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Look for Less: Contemporary Chic


Look for Less: Contemporary Chic

Take a look at these beautiful handbags, both contemporary and premier designer. They're on-trend and ready to take you from the spring into the summer and fall! Featured bags are from Rebecca Minkoff, Balenciaga, Kate Spade, Alexander Wang, and Givenchy.

Look for Less: Contemporary Chic
Look for Less: Minkoff vs. Balenciaga

First, lets check out my favorites out of the bunch! There's nothing more classic than a black tote. It's versatile as it works with outfits for any occasion. If you love Balenciaga's Papier tote, then you'll have an eye for Rebecca Minkoff's M.A.B. tote. The look is so chic and is perfect for both academia and the workplace. Both bags are large enough to carry work materials as well as the essentials and come in a variety of colors. The M.A.B. tote runs at $295 and the Papier tote starts at $1445.

Look for Less: Minkoff vs. Wang

I've been lusting after Alexander Wang's Rocco duffel for a while. The shape is so great and is large enough for the essentials and maybe a little more. Rebecca Minkoff brings her own version to the duffel trend with her Ascher carry-all. This is a fabulous handbag trend, and will be a fabulous pick for the summer. Again, these bags come in a variety of colors. The Ascher is $395 and the Rocco starts at $795.

Look for Less: Kate Spade vs. Givenchy

Though they don't starkly resemble each other, these two bags above share in their beautiful light blue/mint colors, stiff top handles and a convenient shoulder strap. Kate Spade has been making some pretty cute bags recently, including this Catherine Street Pippa. The Pippa is only available in one size, but the Givenchy Antigona comes in various sizes. Both bags, however, come in various colors and are appropriate for numerous occasions. The Pippa is $398 and the Antigona starts at $2,000.

Which trends are your favorites? Tell us in the comments below!


Seeing Double?: Charles Jourdan vs. Fendi & Givenchy


Seeing Double?: Charles Jourdan vs. Fendi & Givenchy

It's always very interesting to see how styles from top designers funnel into designs for other brands. While perusing a Neiman's LastCall handbag sale, I found these premier designer lookalikes. Inspired by a thread on The Purse Forum, I'm very interested in encouraging others to support legitimate, "screened" brands instead of purchasing fakes off the street. While perhaps not every fashion brand is attentive to material origins or working conditions (and if you REALLY do care about this, do your homework! I hope to learn more about where handbag materials originate by brand and also working conditions), I'd like to start and recommend that if you cannot afford to buy the original style of bag, look to legitimate and "safe" brands rather than buying fakes from street vendors (notably in NYC). I cannot stress this enough! I've done human rights organizing for years, but haven't yet focused on corporate issues. I do hope to learn more as I continue on my handbag journey!

Seeing Double

Charles Jourdan is sold in Last Call Neiman Marcus stores, and definitely is a bang for your buck!

Charles Jourdan Savannah5 Stripe Canvas-Leather vs. Fendi Pequin Stripe 2Bag

Charles Jourdan
Fendi 2Bag

Want the look of a Fendi Pequin without dropping $1700US? This CJ inspiration could be your ticket.

Charles Jourdan Peoni Linen-Leather Bag vs. Fendi Chameleon Duffel

Charles Jourdan Peoni
Fendi Chameleon

One of the coolest bags recently, the Fendi Chameleon Duffel, is absolutely stunning. While not a complete copy, the Charles Jourdan inspiration gives the bare aesthetic of the Chameleon but remains unique in its hardware.

Charles Jourdan Aubrey Crocodile-Embossed Satchel vs. Givenchy Antigona

Charles Jourdan Aubrey
givenchy antigona

Perhaps one of the most iconic bags, the Givenchy Antigona is absolutely stunning. The shape is not only incredibly structured but is also very practical in size and strength. This Charles Jourdan inspiration is a great alternative if spending $2400US is not your cup of tea.

Overall, I do prefer the originals to the inspirations, but I definitely encourage purchasing "inspired" versions by real brands like Charles Jourdan over fakes. I strongly encourage you do so, too!


Givenchy Large Pandora Messenger in Black Pepe Leather


Givenchy Large Pandora Messenger in Black Pepe Leather

Let's face it--we're all working hard for the beautiful accouterments in our lives!

After a few freelance jobs and ruthless saving, I managed to snatch up one of these gorgeous Givenchy Pandora messenger bags. It was the last one in my local Neimans, and my boyfriend was kind enough to phone days ahead and save it for me--super sweet, yes? I've been pining over this bag for over half a year. It was time to make a move!

Givenchy Pandora messenger

I was looking for a bag that would be an alternate to my trusty Balenciaga and serve me well for IFBCON 2012 (Independent Fashion Bloggers Conference in New York). The bag needed to be large and sturdy enough to fit an iPad or a small laptop, appropriate chargers, and the essentials. I also wanted something that was both discreet and luxurious. The black pepe, textured leather is both thick and gorgeous. Its integrity is amazing and the look is timeless.

It's rare that I buy a bag that I can use with the top handle. While using a bag on the elbow is undeniably trendy, to me it isn't comfortable and ends up being more of a burden than practical. Since I don't have the smallest of arms (I blame it on the tennis I played in high school), the Pandora is able to fit on my shoulder using the main handle and when used, I have no doubt that it is going to hold my items. For the strap options of this bag alone, the purchase was worth it.

After my Chloe mishap, I needed an experience like this to turn everything around. I couldn't be happier. I'm in bag-love!

Fashion bloggers, are you headed to IFBCON, too?