Handbags. They've become necessary accessories for every occasion: a tote for work, a cocktail clutch for evening, a weekender bag for travel. The list goes on and on. And most of us own more than one handbag. In fact, many of us collect purses like we collect shoes ... the more the merrier! Here are some of the best "power" bags to collect this fall fashion season:
—The Satchel Tote. It's one of our favorite "all-around" handbags — a carry-all for the office, for shopping, for everyday wear-and-tear. This is the bag we stuff it all in. This fall, you'll find that the newest totes are a little more structured in silhouette, embossed in luxurious leathers, trimmed with fur and dripping with tassels and fringe — essential elements in the most fashion-forward wardrobes inspired by the return of '70s style.
—The Graphic Bag. Think bold colors, stripes, dots and checks. The graphic patterned clutches or top-handle, ladylike handbags may not be the bags you grab every day, but they will definitely make a statement when you want to have fun with fashion. Add a chain strap for even more up-to-date style.
—The Colorful Bag. Purses have moved way beyond the basic black that many of us have depended on for years. These days, think rich reds, gorgeous greens, beautiful blues, pastel pinks, burnished browns or even vibrant neon hues. A pop of color in your handbag can give your whole wardrobe — especially if you like to wear neutrals — a fresh new look.
—The Cross-Body Bag. Another classic that harks back to the 1960s and '70s, the longer straps and smaller bags are perfect for everyday excursions, lightening up the load for many of us who carry big bags on a regular basis. These new cross-body bags are turning up for fall in buttery suedes and exotic leathers trimmed with the trend of the year — fringe and tassels.
—The Ladylike Bag. These are the structured top-handle bags that take any outfit up a notch in ultimate chic. Round handles and boxy square shapes add a touch of retro mod chic. Even some cross-body bags get the top-handle treatment this fall. One of the hottest designer bags that is sure to be copied everywhere is the Louis Vuitton leather denim look that is a celebrity favorite.
—The Supersized Clutch. While some satchels and cross-body bags are getting smaller and smaller, many designers are taking the "bigger is better" approach with large clutches that hold much more than just lipstick and a cellphone. These handbags are great for those days when you need to go straight from work to dinner. And in colorful graphic designs, they're even more hip.
—The Updated Backpack. No, you don't have to look like you're heading back to high school with these cool knapsacks. Lush leather, metallic hardware and top handles give these backpacks a whole new elegant lease on fashion life — all grown-up.
—The Furry Handbag. Whether you go faux or go real or add a touch of shearling, the fur is flying off the shelves this fall in handbags that get the full fluff treatment. From small, cross-body bags to sleek clutches and puffy totes, there is a furry purse out there for every occasion. Warm up to one this fall!
To find out more about Sharon Mosley, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.