Category: Handbags

The yellow bag of happiness

I am a “winter,” which some of you might remember from those days we classified our skin tones by season and were told never ever to wear whatever was probably our favorite color at the time. But to this date, I know that I just don’t look good in yellow, which is popping up everywhere this season. So if there’s any way for me to wear it, it’s going to be a slim patent belt, maybe a pair of shoes, and most definitely an unapologetically bright handbag. Here are some of the yellow handbags I think would look great...

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Ooh la la! A market tote at a not so upmarket price.

Only a few days until pool season officially starts for us here in the the deep south, which means I’m stocking up all our swimming staples: swimsuits, flip-slops, and our pool bag.   With all the straw baskets and totes taking up shelf space in almost all of my favorite shops, I’m thinking I might forgo our typical canvas bag for something a little different. And I found just the one that I want.  I’m completely in love with the look–and price–of this French Market basket from Harabu House, which is hand woven in Morocco by farmers looking to earn extra income....

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Spare me a tote?

I’ve really grown to love those compact totes that are so common these days, but one thing I don’t like is just how common some of them are. If you want a spare bag to tote around that still has the look of one that’s not a spare at all, here’s a few beautiful options. [don’t miss an exclusive offer after the jump!] The George Roll-Up Tote from Brooklyn’s Goodship is calling my mid-century loving name. I love the funky pink and black pattern which reminds me of a vintage couch I had back in my younger, more interesting...

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Earth day pick – Neat-os reusable snack bags

Of all the ways my family has gone a little greener, perhaps the easiest has been ditching plastic bags for reusable bags. And since discovering this new brand, we’re almost completely plastic bag free when it comes to snack time and school lunches. The Neat-os reusable bags are some of the coolest I’ve seen, made right here in the USA and feature a cool clear section so you can actually see what’s in the bags (smart, right!). Created using food-safe materials that’s free of BPA, lead, and all the icky “p” words (like pvc and phthalates), these bags will...

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My Mother’s Day dream gift. Honey, are you reading this?

I fully admit to being something of a bag addict. I have a closet full of every style, shape and designer you can imagine. But that doesn’t mean I ever stop looking and purchasing yet another one. For Mother’s Day, there’s a bag from Longchamp that has my name written all over it—literally. The custom Longchamp bags from one of our favorite French accessory labels are practical, chic and totally personalized for your tastes. I’m having a hard time deciding which style I want to order, or um have my husband order for me. On one hand, there’s the...

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Eye-tricking handbags now for less. (No trick!)

I remember when I first linked to the amazing cartoonish-looking handbags from Taiwan’s Jump for Paper, I spent a lot of minutes trying to convince my brain that these were indeed handbags and not flat pictures.  Created by designers Chay Su and Rika Lin, JumpFromPaper get its distinctive look from cartoon-like outlines and bright color accents that make the bag look like it was ripped out of a comic book. I half expect to see cartoon bubble “WOW”‘s popping up as I walk down the street. Made from polyester, not cardboard, these bags can be wiped clean with a...

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Colorblock handbags from Hayden-Harnett – be still my heart

I have absolutely loved the colorful handbag trend that’s helped get me through winter, and I’m thrilled to see it shows no signs of taking leave come spring. Which is less than a month away, incidentally. Feel free to squee at your leisure. Hayden-Harnett, my very favorite little Brooklyn handbag co that seems to be getting bigger by the minute, has a nice little lineup of new arrivals for spring. But my favorite has to be the Hayden-Harnett Mondrian tote bag in wild rose and candy apple. Even the colors sound yummy. The colorblock tote comes in five color...

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Baggu with a bang

I love my Baggu bags so much that I’ve been tempted to use them as actual handbags, especially with all the junk I schlep around in my purse. Well, now I can actually do it without having to compromise my love for a swanky bag. The new Baggu leather bag is the same shape as their popular reusable shopping bags, just much fancier. Made from super soft leather, you get the laidback feel of a less-structured bag but with loads of style. I’m partial to the Platinum myself, which I think adds some flair to what might seem like...

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Designer bags without the designer labels

I was lucky enough to receive an amazing cross body bag for Christmas last year and while at first I wasn’t sure if this giganti-bag addict would be able to pull it off, I stand corrected. It’s now my go-to bag for day and night. So it’s no surprise that I’m on the hunt for more, including this one that I’m hoping my valentine will surprise me with in a couple of weeks. Meet Stella, the cross-body (or over-the-shoulder) bag with attitude. It’s part of an amazing new collection from leoluca that I’m swooning over. Made from 100% black...

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Our favorite colorful handbags to brighten your winter

Once the diaper bag years are over, it’s time to move on to a great day bag. You’ll still need something big enough to tote toys and snacks and enough Kleenex for a small village, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be pretty. A basic black or brown bag is practical and versatile — and kind of boring. This winter, opt for a bright colored bag; it’s so on trend right now, and I promise you’ll be happy to tote it, even if it is chock full of kid stuff. Here, just a few of my favorites. –Susan Lancaster...

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Green with envy

Just one dangerous flip through Etsy.com and I’ve got tons of things added to my favorites list just itching to be bought–which is the case with the amazing leather bags from Adeleshop. And they happen to be on sale through the end of the weekend. I swear the gorgeous leather clip satchel is calling my name, handmade with plenty of room for all your essentials, even your laptop. It also comes with a handy clip on strap to turn it into a versatile cross body style that will give any mass produced designer bag a run for its money....

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The Cambridge Satche: Finally, an affordable It Bag

I probably wouldn’t have guessed that of all the great bags out this fall, the Cambridge Satchel would be turning into the It Bag of the season. Especially considering they’re under $200 instead of the usual $2,000. Searching the Cambridge Satchel website, there are so many wonderful options, from classic schoolgirl/boy looks in brown and black, to the brightly colored bags that are coming to define fashion this season. (Pink satchel, anyone?) Every single one is custom made to order, so go ahead and have it monogrammed. And I love that the company was founded by British mum Julie...

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Sunshine on my shoulders

I know it’s hard to get excited about tote bags, but trust me, when they come from one of our favorite children’s labels, we do get a little excited knowing now they make something we moms can wear too. The new totes from Winter Water Factory really are something special. Don’t believe me? Let me count the ways…they’re beautiful. The eye-catching prints strike the perfect balance between gorgeous and earthy. Second, they’re smart. The roomy size and eight pockets keep everything you need at your fingertips, and one is the perfect size for an iPhone, so you won’t go...

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Totes fabulous!

My collection of reusable grocery bags is a ragtag group of ne’er-do-wells. There are the boring but cheap bags, the political ones we got free at the parade, the glittery Halloween one, and the very confused grocery bag featuring a pig smiling from a sandwich. But then this adorable reusable tote from one of our favorite baby brands had to show up and throw them all into the depths of self-loathing. It’s the new Faraway Fold Out Tote by Petunia Pickle Bottom, and each of their five patterns (including my favorite, Frolicking in Fez) is so gorgeous, you’ll wish...

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Chic as a Hobo

About this time in summer every year, I hit a strange period of handbag ennui. I want something new and fun for summer, even knowing that fall bags are right around the corner. But thanks to Hobo, I might have found a sweet choice that can take me from one season to the next. The Hobo Sheila bag has a sturdy leather exterior that I need, coupled with a slightly slouchy, soft shape and a bit of a distressed look that keeps it from being all business. The zip top is key essential for us city moms, and the...

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Baggu bags – Now for your back

Sometimes when I’m chasing four kids around the zoo, the playground, or the pool, I’ve wished for a bag that I can just pop on my back. Yes, I know that’s called a “backpack,” however, I’m not really a backpack kind of a gal. Plus  I don’t need to carry the weight of an actual extra kid on my back– just something small and light to carry a few sippy cups, snacks, and my personal items. Leave it to Baggu to make just that. The new Baggu Daypack is the perfect lightweight nylon backpack for busy moms, or even...

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Oh Ellington Bags, I just can’t quit you!

It’s no secret that I have a bag addiction, which is exacerbated at the season’s change. Because really, if there’s a point in time that I could actually rationalize a new bag (or four) it would be right at the heels of spring. My first and probably only stop–Ellington. At least today. Their new lines of leather handbags and nylon travel bags feature rich colors and versatile styles that will last me all season long and beyond. My personal fave, the Bella Tote, is luxe and stylish but still roomy enough to carry all the diapers, wipes, and snacks...

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Design your own handbag without all that cutting and sewing business

Attention all you picky handbag ladies, daughters of picky handbag ladies, sisters or nieces of picky handbag ladies. –yeah you. You know who you are. Behold the brilliance of the design-your-own handbag line from boston Etsy seller Eclu. If you’re already starting to think Mother’s Day, this is a neat shop to have on the radar. The platinum peony clutch would happen to look awesome with my own mom’s naturally silver hair. Not your style? The cool thing with a design-your-own handbag line is that you’ve got other options. You choose the colors inside and out, the style of...

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Threadless and Baggu are a tote bag perfect match

Does this rainbow umbrella design look familiar? It probably does–it’s just one of the designs you’ll find over at Threadless, which recently teamed up with Cool Mom Picks favorite Baggu to produce a whole series of recycled cotton canvas totes (Baggu’s “duck bag”) in a variety of cool options. I’ve always loved that Baggu put a sturdy shoulder strap on these bags–much as I love a conventional tote, sometimes after a visit to the library some extra support is welcome–and now I can even pick one of my favorite artist renderings to make it even cooler. It looks like...

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That’s right honey, you can’t win

While I’ve never taken my husband to task for only buying three lemons instead of the dozen I requested (“Who asks for a dozen lemons anyway?”), I have to confess that I avoid sending him to the grocery store because…well, whatever he gets is usually wrong. So when I saw this reusable grocery bag from CMP fave Twisted Twee, I felt like it was made just for me. Or actually, just for my husband. Hand printed on washable cotton, “Whatever I get, it will be wrong” is absolutely right. I think I’ll buy it and stash it in his...

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Now Envirosax is just kidding around

I can’t tell you for sure what longtime CMP favorite Envirosax was thinking with the creation of their new Kid Series reusable bags, but I can tell you what I thought when I saw them: this is going to make demanding help with the groceries even easier! No more bickering about who takes what bag; I can simply tell my daughter¬†to grab the paper dolls bag and direct my son to the rocket bag shown here. Awesome. And I’m sure these eco-friendly reusable bags can do double duty as overnight bags for sleepovers or sub in for a paper...

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The perfect back to school bag–for mom

I love the back-to-school rush–the shopping and planning and anticipation. But because I both have boys and send my kids to a school with uniforms, I always wind up feeling a little short changed in the back-to-school shopping arena. For me, fall meant new shoes and a new bag, always. In fact, I still typically treat myself to a new bag when school starts, just because. This year, I’m totally coveting the Eva Satchel from Ellington, in Italian leather. I have professed my love before for Ellington’s bags; they are beautifully made and well designed and will withstand even...

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The perfect little summer bag, for under $30. Hello!

With a Caribbean business trip coming up (I know, cry for me) I started looking into cute little summery bags. Something just big enough for a room key, a camera and maybe a little scarf for my shoulders should the breeze fall below oh, say 75 at night. When I happened upon this adorable straw bag at J Crew I loved everything about it – the hue of the cornhusk straw, the subtle metallic straps that make it a nice easy evening bag too, and most especially the price. It’s on sale now for just $29. Is it awesome...

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Canvas bags aren’t just for the beach

I reluctantly retired my favorite brown leather handbag for the summer and decided to give canvas a try. And let’s just say, I’m going to have a hard time going back once it starts to get cold again. Indeed this adorable houndstooth bag from Quote still features a bit of leather in the straps and drawstring. But it takes the idea of a canvas bag–which I admit I almost always associate with a more casual, plain beachy tote–to a whole new level. This extremely well-crafted handmade bag features a bright yellow lined interior with a zipper pocket and a...

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Sesame Street goes green

I admit that I’m a complete sucker for most things Sesame Street, even since my kids have outgrown it. And now I’ve got even more reasons to invest in some muppetry, since discovering the terrific new Sesame Street Envirosax reusable shopping bags, found at CMP fave shop Cattiwampus. Aside from the very cool graphics, these washable, reusable bags are a really great way to promote going green, even for the under 5 set (heck, try under 35 set). Think of them for packed picnic lunches, library books, dance clothes, or up to 40 pounds of groceries (seriously). And I...

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Bags with a most interesting birth story

I’m not the flashiest dresser, but I love to wear accessories that have people asking Where did you get that? This spring, the objects of my obsession include Eco Party Mearry’s new bags at CMP fave Poketo! online. Repurposed from Seoul nylon advertising banners that would normally spend the next gazillion years decomposing in a dump, their Recycled Street Banner Bags are each one-of-a-kind, and are the perfect size for running errands or a day at the park. And if you like to pat yourself on the back, tell everyone how the bag is made by a non-profit from...

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Cashmere out, yak hair in

I love all the flower-embellished accessories right now, even if it’s so ubiquitous that Gap and J Crew are all over it. But so are our favorite indie labels. Take a look at this sweet hand-knit rose clutch from CMP’s beloved site, Shokay. It’s soft and unstructured, made of 75% yak hair which is pretty much Himalayan cashmere. The rest is a bamboo fiber. It not only looks beautiful, it does beautiful things, like providing a sustainable income to the Tibetan herders and artisans that Shokay sources from. Sounds like a great backstory for a great Mother’s Day gift....

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Give it a wrist

Last week, I went on a tear searching for sugarless alternatives for my kids’ Easter baskets, to make up for the caloric annual care package from my inlaws.. For my oldest daughter, I was so glad to have discovered the sweet handmade felt wristlets from Cheryland. My near 6-year-old is definitely at the age where less is more, and she doesn’t need room for much more than a couple of bucks so the small size works for her little hands. If you want something a little bigger, grab a pencil pouch which also make a fun gift bag alternative when...

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Mother and child reunion

The world of parents are divided into two kinds: Those who swear by child leashes and those who…well, don’t. Admittedly, I’m in the second camp (wayyyy in the second camp), but I do understand that everyone has their own circumstances and makes the decisions they think are best for their families. Even so, I do like the products out there that help us get a rein on our kids in the least leash-like way possible, which is why I think the new Mother Child Bag has got it going on. These colorful modern totes have both a shoulder strap...

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Spring bags, ahoy!

When I’m window shopping the web, it’s always dangerous to stop on the Etsy homepage, where their editors are carefully curating millions of items down into just the very ones that I have to have. (How do they do that?) A recent find: The bags from Bayan Hippo. The styles are modern, the cotton canvas fabrics are durable and the prices can’t be beat – most are in the $35-$47 range. There’s a lot here to covet, but really caught my eye is the roomy sailor tote bag which has that classic nautical look, only with narrow stripes for...

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