In search of a Brown Leather Bag

Not just any brown leather bag, I want... a bag that looks worn in, not a stiff, small, proper bag - but rather, something more utilitarian. A bag you could pack your life into, a bag that goes on adventures.

All kinds of romantic images come to mind, and I think of what the J. Peterman catalog might have to say about the bag I'm dreaming up;

"You walk the streets, that are long and dark and cold. Foot steps follow closely behind you. You have but one thing you can rely on - your brown leather bag at your side; you reach inside it, fingers close tightly around a knife."

Or something like that. Perhaps Eddie Sherman wrote that one.

I haven't fallen in love with one just yet, but so far I like this Doctor bag from Urban Outfitters (even though $68 is a bit much for PVC), and this La Martina messenger bag on ebay.

*Update* Just went to this lovely local store called Taken for Granite, and saw this postman bag by Big Buddha. Definitely up for consideration. It is also PVC, though it's $74 in the store, and $80 online, ebags is currently having a 20% off sale. There are also some good options on ebay, but the best deal is for the bag in black, not brown. So I guess i'll have to decide what is more important to me - color, or price?

Bubble Hem Coat

I love the bubble hem. I know it gets a lot of hate from some, but I can't see why. The bubble hem is fun, and cute, and while it used to be uncommon, lately it's popping up everywhere. Including coats! Winter coats, rain coats, trench coats, the bubble hem can not be stopped!

Which is why, when I spotted this gem of a coat, I had to make it mine.

This trench coat seems like a rain coat, but according to its tag (which was accompanied by a little bag of fake flowers) it is not a rain coat. It's by Samuel Dong and I picked it up for just over $100 -- which isn't too bad for such a stunning coat, and I spotted it in another store for nearly twice as much. I feel it was a good purchase, because when I put it on, it is instant glamor. I wore it to a wedding reception, and people seemed to think it was my dress!

Some of my other bubble hem finds include this double breasted wool coat from NY&Company - on sale for $90.96, a cute one on ebay for about $50, and if you happen to have a coat that you would like to transform into a bubble hem coat, Threadbanger has a great tutorial.

Really Expensive Boots I Needed

Migliorini Italian Leather Boots, $120 at TjMaxx

Yeah, that's right, I needed them. Winter is upon us, my old black boots are falling apart, and black boots are a winter wardrobe staple.

Could I have found cheaper boots, perhaps from Madden Girl, Candies, or Rampage? Sure. But would they have been Italian Leather, or Chinese plastic?

They were the only ones there, and they were in my size. And they were marked down.

God wanted me to have them, and that's all there is to it!

I love how unique they are, with the bold front zipper and medallion zipper pull. Plus, the small wedge means they will be great for every day wear - which is good because I'm already fantasizing about all the outfits I'm going to wear them with.

Often times when I find something that I consider to be out of my acceptable price range, I'll be tormented by indecision, mulling and analyzing until I get so frustrated I wont buy the thing. Then I get home and wish I had -- because sometimes one really nice expensive item is superior to many poorly made cheap alternatives.

But these boots, I knew were coming home with me.

Fake Snake

I found myself in love with a pink, purple and gold faux snake skin bag by Big Buddha. When I found a Big Buddha bag in TjMaxx this past March I scooped it up and carried it all spring and through the summer. I loved it so very much - and many others did as well.

This time around I did not encounter the bag in TjMaxx, but rather a local boutique who was selling it for $75 (which is less than amazon, oddly enough)

But still, I find myself seeking cheaper alternatives, like this oversized clutch from fredflare, or this larger bag by Vani on ebay - both under $30.

Good things come to those who Ebay

Sometimes, when the closet is rebelling against housing my newest purchase; I must sift though the articles on the tightly packed on hangers and determine if it has seen the light of day in the last year or so. In some cases, things have never seen the light of day - as I never remove the tags from an item until the first time I wear it.

There in my closet I found a red satin shirt purchased last December ($10 on clearance) never worn, in addition to a (rather impulse purchase) pair of green and white gingham ballet flats; which never seemed to go with anything.

So I put them up on ebay, not even hoping to earn money, but just to get them out of the house. Failing that, they would go to the thrift store, but since they hadn't been worn I decided ebay might be worth the effort.

And it was! I got $40 between the two, minus the fees and then rewarded myself with a beautiful laptop bag by Abbi New York. Purchased on ebay for $43!

Perfectly Irregular

If you have never seen a shoe by Irregular Choice, you are in for a delightful surprise. These shoes look as if they could have walked out of a fantasy film; they are just that whimsical.

Mind you; these are not for the faint of heart, the conservative dresser who fears bold statements -- Irregular choice shoes demand attention.

And they should get it, because they are fabulous.

I love the vibrant plentiful colors, the use of uncommon fabrics, the scalloped edges, the cute odd prints, and the crazy cut-outs.

Even the more 'tame' styles still share unique signature elements - like red soles printed with the Chinese lucky cat.

I sadly do not own a pair myself, and simply admire them from afar; they are as so many other things, a bit out of my price range.

All is not lost -- a few other designers attempt to create shoes as inspired as Irregular Choice. While the selection is meager in comparison, they are out there, should you seek them.