HOW TO CREATE AN OUTFIT AROUND A BAG

styling a tote bag

As far as accessories go, I like bags…

Couldn’t care less about shoes. And yes, I often plan an entire outfit around a bag. You see, I usually have a favourite bag: either ‘the love of my life’ (my Chanel) or the ‘flavour of the month’  (= the bag I’m currently infatuated with, and thus want to carry it all the time). 

But the last couple of years I have been trying to limit the number of bags I buy, both for financial and logistical reasons. Finances aside, I need to find space to store the bags I buy, which can be tricky in a small flat. And as I keep commuting between two homes in two countries, my life is just simpler if I have one bag (or two) that goes with anything. So, less is more, that’s the idea…

However, in spite of my best intentions, I still manage to buy at least one bag every year, mainly because love at first sight makes it impossible for me to resist a nice bag… That just goes to show how successful this plan was to begin with…

But, it has been quite a while since I last bought a bag specifically for work. That is, a bag big enough for all the paper the average teacher carries around every day (that is a lot of paper, trust me). So, while I’m not one of those women who carry half of their possessions with them all the time, my work bag needs to accommodate several A4 size files, an occasional book (for work only) and an umbrella. However, as I need to carry the bag around the whole day, I prefer something small(ish) and simple. Not too many compartments, as they take away valuable space (needed for those A4 files and paper), but a few so that I can still find my keys / bus card / phone without having to dump the contents of the bag onto the street.

And I’m happy to report (after carrying it for a couple of months) that this pale pink Furla bag seems to tick all the boxes. Yes, my dear reader, it’s official: I’m in love…

So, now that we know that the bag is functional (always the first concern in a work bag), I just have to make sure I have the wardrobe to match. And that’s what I’ve been doing these past couple of months: finding everything in my wardrobe that goes with the new bag.

As you can see, the bag complements my coats:

(original posts: left / right)

tote bag

It seems to like my favourite wrap dresses:

(original posts: left / right)

wrapdress

It can do smart casual:

(original posts: left / right)

Furla tote

But it also works with casual outfits:

(original posts: left / right)

all-purpose bag

Do you ever create an outfit around a bag (or shoes)?

Tiina

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Not Dead Yet StyleElegantly Dressed and StylishGaray TreasuresHigh Latitude StyleSydney Fashion HunterThe Pleated PoppyStyle ElixirGet Your Pretty OnHappiness at Mid-LifeA Labour of LifeDoused in PinkCurly Crafty MomFashion Should Be FunRachel the HatSincerely Jenna MarieMore Pieces of MeColor and GraceNot Dressed As Lamb, Coco et La Vie en Rose

30 Comments

  1. Shybiker
    November 29, 2015 / 4:54 pm

    We all have things we're attracted to and, occasionally, get over-excited about. Handbags are a good example. They're beautiful; they're practical; and we use them all the time. If you limit your purchases to once a year, you're fine. This is a pretty one that anyone would want on their arm.

    • Tiina L
      November 30, 2015 / 6:10 pm

      Yes, but I have 'an expensive taste', as my husband would say…

  2. Melanie
    November 29, 2015 / 7:57 pm

    Gorgeous bag – I can completely understand your infatuation with it. It would probably go with anything but I love the examples you show here.

    • Tiina L
      November 30, 2015 / 6:11 pm

      Thanks, Melanie. I just really, really wanted a pretty, pastel pink bag…

  3. Suzanne Carillo
    November 29, 2015 / 8:56 pm

    I'm really not a bag person, but that said…I can still be swayed to buy one that make my heart flutter : ) They aren't expensive like your tastes though. I'd rather spend on shoes or clothes. I think it is because I can't carry heavy bags or even shoulder bags all day. Even a cross body bag will bother me after a couple of hours. Damn Fibromyalgia is cramping my style. I think you did well with the bag because you have lots of cool colours in your wardrobe. I also like the shape of it. Everything about it is classic except the colour, which makes it really stand out.bisousSuzanne

    • Tiina L
      November 30, 2015 / 6:15 pm

      Well, I always say that its easier to pack 15 t-shirts of summer dresses than 15 bags… And I've had quite a few bags break down (stuffed to the brim, I admit) on me, so now it's only quality bags and they'd better last forever This one is a really good work bag: fits a lot of stuff and goes with anything.

  4. Connie
    November 29, 2015 / 9:44 pm

    That really is the BEST bag. You've convinced me. Pale pink is a neutral.

    • Tiina L
      November 30, 2015 / 6:17 pm

      I've certainly been carrying this one almost non-stop for months. And yes, it's neutral enough to go with most of my clothes.

  5. Anna Jeanine
    November 29, 2015 / 11:06 pm

    Those are great outfits! How neat that there were so many you could create to go with that bag. I sometimes find myself wishing I had a good purse to go with a specific outfit, especially if I am forced to use my neutral one.But I have at times done what you did, and wanted to wear a specific one so I created an outfit to match it.Saw your post in the Visible Monday linkup. Here's my Visible Monday post…http://www.midlifemakeover.me/2015/11/the-end-of-no-repeat-november-heres-how.htmlHave a wonderful week!Jeanine

    • Tiina L
      November 30, 2015 / 6:18 pm

      I have a few more outfits to show with this bag still, stay tuned…

  6. Patti
    November 29, 2015 / 11:11 pm

    Love these examples – and that bag will look good with everything. xox-Pattihttp://notdeadyetstyle.com

    • Tiina L
      November 30, 2015 / 6:18 pm

      Thanks, Patti.

  7. Laura Yoder
    November 30, 2015 / 3:03 am

    Great tips…LOVE the bag:)Laurawww.24-7style.com

    • Tiina L
      November 30, 2015 / 6:18 pm

      Thanks, Laura. I love the bag, too.

  8. fashionandfoodandotherstuff
    November 30, 2015 / 8:34 am

    I always have to wear the same bag because i have to take my oxygenconcentrator with me. Inused to love bags!www.fashionandfoodandotherstuff.com

    • Tiina L
      November 30, 2015 / 6:19 pm

      I can imagine that your bag must meet a very particular criteria.

  9. Jill James
    November 30, 2015 / 9:03 am

    I used to be bag obsessed but now find my bags must be light and practical for every day use so my fancy bags get few outings. This one of yours is the perfect colour and works so well with so many different styles, a good buy indeed.

    • Tiina L
      November 30, 2015 / 6:21 pm

      I prefer a smaller bag, too, off-duty. At weekends, the smaller the better, and either a shoulder bag or a crossbody. I guess I need a break from carrying a big bag throughout the week.

    • Tiina L
      December 2, 2015 / 1:21 pm

      Thanks, Coco!

  10. Darcy
    December 1, 2015 / 3:14 am

    I definitely agree a bag can make an outfit! Great looks.www.amemoryofus.com

    • Tiina L
      December 2, 2015 / 1:22 pm

      Thanks! Yes, a bag is an important part of the outfit. Sometimes the most important part, for a Bag Lady like me…

  11. Petite Silver Vixen
    December 1, 2015 / 10:58 pm

    That bag is turning out to be a real gem for you. I'd love to buy more bags but you're right, storage space is difficult with endless bags!Thank you for linking to Rachel's Tuesday link-up. Petite Vix – co-host for this week.http://petitesilvervixen.blogspot.co.uk/

    • Tiina L
      December 2, 2015 / 1:24 pm

      Yes, storage space… I have storage space in two countries, and I still find it difficult to store all my possessions. The conclusion: I have way too much stuff…

  12. Garaytreasures
    December 3, 2015 / 9:14 pm

    I only have a handful of bags, some I like and others I don't. The higher in price I paid for some the more use they get. Lovely color "it" bag. Thanks for linking up to "Bloggers Who Have Inspired Me"Rachel xoGaray Treasures

    • Tiina L
      December 4, 2015 / 1:10 pm

      I think it's better to have just a few quality bags than lots of cheap and cheerful bags that break easily and aren't functional. After all, how many bags does a woman really need? Maybe 2-4, really.

  13. Alice Warren
    December 6, 2015 / 7:24 am

    This Furla bag is so pretty and works so well with all of your outfits. I have a lot of colorful handbags and tend to switch them out all the time. I recently bought an inexpensive leopard purse thinking it's so trendy and won't get used much. Boy was I wrong! I used it all the time and now sort of wished I spend a little more money and bought a higher quality purse.Thank you for joining TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you next week. Alicewww.happinessatmidlife.com

    • Tiina L
      December 7, 2015 / 4:23 pm

      I stopped buying inexpensive bags because they didn't last very long (maybe it was me stuffing them to the brim…) and decided that fewer bags but better quality is what I need. This means that I have to choose the colour of the bag very carefully: it has to go with everything…

  14. Dawn Lucy
    December 6, 2015 / 2:29 pm

    I'm a bag lady too, so I totally get it! Great looks! Thanks so much for sharing with Fun Fashion Friday!OXOXDawn Lucyhttp://fashionshouldbefun.blogspot.com

    • Tiina L
      December 7, 2015 / 4:24 pm

      Thanks! If only I could buy all the bags I fall in love with…

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