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    Paring Down A Purse Fetish how much is too much


    Dear Sharon: I have recently simplified my wardrobe and have a closet with everything I absolutely love. Suddenly, getting dressed is so easy. Now I need to do the same for my handbags.

    I presently own about 50 designer bags (Louis Vuitton, Longchamps, Coach, Chanel, Kate Spade, etc.) and it’s a pain to store them. I want to simplify, but I am having a hard time.

    My question: How many handbags do you need for a great basic simple wardrobe? Before you answer, here’s some info about me:

    I am a town and country style, mother of a four year old and one year old, so I favor large totes (I hate diaper bags). I love bags that hold their shape and are easy to wear and get things into.

    I have everything from the classic Dior shoulder bag to a Coach backpack. And, I also have totes and fun fabric bags in bright colors. Help me pare down to the basics. – Fashion in the Bag (San Mateo, Ca)


    Dear Fashion in the Bag: A girl reaaally only needs from one to three handbags for a basic handbag wardrobe: A super sporty one (like your backpack or a roomy tote), a more classical one (like your Dior shoulderbag or a DKNY Regency Bag), and something for eveningů just incase.

    However, for a styling diva with a yen for pocketbooks…the want factor is unlimited!!!

    I, too, am a handbag ho.

    However, in actuality, I really only regularly use one trendy bag a season that holds a whole lot of junk that I can easily find, looks stylish, fits comfortably on my shoulder, and pretty much goes with most of my wardrobe.

    What about the bounty of bags-designer and vintage-that I “can’t live without”? They are waiting for those moments when I want to dress an outfit up, funk up basic black, or look more business-like than usual.

    Do not underestimate the power of a purse- the right bag can make or break an outfit. Too often, handbags are left as an afterthought to an otherwise gorgeous look and, SMASH, BAM, POWů your chic factor just disintegrated to dust.


    What’s in the bag for winter 2001 handbags:

    *Hobo-The most versatile soft shape with a shorter shoulder strap.
    *Size matters-bigger is finally better after seasons of teensy-weensy
    *The baguette endures- the little bag that tucks under your arm may not be cutting edge, but inches to classic status
    *Hand in- From long shoulder straps to little round handles and the ever-elegant clutch
    *The doctor is in – Framed doctor bags with a lot of hardware look like smart city chic
    *Details- Studs, gathers, schoolboy buckles, top stitching, embroidery, fringe, and plaid
    *Sexy geek- computer bags revel in high design, check out the Samsonite Computer Bag


    Bags can start to clutter up if you are not using them. Have a basic wardrobe of what you know you really will wear and keep some of the more unusual bags on hand to wear when the mood strikes. Donate the leftovers to charity or sell the more name-worthy ones online or at a consignment shop.
    If there are those bags you just can’t bear to part with, stock them away for a season or two. If you find yourself rustling through the pile for your red-satin heart bag, it’s a keeper. If you can’t even remember buying it, ditch it!


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