Most of us will steal away this Summer — be it to a lakeside cabin, a quiet beach, or a bustling city — for at least a few days, and the key to effortless travel during the warmer months is packing light. With sunny getaways in our near future (you know, the ones that require little more than a bathing suit and a few coverups) and a "no checked-bag" policy guiding our decision-making process, here are our top picks for chic weekender bags, duffels, and oversized totes. You'll be ready to jet, with no annoying waits in baggage claim.
The black bag has achieved unshakeable status in the modern woman's wardrobe — it's professional, classic, and just the littlest bit boring (admit it!). The next time you're looking to add one to the pack, we suggest giving blue a chance. The shade has a wide span of iterations, with options suited for anyone. Pale robin's egg fits into Spring's pastel forecast, while vibrant lapis is sure to please even the boldest fashion fanatic. And for those who are truly distraught to step away from black? Chic navy, of course.
No Spring (or Summer) wardrobe is complete without its statement bag, and that's where our ultimate bag guide will serve you well. When our favorite models strutted down the Spring '13 runways, we paid extra attention to their arm candy — every handle, every zipper, every shape — and now we're translating those styles into trends you can shop at all price points. Judging from the colorblocked bags and printed silhouettes to the seriously textured investment and must-have party clutch, we promise there's something in here for everyone. Just click through to find your It bag now.
Lucite clutches are (clearly) having a major moment in the spotlight — all you have to do is zoom in on the red carpet for further proof. First spotted on the Spring '13 runways at Gucci and Chanel, these Lucite handhelds have made their way to the Hollywood circuit, and with that comes even more inspired ways to wear them. Solange Knowles is the proud owner of not one, but two styles, while Sophia Bush and Olivia Palermo have both sported brighter neon versions. Step inside to get a closer look at how the stars are styling their Lucite clutches and score your own.
Plus, you can shop our editors' (other) clear-bag picks directly from the ultimate Spring '13 bag guide.
Designers like Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Kors, and Chloé featured colorblocked bags all over their Spring runways, and today, we're showing you our top five picks for the season. Whether you decide to go casual with a bold neoprene tote or opt for a more chic, work-appropriate silhouette, there's no shortage of styling possibilities for you to try out all season long. From Pierre Hardy's neon-injected shoulder bag to Rebecca Minkoff's hands-free fun, see our favorite colorblocked bags in the video, then shop exact and similar items below!
Not only are celebrities wearing Spring's hottest black and white trend, they're also carrying it. Here's proof: Jessica Alba's blue and black outfit wasn't complete without her black-and-white Roger Vivier bag — here's a larger version ($4,089). Diane Kruger's Alexander McQueen Heroine satchel ($3,450) dressed up her gray tee and pink Current/Elliott jeans, Amanda Seyfried's oversize bag was a chic complement to her laid-back daytime style, and Gwyneth Paltrow's colorblocked Alice + Olivia Spring 2013 satchel ($495) lent a little flair to her otherwise basic travel style. Need any further proof of the black-and-white bag craze, then behold the trend's other selling points: the color combo is a classic, which means you can wear it long after this Spring — plus, it's safe to say this color scheme is easy to incorporate with the rest of your wardrobe. Sold? Then shop our editors' favorite black and white bags below.
It's not often that we get an It bag that rings in under $200. But with its classic, bookish silhouette, Cambridge Satchel quickly became the bag to have after gaining popularity with the street-style crowd and cool girls like Alexa Chung. Since the label launched in 2007, it has continued to deliver the same iconic style finished in a wash of rainbow hues. For Spring '13, those colors are a range of pretty pastels, or what founder Julie Deane calls a "Chelsea Flower Show makeover." The four fresh hues are named after flowers you'd find strolling the British gardens in Spring and Summer — namely Crocus, Honeysuckle, Lavender, and Sweet Pea — giving each bag not just a covetable Spring-perfect pop, but also a bit of quintessentially British heritage. And, if you're looking for a shade maybe a tad more brilliant, the company has just released two very on-trend emerald and sapphire bags for Spring. Click through to see every new color, and then click over to The Cambridge Satchel Company to shop your favorite style (and take advantage of free worldwide shipping in March!).
Start saving those pennies now because come this Fall, there will be plenty of glorious bags to spend them on. Just a few of the ones we couldn't take our eyes off of at New York's recent shows— including the cobalt colorblocked zip-clutches at Rag & Bone, the oversize totes in ivory and black at Derek Lam, and the hard-cased circle bags at Marc by Marc Jacobs — are right here in our runway bag recap.
When you buy a Stella McCartney bag you get a gorgeous bit of arm candy that's also animal-friendly, so it's pretty much a win-win. That's why we're fully on board with Anne Hathaway's brand-new Stella McCartney faux-python crossbody bag ($1,200). First the actress threw it on over a black coat, a purple scarf, and black rain boots in Paris, then she carried it with her black coat and ankle boots during a shopping excursion to the Lanvin boutique while out and about the City of Light. In both instances, Anne's python bag added that little bit of wow-factor to her otherwise dark ensembles. Now, for your shopping pleasure: Stella has a pretty stellar selection of faux-python bags — which you can shop right here — but if you're looking for something a little more budget-friendly, we've got you covered with a range of other options below.
Luxurious but not exactly affordable is probably the most obvious — and most accurate — way to describe Mary-Kate and Ashely Olsen's collection of handbags for The Row, which includes a $39,000 backpack (that we've only ever seen the designers themselves wearing). Now the sister duo is looking to change all of that with the launch of a bag collection for their Elizabeth and James label. The major difference in this endeavor is the price point. While The Row skews towards the high end of the market, Elizabeth and James is the designers' more accessible brand, and Mary-Kate and Ashley have crafted these bags with that focus. "The price point is below [Alexander] Wang and [Phillip] Lim but above Marc [Jacobs] and Tory [Burch]." "And Rebecca Minkoff," Ashley interrupted. "We wanted these bags to be affordable." That means the full range of bags — which includes satchels, shoppers, messenger bags, backpacks, hobo bags, crossbody bags, clutches, pouches, and wallets — will stay between $125 to $395 for small leather goods and $395 to $625 for bags. Not bad considering this duo won't be sacrificing quality to meet their lower price points. Looking to Italian suede and leather, calf hair, lambskin, and strong hardware, these accessories will be getting the signature Olsen design treatment without the exclusive, Olsen-only price tag. Stay tuned: the bags hit stores this July.