It's fall and you know what that means: all the new handbags are out.
If you're like me, the choices can be overwhelming. Tote or shoulder? Clutch or mini with cross-body strap? And what size -- small? Medium? Back-breaking? And what fabric -- Leather? Sequins? Embroidered?
(Just for the moment, let's overlook the fact that I have way too many handbags as it is, and that these musings are mostly conjecture because... well gosh darn it, a girl likes to dream.)
All of the aforementioned factors are important but as William Morris said (and I paraphrase), "Something needs to be useful as well as beautiful."
Below, a few ways to solve this time-honored conundrum.
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You need something sturdy with a low-key vibe that won't make people think you're carrying a lot of valuables.
(John Collet, "Bachelor's Fare", 1778.)
(Jérome Dreyfuss Carlos woven leather tote, $1815. Here.)
You need something feminine and soft that you can tuck behind you for those occasions when you need a little extra lumbar support.
(Isaac Cruikshank, "A Luncheon at Gibside", 1792.)
(Miu Miu matelasse leather clutch, $570. Here.)
You need something that can double as a form of self-defense should the party get too crazy.
(George Cruikshank, "Inconveniences of a Crowded Drawing Room", 1818.)
(Alexander McQueen Knuckle Swarovski box clutch, $2195. Here.)
You need something that conveys a secret message to the family steward while your husband is busy being Mr. Mom.
(Artist unknown, "Husbands Holyday", 1778.)
(Charlotte Olympia Baboushka embroidered clutch, $595. Here.)
You need something you can hold in your hand so it won't mess up the incredibly flattering line of your dress.
(George Cruikshank, "Monstrosities", 1818.)
(Yve Saint Laurent Belle du Jour clutch, $595. Here.)
You need something you can hug to keep you warm so your husband will stop offering you that godawful flannel cloak of his.
(Isaac Cruikshank, "A Hint to the Ladies, 1807.)
(Stella McCartney alpaca and silk-blend Falabella bag, $1725. Here.)
You need something that can double as an overnight bag should dinner turn into (ahem) something more.
(Isaac Cruikshank, "Oh! Che Boccone!", 1795)
(Paul Smith Globe 2 Burgundy Swirl handbag, $639.20. Here.)
What handbag are you drooling over?