Comfort Bags: 5 Great Handbags for Everyday

We all have comfort foods, don't we? Those go-to foods that make you feel just a little better when your stressed, or even better when your happy. I'm a meat and potato girl, and it's very difficult for me to pass up, well, anything carbs really. And that's just how I feel about my trusty handbag.  The one I carry everywhere I go, the one that has everything in it, and sometimes doubles as a baby bag. And if it isn't the bag I'm wearing with my outfit, sometimes I'll just carry it and leave it in the car because it holds things I think I might need. I call it my comfort bag because like comfort foods,  I feel comforted when it's with me. Do you have a bag like that? It's easy to understand why we're so connected to this bag by dusting off our psych 101 books and reading up on  reinforcement and classical conditioning. We get positively reinforced (meaning our desire to take it everywhere is strengthened because we are reinforced by the comfort it gives us), and negatively reinforced (meaning our desire to take it everywhere is strengthened because we are reinforced by the discomfort we feel when we do not have it) to wear the bag. And the more we wear it, the more likely we are to associate the bag with meaningful memories. As a result we are conditioned to feel the same or almost the same way about the bag as we do about the memories (remember Pavlov's dog ?).

I've been on the hunt for a new trusty comfort bag, and found five that fits the bill. Some are out of my price range, but I think when you get a sense of what you like, you can more easitly spot something similar in a lower price range.

Mansurgavriel backpack- Rosa

I found this backpack really striking. It's simple, clean lines, and light pink color feels fresh, modern, and girly. And given that it's a backpack, it's both pretty and functional.

Aridza Bross Anchorage Satchel

Aridza Bross Anchorage Satchel

This bag looks like it was made for wear and tear. But the worn feel of the leather juxtaposed (my favorite word) with the glitzy gold adds glamour to the everyday.

Luca Michele Fussa bag

Luca Michele Fussa bag

This bag has such interesting structure, don't you agree? It seems like an all around versatile bag that would look just as great  at the office as it would running errands.

Just Female Rain Leather Backpack

Just Female Rain Leather backpack

Move over standard locker duffle bag, there's a much hipper, sleeker one in town. Hmmm, I wonder if this bag was inspired by a skunk? Either way it definitely seems like a bag for the ultra cool urban girl.

miu miu handbag

Miu Miu handbag- blush

Yes, yes, and yes. Look at the structural details, the soft, supple leather, and the feminine color. Don't worry if you can't find the right outfit to wear to work in the morning, this bag will definitely make any outfit you have on.

So what everyday handbags have caught your eye lately?

My Top Fashion Looks from NYFW A/W 2015

I've never attended New York Fashion Week, but have always wanted to go. Especially now, since I'm in the process of launching a creative consulting company that offers wardrobe consulting services among other things, I really need to stay current. And what better way to do that than to be at the shows, watching beautiful designs in real time with real people. I can just imagine the energy. But until I get the opportunity to go (which I'm hoping will be very soon), I'll take the internet. And what a buzz NYFW stirred this week. Did you catch it? With all the online mags and social media capturing every immediate moment, it almost felt like I was there. Many of the clothes were luxurious with lots of volume and references to vintage glamour. There were so many great looks to choose from, but I only chose a few, 27 to be exact. So grab some coffee, and sit down with me as I comment on each of the looks in "editor-like" fashion. (All pics are from Vogue, and the links are included in the commentary). NYFW Christian Siriano

This Christian Siriano dress has 1940's vintage appeal for sure. The structured, voluminous wing-like sleeves make it feel modern and feminine.

NYFW Zac Posen

This model is workin' it at the Zac Posen show. Love the tailored fur blazer.

NYFW Altuzarra 1

And who doesn't want a big bright blue fur coat? It looks like so much fun, and I believe in having fun with fashion. See Altuzarra.

NYFW Altuzarra 2

Detail, details, details. And while most cable knit sweaters are bulky, I can really appreciate a sweater that is chunky enough to look warm and cozy, yet slim-fitting enough to be tucked in. See Altuzarra.

NYFW Derek Lam 1

Exquisite tailoring here at the Derek Lam show.

NYFW Derek Lam

This shapely, detailed Derek Lam coat is a modern interpretation of a classic trench—nice.

NYFW Jason Wu

Yesss! Love the gold angular heel on these Jason Wu booties.

NYFW JCrew 2

I adore J-Crew . Here's a great example of how they experiment with proportions, and are still able to appeal to the masses. So fresh and modern.

NYFW JCrew

More lovely J-Crew. And my eyes go straight to the cute little tassels on these shoes.

NYFW Alice and Olivia

Feathers, dots, and leather, oh my! I really enjoy juxtaposition in fashion, and here it is at its finest with a casual sweater combined with a luxurious floor-length feathered skirt. The 3-D dots add interest that compliment the dramatic feathers. See Alice and Olivia.

NYFW Jill Stuart

I must admit, I've been growing really tired of Chevron. But it is too cute on this 60's inspired mini-dress. I wonder if Marsha Brady would have worn this? See Jill Stuart.

NYFW Jenny Packham

Vavoom! Modern glamour all the way. I really love how the skirt has structure, volume, and movement. See Jenny Packham.

NYFW Lela Rose 1

The subtle reference to the 70's, the mix-n-match patterns, and the edgy shoes are all pulled together to create this modern, feminine Lela Rose ensemble.

NYFW Lela Rose

The tassel earrings on this refined Lela Rose dress adds just the right amount of whimsy to keep things interesting.

NYFW Mara Hoffman 1

This Mara Hoffman dress has gorgeous lines. It's like an updated 70's strapless empire waist dress, the one with the frilly layer at the bust. I really like how she structured what was typically a ruffle, and infused it with ethnic inspired glamour.

NYFW Mara Hoffman

Love this easy-going, bold print Mara Hoffman dress. It's reads cool luxury.

NYFW Delpozo

I haven't worn a red dress in forever, and I'm not typically drawn to red. But this Delpozo dress is everything. I don't think I'd be able to wear it because my busts are too big, but it has great modern lines. And the details on the arms are dramatic, quirky and feminine, all elements I love in a dress.

NYFW Marc Jacobs 1

Hello 19th century! (I hate to keep saying it but) Love, love, love.  As a girl who was obsessed with Little House in the Prairie as a child, I have a special affinity for this look. The colors, the textures, the proportions— and is that piping detail on the skirt? Love you Marc Jacobs.

NYFW A Detacher

What's not to love about a matching sweater suit? And that reinterpreted pompadour— very creative. See A Detacher.

NYFW Michael Kors 2

My mom had a cape coat similar to this one but I gave it away. At the time, it was so dramatic, and I didn't think I could pull it off. Darn, I should have kept it. See Michael Kors.

NYFW MillyModern shapes, clashing patterns— perfect. These patterns work because black is the common denominator and balances out all the cool, kooky lines. See Milly.

NYFW Phillip Lim

This Philip Lim outfit is sophisticated and edgy with its burgundy (or should I say Marsala) leather skirt and feathered sweater.

NYFW Philipm 3

Philip Lim is on a roll with this utility inspired, tie-wasted coat. It's what I like to call "the husband coat," the one the Mrs. puts on quickly (with not much on underneath) to go outside for the mail because hers is too far away. (As you can see, I think deeply about these things).

NYFW Raoul 2

Simple and lovely with a little abstract print to add interest. See Raoul.

NYFW Tracy Reese

This is vintage 70's glamour all the way. Love how the headphones add a little urban touch. See Tracy Reese.

NYFW Victoria Beckham

The sleeves are everything in this Victoria Beckham ensemble.

NYFW Vivienne Tam 1

This look reminds me of a beautiful 19th century lady running from the manor in desperation after her parents forbid her to marry her one true love simply because he is the son of a farmer. Don't you get that vibe? ...I really like how the tailored coat off-sets the ornate, exotic flowing dress. See Vivenne Tam.

So there you have it folks. Hope you've enjoyed my pics. What are some of your favorite looks from NYFW?

Different Time, Same Style

Hello. How has your week been? I've been busy with family and trying to register the name for my new creative consulting and wellness company. I never knew how difficult it could be to pick a matching domain name that wasn't already taken. Just a little tip: it really helps if you're company or blog name is specific and not generic, or one word like mine. For sure, I love the name Truly, but I must admit, it has been pretty difficult to work around. It's definitely been a lesson in patience for me, and learning to trust God in the process. Thankfully, I've come up with ideas, and promise to reveal more as things unfold. BUT, I will not be talking about domain names today. Instead, I decided to bring back my series, Different Time, Same Style. It's a column I started some time ago (see the first one here). In fact, I've started a few columns I no longer write because they didn't seem to work. But I really enjoy this one. Different Time, Same Style is where I answer the question, "What would they wear today?" I love history. I find it fascinating to learn about how people did things "back then" and the impact it has on us today. Recently, I came across an online photo essay, "Oct. 1969 Hippie high school," shared by the popular design blog, Design Sponge via mashable.com. It highlighted the impact that the hippie movement had on teenage fashion in the year 1969 with photos that were beautifully shot by photographer, Arthur Schatz. The article made some interesting points, mainly noting that the hippie movement evolved from counter culture to mainstream and heavily influenced the way high school students dressed. Essentially, the mainstream capitalized off the hippie movement by making mass produced hippie inspired clothes that the young generation could identify with and use to assert their individuality. Ironically, because "everyone" seemed to be wearing the clothes, the homogenized look countered the very freedom and individuality that the hippie movement represented.

The article reminded me of the evolution of hip-hop culture, which also started out as a counter culture movement that the mainstream capitalized of off for profit. Eventually hip-hop fashions, originally created to reflect individuality and an attempt to stand out from what was perceived as an oppressive mainstream, is now mainstream. And really, where can we go without seeing some type of commercial, ad, or clothing line that hasn't been influenced by hip-hop.

Fun, young, free, & "edgy" mainstream style

1969 different time, same style2

 pic||clutch|| top|| shorts|| shoes

So when I thought about  what the teenagers in this article would wear today, I thought about the influence of hip-hop and the impact it has on teenagers, who by nature are inclined to assert themselves and push the boundaries of what mainstream, or their parents expect of them. The teens in the picture seem fun, young, and free, and their hippie inspired clothing reflects this. But their clothing is also noted to be more safe and maybe not as authentic as would be worn by true hippies during that time. This complex dynamic is what I attempted to replicate with the outfit above. The high-waisted jean shorts with the lattice crop top feels fun, young, and free, yet there is a little hip-hop edge with the graffiti (which would have never been considered a "thing" in the mainstream back in the day) printed designer clutch, and modern, metallic flatforms that are both youthful, and good for frolicking around. If these kiddos were teenagers in 2015, I think they would wear an outfit just like this. What do you think?

The Loverly Dream Day Style Challenge

This past summer was definitely the summer for challenges. It all started with the ALS Ice Bucket challenge, and then there was the Grateful Challenge, the Nice Challenge, the Pretty Face Challenge, and... after a while I just lost track. But I had no intention of participating in the fad until Loverly invited me to take part in their Dream Day Style Challenge. Loverly is a wedding website that offers everything you need to plan your wedding at a wide range of price points. You'll find tons of great brands, including Jimmy Choo, YSL, BHLDN, and the list goes on. I was asked to pick three wedding gowns and accessories based on three different types of settings. And if any of my outfits catch the eye of the Loverly social media team, they'll post it on their social media site. Pretty cute, huh! But post or not, I'm all for a good style challenge. The settings I was given to work with definitely influenced my choice of dress, but I also picked dresses that simply caught my attention.  See if you can get a sense of my personal style by the dresses and accessories I chose.  Here they are:

loverly beachside bride_edited-17 dressheadpieceshoes bagnail polish

I'm really drawn to wedding gowns that cause a stir, and what better way to create one than by wearing a romper wedding gown (I'm not sure you can still call it a gown, but I'll just go with it). It's perfect for a beach wedding, and the veil, strappy heels, and "something blue" purse are ceremony classics that remind us it's still very much a wedding. Add pink polish on the toes for interest should you choose to go barefoot on the beach. Love!

loverly cosmo bride_edited-11dress headpieceshoes lipstick

Whenever I think of a wedding in the city, I think chic, sleek, and glamorous, just like this wedding dress. And who else would have the audacity to wear red lipstick on her wedding day but a cosmopolitan girl with lots of glam appeal! A flower veil and glittery sandals complete the glam look.

bohemian bride_edited-3

 dressheadpiece shoesbanglesnail polish

I love the romantic, vintage appeal of this bohemian wedding dress. If I had a bohemian wedding, I'd want to be (and look) comfortable, and wear pieces that reflect the free-spirit and eclecticism of the bohemian style, much like the studded headpiece and flats, diamond bangles, and black nail polish.

So what do you think? Were you able to tell my personal style from the dresses and accessories I chose? One thing I look for in wedding dresses (or any outfit for that matter) are unique details that make it stand out from what "everyone" else seems to be doing. I admire when a  person can really express themselves through their clothes in a way that is unique to them, and I try to achieve that as well. You may have noticed that each gown has some type of sleeve or detail on the shoulders. I find those types of dresses most refreshing since there already seems to be a sea of strapless dresses out there.  Okay, now it's your turn. I challenge you to go onto the Loverly site and pick your own dream day wedding dress and accessories. Let me know what you chose!

Personality Traits and Dress: Compulsive Style

compulsive-style.jpg

Well, we've finally come to the last part of our five-part series on Personality Traits and Dress (see previous posts, here, here, here, and here). This series has been so much fun and I'm sad that it's come to an end *sulk face here*. But our featured personality type certainly won't let you see her tears. She is the most straitlaced of them all. Here is compulsive style:

Illustration: Ann Shen

Those with compulsive personality traits have strong perfectionistic tendencies. They practice discipline and self-restraint, and are conscientious about following the rules, or at least desire to be perceived as such. You may call them goody two-shoes, Pollyana, or even drill sergeants but I'm sure many of us can relate to the desire to have things done "the right" way. If you have a predominate compulsive style, there isn't a hair out of place, or an unintended crease in your shirt. You may even be inclined to have matching accessories. You are perfectly prim and proper, and will have it no other way. In short, your outfits always read, "I'm packaged to perfection." Can you relate to the compulsive style?

Personality Traits and Dress: Depressive Style

Are you ready for part 4 of our 5-part series, Personality Traits and Dress? If you missed previous posts on Narcissistic, Histrionic, and Dependent styles, you can find them here, here, and here. This week we're showcasing the downer Debbie of the bunch. It's one thing to feel depressed, but what does depressive style look like ? This is what I imagine:

Depressive Style

 Illustration: Ann Shen

It goes without saying that someone with a depressive style is, well… depressive. Perhaps not to the point where they're not functioning, but they seem to carry with them a sense of doom and gloom. And quite frankly, it’s difficult to feel upbeat in their presence. Most of us have all been down and out at some point in our lives but thankfully many of us are able to bounce back and experience a sense of joy. But if you have a predominate depressive style, it may not be so easy to bounce back, and this may be reflected in your style of dress. If you only wear dark colors or neutral styles, sure you may look presentable, but the lack of joy you feel shows in your clothing. And after a while your drab look may even start to reinforce your negative feelings. Maybe you’ve decided that clothes don’t matter. Or maybe you’ve given up shopping altogether, and decided that the clothes you have in your closet will do just fine no matter how outdated or tired they may look. Either way, you’re outfits always read, “Don’t bother looking at me. There’s not much to see.”

Do you know anyone with depressive style? What has your experience been with them?