The arrival of crisp autumn weather may be up in the air every year, but at least one thing remains constant: Fall will always be the best time of year for new bags. And by that I mean catch-all totes, funky satchels, luxed-up and slouchy hobo bags, slick messenger bags, artful evening bags and chic li’l backpacks.
For date night: You need something standout but on the elegant side, without being over-the-top fussy. The Carla Mock-Croc Saddle Bag in jewel-tone emerald ($500 at neimanmarcus.com) by Rafe (as in, Totengco) nails it. An extremely strong runner-up: the Kiss Calfskin Hobo bag from Chloe ($1,750 on gretta.co).
For carrying everything all at once: You need it to stash everything from spare diapers and your hairbrush to magazines, a makeup bag and an iPad, and anything else you need. But it also needs to look great. So grab one big, beautiful tote like the Chebeague Tote ($215 on seabags.com), constructed of rich leather and recycled sailcloth. Sea Bags is also coming out with a new line in black this fall.
For that weekend getaway: Versatility (as in, something you can fold up and bring as a spare bag, or keep out and use alone). Lightweight. And with plenty of attitude (deck it out in any of nearly 10 hot hues and your initials). The Longchamp Le Pliage XL Bag ($170 on longchamp.com) is a miracle among travel bags.
For boss lady workdays at the office: I love Chloe’s Black Large Faye Handbag so much, I sell it at my boutique ($2,350 on gretta.co). Yes, it’s a splurge. And with silken leather and bells and whistles like a detachable strap and a piercing chain and lobster strap, it’s a damn fine one at that.
For boss ladies with loads of papers: It’s tough to beat Prada’s Saffiano Leather Work Bag ($2,550 on prada.com). With its unusual number of internal compartments, it’s designed for pros of all kinds.
For the big night out: You want something special for a special night — something intricate. Maybe beaded, carefully crafted, possibly quite shiny and certainly perfectly proportioned. For all that I love Stella McCartney’s New Tiny Crystal Tote Bag ($775 on bergdorfgoodman.com). Once glance, and you’ll get why.
For your laptop: Just because it’s a protector bag doesn’t mean it has to look like one. Witness the MZ Wallace 13-inch Commuter ($225 on mzwallace.com), reminiscent of classic quilted Chanel bags, but that also means it has the padding to keep your tech safe and sound.
For college: Ah, yes — the backpacks. Of course you don’t actually have to be enrolled anywhere to sport the sleek, supercool design that is Moncler’s Kilia Mini Backpack Crossbody ($600 on bloomingdales.com). It’s terrific for long afternoon walks, biking around town, shopping trips and the like.