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Be Tech-Savvy and Chic with a Luxe Laptop Bag!

  • posted January 26th, 2011
  • Fashion

As a modern girl of the 21st century (and a blogger, no less), I do much of my work on the internet. In fact, a lot of my life revolves around the internet — shopping, researching, navigating (thank god for Google maps!), networking, even socializing. Yes. it’s weird (and perhaps a little scary), but it’s true! So chances are, if I’m out and about for most of the day, my laptop is comin’ with me. After all, now that the sun is starting to peek out from its winter hibernation, I’d sooner be outside enjoying the outdoors with an iced coffee while I tap away at my laptop instead of being holed up in my home office or stuck in the library — and I’m sure the same goes for all you college gals who still want to enjoy the scenery while you study! So if you’re going to haul your laptop with you all day, you might as well get something stylish to carry it in, right? Trust me — not all handbags are designed for stuffing electronics inside (I’ve broken my share of shoulder straps due to the sheer weight of all my loot), and unearthing your old Jansport backpack from junior high definitely isn’t the most chic option around. As a result, I’ve rounded up some super-cute laptop bags that are the perfect balance of function and fashion. Plus, they’re just the right size for squeezing in everything you need for class or work in this modern day and age. Talk about geeky-chic!

Pictured above: Diane von Furstenberg Color on the Go Tote, Clementine Silk Luxe Laptop Bag, Kate Spade Tarrytown Laptop Janine, Marc by Marc Jacobs Computer Commute Tote, and Rebecca Minkoff Striped Canvas Laptop Case.

– Alex Gambardella

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Go Classy with an Iconic Quilted Clutch

  • posted December 1st, 2010
  • Fashion

As if a quilted handbag wasn’t covetable enough (especially with some signature interlocking Cs for some not-so-subtle label-boasting), the style has somehow become even more popular this past season. There’s something about quilting that just exudes a sense of understated elegance — whether it’s the homage to everyone’s favorite Chanel bag or just the tasteful, vintage-inspired texture — and is a sleek, stylish alternative to the holiday season’s loud and proud sparkle and glitz. While we can’t help but be reminded of the classic quilted styles that came before, this new wave of quilted clutches is taking the tried and true look to chic new heights that’s stylish without looking too copycat!

This Rebecca Minkoff Tender clutch adds subtle studded detailing to give the retro look a slightly edgier upgrade, while this Marc B clutch from Topshop swaps the chain strap for some layered chain detailing to mirror the jewelry trend that continues to be hot throughout the season! If the rest of your go-t0 holiday party outfit is on the conservative side, draw attention and add some shine with a metallic quilted clutch like this one from Kate Spade. Or for a look that can take you from a casual post-work happy hour to a more upscale night on the town, go for a classic shape in a bold color like this cranberry red clutch from Marc Jacobs!

- Alex Gambardella
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Temperley London Aurora Pouch is Petite, Practical and Pretty!

  • posted September 1st, 2010
  • Fashion

There are plenty of reasons to adore bucket bags, the hottest trend in handbags since the cross-body bag. For one, the bucket shape lets me indulge my bad habit of haphazardly tossing all my must-haves in with no pressure to stay organized at all — guilt-free! Secondly, the drawstring closure not only allows for easy access, but also lends itself to a pouch shape that’s totally cute despite the much-less-flattering (and deceiving) “bucket” imagery the name provides. Thirdly, it’s much more fun to carry than a clutch! But I have to admit, despite the fact that bucket bags are trendy, roomy, and an all-around great excuse to buy yourself a new purse, most tend to give off a look that’s a bit too casual and slouchy for a night out. In fact, some even end up looking like feed bags (especially in more fall-friendly tawny and saddle shades), which is definitely not a good look for a night out on the town. That’s why I love the Temperley London Aurora Pouch, which provides a much dressier take on the bucket trend with a pouch that’s practical but still going-out ready in a flash. I love how the circle studs give it a cute retro-modern polka dot look that adds just the right amount of shine, and it’s the perfect size for everything you’d need to go out without feeling cumbersome or clunky! Of course, at $745 it’s a little out of my price range, but I certainly wouldn’t turn it down as a gift (a girl can dream…)!

- Alex Gambardella

Save on Drawstring Handbags at Bluefly from TheFind’s coupon site

Upgrade Your Handbag Collection With a Quilted Purse

  • posted September 1st, 2010
  • Fashion

What is it about a quilted bag that just automatically exudes an upscale vibe? While the texture itself isn’t anything innovative, modern, or particularly edgy (in fact, it’s more grandma-chic than anything that could be described as “edgy”), the look nearly always manages to read as expensive, no matter what the brand or how much you actually paid for it (definitely a good thing in my nonexistent bag-buying handbook). Maybe it’s because it’s classically simple yet rich in texture, or maybe it’s the modern prep school vibe a la Gossip Girl, or, most likely, perhaps its the unavoidable association with the similarly-textured iconic Chanel bag (aka the handbag Holy Grail). Whatever the reason, while other handbag trends are boasting excess hardware, sequin details, and zippers galore, the quilted bag is keeping it cute and classy in a retro-modern way!

Go for the Chanel-esque chain-and-quilted combo with a designer bag (that won’t set you nearly as far back in shopping debt) like the Gorjana Hudson shoulder bag. Or toe the line between prim and punky with one like Marc Jacobs’ studded python version. Or, to combine some of fall’s hottest handbag trends, try one in a cross-body bucket shape like this budget-friendly option from Forever 21!

-Alex Gambardella

Save on Quilted Handbags at Shopbop from TheFind’s coupon site

Look For Less: Julia Roberts’ Patchwork Tote From “Eat, Pray, Love”

If watching Julia Roberts’ latest film, “Eat, Pray, Love” (or even just seeing the countless trailers) hasn’t made you want to quit your job and book the next overseas flight for a whirlwind trip of wining and dining and romance, it at least made you want to shop, right? Leave it up to Julia to make even the most comfy-casual gauzy scarves, lightweight tees, and Toms wedges look totally laidback chic and covetable! One thing that really caught my eye was her patchwork bag by Simone Camille, which added a dash of color and a little boho flair to her more muted outfits. Unfortunately, the original is totally sold out on Net-a-Porter, but lucky for us recessionistas, affordable brand Asrai Style has a slew of similar options for a fraction of the cost! From colorful embroidered shoulder bags to sequined patchwork hobos, Asrai Style features funky handcrafted accessories that are perfect for jazzing up your back-t0-school haul to class or just swapping out your neutral hobo for something more unique! And for under $30 as opposed to $1,860, I’m happy to opt for the less famous yet just as stylish choice!

- Alex Gambardella
Save on Patchwork Totes at Asrai Style from’s coupon site

Packing Light Just Got Cuter With These Mini Chain Bags!

While it’s not always convenient or comfortable, I’m all about a big roomy handbag. You’ll never see me rockin’ a clutch; even on a packed dance floor, I always have my giant purse secure under my arm, knocking drinks out of peoples’ hands with every turn I make. Like I said, it’s not always convenient… but I like to have my hands free and everything I might ever need in one place! Okay, so maybe I don’t actually need all that stuff with me all the time, so if I convinced myself to leave all the not-so-essential loot behind for the night, I might be able to settle for a more compact bag on occasion. But I still like to have my hand free!

Enter these cute mini chain bags, which are popping up all over the place in the realm of bag trends. Convenient and compact, these minis are more than just your shrunken-down satchel or glorified fanny pack — they’re fun and functional. They’re cute in size but with a bit of dressed-up edge with their chain details. For a pop of color, I love the hot pink Antik Batik Havana mini, while this Lanvin leopard print bag makes a statement despite its modest size! I may not be able to fit my wallet into most of these minis, but they’re cute enough that I’m willing to downsize for style’s sake!

- Alex Gambardella

Save on Mini Chain Bags at Shopbop from’s coupon site

Summer Style Essentials: Straw Bag

As the Chanel Spring 2010 collection walked down the straw covered runway, I was sucked into the world of innocent milkmaids meets Karl Lagerfeld. Aside from the backless clogs which left me skeptical, I kept noticing the straw bags! Embellished with colorful flowers, I quickly plotted ways get the Chanel look without breaking the bank. I love carrying a straw bag in the summertime because they’re light and comfortable to carry even in humid weather. Can you say that about leather bags that end up sticking to your skin? Ew.

While many of the straw bags at the Chanel show were white, I personally prefer the natural straw color and they’re also easier to find! For a casual day with your girlfriends at the park or beach, I would suggest something simple like the Free People Straw & Leather Tassle Tote to hold everything from a picnic lunch, a blanket, and a change of shoes. If you’re looking for something a little dressier, I’m definitely coveting the Tory Burch Straw Shoulder Bag with an of-the-moment turquoise trim.

Save on your spring straw tote purchases at Nordstrom from’s coupon site