Next on the clean-out list…PURSES! You should be warned…I love them as much as shoes…if not more!
A purse is a very personal thing. And, what makes it personal is different for each woman. You may have a winter purse and a summer purse…those would be your criteria. Maybe you use 1 purse for everything…(hard to believe, but it’s true! I have seen it with my own eyes.) Maybe it’s an everyday purse and a dressy purse. Or maybe, you think, as I do, that every outfit deserves a purse that will add just the right touch to go from “ho-hum”, to “you look great…love the purse!”

Every woman needs at least 5 different bags. An evening purse, a small clutch in a neutral color, a shoulder bag, a dressy handbag, and an unconstructed cloth tote bag.
I just seem to follow the guidelines a little excessively.

I do not know why I have this affinity for bags, but it started very young. I have pictures of me when I was still in grade school with my purses. And since forever, I have loved me a new purse. Most of the ones I purchased have made me very happy…but some have been duds that teased me and promised things they didn’t deliver. So,I am always searching for that one perfect bag that will truly organize my life…a place for all the essentials. Now, I realize full well that places for the essentials in my bag will work ONLY if I put each item back into its assigned place each time I remove it. That, see, becomes a problem for me because sometimes it is not easy to reach into the purse and find the proper slot. Said item gets dropped into the abyss, and goes into hiding. So, the whole reason for my disorganization is due to the purse manufacturers of America or Italy or wherever. I feel so much better about myself now.

I tend to waver back and forth on the merits of big vs small. For a while I will use the biggest bags I can find and throw everything in there. Then there is the ‘search of the century; when I try to find my wallet…or cell phone…or sunglasses. When my level of frustration reaches a nigh unto dangerous level…I will switch to those wallet bags for a while. They have a place for cards, and money, and change, and receipts, etc. All in one tiny package to hang on your shoulder. But, where, pray tell, does the cell phone go? And, the lipstick?…and the gum or mints?…and the bottle of aspirin?…and any feminine products of your choice? What do you do with those things? You find a small tote to put those things in and leave it in the car. And there it is when you need something that should be with you if you had a bigger purse. So, you keep searching! Where is the happy medium?

A stylish purse need not be expensive. There are great selections at every price point. I find some very cute bags at T*rget, K*hls, and Good*s, and of course, TJ M*xx. There are several great purse brand names that are reasonable, too… F*ss*l (wait till these go on sale), L*z, Br*ght*n (a little pricey), along with many store labels that are very nice. TJ M*xx will have many of these brands in their vast display…I have gotten several of the L*z bags there.

I began purging my closet of extras last year, and have passed these on to friends. The ‘mistake’ bags, I have discarded…unless I thought they could be useful to someone else. Since all my friends are very fashionable, stylish women…I am sure you realize that the bag and shoe should not match. Your purse should be an accent to your outfit…not blend in with it. So, here are my favorite bags of great color.

Then there are times when you just need a bag to carry with everything…when it is not easy to change often. These would be your neutral colored bags…here are the ones I use in that case.

Of course, a little clutch is very handy for events that you are going straight to and back home. I use these for church mostly. I can fit a lipstick, handkerchief, cell phone (on silent), and a few $$. And those little wallet bags, here are a few of those.

And, since I have shared with you my love for denim and black and white…here are those groups.

Oh, and the FUN bags…use these to make a fun statement with what you are wearing! Don’t be shy…show off your fun loving side! These always make me smile…and others, too!

I do have a few ‘designer’ bags…but, I really believe it is just not necessary to spend that kind of big bucks just to tote around some of my stuff. They are nice to have, nonetheless. Here are my very few of these.

I could go on and on…there are beach purses, school totes, book totes, beach bags, computer carriers, etc. But, I think I have probably said more than anyone really cares to hear already.

Oh, wait…I HAVE to show you these…they are too fun! The little straw girl has a hat that moves up the strap to open! And the one next to it is green velvet…wrapped with ribbon to look like a present. The floral one used to be a skirt. I had a skirt that I loved…the fabric was so nice and I loved the colors. But, alas, it was a gathered skirt (which at one time was cute and perky…but as my hips became more and more ‘womanly’, it just began to look very sad..on me.) I cut it up and turned it into a purse! It’s one of my favs.

Remember…your purse makes a statement about the life you lead. Don’t let it get all dirty and bedraggled. That is not who you are. And, if you are not a ‘change me daily’ kind of purse fiend…that’s OK. But, be sure to at least change it summer and winter. Other people really do notice.

RULE # 10…Be sure your bag or purse says the right things about you! Buy the best you can afford.
RULE # 11…Be sure to change your purse seasonally…or more often if need be.
RULE # 12…Match the ‘type’ of purse to the activity.
( EX: you would never carry a leather hobo bag to a formal event…or take a velvet evening bag into the workplace.)

All of these purses are happily moving with me to the Creek House, where I have a wonderful room just for them and their shoe cousins…with wonderful cubbies for them to reside in…just waiting their turns to venture out into the world on my arm…or shoulder. But, thanks to you…they are now all sorted and separated and anxiously awaiting the move. Oh, and I did purge about 14 more from my collection. Thanks!