Thursday, May 28, 2015

Thinking Outside the Box: Creative Purses and Clutches That Speak to Your Style

    Someone once said to me that when it comes to your wardrobe you're either a shoe person or a bag person.  All you need to do to figure it out is look in your closet and see which one you have in the greatest numbers.  At the time I had one pair of bulky black leather shoes and one desperate looking canvas bag, so I responded, "I must be both...or neither.  Let's go with neither."  Over the years since that conversation I've come to see the value of having different shoes for different occasions; the shoes you jog in shouldn't be the shoes you dance in or work in as  I once did with those clunky black shoes. 
    My attitude towards purses hasn't really changed much.  When shopping for a new bag I usually go with something that works with everything and that usually means black.  I also like it when it has a nice shape when it's just holding my wallet and phone, but it's also big enough to hold snacks, books, and possibly a coat or two.  Bags like that are rare and, well, kind of a myth...

    Looking back I realized these bags were all the same--boring.  Functional, yes.  But who says you can't have function and form?  So, I've decided to abandon the idea that it has to be a solid color or a member of the rectangle family and it's been a lot of fun.  I've come to appreciate these purses that don't blend in.  They have and amazing ability to spruce up a plain or dreary outfit, and even start a conversation or two.  I wish I'd done this years ago. 

In the coming weeks, I'll be posting outfit pics with my new purses, but in the mean time, here are a few of my favorite Stand-Outs:

Nila Anthony
Ms. Anthony's purses come in a range of styles, but the ones that have caught my eye are those which don't look much like purses at all.  I've recently purchased a couple of her purses and have to say that so far, I really like them and they're much bigger than they seem in the pics.  (outfit photos coming soon!)

Available at
Do some price comparison between these sites before buying.  I've found a $10-$15 price difference on the same item.  At amazon, I usually don't find anything when I search Nila Anthony, but a storefront called Ruby's Red Ribbon Sidecca usually carries them.

Lazy Doll
This handmade brand hails from Cardiff, Wales and has a great selection of coin purses, i phone cases, and clutches featuring original painting and embroidery. 

 Dreamy and whimsical, you can find these lovely purses at

Sleepyville Critters
Usually true to the name, these purses mostly feature cute woodland creatures.  But, every now and then you'll see a lemon slice or a box of french fries, or my favorite a hot air balloon.

You can find them on
As with Nila Anthony purses, it pays to do a little price comparing.

Disaster Designs
This British brand has some serious style, and a pretty serious price tag to match.  They come in different lines such as the "Dandy," "In a Nutshell," or "Paper Planes."  And, they come in a range of sizes from small make-up bags to weekend getaway bags.  I've yet to see one of their pieces that I didn't like, and I get tons of compliments on all of them.  I've even had people come up to me and offer to buy my bag or wallet on the spot.  That being said, I've yet to own one that could stand up to everyday wear without coming apart. So, if you've got the extra money and don't mind saving the purse for special occasions these are so creative and get tons of compliments.

Find them at
or you can find a few pieces on

MeDusa Brand purses are fresh, original, and handmade in Israel.  They come in a variety of bright colors and range in sizes from clutches to shoulder bags.  This brand has been around since 2009 and according their shop info page, designers, Gili Rozin Tamam and Adi Gal, named their brand

"after the infamous Greek deity and the Hebrew word for “jellyfish”, MeDusa is dominantly influenced by the all the beautiful colors and patterns found in sea life." 

These bright and beautiful bags are indeed very eye catching.

Find them at

Kate Spade
Ms. Spade is a well known brand and most of her purses are classy, run of the mill pieces, but every now and then she makes some really unusual pieces.

Have an unusual purse?  Send me your pics and I may included them in a future post!

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