wrist candy the beautiful Cartier LOVE bracelet first came to prominence in the 1970s and has only grown more popular since its inception. Available in a variety of metals including yellow gold or rose gold plus if you’re really looking to splurge there’s also a version studded with diamonds this is one piece of jewellery that you’ll remain in love with.
I have had my Balenciaga leather jacket for years and its still the kind of piece that has remained in constant rotation in my wardrobe over the years. The perfect moto style jacket is ideal for wearing with everything from dresses to denim. I particularly loved Balenciaga’s design but designers like Saint Laurent, Tom Ford and Acne have all released their own versions of this jacket style. A major splurge it may be but one feel of the buttery leather, the sturdy metal hardware and the perfect fit will inspire instant love.
Ballet flats will always be a wardrobe staple but add a pair of interlocking Cs and you venture into try style classic territory. Whilst they’re not the type of shoe that you’d wear daily to run errands (they’re definitely a bit more special than your average ballet flat) they are an easy and stylish footwear option for those days when you just want to take a casual look up a notch. A close runner up in the shoe departmet would be the classic Gucci horsebit loafer. Over 60 years on and it’s still going strong.
With the weather warming up it’s time to get your sandal game on. There are so many fun options this season from strappy, to pom pom embellishments and metallic details that I warn you, you’ll find it hard to narrow it down to just one. A pair in a black or tan will always work back with pretty much everything in your wardrobe but this season update your look with a pair of slides. They’ll be everywhere come high summer. Now, just don’t forget to get a pedicure in a beautiful, punchy shade.
My wardrobe is an eclectic mix of different pieces at various price points but there are definitely special pieces that I have splurged on. I have always believed in being a discernible shopper and not just purchasing things on a whim so I’m quite strategic in my approach to shopping. I always do my research and will keep an eye out for sales both in store and online as there’s nothing quite like getting a piece you’ve been coveting at half price! That said, there are certain things that I will never scrimp on simply because these pieces are the workhorses of my wardrobe and need to be the best quality possible.
Given how much time we spend in them I think shoes have always been a worthwhile investment. Finding good quality shoes will mean that they stand up to the daily wear and tear we put our footwear through and won’t require replacing or repairing as often. I’ve often rationalised that buying a slightly more expensive pair of shoes will often be better value for money than buying several cheaper pairs that will need to be replaced sooner.
I don’t buy them often so when I do I make sure that a bag is well made, from quality materials and of a style that will remain a classic for years to come. I’m all about quality not quantity in my wardrobe so I’d rather hang out for a slightly more expensive bag that I know will have plenty of longevity than go for an of-the-moment fix. For example I have a Chanel bag that I have had for years and that I still wear regularly and is still in great shape simply because of the craftsmanship that has gone into it. The same goes for my Givenchy bag (above) which I use all the time and I know because it’s so well made I’ll be able to wear it season after season.
I’ll happily scrimp on things like t-shirts and jeans but outerwear is something I will always willingly splurge on because of the number of times I’ll wear each item. Coats in particular are something I like to purchase each season and will wear throughout the cooler months so I always make sure it’s a classic style, made from a quality fabric such as wool as I will wear it day after day.
I regularly wear jackets so I will make sure to buy the best quality that I can as I wear them so often. I have a Balmain blazer that I remember trawling the internet for for years before I finally snapped it up on sale but it’s the kind of strategic purchase I don’t regret one bit as I wear it to death. And yes, it’s definitely more expensive than your average blazer but I often think of things from a cost per wear basis and have definitely got value for money out of this particular buy.
The ‘90s comeback has meant that the choker has also made a triumphant return, with everyone from Kendall Jenner to Gigi Hadid getting behind this trend. And why not? It’s an easy way to update a look and one that won’t blow the budget – you can even DIY if you want. So if you’re thinking of adding this to your fashion repertoire here are some things to remember…
Do consider necklines when wearing a choker. A deep V-neck or strapless silhouette that exposes your décolletage makes a choker look especially alluring. A one-shoulder neckline (similar to what I wore above) that shows off the clavicle also works well.
A choker will always look great for the evening so do wear it out on a night out – a metallic choker will look especially chic when the sun goes down.
Don’t go too tight when it comes to neckwear! A choker should sit comfortably around your neck and move around quite easily. This also makes for a more flattering fit.
Do experiment with different widths. Whilst a thicker choker will definitely make a statement a thin leather band looks great when wrapped around the neck a few times.
Don’t forget about the humble scarf. Wrapping a scarf around your next and tying it artfully is something that French women have mastered and it looks super chic when doing so. A simple silk scarf that you can wrap around your neck then tie in front is a great alternative to the traditional metal or leather choker.
This jersey ASOS shift dress has been a go-to for me during my pregnancy. Anything stretchy is esssential to accommodate a growing bump and it’s also super comfortable which is all I really want in anything I’m wearing the further along I get in my pregnancy. Grey marle has always been a reliable neutral for me as it goes with virtually everything which makes pulling together an outfit even easier. I’ve teamed it with a pastel Karen Millen leather jacket to add a pop of colour to the look and I’ve found metallic brogues perfectly offsets both pink and grey hues. These playful Karen Walker sunglasses are one of my faves and definitely makes a statement and the touch of pink picks up the pastel in the leather jacket. The Ralph Lauren Ricky bag is great as it leaves my hands free when I’m running errands and trying to get a million things done before the bub arrives!
We know handbags take centre stage so we’ll happily splurge on one from time to time. However don’t forget about the workhorse that is your wallet. It’s one accessory that gets a daily workout carrying around all your essentials and since you see it multiple times in a day it should be one that perfectly aligns with your style. There are plenty of great designer options out there but if you want to save your dollars you’ll find some great budget-friendly wallets available too. Now, which style suits you best?
Feminine and fun
For those who love anything feminine and adore all shades of pink, Bottega, Fendi and Gucci have some great options that are both girly and fun. Just be sure to keep it away from any stray pens or rogue lipstick tubes in your handbag to keep it pristine!
Bold and Bright
If you love everything you own to make a statement then you’ll love anything bright and punchy that will catch the eye. For a utilitarian option opt for a Dolce & Gabbana phone case which will not only carry your mobile but is also perfect for holding cards and money. All things animal print will always be guaranteed to make an impact, You could invest in this gorgeous Givenchy wallet or alternatively this one from Status Anxiety will allow you to take a walk on the wild side for a fraction of the cost.
Classic and Refined
If your look is refined through and through and everything you own is timeless then look no further than a classic leather wallet in a neutral hue. No prints or crazy colours for you! You’ll fall in love with this classic black continental wallet byBalenciagaor this classic piece byGuccicomplete with iconic interlocking Gs. If you’re after an inexpensive wallet fix try this one byLouenhide.
The interlocking G’s of Gucci are synonymous with style, elegance and class. The brand is having a renaissance with its current accessories range which is seriously on point whilst remaining true to the brand’s fashion forward aesthetic. Gucci has always had a presence in my wardrobe and the moment I saw the Gucci Marmont it was love at first sight. The deep cherry leather, the elegant chain strap, signature green and red stripes and the Gucci insignia make it a statement bag that will last the test of time. The nude leather platform pumps are also the kind of eye-catching shoe that will definitely impress. I think accessories can really make or break an outfit and when your bag and shoes are a killer combination you definitely can’t go wrong.
Gucci have recently relaunched their Australian site and I have to say, it’s a guaranteed add to cart zone. The site has everything from the new Gucci Tian range which features a traditional Chinese floral motif and delicately painted birds and insects and are the must-have accessory of the season, to classic Gucci staples such as belts with the classic double Gs and on trend leather mules with the iconic horsebit detail. I’m all about investment pieces and you can’t go wrong with a touch of Gucci. The brand has withstood the test of time and continues to get better with age. And now they’ll even deliver right to your door.
The backpack has certainly come a long way from the kind I used to use to carry all my books to school! These days the backpack is super stylish, often comes in a great colour palette and and has the right amount of understated detailing to make it a classic piece for years to come. I have been glued to my Scanlan Theodore backpack for awhile now simply because it makes it so easy to carry all my essentials when I’m out and about (it’s especially perfect for when I’m shopping as it leaves both my hands free to browse through the racks). Here are some of my tops picks if you’re looking to add a backpack to your bag collection, I promise you’ll never look back…
Made from luxe pebbled leather, this backpack is taken next level with the gold hardware. I love that you can carry it on your back but also use the top handle to carry it more like a traditional handbag.
While I’m all about classic, neutral tones sometimes it’s feminine and fun to be able to incorporate pink hues and pretty blush colours into an outfit. If you’re not usually one to wear pink in your wardrobe these style and steal items will soon have you changing your mind.
For a splurge I can’t go past these investment items (clockwise from left):
These Roland Mouret broderie anglaise shorts are a pretty and polished with just the right amount of intricate detailing to make them stand out from the crowd.
The Chloe shoulder bag is the perfect size to fit all the essentials. The soft leather and rounded shape is sleek and polished and can easily be worn day and night which makes it the kind of splurge item that will give you bang for your fashion buck.
Is there anything more classic than a pair of pearl earrings? These gold pearl earrings are versatile to fit both an off-duty and elegant look.
The Rupert Sanderson heels are the perfect statement shoe for everything from a wedding to a cocktail party. The soft hue will mean they will work season after season plus they are handcrafted to last.
Bringing pink into your life doesn’t need to be expensive. These picks will brighten up your life, without the big price tag! (clockwise from left)
I love stylish old school pieces and this pink leather card holder is just that!
Let your accessories do the talking by opting for a pop of pink. The above Rebecca Minkoff satchel is a great way to bring colour into any outfit.
Why hide your lingerie when it’s as pretty as this soft lace bralette by Pleasure State? Super comfortable yet oh-so sexy.
What’s better than a great designer find? When it’s on sale! It would just be rude not to snap up these pastel pink Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses from The Outnet.
I have a collection of Christian Paul watches which work well with myriad outfits. The marble face on this is eye-catching and the pink band gives it a point of difference.