To Have and to Hold

Oversized totes are huge (literally) for fall. Photo courtesy Harper's Bazaar

When the government issued a plastic bag tax last year, I was relieved.   I knew that the 5 cent charge was a little step in the right direction for our environment, slowly training us to be eco-aware.  And yet, I have to admit, my relief was also aesthetically motivated.  I mean, a plastic bag can wreak serious havoc on a great outfit.  You could be wearing a Giambattista Valli frock with rockstar Louboutins but carry a plastic bag and you might as well be wearing jogging pants.  

A great bag, as it turns out, is as essential as wearing pants.  Instead of being an afterthought, a beautiful bag should be at the top of your priority list when getting dressed since great shoes and a good bag can make even jeans and a tee look spectacular.  And the great news?  The right bag doesn't have to be a Mulberry or Marc Jacobs.  And it certainly doesn't have to be splattered with overt logos, be they Gucci G's or Coach C's.  Instead, look for a beautiful silhouette, a colour that makes you happy, and a design that makes practical sense for your life.  Choose right, and your bag will be something to have (and to hold), from this day forward, forever and ever (or at least for the next 5 years), Amen.  

Want to look current for fall?  Here are some of the top trends we saw on the runways this season:

1) Black Bags - After so many seasons laying low, black bags are back in a big way.   Bonus:  they're classic, weighty and go with everything. 

2) The Top-Handled Bag - Ladylike and practical, these totes meld form with function.  The Doctor's Bag is particularly hot for 2012.

3)  Spicy Colours - Look for shades of turmeric yellow, saffron orange, and rich cayenne to add a pop of colour to your wardrobe this fall.  Rich shades of bordeaux are also having a major moment this season.

4) Overt Embellishment - Bags loaded with embellishments, from studs, to fringe, to beading, to fur, are unapologetically busy and add dimension to any outfit.

5)  Metallics - Shades of metallics, but particularly gold with black clutches or chain-handled bags, are perfect for busting out after dark. 

6) Oversized Everything- This fall, the bigger the bag, the better.  Look for massive silhouettes, from totes to oversized envelope clutches to hold all your stuff, with room to spare

7) Jewel Tones - Rich purple, emerald green and ruby red will go beautifully with all the jewel-toned separates hanging from the racks this fall.  

Ready for a brand new bag?  Click on the thumbnails below for 30 chic beauties from White Oaks Mall you might want to carry home this fall (Bags from Town ShoesALDOLe ChâteauRootsDanierCoachClub Monaco and Smart Set