Thursday, 5 May 2011

Refining your Working Wardrobe - Belts, Handbags & More

For women strapped for time by the neverending work day, trying to stay abreast of fashion trends is probably the first thing on your mind to do but that last thing you plan to ever check off the growing to-do list.  It’s a nice desire but realistically… who has the time to decide whether or not animal print or some kind of opaque tight would complement the professional wardrobe you have?

Women don’t push enough to try and add flavor and color to their traditional work pieces (suits, sheath dresses, etc.). but women can in fact easily accent their work outfits with a lot of  bold color and accessories that won’t take away from their look.  Truth be told - women don’t run out of clothing or accessories, they just run out of ways to put them together which leads to boredom.  Boredom leads to drab style and rushed morning which perpetuates the ugly cycle.  Try these tips to quickly spice up your work-wear without killing your daily schedule.


Belts are one of the most inexpensive ways to add a lot of flair to your wardrobe.  Amazingly, women don’t get creative with belts despite the creative opportunity.  These can be placed over suit coats even when there are no belt loops, or over a trench coat to replace the simple belt that came with the coat when they bought it.  You can do belts even without a small waistline - just try styles until you find something that fits (slim, metallic, patent leather, etc)


Leather can be a little on the tricky side for some women.  If you wear too much of it then you wind up looking like the better half of the Marlboro man.  If you do opt for leather, especially as part of a business outfit, match it to pieces that soften it.  For example, wear a soft sweater set with a leather skirt.  Just skip the motorcycle jacket.


It doesn’t matter what season you’re in, a pair of matching opaque tights (either matching or starkly contrasting) can turn a very simple business suit into something very chic and stylish.  While black tights are indeed sexy, they’re also done (and done again).  Try sharp colors like a plum, teal or pumpkin to add vibrancy to a neutral skirt.


A handbag can do a lot to your business attire; especially if you’re feeling rushed and just don’t have a lot of time for putting a number of accessories together.  Handbags have a lot variety so you can certainly find something to accent your suit, just keep the basics in minds; color, size and design should come together to compliment not only your work outfit but also your body and type and the setting.  If a designer handbag is too high for your budget, consider used designer handbags at a fraction of the price.

Putting it All Together

You don’t need to attack your attire from every angle, carrying every accessory.  While fashion can sometimes be used to make a bold statement or idea it’s also about being subtle and supporting your look.  Accessories should do just that - support you.  While they’re made to attract the eyes, you don’t want them to be so magnetic that they dominate you.

Monday, 2 May 2011

How to Choose a Designer Used Handbag for the Right Season

Unless you live in a location where the weather is a perfect sunny seventy degrees around the clock, year round – no designer used handbag is going to look perfect all the time.  The weather and the seasons change as often as our styles (sometimes more frequently) and have an equal impact on the accessories we carry in order to make an impact.  The designer handbag, while not resting dead center on your body, is like the bulls eye of a target when it comes to fashion so it’s important to not only match the handbag to your style but also to the season.

Designer used handbags can be broken down into a number of variables that you’ll need to consider when you’re choosing your purse – whether from the closet or from a display:

Stun the Eyes with Color

The Lighter and Brighter colors will always suit warmer seasons.  If you’re in a climate where the warm weather lasts longer then you can get more play out of a certain handbag.  The darker and richer colors suit cooler seasons.  Not color seasons either, this is referring to the seasons of the year.  Those rich dark colors will create a magnetic draw against the dreary washed out backdrops of the winter seasons.

Toting the Weight

You might think the weight of a bag has little to do with the actual selection from a fashion perspective, but the weight (related often to the size) works both for convenience and elegance.  Lighter weight bags both look and feel better in summer months while heavier, heftier bags do very well to accent bulky clothing in autumn or winter.

Fabrication and Style

It pays to suit the style and fabric of a designer used handbag to the overall style you’re wearing.  For example, a straw handbag would go well in the summer months with the straw hat you’re wearing on the boardwalk.  Would it suit the felt hat you’re wearing in the cold winter months?  Not likely.  Cooler months are fitting for leather as well as fur fabrics or felt.  Keep in mind also that if it looks like it has the potential to protect you from the rain it would likely do well as a cooler climate bag.

Even still, consider the other factors of the handbag – even a cooler climate style can fit another season if other factors come together properly.

Finding Patterns that Attract

It’s not uncommon to see floral patterns (or something similar) in the warmer months.  Typically anything nature based fits the warm seasons well.  Neutral tones/patterns also work well for warmer months.  For cooler seasons you’ll see an increase in geometric patterns or simple textures.

Are there styles that function year round?  Certainly.  Designer used handbags are made to withstand the season – and more than just the fashion season or the current trend.  A bag that does well year round may be medium value in color with a fair weight that is easy to manage – allowing you to wearing both casually and formally.  It’s always better to have more than one handbag so that you can find the most appropriate handbag for the occasion.  If you try to wear the same bag at all times there’s a chance it may wind up letting you down.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

How to Care for Your Designer Handbag to Make it Last

If you think the economy is killing interest in things like designer handbags and other high-priced fashion goods, think again.  Consumer confidence is starting to rise a bit and more women are buying high-end handbags as that economic uncertainty wanes.

Of course, it’s always the confidence of other people that grows while you sit and wait for the opportunity to come knocking.  Just because others are purchasing new designer handbags doesn’t mean everyone is - and you’re certainly not going to do it every season.  You should still shop in a conservative manner and try to make that handbag last if you want to stretch your buck.

Getting More for That Buck

If you tend to be kind of hard on your personal belongings - especially your handbags - then it might make sense to just make the investment in one of the higher priced designer handbags.  Do you need to buy them brand new and drop $4k on a new purse?  Not if you measure longevity in decades instead of years.  You can always go for a gently used designer handbag that still has plenty of life in it for a fraction of the cost.

If you do buy a new handbag though, most of the designers will repair your bag for free within a certain amount of time.  Other boutiques offer specialty repair services to help keep your older designer handbag in shape with stitches finally start to lose strength or leather wears down.  If you want to make sure your handbag lasts without the need for a repair visit or investment then you have to know how to take care of what you’re carrying.

Caring for your Handbag

If you want your handbag to last then you need to treat it well - common sense.  Take time on a regular basis, at least once a week, to empty your bag completely.  Shake it out upside down to get everything out and clean out the lining with a lint roller.

Cleaning the outside of your handbag is just as important but you should only do so with a special cleansing solution.  You shouldn’t try to use soap or harsh cleaners on a handbag made from leather, suede or even cloth.  Before cleaning, check with the designer to find out if there are recommended cleaning products to help care for the handbag.  If you have bad marks or a heavy stain, you may simply need to visit a cleaner.

Loading your Handbag

Believe it or not there’s a proper way to load a purse.  It’s not a trunk where things can be loaded “so they fit”.  If you overstuff your handbag you wind up putting a great deal of stress on the straps.  By keeping your contents light and the bag clutter free, you can protect both the lining (from sharp objects like keys and pens) as well as the zipper (from lint and other specks from getting into it).

Handling your Handbag

You should view every surface as being potentially hazardous to the life of your handbag.  Avoid putting your purse or handbag on the floor - especially in a restaurant or a bathroom.  If there’s a clean surface to rest your purse, use it.  Otherwise use a stall hook or chair back to protect your purse.  You can even buy a purse hook for less than $20 to hang your purse from a table.  This is where it pays to keep your designer used handbags light to avoid stressing the handles.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Designer Used Handbags – What Size Handbag Should I Carry?

Looking at modern trends in designer used handbags (and new handbags entering the scene) it’s easy to see that large bags and big hobo bags are extremely popular with many women.  This trend has brought many women to a point where they want to purchase one but struggle with the idea of having that much “functional” space on their arm.  Some want to keep with current trends but don’t understand the need for the space – and many would wind up with a bag that’s more than 75% empty if they made the switch.

So are large designer used handbags the right choice to make for you?  The trends say yes, but there are other things you need to consider.  First and foremost, it should be said that there is a benefit to having more than one handbag, and that includes having bags of various sizes.

When you’re considering a new handbag or buying one of many designer used handbags, think about your body scale.  To get a good idea of your scale, measure around your wrist in inches

Small scale: 5.5” or under

Medium scale: 5.5 to 6.5”

Larger scale: More than 6.5”

This is a bit of a general guide because you have to factor in such things as height and weight when it comes to selecting the right types of handbags.  For example a very slim person might look smaller on the scale despite being very tall.  So how does size factor in?

It’s really quite simple:

If you want to reduce the size at which people perceive you and you want to appear smaller then you would opt for carrying a larger handbag.  If you want to increase your size and your profile then you carry a smaller handbag.  Outside of that reasoning you can adjust the size and scale of the handbag based on your own overall scale as well as other factors.

Choosing the Right Designer Used Handbag Based on Purpose

You may not be able to fill out a large handbag but there are times when it can be both convenient and fitting.  Perhaps you’re not the type of woman to carry around a quaint clutch but again – there are numerous occasions where it’s the perfect choice. 

Small Designer Handbags:  These are perfect for special occasions or for evening outings.  They’re also perfect for the small scale woman.  If you regularly limit your necessities a small bag can work for most occasions

Medium Handbags: These tend to be fairly popular because they provide ample room for fair number of women.  The style and design of medium bags lends them to a number of occasions and they fit either the medium frame woman or the small scale woman who wants to appear smaller.

Large Handbags: These handbags offer a great deal of function for many women simply because of the storage capacity.  For many women with a medium build the large handbag provides a big reduction effect.  It suits large scale women very well though popularity has it finding its way into the hands of small scale women as well.  Typically, large handbags are all about making a woman look more petite.

Mixing in Personality when Choosing Designer Used Handbags

When it comes to fashion, style and accessories you always need to consider personality.  More often than not a woman’s’ personality will trump any ‘rule’ in the “Fashion 101” guidebook.  If a petite woman wants and loves a big hobo bag then no matter her scale or the current trend she’s going to carry that hobo bag.  With handbags it’s important to remember that no matter the size you should choose a handbag that compliments your personality as much as your outfit and style.  You’re the one that has to wear it, so choosing designer used handbags that fit you in all aspects – not just in the size.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Designer Used Handbags - How Trends Develop & Influence Choice

Fashion is a business where the mission is to jump ahead in order to remain current:  It’s a do or die kind of world where the losers are quickly dropped in favor of the most popular designs - whoever the brand may be.  But how do trends happen?  What makes a trend suddenly “become”?

Trends are considered to be a clever balance of art, commerce and the spirit of a generation.  That spirit can be anything from the moving choice based on the economy to a specific pop star or celebrity preference.  Trends are sparked by new releases in movies, exhibits, technology, pop culture but they’re also greatly influenced by what designers think women might love in their next handbag.

According to Tommy Hilfiger “A trend happens as the result of a natural reaction to the customer's direction. But even though you may see a common trend, I think every designer has a different take on it.”

Most designers believe that in order to produce a really great handbag - one that will be widely accepted and devoured by women upon its reveal - requires that you travel through the world with open eyes and ears so that you are aware of everything around you.  If you properly filter the information in relation to your target audience you’ll left with the essence of what was once loved, what is loved now and what will be loved as the next big trend.

An example of following influence to predict trends is in the explosion of interest in the Japanese anime circuit.  The unique style of graphics and color proved to designers that they could be irreverent with the colors they chose in their designs - even in clothing.  And it worked

From movies to the economy, there are ways to leverage current perceptions and interests.  For example, the angst and the concern of the economy bred interest in turquoise for its soft, restful and protective ambiance seen in many cultures.  To match it in the season, blues became widely popular with the release of the movie Avatar.

Whether you’re talking about designer handbags or clothing, fashion is everywhere - it’s in the sky, it’s in the landscape.  It’s more about ideas than designs because fashion breaks down to how women (And men) live every day.  That’s why designs may go “out of style” but they’re never really gone.

Because fashion is an idea more than anything else, it resonates with people to create living trends that go into hibernation only to return again.  It’s also why used handbags remain popular.  While a trend may go to sleep, the concept and the idea behind a handbag design can live on for several seasons.  Many women jump at the opportunity to cling to a trend or idea and purchase used designer handbags;  it gives them an opportunity to pick up designer used handbags for a fraction of the cost and to embrace the edge of a trend that could potentially make a quick return.