Fashion with Justine Jamieson
Bags are as important as any part of the wardrobe. They express who we are as an individual: do you like to be well prepared and carry everything but the kitchen sink? Or are you a minimalist?
It's important to psychoanalyse yourself before you go shopping for the perfect bag. Try to not impulse buy.
I know my friend, a self-confessed “bag lady”, will disagree with me, having spent $500 on a bag in Rarotonga. Now, everyone has their favourite accessory and if you are like my friend Sari Hodgson, then bags are more like wearable art than just a piece of clothing.
If bags are your thing and they make you happy, then spend up a storm. You can justify it as bags will probably be the most worn item in your wardrobe - and justification is key when making yourself feel good about a purchase. This spring-summer, handbags are in a multitude of colours: bright candy colours, stunning neon or pretty pastels.
There is an array of texture and prints this season, the most favoured being faux reptile, floral designs or perforated leather and old-fashioned meets new fashion with plenty of vintage inspired designs in our local retail stores. Check out the hottest trends of the season that will reflect your own personal style below.
If you are the girl scouts of the bag world, friends can risk being unprepared when you are out and about: deodorant, safety pins, wipes and even an extra sweater; you-name-it you-got-it.
Huge bags will not be very popular during this spring/ summer but average-sized totes will.
Opt for vibrant hues to stand out from the crowd or some of the latest pastels or play it safe with a neutral tone if you want a bag you can accessorise every look with.
There are lots of textured totes around - my favourite is the perforated leather styles.
Check out the massive selection at Taylors We Love Shoes.
What more does a girl want but her lippy, credit card and cell right? If you're a minimalist - but still have flair for femininity - then clutches are right for you.
This season's clutches are large or small, depending on the occasion.
For a day opt for a large envelope style clutch in a bold colour or two-toned leather. Another favourite is faux reptile print in all sorts of pastels or bold colour. Wristlets (clutches with a strap around the wrist) are perfect for women who often lose things and will be very trendy during spring/summer 2012.
For evenings you may want to choose from a selection of jewelled, elaborate vintage-inspired pieces, faux crocodile or snake, or opt for the metallic mesh or rhinestone of the 1940s.
Another trend you may like is the 1950s-inspired ladylike handbags with rigid top frames, some in gorgeous embroidered designs or solid colour.
Check out the alga berg selection at Shine.
Prefer grunge over glamour?
This is for the girl who tends to dress down and always looks effortlessly cute.
Satchels unexpectedly carry a lot of stuff but still look neat to bounce around on your bum. You are spoilt for choice this season. There are plenty of 70s-inspired styles in tons of colours: bold coloured leather; printed canvas fabrics; broderie embroidery or floral fabrics teamed with leather. There are lots of pastel colours and heaps in vintage floral.
Check out the Nancy Bird selection at Shine.
Sassy shoulder bags
If you are a classic woman, you've probably always chosen quality and traditional style handbags as they will take you through a few seasons, and you favour neutral tones such as brown or black. Shoulder bags have always been in vogue but this season small shoulder bags are on trend.
Another trend this season is the chain-handled bag. Chanel first introduced chain handles and they have always been popular with the most glamorous fashionistas.
A chain often makes the bag look even more luxurious than it really is.
Try to jump out of your comfort zone this season and grab a vibrant hue to mix and match with coloured apparel prints, or to liven-up the most basic outfit or opt for glamour with a chain handle.
Check out the huge selection at Taylors We Love Shoes.