Bag Buying Guide
This guide applies to both men and women and will help in buying the perfect bag without ever regretting it. Some of these rules can also help curb any urges to buy on a whim.
Step 1: Set a Limit
When buying a new bag keep your budget in mind. Do college loans need to get paid off? Do you want to lower the number of roommates you have from five to possibly ‘you yourself and alone time’? The point of budgeting is to make sure you spend your money on the right things. Every month sort your accounts and decide what money will be spent where. Anything left over, after necessities and savings, can be spent on the perfect bag for your personality.
Step 2: Purpose
‘Form follows function’ doesn’t only apply to architecture. What do you need the bag for? If you’re traveling, make sure the bag is light and will fit in the overhead. If it’s for work, it needs to carry a laptop, files, project and personal items. Bags, like any other garment, are made to solve a problem. If your bag isn’t handling something, it’s probably unnecessary.
Step 3: Personalize
What materials and colors go best with your wardrobe? If you wear lots of black and leather, it goes without saying that a black leather bag is going to get used. What cuts and sizes are most comfortable for you? Do you have sensitive skin, wear heels all the time, commute to work? If you can’t carry it for more than an hour, it’s a waste of money.
Step 4: Longevity
Consider how long you want to have this accessory. If it’s a onetime fling with a trend or you’re not sure whether it suits you, buy the cheaper copycat version. If you’re willing to commit and make the bag a staple in your wardrobe, then buy it in a timeless cut and material to ensure that you can use it for years to come. You may end up having to splurge a bit, but if you actually use the piece it pays for itself.
Step 5: Put it to the Test
Bring your regularly used items to the store, phone, wallet, sunglasses, etc. If they don’t fit with excess room you may need a bigger bag. Also keep in mind how much the bag weighs with these items in it. Just like with buying shoes, the bag should feel comfortable and usable; if it’s not up to par it will disappoint in the long run.
Here are my two personal favorite spring bags for guys and girls:
Ben Minkoff Brody Slim Leather Brief, $325.00, Bloomingdales.
COACH Bleecker Daily Shoulder Bag in Leather, $198.00, Bloomingdales.
If you’re still at a loss take a look at these sites for inspiration on trends and styles.
http://www.luckymag.com/ This magazine has great shopping guides.
http://www.style.com/ The accessories section is always stocked with newly designed items.
http://www.thesartorialist.com/ This blog is a haven for street style.
http://stayclassicblog.com/ The very fashionable blog of a dapper LA photographer.
Make sure to take a picture of your favorite spring bags and hashtag them with #cosmiamag and tag us! @cosmiamagazine
I’m a nineteen year old, Southern Californian, professional designer and makeup artist, who is currently pursuing the finer things in life (art, food and travel). Here are some others things that are mildly interesting about me: I am trying to learn Italian and live up to my surname. I will eat almost anything. I have two closets, and I’m working on a third. I collect books and magazines (and apparently closets). So if you ever need someone to eat exotic food with or to translate an Italian magazine, I’m your girl.