By Nancy C. Molina
How do men survive without a handbag? Granted they have pockets, and what designer these days dare make a dress, or ladies’ trousers, without pockets I want to know!
But still, cell phones, chargers, lipstick, moisteners, a notebook, pens, mints, a barrette, sunglasses, tissues, an extra pair of earrings. Where are women supposed to carry those? A handbag of course.
As long as it’s summer, why not buy one with flowers, whether decorated with goth leather do-dads, a stunning minaudiere, teeny bags barely bigger than a billfold (but with handy crossbody straps so you can still hold a glass of wine and your cell phone), or perhaps something big enough even your grandmama would have enough room for her necessaries.
Here are my picks to add a handbag to whatever you are wearing, and to up the flower power quotient.
Luxury craftsmanship meets the whimsicality of hand-positioned leather blossoms on a charming little silhouette that re-imagines a beloved Coach design from the 1970s. The bag is crafted in modern glove-tanned cowhide with an iconic turn lock and a chain strap woven with a slender leather ribbon. $595
Commentary: Having a handbag with flowers that literally stands out is not seen that often. Wearing this with a dress that is not too over the top will transform the look into an #ootd moment. (outfitoftheday)
The Flora Bouvier Hobo bag has gold-toned hardware, black leather trim, single flat shoulder strap with buckle adjustment, beige canvas lining, dual pockets on interior walls; one with zip closure and clasp closure at front flap. Pre-owned. Includes dust bag. $800
Commentary: The intricate colors and versatile function of the bag makes it one you would wear on every summer day. I selected this because of the array of distinctive flowers on the canvas.
Judith Leiber’s small evening clutch, six-inches round, was crafted in Italy to resemble a blossoming rose with stem detailing in the back. This style is hand-beaded with Swarovski crystals to reflect light in all directions. Wear yours with crimson, white, even cream. $4,995
Commentary: Honestly this really caught my eye. First, it’s a rose and then it’s a clutch, or minaudiere, for those who prefer to speak pretension with their fashion. What more could a girl want? And it is handmade with Swarovski crystal beads. Why they don’t just say “beads” instead of “crystals” is beyond me. Swarovski makes beads, charms, buttons. These flat-sided beads have 16 facets. I counted. How’s that for bling? I’m telling you, love can be found!
Dolce’s Sicily bag is printed Dauphine Calfskin. As long as Dolce & Gabbana are decorating their garments with flowers, they might as well throw in some handbags. This comes with matching dust bag. $1,317
Commentary: This reminded me of a vintage, slightly 80s, rocker-chic look, but is still keeping it classy in 2019. It’s a bag that will produce stares and will intrigue rose lovers.
A white leather bag, just five inches tall, from luxury brand Dolce & Gabbana, with a charming floral print. It has a carry handle and an adjustable and removable shoulder strap. There are magnet popper fastenings and a gold DG logo on the front. $540
Commentary: A crossbody that can complete an outfit? Yes! The flair of colors can complete a white outfit or you can bring all your colored accessories together, with this one bag. And such a lucky girl!
A pre-owned gorgeous Chanel canvas print bag in excellent condition. Yellow canvas exterior with blue leather-and-gold chain handle. CC logo. Tags attached, authenticity card and care booklet. Hologram intact. $3,935
Commentary: Can we just bring back the 70s for a day or two? For me this bag will complement any themed look and motivate the edgy/weird side of my mind. Yellow brings out that inner happy feeling inside of us, you know?
Leather, interior zip pocket, magnetic snap/fold, adjustable cross body. $198
Commentary: Flowers aren’t all over this bag, but they are on the flap. A design that makes it easy for those who only want to add a touch of flowers. Perhaps an aunt who needs something for church?
It’s small, just 5.5 inches tall and 6 inches wide. Featuring an adjustable shoulder strap (detachable), a curved handle and an internal slip pocket, the Eartha Mini bag is made of dark yellow honey-colored calf leather with floral appliques. $276
Commentary: This is for the fashion week fiends and collectors. A distinct design that will cater to those who want spunky and eccentric style specifically for this summer.
Coach has once again captured a guilty pleasure. Here is a tote with leather handles, but a faux leather body, which means it can go into the garden, to the beach, all without fear of getting wet, stained or misshapen. It even lies for you when it says “Leatherware.” $117
Commentary: We all want a bag that you can throw all of your go-to essentials into, i.e phone, makeup, wipes and infinite amount of backup chargers. Why receive only one rose when you can receive a bouquet of them? This might be the winner for this summer.
Just when you thought you didn’t need another bag; this floral printed leather piece proves you oh so wrong. It serves up the slouch for a relaxed, yet elevated, appeal and comes with a silver chain strap to keep you extra cool. $378
Commentary: Whoa, a silver chain you say? How can one make a floral print edgy and defined? Add the silver touch expertly, as Karlie Chan has, and you’ll be rocking the day away. My #1 bag on the wish list.