Handbag Heaven would like to offer a warm welcome to our guest bloggers for the week, the stylish (and slightly mysterious) duo known only as N+S. Best friends and co-founders of the fantastically frugal website, Stuff Under Twenty, these ladies make it their mission to collect great deals to share with their readers. I dare you to visit their website and NOT find something you love! Here the ladies give us their take on the world of handbags.
1. Tell us a little about current handbag trends.
S: I love the move to smaller purses right now. It’s definitely time we moved past those shapeless sacks two times as wide as the person carrying them. I’m drawn a little bit to the great new cross-body bags that are on the upswing in terms of trendiness. It’s nice to see simple, classic no-hands bags with a built-in “stop putting stuff in me!” sign.
N: I agree with S and definitely like the no-hands bag idea – but I gotta say, I love the ruffles look, too! It’s usually not my style, but a big ruffly clutch can be just what you need to make a sophisticated outfit pop just a little. Also, I’m loving the red bags that seem to be emerging everywhere – a big dark red leather tote? I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.
2. What is your personal purse style?
S: I have two purs-onalities (groan!). My work purse style is very large and structured, with endless pockets and clippy things on the inside, but streamlined and goes-with-anything on the outside. Maybe to combat that, my play purse style leans toward very, very small clutch. I’ve had phases where I’ve just carried a hinge wallet that can pass for a clutch!
N: I love big briefcase-meets-tote bags. Just one big zipper and two handles that you carry around – those are fantastic to me, and hold just about anything I could need or want. But of course, all our Stuff Under Twenty readers know we’re both big clutch fans. A small simple clutch with a snap lock top but also a space for credit cards gets me through just about any event or day of the week.
3. What’s in your purse, always?
S: Oh man. The big purse holds my laptop, a notepad, 4 pencils and 2 pens (can you tell I’m a little anal about this?), a phone charger, a laptop charger, iPod shuffle and headphones, lip balm, fix-it supplies for daily emergencies, my wallet, my phone, my keys, and always, always, a bar of dark chocolate. The little one holds cash, my cards, and that’s it!
N: My wallet, phone, keys, iPod and lip balm!
4. What advice would you give someone struggling with which handbag to choose?
S: I think a lot of people think a handbag doesn’t have to coordinate with their outfits. And while I’m not advocating for matchy-matchy style, you’re just going to end up using it less if you find it doesn’t go with anything. Maybe this advice is extreme, but I’d say either go to the blends-in side or the stands-out side of the spectrum. On the blends-in side, look for neutral colors (black or brown, but sometimes a good metallic), structured, medium-sized purses without too much extra details. Then let your outfits do the talking. On the stands-out side, go for a statement color (I love yellow and red), an unusual shape, and lots of details (exposed zippers, studs, whatever floats your boat). Your outfits will take a back seat but your purse will shine!
N: Go with a classic. Imagine opening your closet and viewing everything in it, and then pick one bag that goes with maybe 10 of the things you wear the most. Go with a classic style as well as color – a structured tote, a simple over the shoulder bag in leather that holds the essentials plus a little something. You definitely need classic handbags in your wardrobe if you don’t have them already!
5. Tell us about your blog. What do you hope to accomplish with it?
Stuff Under Twenty is a shopping blog for the rest of us. We hunt down the stuff – from the big retailers to the tiny independents – that you don’t need to delay gratification for. We feature everything from apparel to art to housewares, we host frequent giveaways, and we love, love, love hearing from our readers! And best of all: everything we post is under $20! Here’s some more background on us!
6. Is there anything else you’re dying to share?
Thanks for the opportunity to share and be sure to check out our site!