Snakeskin bag held close to the body in mustard...simply delicious!

So, I have just bought the latest edition of the Gentlewoman magazine – A biannual lifestyle magazine which I love for its large, bold print, eccentric design and for the simple fact that it is massive! (It should be, I have to wait a whole 6 months for my next fix).

They also have great interviews. In this issue, they spoke to the previous Editor of French Vogue, Carine Roitfeld about her life after Vogue. Now, it is well documented that Carine does not like handbags because they ‘do not look good’ (said in a French accent). However, now she no longer works for Vogue, Carine is finding that she actually has to wear one to carry stuff around…is she serious? Don’t get me wrong I love Carine, she is delicious, coquettish and beautiful in a seasoned rocker kind of way. But seriously, welcome to the real world!

For those of us who are not chauffer driven, with a small staff to carry our things around – fashion has put the emphasis on the handbag …and more importantly how to carry them.  Forget the ‘IT’ bag, designers have worked with an array of styles and trends, with bags spanning from day to night and encompassing colour, size and different handles.  The best bit is that they all have their own set of rules on how to hold them:

The clutch

The clutch bag is your ticket to fashionista status. It is the bag of all bags for the season and trust me, all the celebs are grabbing them.  It’s a day to night bag, which means that it has the added bonus of making you feel like you are economising when you purchase one, genius! There is one drawback of course, if you don’t want to hold something in your hand all the time because you need to carry a cane, have a guide dog or simply do not have three hands at your disposal (two for practicalities the third for style) you may want to steer clear.

Choose from three styles for the season:

1. Large clutch – This is a soft, pliable clutch that can fit most things in – think of a rectangular cushion made of fur and you’re almost there.  Grab one from the High Street in fur, skin (especially snakeskin) or any kind of exotic texture. If you are not keen on texture, try colour blocking leather instead.

2. Mini clutch / coin purse – Great in jewel tones, embellished or metallic.  This is a statement bag so don’t hold back. Not one for everyday, this bag will carry your lipstick and keys, that’s all.

3. The clutch bag, that’s not a clutch – I remain undecided on this particular trend. This is a bag with handles or straps folded over to make a clutch bag.  There are the obvious benefits to this i.e. you could just fold down the handbag you already have to make a style statement without the cost. However…well, it looks silly. Carry your ‘lady bag’ (fifties style, box bag – preferably with a push clip) as a clutch instead – and don’t forget the gloves and pencil skirt…oooh lush!

Other bag styles…

Oversize day bag – A large bag to be held close and tight to the curve of the body under your arm. Look no hands!

Tote bag or elbow bag – A large shopping bag with straps, to be hooked in the crook of your arm. Go for a bucket bag for shopping chic.

Mini and micro cross body bag – A mini bag with long straps to be worn across the body.  Great for keys and lippy and could actually be teamed with the Tote if you are really clever.

Satchels – A personal fav of mine, simply because they are super practical and just keep coming back. Valentino has gone one better with a gorgeous nude palette whilst Sportmax opted for a bright sapphire jewel tone with matching gloves. Hmmm…I’m dusting off my 3 year old Mulberry.