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Top 10 Handbag Trends for Spring 2012

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Handbags are a great way to add a pop of color to an outfit and an inexpensive way to keep your look modern and current each season.  Like your clothes, handbags need to be in balance with the proportions of your body shape and size. And keep in mind the functionality of your bag. If it’s too small you’re not likely to use it often enough to justify the expense. On the other hand, a bag that’s large enough to pack for a weekend trip isn’t a good choice for day to day use. We tend to overfill large bags, increasing the weight so much that it puts unnecessary stress on our shoulders which may lead to chronic back pain over time.

I like a medium size bag for everyday use, but to meet the needs of my busy schedule I store two small purses in my trunk, safely wrapped in cloth bags. One is a metallic gold cocktail bag and the other is small, leather cross body bag.  The cocktail bag has a dainty, short gold chain that hangs over my arm, leaving my hands free to hold a drink in one and shake hands with the other at networking events and luncheons.  I use the cross body bag when I’m shopping with a client and on my feet for several hours. Both bags are only big enough to hold my keys, business cards, smart phone, lipstick and credit cards. Perhaps you’ll find a couple of bags amongst the Top 10 Handbag Trends that will meet your varied needs and personal style.

First up are knitted bags in bright colors and patterns. These bags add great texture to any outfit. Choose one that seems sturdy and won’t be unraveling or catching on anything.

Clutches continue to be popular and this season they’re bigger than ever. You’ll notice the black clutch in the photo looks very similar to a briefcase and could actually serve that purpose if you carry around lots of files and paperwork.

Next on the list are printed hand bags in floral and geometric designs. When selecting a print bag, be sure it will mix and match with several outfits so you will use it often. Pair a geometric print bag in similar colors with a floral print dress for a modern look. Or choose complimentary colors, for example an orange floral dress may look good with a printed bag in shades of blue.

Small shoulder bags take up much less space and are very functional. Your hands are free to do whatever is needed and they’re not likely to give you a back ache.

These tiny hand bags are very cute but certainly have limited use. I can see carrying them for a special event when you may only need a lipstick and credit cards since I don’t image they’d hold a smart phone as well.

Fold over bags are another trend this spring and come in a variety of leathers, fabrics, patterns and colors. They’re a chic addition to any wardrobe.

Satchels showed up on the runways again this season in designs to suit most any style. I especially like the brown satchel shown here with the tiny studs and straps. Its business appropriate but the studs make it a bit edgy and more modern looking.

Wristlets are everywhere! This style has been growing in popularity over the past several seasons and you’ll find them in really bold colors for spring. There are lots of inexpensive options in the $15-$35 range.

Totes and weekend bags can carry you from the boardroom to an afternoon at the beach, holding all the essentials for each scenario. This is a great option for Mom’s on the go that need a combination of kid’s activity bag and a purse with a lot of style.

And the final style of our Top 10 Handbag Trends is the chain handle bag. Michael Kors uses chain handles in many of his bags, but in my opinion they’re just too heavy and add too much additional weight to the bag. Those pictured here have smaller size chain links and are much lighter.

Bags are as important to your wardrobe as clothes, shoes and jewelry. A handbag adds that final touch to your look so make your selections carefully.  Let me know if you have any questions or need advice in selecting a new bag!

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