Purses, it turns out, are a very odd thing. I don't know if it's just me, but it takes me a long time to find a purse that I'm actually alright with carrying on a daily basis. Much of it has to do with the amount of stuff it holds and in what configuration it holds it, but the other part is much more exacting: will I, no matter what I'm wearing, feel more put together if I'm carrying this purse, or less? If the answer is less, then it's immediately rejected.
I tend to vacillate between very large or mediumly small purses. I either want something big enough that I can carry it to work, stuffed with my lunch and a file with essays to grade in it, or something small enough that I can slip it in said larger bag, but enough to hold my wallet, checkbook, lipgloss, etc.
There are color requirements, too. Absurd patterns are too hard to pull off on a daily basis. I wear a lot of both brown and black, so especially for the smaller bag, it has to go with both. There's a shade of tan that's just right, or you can go with something bright that will just contrast.
Right now I'm using a yellow faux-leather clutch I got at Kohl's with a $10 gift card I got for free in the mail and a large black bag that was a Target collaboration with . . . some designer I've forgotten. However, the clutch is looking shabby and the straps are about to break on the large bag, so I've been searching for a substitute. Or two.
Time for window-shopping. For the large bag, I want something along these lines:
(They are all absurdly expensive, but this one is especially absurd, as it's real crocodile.)
For the smaller one:
This one is a bit big for my purposes, but I kind of like it anyway.
My basic shopping strategy is to notice things I like online that, usually, are absurdly expensive, and then go find something very similar--that looks like it could be expensive--for very little money. The problem with these sorts of bags is that cheaper, decent looking versions don't seem to exist. I want something structured, simple, and well-designed, but most of what is lurking in the places I normally shop at at the moment is plastered in crap, squishy, and made of cheap-looking materials. And, to be honest, after the holiday season's expenses, I shouldn't be shopping for anything new anyway. Curses.