Spring is a great time of year to refresh everything. It’s customary to sweep out the old and usher in the new — and that applies to your wardrobe, too! Who isn’t ready to retire the hefty tote you hauled around all winter and embrace something lighter and fresher for the season?
Here are five purses for spring that are sure to step up your style game, plus seven essential tips for buying a new purse.
5 Perfect Purses for Spring
1. The belt bag
The belt bag aka fanny pack has evolved from surefire sign that you’re a tourist to the mark of an independent-minded fashionista. Consider it an evolution of the crossbody bag. Because we all know there’s not a thing wrong with wearing something that’s cute and practical.
2. The sporty tote
Offering two trends in one, the snappy Rag & Bone 425 Mesh Tote offers an unexpected twist on a classic. We love how it capitalizes on the transparency trend. And, it has a fun and sporty vibe, courtesy of the flexible mesh fabric. This purse also contains a detachable zippered pouch that you can use to keep more delicate items concealed.
3. The spring statement purse
Every girl needs at least one seriously bold handbag to add an unexpected splash of color to pretty spring dresses, basic jeans, and plain white tees — all of your springtime wardrobe staples.
This M&S Collection Mini Tote Bag is a standout in bright candy green, and it also happens to be just the right size to stash your essentials.
4. The earthy beauty
Keep things sweet and simple with a little bit of help from this charming Wondrous Travels Tan Woven Bucket Bag from Lulus.
The compact silhouette makes it a practical option that won’t compete with your more colorful outfits — think bold patterned dresses and flowing jumpsuits. That boxed, simple styling has the feel of a Kate Spade bag, without the price tag. Slip into a pair of matching tan wedges to lend your look a cohesive finishing touch. (Bonus: It’s made with vegan leather for the eco-conscious among us.)
5. The backpack
If you thought you left your backpack days well behind you, you may want to reconsider.
The Sak Loyola Leather Convertible Backpack from Macy’s makes it easy to implement the style. It takes its cue from your childhood staple, but this is very much an all-grown-up accessory that’s designed to lend your outfit a finishing stamp of sophistication. It also contains plenty of room to hold all of your essentials. What more could you need?
8 tips for buying purses for spring
Here are seven things you can do to verify the quality and staying power of a new bag. If you’re shopping online, verify that your retailer offers free returns. That way, you can go through the eight-point test once it ships to you, but then send it back if you need to.
Specifically for leather bags:
- Smell the purse. Leather has a certain, slightly gamey smell to it. If the bag you’re shopping has no smell or smells like plastic, then most likely it’s fake.
- Do the oil test. Rub your finger on your skin or hair and then rub it on the leather of the purse. If it leaves a stain or a streak, then it’s not quality leather and/or it hasn’t been treated properly. Good leather repeals oil.
- Do the scratch test. Gently scratch the surface of the bag. If the color of the scratch is different than the rest of the bag, that means the leather was painted on, rather than dyed through. At some point, the paint will chip.
And for any bag:
- Do the scratch test. Scratch the surface of the hardware to see if it’s true metal or painted metallic. If it’s painted on, at some point it will chip.
- Check the stitching. Gently pull the bag the seams. Does the stitching pull? If so, the imagine what will happen when you put all your stuff in there.
- Put it on your shoulder. Is it comfortable or does it feel like it’s slipping off your shoulder? You’re not going to use an uncomfortable bag, no matter how cute it is.
- Do the fit test. Take everything out of your current bag and place it inside the bag under consideration. Does it fit? If not, you either have to get rid of some of the stuff in your bag (probably a good idea) or move on to the next candidate.
- Check to see if it’s lined. Lining, both in handbags and in clothing, is a sign of a higher quality garment — because it costs the manufacturer extra to add it it. In the case of handbags, lining protects the leather of the bag from the wear and tear of the contents of your bag.
- Keep the embellishments to a minimum. The one thing that can really date a bag is the use of embellishments like feathers or dated fabrics (think stonewashed denim). Make sure the bag has basic, neutral stitching and simple hardware.