June 8, 2011

Today's Everyday Fashion: The Purse Challenge





































Call me crazy, but I don't like purses! I know it goes against every fiber of my fashion-loving being, but I have always viewed them as a place to store things, and I use the same one everyday, even if it doesn't go great with my outfit (the horror!). So, I decided to challenge myself this year! If purses are my weakness, then I am going to work on it. My biggest obstacle though - budget. I can't bring myself to carry a faux leather purse (no judgment if you do - that is purely a personal preference), which means I have to lay down at least $150-400 if I want a new purse. And I don't have that kind of cash.

So... lucky for me (and you!) I stumbled upon the holy grail of purses. It's called "It's in the Bag" and they have something I've never seen before - purses in the $50-100 range that are real leather. SIKE. They are totally not real leather, but I can't tell the difference!! I don't know how they do it, but it pretty much rocks my world. I have a feeling that my closet (and outfit posts) will never be the same. We are staring a new era on J's Everyday Fashion, mark my words ladies...

About this outfit: I love the idea of wearing a graphic tee and a pencil skirt like this! I also adore the hat, but I always feel funny in hats (unless I'm on the beach) so I showed it with and without. And the purse... oh the purse! I love that it adds a pop of color to the outfit and is actually part of the outfit and not just a place to store stuff. I can already feel my fashion horizons expanding. :-) 

What is your take on purses - love 'em or hate 'em? Would you wear the hat with this outfit - and if so, where?

Also comes in turquoise & black!


Inspiration photo: Madewell
Shirt: Zara, $13
Skirt: LOFT, $55
Belt: Banana Republic, $30
Shoes: Chinese Laundry/Piperlime, $34
Hat: Banana Republic, $20
Watch: Michael Kors, family gift
Bracelets: Forever 21, $8
Purse: c/o It's in the Bag, $78

44 comments:

  1. I would wear it without the hat, but if you do wear the hat, you definitely need to shop for some veggies at a Farmer's Market. I'm really getting that vibe from the hat.

    Oh, and purses - I love them but I use the same one for 6 months no matter what I'm wearing (unless it's a nice dress.) My purse is too messy to change out all the time. The one you're sporting there is super cute!

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  2. Cute look!  Love the fedora!

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  3. Shoes and purses are my downfall. I have scaled back on my purses since having kids and you have got me hooked on other accessories like belts and jewelry! I would totally rock that hat too. Love it. I would wear it shopping, to a picnic...really anything low key and laid back.

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  4. I feel the same way about purses- they cost too much and I don't like cheap ones. I have bought a few at the Coach outlet that are affordable. You ahve to search for the nicer ones without the Cs. But it's doable.

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  5. I love the purse, especially the bright color! And this outfit together with the hat is one of my favs! So New York....(says a true New Yorker). I can totally see you strolling down 5th  Avenue in this :)

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  6. Hi J! I really like the purse you got and the idea that it adds a pop of color to any outfit. However, I know the place where you can get leather purses under $100. I love shopping at TJMaxx for purses and shoes, and I believe you know that they have a great variety of purses there. What I do - I wait till the item I like goes on clearance and buy a $150-100$ purses for $40-$60. Isn't it a steal!??

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  7. I'm much more of a "one bag for everything" kind of person -- though after carrying around diaper bags for the past 5 years I really need to splurge in a nice new one!

    On a different note - I bought a few belts this weekend because of you (and Julie/Katy)! Now I just need to figure out what to wear them with! Baby steps.

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  8. I definitely love bags.  I am tight on my spending, but I would splurge on a bag that I love.  This bag is gorgeous. It looks like a small version of the MK Hamilton tote.

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  9. Wow, great bag - will definitely have to check them out!  Love the rocker tee with the pencil skirt - so cute!!

    http://sweetandsassy-sherry.blogspot.com/

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  10. You look adorable in the hat, love it!  And that purse is gorgeous!  I love purses, esp well made ones.  I tend to destroy my everyday bags, lugging a ton of stuff in them, so I buy cheapos from Target usually, knowing that they will only last me a year if I'm lucky.  As for my nicer bags, I try only to break them out when I'm not lugging practically an overnight bag around lol!  In the meantime, they live on a shelf in my closet.  I'm really wanting to find a nice white leather bag now....if you see an affordable one anywhere, let me know!
    xoxo
    Lia

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  11. I really love it with the hat, actually! :) So cute. And I agree with Eliana, such a chic summery NYC look. I really love it.

    I'm with you on the bags...I keep the same one literally until it is falling apart. Purses are so utilitarian for me, I hate to spend money on something that's going to hold makeup, wallet, keys and whatever else I have in there. But the website you recommended may just change my mind. :)

    PS. Went and bought a pair of $50 cognac wedges yesterday after seeing you create such awesome outfits with yours.

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  12. I just found your blog via Peanut Butter Fingers and I have to say I LOVE IT!!  Not only are you a genius when it comes to pairing items together, but you buy items that fit everyones budget, YAY!!  I also love that you are from OP, ME TO!!  I grew up right off College Blvd & 119th St!!  My parents still live there, but my husband and I moved to MA a few years back with his company.  Love, love going "home", my heart will always belong to KC. THX!  Beth M.

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  13. jseverydayfashionJune 8, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    That was my strategy for a long time actually! I have been shopping at TJ Maxx on a weekly basis for the past YEAR and have yet to find ONE purse that I even remotely like! :-(

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  14. jseverydayfashionJune 8, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    Beth, thank you for the sweet note! That is too funny because I also went from KS to MA - right after I graduated from KU. I moved to Orlando about a year ago and I actually see PB Fingers fairly regularly. Small world! :-)

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  15. jseverydayfashionJune 8, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    Exactly my strategy up until now - "one bag for every occasion!" I have to say I'm already enjoying having a couple fun purses though. I'm so proud of your baby steps! That's what it's all about. Trying something new and you just might love it.

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  16. jseverydayfashionJune 8, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    Eliana, I totally agree! I would rock this in New York in a heartbeat. It's the suburbs that I wonder about haha. 

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  17. jseverydayfashionJune 8, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    Jo, I agree, the Coach outlet is a good resource! I've stopped in there a couple times over the past year but just never found exactly what I was looking for - and they still tend to be $100-200. Which is a steal if you have that kind of $ available!

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  18. Love how you are inpsired by photos...you did so well with this one, I love your top and bright colored  purse!
    xo Cara
    http://www.afashionloveaffair.com

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  19. I checked out the website. It is so great!! I will definitely be purchasing some handbags from there soon!

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  20. I adore handbags!  I have real leather, fake leather.  If it is cute, I buy!  LOL!  When I put together my outfit for the day, if none of my handbags go well with it, I actually wear something else.  Crazy huh?!  That is how essential I think they are, and I know there are others out there like me.  LOL!  Your new handbag is hot!  I love the color and love that it looks like a $200 handbag!  So happy to see you adding some purses with your outfits!  :)

    www.chicstayathome.blogspot.com

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  21. I love purses, I have a bunch and change daily if needed so my purse always matches. I've been vegan for many years so I never buy leather. I have a few fake leather but I get mostly fabric ones for winter and straw or other woven material for summer. I bought a fabulous lavender clutch at Charming Charlie and some other unique ones at a consignment shop. I don't worry about whether or not something is "real" I just have to like it and think the price is fair.

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  22. jseverydayfashionJune 8, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    It's hard to explain... but there is just something about fake leather that rubs me the wrong way. It has nothing to do with being "fake", I just don't like the texture. That's why these purses - which LOOK leather, but aren't, is pure genius. Exactly what I have been looking for all my life!! :-) 

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  23. I live for purses! I have the same problem though, I need it to be real. I can't do knockoff's, however I recently discovered Target purses!  Their Linea Pelle collection was pretty awesome and I have trouble not spending my entire shopping budget for a year on one bag! I love the orange bag in the pic!

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  24. I love purses but I have a similar philosophy as you regarding their use and cost. I know many use purses as a fashion accessory but I care most about practicality. I did splurge for Christmas 2 years ago and bought an amazing leather (& $400) bag but I find myself wanting not to use if for fear I will mess it up. Can we say counterproductive.

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  25. What a great post! I have enjoyed your blog over the past year both getting great advice and seeing you learn new things too and seeing your personal style evolve.

     I, too, love real leather as it ages beautifully and I see purses as an investment. I think its good to spend money on a good quality purse, over a bunch of cheap ones, and name brands don't matter as long as its a good quality purse and you LOVE it.  I started with maybe getting one nice purse a year ($100-$200) and stick with neutrals that will go with lots of things. Coach outlets have great deals and coupons during holidays for extra 20-25% off already good deals on REAL leather.  Clutches are where I tend to go colorful.  They are a great way to add color an outfit at night and now I use them to match belts and contrast cardigans!

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  26. p.s. I LOVE this outfit. Both with and without the hat!

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  27. I'm the same way--I love real leather purses. I do have a few Vera Bradley purses/totes, but those are just for class. Can I get any more predictable..? But DSW carries a line called Crown Vintage that sells the most amazing leather purses, most for under $100. Ahh, I'm in love. I'm planning to get this one in black: http://www.dsw.com/handbag/crown+vintage+convertible+satchel?prodId=222368&productRef=SEARCH.

    P.S. I really love your purse too. I love the color and design. Crossbody bags are my fav right now! I want to buy it, but the price seems steep for faux leather..

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  28. I adore purses and treat them as collector's items.  Right now there are 7 purses scattered around my living room, all in regular rotation.  Even though a handbag habit can be pricey, I just can't say no.  Some girls love shoes but I'll opt for flip flops and grab a designer bag instead!

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  29. The hat makes the outfit, I think.  And I think it's suburb appropriate, and I live in the Midwest!  (ok, in a college town, but still...)

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  30. Cute bag....I love the photo with the hat, adorable!

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  31. Lately I've been thinking about how I only have one purse and how I needed to add more variety to my outfits as well and like you I refuse to wear anything that's not leather so we're in the same situation J! thanks for you post, I can't wait to see what you do with your purses 

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  32. Girl I Love This Outfit

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  33. Been totally adoring this Madewell outfit  - you have copied it perfectly :) Looks fabulous :)

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  34. jseverydayfashionJune 8, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    Dagna, we are on this journey together. Let's make this purse thing happen! :-)

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  35. jseverydayfashionJune 8, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    I'm definitely a shoe girl, but am hoping to balance it out a bit and start caring about my handbags more!

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  36. jseverydayfashionJune 8, 2011 at 10:41 PM

    Anna, that DSW purse is cute!! If it was gold hardware I would totally buy the black one. I hear you on the price of this bag - but I'm telling you that no one will be able to tell it's not leather. And for $78, a leather bag is a steal. :-)

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  37. jseverydayfashionJune 8, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    DJ, I love this purse strategy! It has pretty much been the way I do it to. And thank you for the kind words. My style has definitely evolved - it started as "research" for the blog, but now I really love trying new things!!

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  38. jseverydayfashionJune 8, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    That's awesome, I will have to check out that line of purses!

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  39. jseverydayfashionJune 8, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    Haha! Yes, if you are afraid to use it that can't be good. We gotta find a balance in there somewhere.

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  40. Love them! When I was working, I would wear a different one with every outfit. Now I just don't have time to change the bag everyday and my bag has to be pretty big these days since it doubles as a diaper bag! Looking forward to seeing how you add bags into your outfits. :)

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  41. dedicated_hositngJune 9, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    nice bag ! the lock is built in in this bag or you just added it
    dedicated webhosting

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  42. i'm with you, i don't like carrying "fake" bags because they look & feel cheap.  what about a cute fun print canvas bag - especially for summer?  you can also find cute laminated canvas bags that are easier to keep clean.  personally, i wouldn't shell out $50 - $100 on a bag that looks like leather but isn't.  i would save my money and do as the other ladies are saying and splurge once a year at the coach outlet (which BTW i have found GREAT deals at on fantastic bags) or discount stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Loehmans, or Norstrom Rack.

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  43. jseverydayfashionJune 12, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    Kellie, I don't know, I've never been into canvas. I love a soft, buttery leather. :-) Totally hear you on the price for the bag not being leather - but the way I think about it is: if no one including me can tell that it's not leather, then what's the difference? For me, it's also about finding a style that I love. It always seems like I'll find a design I like, but it's cheap leatherette. Or, I find a style I love, and it costs $600. I can never find one in the middle, despite trying for years. Which is why I freaked out when I found this company. Their stuff just speaks to me, what can I say. :-)

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