Monday, 29 August 2011

The cute, practical crossbody bag

Cross-body bags were once reserved for moms and mailmen. But as with other ‘80s staples that are reappearing for the fall, savvy designers have given it a glamorous makeover. The new cross-bodies are made of buttery soft leathers, redone in contemporary shapes, and adorned in hardware.
What’s so appealing about the cross-body bag? The hands-free factor is liberating. I particularly opt for these styles when running errands or going out at night. I also love how they can instantly lend an outfit a relaxed vibe. Of course, as a fan of contrast, I prefer wearing these casual bags with girly things – frocks, florals and frills. Few things are chicer than a fabulous dress with a long chain bag draped on your shoulder.
To keep the silhouette polished and not juvenile, it’s key to choose a size that doesn’t overwhelm you. Look for shapes that lie effortlessly against your body, whether it be saddle, pouch, or bucket. Don’t wear it too long or it looks sloppy.
Convertible bags earn extra points for its versatility and multi-use purpose. You get two or more styles out of one great bag. Hey, it’s a recession. Shop smart and get more bang for your hard-earned buck.

Chanel started the trend of the mini quilted cross body chain bag, but a few companies have taken the trend and added their own twist. One of my favorites is the BR Monogram miniature bag. It is sleek and simple and will hold your credit cards, money, lip gloss, and keys while keeping you hands free for a day or night out. Taylor Momsen was seen with a cross body mini chain bag on the set of Gossip Girl yesterday in New York City with her Doma Leather Jacket with Hood and Ray Ban aviators.
Though I’m usually into spacious over sized bags, minimalist-inspired cross body bags have been on my radar for the past few months. Cross body bags are great for those times when you don’t need or want to carry a ton of stuff with you–think simple shopping trips, nights out, or house parties. And since you have to fit all of your things into that tiny space, you’ll make sure to pack only the essentials, right?

Why It’s a Favorite…

  • Security. Not only can you swing a cross body bag over your shoulder and walk with confidence knowing it won’t get in your way, but when you wear one across your body, it makes it difficult for anyone to swipe your stuff. That’s a plus any way you look at it!
  • Convenience. Let’s be honest: carrying around a cute clutch gets obnoxious sometimes! (Case in point? One of my good friends once brought a big silver clutch to a club and got so sick of carrying it that she threw it away!) And while we love wristlets, they can be annoying when you’re attempting to dance or grab a drink. With a cross body bag, though, you’re covered. Grab your things, slip it on, and forget about it until you need to touch up your lip gloss.
  • Cost-effective. Small purse, (usually) small price tag! Need I say more?!
  • Cute! I love the look of a cross body bag with just about any outfit. They’re a little bit sporty, totally chic, and work well whether you’re in an over sized sweater and leggings or a flirty bandage skirt. The hands-free style is catching on and some of our favorite celebrities seem to agree– so make sure to be on the lookout for cross body bags this season!

Tips for Purchasing a Bag of Your Own…

  • Pick a length that’s right for you. As with any other bag, when choosing a cross body purse, you should consider the length of the strap. Finding a length you like and that flatters you is fairly easy (and intuitive–short girl, shorter strap, tall girl, longer strap!) and many of today’s bags feature a strap that’s adjustable. Bonus points if you want to carry your cross body on one shoulder like a traditional purse!
  • Consider your shape. Cross body bags generally hit around the waist or hip. If you want to play down either of these areas, a larger bag in a solid color is a good bet. Want to show off your shape? Try a small, brightly-colored bag! The width of the strap of your bag will also highlight your shape, so choose accordingly.
  • Show your style! Consider yourself a boho babe? Try a distressed leather4 or ethnic-inspired bag! Classic? Go for a vintage leather satchel! Preppy? Go for a swing pack. Edgy? Look for studs, fringe, or bright colors! No matter what look you rock, you’ll be able to find a cute cross body bag to accent your outfit.

The cross body bag allows you to stay hands-free. As the name indicates, the strap crosses your body for security. Cross body bags, messenger bags and backpacks are perfect for students, commuters, shoppers and anyone else who wants the convenience. They are a bit too casual for the office, but perfect for casual wear.

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