Choosing To Indulge: A New Bag For Autumn

I love to buy a new bag in September! It’s a hangover from living in the Northeast till I was 30. Back to school, back to college, young professional — in all my shopping iterations I wanted a new handbag for Fall. Now, even though the temps will be in the high 80’s for another month, I still crave a nice, Autumn-y bag to replace my lightweight summer bag.

I enjoy gazing at the “impossibles” that are shown in Vogue and on Instagram. If I were given a fat check, and knocked over the head to become spendy-crazy, I would own this:

Yeah, the Valentino Rockstud tote. Just daydreaming.

In my real life, not-broke but far from crazy-rich, I have just a few criteria:

  • Under $150-ish.
  • Maybe neutral, but not black: a “colorful neutral” like olive, deep red, mustard is good.
  • Medium large: holds all my essentials, but doesn’t resemble an overnight bag, or give me back pain.
  • Shoulder-carry-able. I love the look of Mad Men short-strap purses, but cannot deal with them on an everyday basis.
  • In the ideal world, a stash-spot on the outside for keys and phone.

I have my eyes on these:

This stand-out bag is made from cork, and the site says it’s “eco-friendly, sustainable, very soft, flexible, and durable.” A bit small for my everyday, but still appealing.
This vegan bag ticks all the boxes, and I love, love the bright shoulder strap. Nice price point too.
I’ve always loved tooled leather, such a happy hippie memory. This bag is over my price preference, but so gorgeous.
For casual days and a cool sustainable vibe, here’s a jute bag by one of my favorite brands, Vintage Addiction.
Seems I’m drawn to red this year. I love the shape and perfect size of this daily bag. It’s vegan as well, by another animal-friendly brand, Matt and Nat.

There have been times in my life when even these prices have been out of reach – and of course I love a bargain any day! So I also comb the following for surprising Fall handbags:

  • eBay, for gently used, higher-end bags — there are thousands out there!
  • Consignment stores have great selections at affordable prices ($30-$85 for a “good” bag with a little wear).
  • My hangouts: the thrifts. There is usually a big pile of not-so-great bags, so you have to be patient and eagle-eyed. Ask to see what’s behind the glass at the checkout too. There’s often a lovely, high quality bag stashed away.

“Because I’m still in love with you, I want to see you dance again. Because I’m still in love with you on this harvest moon.”

Neil Young

Do you enjoy a new bag for Fall? Or are you loyal to one or two year-round favorites? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Stay fabulous, xo

Wear what you love, always. Here are some goodies to browse:


Please be aware that links to vendors may be affiliate links. I may benefit from your purchases through the links on the blog. Header image by skivebysonali from Pixabay.

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  1. I love looking at handbags but don’t allow myself to buy them any more — I’ve bought dozens over the years but have always gone back to my old (as in almost 40 years!) black fringed boho bag I bought with one of my first paycheques when I left uni back in prehistoric times. I’ve had it redyed & repaired & the tassels on the drawstring replaced more than once after a cat or dog has chewed them off, but I love it as much today as when I first bought it. But ohhh, the temptation . . . .

    And Patti, may I offer a note to those buying vegan bags: “vegan” is being thrown around as an advertising gimmick & while some of it is legitimately made from plant products, much of it is just PVC, a petrochemical byproduct that’s not doing the planet, us OR the animals any good. If it’s important to you, make sure of your sources.

    • Hi Janet and thanks for your comments. I especially appreciate the info about vegan pieces. The more informed we are, the better. And your 40 year (!) old bag sounds like a wonderful and trusted companion. Stay fabulous, xx.

  2. Tempted to add another bag after seeing your great choices.Like you I also enjoy a new fall bag and have already said yes (great advice from one of your posts) to purchasing a light java color tote bag to add a subtle pop of color to my wardrobe that matches my favorite belt .I really like vegan leather as it is more humane to animals and also beautiful and economical a win win win .

    • Hi Joan and thanks for coming by! A light coffee color bag sounds just right, and versatile. Stay stylish and well, xx.

  3. I always got a new “pocketbook” is what we used to call them. Being from the NE I never realized that most people didn’t have that craving necessarily. When I was in my late 20s, early 30s there was a brand with a French Name I believe initials AE that seriously could last tens of years. It’s trademark was a Burgundy color thick leather. I also had at least 1 pair of their heels. Then there was Coach ( I still have a few), and the best present I got from my ex husband one Christmas was a beautiful Coach briefcase to die for. Your post brought back some good memories. Thanks.

    • Etienne Aigner? I loved those bags, and their shoes too. And a Coach briefcase – that sounds like heaven. Stay well and fab, xx.

  4. In 1990, I splurged on a dark brown structured leather bag & thought I was so sophisticated. I loved & took care of it & couldn’t part with it when bigger bags became popular. I pulled it out of storage two weeks ago when I noticed similarly styled ones popping up. It was like seeing an old friend & I’ve had compliments on it. It was so fun to be able to wear it again!

  5. I am tempted by the Mersi bag. cruelty free. reasonable price, option to add the colorful strap or go more neutral.

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