Most people have a work bag of some description. Whether it’s a small shoulder bag that carries just the essentials or a sturdy tote that holds your entire life, there’s something to be said for having a trusty carryall at your disposal.
If your current bag is looking a little battered from constant use, now may be the time to consider investing in a replacement. Given how much wear and tear they experience, I’m all for choosing a bag that’s well made and built to last for years, not to mention withstand everything from the daily commute to carting all your things around.
So, what makes a great work bag? Look for a design that’s simple and practical—make sure that it’s big enough to hold everything you need and versatile enough that it can be worn with myriad outfits quite easily. A classic shape in a neutral colour with minimal embellishment will ensure that it can be worn for years and looks professional too.
Scroll down for some great work bag options to consider this year.
I’m the first to admit I often play favourites when it comes to my wardrobe. There are just some pieces that are constantly on rotation for me at the moment because they just work with everything I own and are great for instantly dressing up a look. And sometimes I just get into a certain vibe when it comes to my outfits and the following pieces work beautifully with the aesthetic I’m going for. Here are the few that are currently at the top of my list…
501 Levis Skinny Jeans
I like the fact that these jeans are a little tapered but still tap into the trend for a more relaxed fit. They’re also a great wash and are able to be dressed up or down whether I’m in the mood to wear a white t-shirt or a beautiful blazer.
Chanel Gabrielle Backpack
I can’t really go past a beautiful Chanel bag and whilst I’m a big fan of their classic 2.55 style, this backpack is also right up there for me. Not only does it look elegant but it’s also utilitarian and can hold all my essentials and still leave me hands free — perfect for travelling or when I’ve got a busy day of running errands.
CC Logo Pink Suede Sneaker
I pretty much live in sneakers so I’m so in love with this pair for the fun pink shade and the on trend shape. Plus who can resist a comfy shoe that also ticks all the style boxes! This is one investment piece that I’m definitely maximising the cost per wear on.
Sparrows Weave The Round Wicker and Leather Top Handle Bag
Beautiful wicker bags are a go-to accessory this season and I do love the shape of this bag for its simplicity and relaxed elegance. I’ve loved being able to wear it on holiday with casual summer dresses and with more dressy ensembles. A versatile piece that I know I’ll be using non-stop this summer.
Giuseppe Zanotti Farrah Heels
I’ve been wearing these shoes to events and with work ensembles of late because it’s such an easy, wearable style that goes with virtually everything. Whilst it’s a great black heel, I love the crystal detail which elevates it and gives it a striking detail that sets it apart.
Aquazzura Deneuve 105 Bow-Embellished Suede Pumps
I often refresh my shoe wardrobe with a new black pump every season and this pair by Aquazzura has been such a great buy. I’ve worn it with jeans to dresses and suits so it’s a definite style chameleon. A heel that definitely ticks all the boxes.
They say you’re either a bag or a shoe girl but I’m unashamedly both. I love beautiful shoes but I’ve also managed to build up quite a healthy bag collection as I think having a well rounded range of bags is one of the key things that can help make getting dressed easier. I have a few favourites that I turn to time and time again for various reasons and I’ve found that I’m currently in a great place style-wise as I feel I’ve got bags to cover every possible occasion. Here’s what’s currently on my go-to list.
A roomy tote
I use this if I’ve got a big day out planned and need to take a number of things with me such as if I’m running back-to-back errands or I’m with the girls. It’s a great size, and really well made so I feel confident I can pack several things in there and the tote will hold up.
A versatile black bag
A black bag is an essential and I find this one to be particularly great as I can wear it as a shoulder bag and also as a clutch. The little strap you can put your hand through is particularly handy when I’m at an event as it makes it easier to carry the bag whilst juggling a glass or canape, or shaking someone’s hand.
A statement bag
I’ve had this bag for a few years and love it for the fun appliques. I always tend to go for this bag whenever my outfit is quite plain and I need to dress it up a bit.
Top handle bag
A good structured top handle bag is a classic staple. I always tend to use this bag whenever I’m wearing something quite dressy or ladylike.
A neutral clutch
It’s always handy having clutches in key colours like black and a neutral shade. I have had this in my collection forever and have lost track of how many times I’ve used it. It’s a great size and a versatile colour and has definitely been worth the investment.
A metallic bag
This metallic pink bag has been ideal for events. It’s a great way to add a pop of colour to a look and it’s the ideal size for formal occasions. It also comes with a dainty strap so I can easily wear it as a clutch or a shoulder bag depending on my mood.
If you don’t have a black clutch in your wardrobe that’s a serious gap that you have to fill! I cannot live without one because I use them for dressy events, work functions and even on days when I just want to downsize my essentials.
Backpacks are so handy (especially when you’re a mum) and I can fully attest to the fact that I can’t live without mine. I’ve taken this bag when I’m travelling, when I’m with the girls or if I just want to go hands free for the day.
It’s a classic style that’s able to work with various outfits in my wardrobe, so I definitely have been able to get plenty of use out of this bag. It’s a great size for carrying my essentials but also works well for a function.
I’m making the most of the last month of summer with most of my shopping list this month focused on easy breezy accessories and staples with a sophisticated touch. However I’ve also been embracing a few trendy buys including a fun fluoro bag, a shell headband that’s perfect for this time of year and beige tones which are set to be huge in the coming months. So if you’re in the mood to spoil yourself with a new buy, here are a few things that may inspire you…
Quality is so important to me so I love it when I discover brands that are not only doing beautifully well made pieces but that they also have a link close to home. Espie Roche is the brainchild of Australians Hermione Espie Underwood and Airlie and Alexandra Roche Hamilton who looked to their mothers love of classic, longlasting handbags as inspiration throughout the creative process. To honour this journey they decided to use their mothers’ respective maiden names to craft the moniker, Espie Roche. Each piece in the range is made in Italy with quality leather and hardware and all four handbag designs are simple, elegant and designed to be a forever piece. Bespoke orders are also available if you’re really after a bag that’s all your own.
When I asked Hermione, Airlie and Alexandra about the brand’s aesthetic they describe it as being “about discretion and the elegance of simplicity. Our pieces are not overtly branded, we want you to wear the bag, not for the bag to wear you!” This really resonated with me as I always gravitate towards bags that are understated and quite simple and in a way, that to me, is what makes them stand out. I want pieces that won’t date and that I know I can pass down to my daughters when they’re older.
The brand’s hero piece is the Arno satchel, which I’m wearing below. Not only is it a great size and shape, it’s got my favourite bag criteria covered in that I’m able to wear it in multiple ways. The bag comes with a detachable strap so I can wear it as a satchel for days when I’m busy running around, a top-handle bag for dressy events and a clutch for an evening out. Also, I love the grey hue which is understated and so wearable. I know I’ll be able to pair this with multiple outfits with minimal fuss. There is a lovely timeless feel to the style which is important to me as I’m all about accessories that have longevity and are destined to become a wardrobe staple—something that Espie Roche echoes through and through.
For a busy day being on the go you can’t beat a beautiful cross body bag. For those times when I need to keep my hands freed up from carrying a bag such as when I’m travelling, running errands or simply being with my kids it’s great to have the option of just slinging a bag over my shoulder and going about my day. When buying a bag I always like to have the option of two straps – one longer strap and a shorter one just in case I want my bag to look a little dressier. There are so many great satchel options out there whether it by a suede tasseled number like my bag above or a sturdy leather carryall, it’s the perfect option for any busy woman.
When it comes to your spring racing look your accessories should definitely be a key consideration – don’t relegate it to a last minute choice as you dash out the door! Each of the key days in the racing calendar will allow you to explore some great accessories options and as bags are always one of the first things I think about, I’ve teamed up with The Daily Edited to showcase the right bag and accessories to help you pull together a wining race day look.
The event: Derby Day
The monochrome dress code of Derby Day is generally really easy to follow when it comes to accessories because virtually every woman has a black clutch in her wardrobe. It’s like the LBD of the accessories world. If you want to opt for something different though a nice alternative is a cream bag.
As everyone will be wearing black and white it can become easy to get lost in the crowd so to stand out, attention to detail and beautiful craftsmanship with your accessories is important. One of the reasons I love the bags from The Daily Edited is because little touches like personalisation and being able to monogram your bag allows you to differentiate your accessories from the rest.
The thing with accessories is to make sure you’re comfortable and that you won’t constantly be fussing with them throughout the day. If you’re fine to put your clutch under your arm then great but otherwise opt for a shoulder strapso you can juggle champagne and a pen for writing down tips.
The event: Melbourne Cup
For Melbourne Cup Day you can afford to go a little more bold with your look. You can inject a little bit of colour in your outfit but I think that if you’re going to opt for a striking headpiece try and tone it down a bit with the rest of your accessories because you have to have one standout item. I’ve always liked rich burgundy or a classic navy for a bag that will look classic but still make a statement. Also don’t forget about texture. For example something like a faux ostrich fabricationmakes for a really nice and interesting alternative if you want to be a little more daring.
The event: Oaks Day
Traditionally known as ladies’ day, this particular event is all about super feminine dressing. Think floral prints and really soft, pretty hues. With your accessories, go for a soft approach. I think gorgeous pastels are a great option when it comes to choosing a shade of handbag to bring with you on the day. It’s classic with just a touch of girliness so it’s the perfect finishing touch to your outfit on the day.
The event: Stakes Day
Stakes Day is family day so don’t be afraid to have a bit of fun with colour. Also instead of a clutch why not try something different and opt for ashoulder baginstead? It makes for an effortless look and when you go for a bag in an interesting shade such as grey, it’s one way to ensure that you set yourself apart from other racegoers. As for the rest of your look don’t be afraid to be quite playful in your other accessories and try a unique headpiece or bold jewellery.
For more Spring Racing looks check out my other blog post
You know a bag has definitely earned its status as ‘it’ bag of the season when you need to employ a strategy to get your hands on it. The Mansur Gavriel bucket bag has proven to be so popular it’s virtually sold out everywhere and requires you to put your name on a waiting list to purchase it. Never fear, if you want to get your hands on a bucket bag but aren’t prepared to add yourself to a waiting list, designers such as Proenza Schouler and Philip Lim have now released their own versions. And what’s not to love? It’s roomy, it’s streamlined and has bucketloads of versatility as it can easily be worn on a night out or grabbing a quick coffee with the girls. Well worth the splurge.
Have you jumped on this trend yet?
Photography: Pinterest, Dash of Darling, blogdamignot, Scent of Obsession, Fifty two Thursdays, A lovely living, Netrobe, Andreaheart.com
They say you’re either a bags or shoes kind of girl, but I don’t think I fall into either camp – I love both! I think it’s important to have a good range of bags for every occasion, just like I think there are essential shoe styles every girl should have in her wardrobe. I have lots of favourite bags in my cupboard, but these are the top 5 styles that I just can’t live without.
(Clockwise from left)
1. This is a great runaround bag and I use it both during the day and at night and it’s particularly good to take when I’m travelling. I think if you’re looking to splurge on a designer bag, you can’t ever go wrong with a classic quilted Chanel bag.
2. This is my everyday bag. This Balenciaga bag is big enough to carry all my essentials (plus Sophia’s), and I like the fact it’s got two kinds of straps so I can carry it on my arm or over my shoulder. When it comes to buying designer bags, I always tend to steer clear of the ‘it’ bag of the season and stick to more neutral colours so it has longevity.
3. I love leopard print! Whether it’s bags or shoes, I think animal print is a great way to make a statement with your outfit and give it a unique touch. This Saint Laurent clutch is one of my fave’s.
4. A glamorous evening clutch is always a good piece to have in your wardrobe for those occasions that require something a little dressier. This gold Christian Louboutin bow clutch has seen me through many a function, and I think it adds a nice finishing touch to an outfit.
5. I don’t think a wardrobe is complete without a black clutch. I’ve had my trusty Proenza Schouler clutch for many seasons and it’s really easy to wear with lots of different outfits.
6. This Dolce & Gabbana bag is great evening bag and is a great option if I don’t feel like carrying a clutch. Although it can also work with jeans if I feel like rocking something a bit more glam during the day. I don’t think a sequinned bag will ever go astray in any woman’s wardrobe.
Tell me – what bags are currently on high rotation in your wardrobe?