March 28, 2014 - Casual Chic Outfit Basics, Style

Casual Chic Outfit Basics | A Neutral Purse

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Before we get to today’s post, I just want to tell you how THRILLED I am by all of the sign-ups for the Style Me Spring Challenge!  As of this morning, there are already over 100 women signed up!  I can’t tell you how excited I am to be your personal shopper and virtual stylist for spring.

If you joined the challenge but haven’t requested to be added to the private Facebook group yet, be sure to do so.  That’s where I’ll be answering everyone’s questions, especially when the shopping list is released.

If you haven’t signed up for the challenge yet, there’s still time.  The shopping list will be released next Friday.  Registration closes at midnight this Thursday, April 3rd.  Sign up HERE so you don’t miss out on the fun!


If you paid for the challenge but did not get a confirmation e-mail with details about the Facebook group, please e-mail me at  Paypal has not been redirecting some people to the registration page, especially those who signed up from a mobile phone.  I will need to manually add your e-mail address to the list. If you’re not on the e-mail list, you won’t be able to receive the daily content, so please e-mail me ASAP to get added.

Now onto today’s Casual Chic Outfit Basic – The Neutral Purse.

casual chic outfit basics button What’s your purse personality?  Are you a girl that needs to have the latest “it” bag?  Or do you carry the same one every year?  Do you invest in purses for the long haul or opt to buy something trendy that can be switched every season?

I’m not a girl that needs to have the latest “it” bag nor am I someone willing to pay thousands of dollars for a purse.  But I do like a good quality bag and I will pay for quality any day.  I also don’t switch out my purse with my outfits.  That’s just too fussy for my day to day.  So it’s really important for me to choose a well-made bag of a decent size, that will hold up well and go with virtually everything.

Thankfully there’s a bag that fits the bill really well for all of my criteria – a neutral purse.  It goes with absolutely everything and looks great season after season.  Plus, if it’s a well-made quality piece, it can last for many years.

Just check out how chic it looks with everything.

 A Handbag for All Seasons – The Neutral Purse

Neutral Purse Outfits [1/2/3/4]

I understand that many of you may not be in a position to invest in bags though and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.  There are so many affordable cute options out there that it may not be necessary.  Here are some great options under $100.

[Jessica Simpson Hadley]

[ALDO Reiten in Bone]

[Mossimo Satchel Bag in Ivory]

[Merona Interweave Hobo]

Here are some nice options in the $150-$200 range.

[Ava Dome Satchel]

[Coach Bleecker]

[Cole Haan Convertible Cross Body Bag]

[Rebecca Minkoff Amourous Satchel]

For the past three years, I’ve carried this Dooney & Bourke bag more than any other.  It’s probably the most well-made bag I’ve ever owned.  The natural color also gets prettier the longer you carry it.  The color looks orange in this photo, it’s actually more of a light brown.

Dooney Florentine Satchel Natural [Dooney & Bourke Florentine Vachetta Satchel in Natural]

The smaller version is beautiful in this bone color.

[Dooney & Bourke Florentine Small Satchel]

Here are some other well-made neutral bags in the investment category.

[DKNY Gansevoort Quilted Nappa Satchel]

[Cole Haan Berkley Satchel]

[Tory Burch Color Block Bucket Bag]


My new favorite bag, the one I designed with Wink & Winn is also neutral but with a fun twist.

wink-and-winn-purse [c/o Wink & Winn]

I’ve been promising you guys a review of this company and the process of ordering this bag since I debuted it on the blog last week.  Even if you don’t order a bag with them, I’d highly recommend playing around with creating different combos just for fun.  My girls and I entertained ourselves for hours doing this!

Step 1 – You get to determine the shape of your bag.  There are nine different styles to choose from.  I selected the large duffle bag.

Step 2 – This is the fun part, designing your bag. You get to create your bag from a choice of 49 colors and 6 horsehair options.  Literally every aspect of your bag is customizable.  The possibilities are endless!  You also get to choose the lining color and if you want gold, gunmetal or silver hardware.

Step 3 – After designing your bag (BTW – it took me days to make my final decision), you have the option of adding customization like  s personalized tag.

Because each bag is custom made it takes up to 8 weeks for delivery.  The cool part is they send you a photo of your bag during the process so you can get an idea of what it’s going to look like.

Sneak peek

It turned out even prettier than I imagined it would.  It’s great quality all around and such a perfect reflection of my personality.  Every time I carry it, I’ve gotten compliments.  It’s really unique and I love that about it.  It is an investment but I’d highly recommend subscribing to Wink & Winn’s newsletter as they do have great sales and run specials periodically.  They recently did a 50% off sale on all styles!

It’s Your Turn:  So what is your purse personality?  Tell me in the comments!

Check out all of the Casual Chic Outfit Basics in this series.

Getting my pretty on with The Pleated Poppy and Fashion Friday.

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  1. I love the Merona Interweave Hobo! I’ll have to take a look at it next time I go to Target. I’m not one to spend a lot on bags. I like a neutral one for everyday and then maybe another one with a pop of color for fun! Great job, Alison!

  2. I am a neatral bag girl 🙂 I switch out between a brown bucket bag, a cognac crossbody, and a black satchel. I did invest in the black almost 7 years ago now and it still looks new. It is from Harvey’s and is a seatbelt bag. I love the look and always get compliments on it. It is kind of fun having something that most people haven’t heard of 🙂 At least in Ohio anyways!

  3. I am the same as you. I don’t have time to change purses so I buy a nice leather one every year or two and just use it until I can’t anymore! That Dooney and Burke one is gorgeous and so versatile!

  4. I love all those neutral purses. I am one who would rather buy a more expensive purse and have it last me forever. I’m thinking I might ask for a new purse for Mother’s Day. My problem is that I’m so drawn to all the fun colors right now for spring and summer but could really use a neutral one. And I’m so excited for the spring challenge to start. So fun!

  5. I have about a million handbags…and I always end up wearing the neutral ones. A girls gotta have options though, right?

  6. I actually don’t own a “neutral” bag, but now I’m thinking I need to buy one because I see how versatile it is. Plus I love a nude shade for spring! The one from Target looks quite lovely.

    xo Always, Abby

  7. I love that Jessica Simpson bag. More and more, I’m finding that I actually like the designs in her line! I need to overhaul my bag collection – out with the old, in with the new – and this one might have to be on my new list!

  8. I have a lot of bags, I used to work for Coach but I find myself going back to my leather camel colored Coach bag the most. It holds a lot but still won’t give me back problems like some leather bags can do. I can not wait for the style challenge!

  9. Perfect Timing! This whole week I have been trolling the Nordstrom’s website trying to find a good neutral purse. I have something in mind but can’t seem to find it. Your Dooney and Bourke looks like it will fit the bill exactly! Just wondering what you feel about the interior size? I tend to like bigger purses that I can throw a lot into. Do you feel like it has ample space inside? Thanks for this post!!

  10. It is funny that you posted this today. I just bought my first Dooney and I dont care for it. I actually sold it. I may try a Kate Spade bag – I love those! But I tend to gravitate toward more affordable bags. I love the Jessica Simpson and the Target choices here. Thanks for the tips! What is your all time favorite bag? Susan

  11. I have been realizing that I need a neutral bag!! Once again, a perfectly timed post from you. 🙂 I LOVE the idea of customizing my bag. Going to check them out now…

  12. I need to get myself a nice neutral. dare I say I’m bored of black as a neutral? I love that one from Aldo and especially the Merona one!

  13. I’m a fan of neutrals in general so a neutral purse is always a plus for me! I love how you personally styled yours. And that is fantastic that you have so many signed up for the styling, I’m soo excited!

  14. Your bag is stunning Alison & you designed it so well with the blue & leopard print! I love the tan hobo bag too! I’ve got a gorgeous tan leather rucksack from Zara which is my bag of the moment! I don’t invest too often these days either but good bags are well worth the money! Ax

  15. I have a great cognac Hobo International purse. I have to Hobo International purses that still look great and in good condition. A little pricey but several years later, still lots of mileage in them.

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