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choosing the perfect accessory for your capsule wardrobe

so if you haven’t looked me up on linkedin yet, and i know some of you have

you’ll know that i’m a fashion professional, with a specialty in bags

bags, small leather goods, tech accessories, and shoes are my passions!

after beginning my career in home goods, which was an interesting world, i found myself in accessories at a lovely brand you may have heard of, called coach

not only did i fall head over heels in love with handbags but i also learned the necessity of finding the right pieces to carry your stuff

while you are creating your capsule, you will get to the point where examining your accessories is necessary

what accessories do you wear the most and why? what accessories do you wear the least and why?

so we’re going to dive a bit deeper into handbag trends

as well as some accessories that you may want to add to your capsule

just like every piece in your capsule

all of your accessories should be pieces you cannot wait to wear

and just like your clothing

when choosing accessories

you are looking for pieces that fit a specific criteria

they should coordinate with the colors/prints in your palette

the item should be large enough or small enough to fit what you need to carry



sorry to yell, but that’s a pain-point for me

the accessory must fit your formulas, therefore, must function well in your lifestyle

there is a bag silhouette for each purpose of your life

instead of going through each silhouette, like the bag nerd that i am, i’ll break them down by their size and function

excluding overnight bags and travel bags (which we may cover in another blog post)

these are the essential bags for the capsule wardrobe for black girls

an "urban woman on the go" essential handbag capsule

you should have all of these or most of these in your wardrobe

let's begin with the workbag

also known as the carryall bag

this one is a personal favorite of mine

from a tote, like the telfar shopping bags

to the perfect lady briefcase, like the gorgeous creagh workbag

the point of a carryall is to fit all of your business and leisure items in one place

a workbag should fit your laptop or tablet, or the many variations and hybrids

it should fit a notebook for notes, a full sized notebook preferably

it should fit at least one mobile phone, if not two

have pockets for pens and cables, or fit a pouch comfortably that fits that purpose

even a small umbrella for those not so nice days

it should fit comfortably over your shoulder

whether it closes completely at the top or remains open

there are many different sizes and shapes for different uses, but this is an essential bag

next, is the everyday

this is a bag just slightly smaller than your workbag, that fit almost everything a workbag does, except for a laptop and full-sized notebook

it is the most popular and most used bag in your closet

it can be a satchel, a small tote, a bucket, a saddle, a flap, camera bag, or a hobo

you’ll probably have multiples of these in different sizes and shapes

it should fit a full sized wallet – where you currency does not have to be folded to fit in

a makeup case

at least one mobile, maybe two

a small book

it’s the bag you commute with, if you actually have an office to go to…

office? like… what are those?

the bag you take to brunch if you have a long ride and need that book to read

it’s the bag you take to your house of worship (you always have treats at the bottom)

the bag with just enough space for what you need

my favorite functional everyday bag is the mini kit from OAD

the mini bag

also known as the date bag

this can be an evening bag, depending on the materials used and formulas worn

but the purpose of this bag is going out

a mini bag is required by almost everyone

it should carry at least one mobile, your keys, a small wallet or card case, and a lippie

if you cannot fit a small wallet or card case, those pockets and credit card slots should be built into the bag

if you can find one with a removable strap, that’s golden

you can carry it as a clutch!

isn’t that perfect?

my fav is from kate spade

not just because i worked there for years

but because they perfected the chain wallet and chain clutch bags

one of my favorites is the spencer python embossed chain wallet

the canvas bag

you must have a dozen of these, I know I do

my fav canvas bags come with a logo or statement and are as large as a workbag

these should be washable and foldable

i always carry at least one folded tote wherever i go

they make the best shopping bags

many brands make them, my favorites are the free ones you get filled with goodies at festivals

which i hope return in the very near future!

so that’s it…

in a capsule wardrobe, you only NEED these four bags

now how many of each of these do you need?


that’s an entirely different story

capsule wardrobe for black girls does not believe in minimalism

you should have as many or as little as you want

as long as they meet the needs of your formulas and fit your capsule wardrobe criteria

the editorialist did a great job outlining “the best designer bags of 2021 to invest in now and love forever”

this list should help you chose the perfect handbags to partner with your formulas and round out your capsule

let’s go through the highlights from this list

first, the icon

this is the bag that you covet the most in your capsule

a “timeless, classic, iconic” bag that you really adore

for some, this would be an hermès birkin or kelly, for others, it would be classic michael kors tote

this bag should appreciate in value (in your eyes)

it should be an investment

for me

this was an investment i made even before building my capsule

my icon bag, is the coach delphine bag in snake

and it was a sample, of course!

made by the ico

nic former creative director, reed krakoff

it was featured in the new york times for god sakes!

it’s the bag i covet the most

what is your icon bag?

second, the retro revivals

a throwback from the 90s or early 2000s with retro nostalgia

think coach classics, classic prada nylon bags, dior saddle bags

preferably thrifted

my fav retro bag is the coach willis top handle bag

what’s yours?

next up are clutches

not the most practical, but a great clutch can elevate any formula

try a gorgeous soft oversized clutch

maybe with a detachable strap so it can be worn as a shoulder bag as well

my fav? the proenza schouler chain tobo bag

next are saddle bags and bucket bags

these are classics! they never go out of style

saddle bags are modeled after the bags on the sides of saddles that kept the riders’ hands free

dior’s saddle bag is classic, but my fav has always been the coach versions saddle bags for the last few years

this is their newest iteration is the beat saddle bag

bucket bags were actually designed to hold champagne bottles

zip top or cinch, these iconic bag give a great added flair to a formula and are usually superior capacity

the most well known is made by louis vuitton

but, my personal favorite is the apc courtney bags

the fifth is the top handle bag

these are the “ladies who lunch bags”

small bags that normally have an adorable handle and small feet on the bottom with a structured look

they instantly dress up any formula and add polish