“Girl On the Go” Survival Guide

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Every one of us owns a handbag (some of us may own many ………. guilty). But it’s probably fair to say that we all have a handful of bags on rotation – each one serving an important purpose in our lives. Events and nights out? Look to your trusty clutch. Activity-filled afternoon? Lean on your crossbody bag. Busy day of meetings? Pack up your oversized satchel. There is a time, place and need for each handbag shape.

Today I’m going to be zeroing in on a handbag staple: the tote. Since your “everyday” bag essentially carries your LIFE in it, it’s important to be armed  (pun intended) with a great one.

A New York Love Affair :: Rue La La Handbag Guide

My go-to tote is this black leather Michael Kors bag. Its buttery leather is soft but sturdy, and holds up well with all the crap I throw in there the weight of its contents. I loooove the gold hardware, especially the chain link straps. To be fair, I’m a ‘gold over silver’ girl anyway, but I also think it just dresses up the bag a bit – in case I want to scoot out for an after-work happy hour or something!

I firmly believe your everyday bag should feel a little like Mrs. Poppins’ carpet bag! Bottomless. Big enough to hold your essentials, without feeling or looking too bulky. It’s basically a girl-on-the-go designer survival kit. Let’s dive into my bag see what we find, shall we? Sorry kids, there’s no lamp, mirror, or coat rack hidden in here, but there are plenty of other goodies!

A New York Love Affair :: Rue La La Handbag Guide

A New York Love Affair :: Rue La La Handbag Guide

Day-to-Day Essentials

  • iPad ~ An absolute necessity for every work day. Whether I’m taking notes in a meeting or pinning on my lunch break, you’ll rarely catch me without it! (How cute is my Kate Spade case?)
  • Camera ~ You just never know where inspirations will arise. I love to see the world through my camera lens, and want to be prepared for beauty at all times. (Canon Powershot G16 is my travel companion of choice)
  • Journal ~ This is were I jot down my thoughts – mostly for blog post ideas. Let’s be real – it’s so much cuter than taking notes in my phone. (Currently loving this and these)
  • iPhone ~ Seems obvious, but I forget this more times than I’d like to admit. (Obsessed with my Rifle Paper Co. cover)
  • Wallet ~ My Michael Kors wallet is a s.t.a.p.l.e. Brown goes with everything, so this bad boy is constantly popping in and out of my different bags. (Different colors here and here)
  • Sunnies ~ I snagged these beauties at Uterque in Madrid and have been toting them around (see what I did there) ever since. You just never know when the sun’s going to peek it’s head out, so I’m always prepared! (Loving these Karen Walkers too)
  • Business cards ~ If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that you never know who might be standing next to you in a coffee shop, subway car, or even a bar. Have your business cards ready just in case! (Case by Lodis – loving this version)
  • Makeup ~ I like to keep some eye and lip tools in my bag for any necessary touch ups throughout the day. For fall, I’m loving deep mauves for my eyes, and bold reds and purples for my lips.
  • Ear buds ~ To pump some tunes as I strut the catwalk streets of New York.
  • Gum + Chapstick + Purell ~ Because why not.

A New York Love Affair :: Rue La La Handbag Guide

This weekend, I was bopping around SoHo and grabbed my MK bag to pair with my monochromatic burgundy outfit. Although it wasn’t chilly, I was feeling very fall so I grabbed my scarf and leather jacket to make the perfect autumn out-and-about ensemble.

A New York Love Affair :: Rue La La Style Guide

A New York Love Affair :: Rue La La Style Guide

A New York Love Affair :: Rue La La Style Guide

A New York Love Affair :: Rue La La Style Guide

A New York Love Affair :: Rue La La Style Guide

A New York Love Affair :: Rue La La Style Guide

A New York Love Affair :: Rue La La Style Guide

If you’re going to in invest in any wardrobe essential, a quality every-day bag should be high on your list. Rue La La might be one of my favorite places to browse for high quality bags. They’re constantly curating new boutiques filled with some of the best designer collections (at members prices!). Take a look around … browse their site … TRY not to buy anything. I dare you.

And if you’re still unsure what bag is for you, don’t worry – Rue La La has the 411 on Handbag 101. Their style guide is an amazing resource for those of you looking to add to your collection, or just take care of the bags you already have. They walk through the silhouettes of each style, the hardware and craftsmanship of the different designers, care/maintenance tips and more. It’s a must read for everyone!

So, if I can leave you with any advice today, it’s this:

Life is short. Buy the handbag.

xoxoelenamichelle-200

Shirt :: The Limited (cute option)
Pants :: Zara (similar)
Jacket :: Express (other colors)
Bag :: Michael Kors (LOVE this)
Booties :: Vince Camuto (digging these)
Scarf :: street vendor (LOVING this chunky knit one)

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