Bag to the Future: Handbags, Fall 2008

There is a guilty pleasure many women have that men will NEVER understand: handbags. As my ex once said, “It’s a thing to hold your stuff, for God’s sake!” But it’s more than that: it’s a fashion statement, an accessory, and, for a lot of us, an obsession runs deep.

So whenever a new season comes around, I know I look forward to seeing what the bag trends for that season are gonna be. While there is always a seasonal “it” bag (or 2 or 3) that generally costs more than your monthly rent, you don’t have to break the bank each season to have a trendy bag on your arm. It may be hard to believe, but there are plenty of budget options out there!

As is true with most seasons, this season brings us some new shapes, styles and textures, but there is also a lot of recycling going on. A key with bags is that you don’t need to go matchy matchy, so don’t be afraid to add a pop of color, or if you go with a neutral like grey or brown, you needn’t match all your accessories.

Bags are meant to be a statement piece, so don’t fear going bold and adding some zest to your look with your handbag – be it a clutch, tote, or, this season’s most popular shape, the satchel.

Satchel It To Me

As I said, the most popular shape for this season is the satchel. While totes and hobos are still popular shapes, the satchel has been seen on the arms of celebrities and trend-setters everywhere. The beauty of this shape is that you can incorporate any number of the trends listed below into the satchel, so pick your favorite and go with it.

What A Croc!

This season is all about different materials: reptile skins, lace, patent leather, or, the material du jour for the season, crocodile skin (or for those of us who are environmentally friendly, budget-conscious or both, faux croc). You can find croc in all the different shapes, sizes and colors of the season, from Prada bags down to Target clutches. Croc rocks because it adds a classic and classy touch to any ensemble.

Fringe Benefits

The hottest trend for this season is the bohemian-inspired fringe bag. Again, many designers are going with this trend, but you can find some great fringe bags on a budget at places like Nine West and Forever 21. My personal favorite is this bag from Melie Bianco, which is only $80 and can be found in some of this season’s hottest colors: taupe/grey, brown, burgundy and, of course, black.

Top of the World

A new and popular shape this season is the top-handle bag, which, again, can be found on many of the different shapes, sizes and trends of the season. Yes, all bags have handles on the top, but this trend focuses on a more structurd look and shorter handles. Definitely an updated look on your typical bag.

Treasure Hunt

As we have mentioned a million times before, jewel tones are huge this season, and this trend extends from clothes all the way to bags. Greens, pinks and teals are making an appearance, but the real winners this season are blues and berries. Everyone from Coach to Old Navy is making bags in these luscious colors and they’re a great way to give the neutral colors of fall/winter (black, greys, etc.) a festive pop.

Gift Wrapped Elegance

Giving way to a nostalgic and classic look, clutches with bows are a flirty and feminine touch to an evening look, especially in satin or patent leather. For inexpensive versions of this look, try Target and Payless; they’ve got adorable ones for under $40.

Brown Baggin’ It

As is always the case with fall, brown bags are all the rage; whether a deep chocolate color or a lighter tan, you can’t go wrong with pairing a brown bag with a hot pair of boots and skinny jeans.

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