A couple of weeks ago I made a promise to my blog following friends (“I love you guys!”) that I would show you how I store my handbags. Well, I’m not sharing the full scoop on that yet, but I will show you where and how I keep a stash of bags that I use regularly.
I seem to be favoring smaller bags right now and found a nifty way to keep them visible and easy to grab in the morning before I head out the door. And it’s in my office!
I start every day in my home office. It’s where I write my morning pages. It’s where I go to check emails before going to work. It’s where I collect my thoughts and get ready for the day. If you were in my office with me you’d see a tall metal shelf that holds twelve matching gray fabric bins each measuring eleven inches by eleven inches.
Each bin holds something useful and essential. And now my handbags are being stored there, too! I pulled out an “S” hook and hung it on one of the metal shelves. Then I hung handbags that are in frequent rotation around the curve of the “S” hook. I often switch handbags and it’s quick and easy to do when I see them hanging there. Let me give you a tour of how these bags work in my life.
Python bag goes from decoration to function
This little vintage python bag, smaller than a lunch bag, has become a favorite. It was merely decoration for the table at Oscar parties at our house but then it turned out to be perfect for an outfit … and then another outfit … and then another outfit. Take a tour of how I wear this nifty little bag.
Here that bag is part of my casual Saturday outfit when Russ and I go to Oso on the Sonoma Square for French-pressed coffee (the best!) and small plates of yumminess.
In this outfit, I wore it to work one day.We were on a shopping trip with a client. I loved how it worked with those sage tones. Oh my gosh, I think I have to wear that outfit tomorrow!
I carried it with me when Russ and I went wine tasting in the neighborhood. Domaine Carneros is about fifteen minutes from our house, just inside of Napa County. I loved it with my yellow vintage coat. How cute they are together on a sunny day!
Bow bag goes from day to night to day
Erin found me this black satin bow bag. The label is a handmade one that’s sewn inside the bag. It says, “Holly from Hanoi, Made in Vietnam.” Erin knew it was up my alley which is where it’s hanging from her hand in that picture, right here in an alley in Sonoma. Some people might suggest I not use a fabric bag like this one for everyday wear. Technically, it would be considered an evening bag. But I find it charming and adorable and spend most of my hours in daylight so I’ve expanded its purpose from evening-only to wearing it any old time.
Here I really did wear it to an evening event. I was wearing my pleated Carlisle skirt and my Chanel vintage sweater with appliqués, my bow shoes and of course, my bow bag. This was the big evening art event where I discovered my sweater was inside out just as I entered the huge space filled with people. If you don’t want to miss out on those details, here’s my post on the Anatomy of My Public Fashion Mistake.
My bow bag was my personal choice the day I visited the girls in San Anselmo, helped them with the signage for their store and ended up having a 35 mph blissful day discovering what me time is all about.
Here’s a closeup of how I wore this bag this week. The full view is up in that first picture against that golden wall. I liked the feminine touch it brought to my white shirt, black Eileen Fisher jacket, my jeans, and my summertime perforated loafers. I was going for a feminine/casual/cute look. The bow bag brings the cuteness every time.
Dot bag gets a workout
After the bows come the dots. I bought this iPad bag from a little store in San Anselmo. Was I going to put my iPad in it? Well, I told myself I would but in actuality, it was so darling I knew I had to have it whether it ever held an iPad or not! Turns out, my iPad doesn’t get toted around in it; my normal necessities to. As spring moves into summer, I have the feeling I’ll be leaning on this little bag a lot. It’s so durable and I love how it zips shut. It’s very comfortable on my shoulder.
Here it goes to work on a day when we were working in a client’s closet. I couldn’t resist adding my patent black AGL tennis shoes with white laces. I was repeating the black and white in my outfit and the dot bag.
On this recent Saturday, I busted out my cotton/linen jacket, put it over my white shirt and jeans. In the work outfit above, I’m wearing the same brand of jacket, Cotelac. They have a similar look. The work one above is in wool and this charcoal one below is its summer weight version. I’ve been trading off wearing them with this fluctuating weather.
Walnut hair on hide bag by Botkier
This brick wall is a dead giveaway that I’ve just finished working at Nordstrom on a shopping trip. I wore this Botkier hair on hide bag quite a bit over the winter months. But our weather has been so unpredictable that I haven’t put it away yet along with the other handbags that feel too wintery. I still love the texture of it. I even wore it with my silk dress, linen pants and a silk cardigan when we had those two days of warmth a while back.
And I also wore it when I did this double denim look with my Chico’s indigo jacket and my burgundy ruffled blouse and jeans. It was during one of those almost-warm days. I liked this bag with these darker colors and my Lucky Brand booties.
The day I decided to wear this Botkier bag with my double stripes and denim outfit, I had a hankering to wear a button bracelet I made twenty some years ago. Wait, can that be right? 2017 minus 1989 = 28. Twenty-eight years ago! I used to make all kinds of them and this is one of the most playful because of the colors. They are all vintage buttons. Anyway, I looked around the house to see what I could attach to the bag and found a wooden arrow that my client added to a Valentine’s Day gift bag for me. And the felted apple is something I bought with Mother at the Norsk Hostfest one year. They match the playfulness of the bracelet which, I have to admit, made me smile every time I looked down at it.
So you can see how busy these bags are! Having them in close proximity in the office on that “S” hook gives them all a fair chance to be chosen and worn on any given day. Do you think this storage solution would work for you? Can you put an “S” hook somewhere in your house where you can see it? Do tell!