The Weekender: My Search for the Perfect Crossbody Under $50

The Weekender ATG FINAL

{Click image to enlarge.}


I don’t know about you, but I have “purse moods.” This means that I’m often rotating handbags depending on the day, the outfit, or time of year. Admittedly though, ever since I splurged on my beloved Madewell Tote as a birthday present to myself earlier this year, I’ve been using it religiously as my go-to bag during the week. It’s incredibly versatile, chic, sturdy, and holds everything I need to get through a busy workweek. The beauty of this tote is the more you use it, the better it looks. There’s just something eternally classic about worn leather. It was well worth the purchase. (I’m learning they don’t call the place “Madewell” for no reason!)

Random fact about me: I’m not a fan of using small handbags during the week. There’s something so comforting about knowing that I have any and everything I need for any and every situation. The caveat, I’ve learned, is that the larger the bag, the more stuff you somehow manage to add to it because you have the room for it!

It’s a slippery slope.

The weekends, however, are a different story. I HATE lugging around a big bag as I run my errands, find myself out and about exploring the city for a blog post, or heading to a late afternoon movie. I almost always ditch my tote, pare things down, keep it simple, and load up what I call, “The Weekender.”

The Weekender is my go-to Saturday and Sunday small crossbody handbag. It’s function: to keep things light and hands-free (stylish doesn’t hurt either).

Ideally, it should hold my weekend essentials: debit card/cash, phone, sunglasses, digital camera (mine is tiny) for high-quality blog pix, my Kindle (because I always carry a book with me), and Chapstick.

My current go-to weekender that I bought at Forever 21 about 4 years ago finally broke-up with me. (Realistically, anything that last more than 6 months from Forever 21 is impressive, so I realize 4 years for a $20 bag is a considered a lifetime…or 2.) I was pretty bummed at first and even entertained the idea of having it fixed, but I’m sure the cost to do so outweighs what I actually spent on it. Even better, it gives me an excuse to look for a new bag (what woman doesn’t like that!?!) and an idea for a blog post. Win, win.

My four main requirements for my search was that it had to be crossbody-style, a color that would go with anything, on the small-to-medium end in terms of size, and under $50.

So just in time for the weekend, let’s explore my hunt for the new weekender.

What’s your favorite? (I’m always open to suggestions if you have a weekender that’s just FAB! There’s only so many hours in a day and websites a gal can visit on her own.)

Have a great weekend! x

Sources/Links:
1.  //  2.  //  3.  //  4 . //  5.  //  6. //  7 . //  8.  //  9. 

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Crushing on Coral

Crushing on Coral ATG FINAL

It took nearly three decades, but I finally deduced that my favorite color is purple. For years, whenever someone would ask me what my favorite color is, I’d say, “I don’t really have a favorite color.” And though it’s not rocket science to figure it out, I started paying more attention to myself, putting two and two together when it seemed my eye was always drawn to any hue in the purple family.

Case and point: when I moved into my apartment, the first thing I did was decidedly paint my walls a soft lilac, with one big accent wall coated in a deep heather purple for dramatic effect. Many of the dishes in the kitchen are purple. My bedspread is lavender and the lampshades on my nightstand are orchid. The iPod I bought years ago (when you might call me more “color fickle” ) is purple. And the color of choice when it came time to purchase a case for my new Kindle is…you guessed it…purple. Let me preface that my apartment doesn’t look like Barney the Dinosaur’s crib, I do try to balance out all that purple love with lots of golds and browns to keep things from becoming too overwhelming.

Though I think I’ll stick with purple as my official favorite color (since it took so long to make up my mind), I’m currently crushing on corals as we gear up for summer at the moment. Last year, mint green was all the rage in the fashion world and though it has staying power, there’s something about coral that I find to be an equal competitor, if not taking a slight advantage. It’s a shade that looks uniformly amazing on the palest of skin tones, to the darkest of complexions. It represents all the things that I love about this time of year. Coral is fresh, bright and unbashfully playful.

Unlike those early days when I had a crush on a boy but could never quite bring myself to tell him so, I’m telling the world all about my new crush. I just hope my currently relationship with “the color purple” (pun intended) doesn’t get too jealous.

Sources/Links

1. | 2. | 3. | 4. | 5. | 6. | 7. | 8. | 9. | 10. | 11. 12. | 13. 14. 15. | 16.


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Anatomy of a Do: The Overall Comeback

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{photo source: Viva Luxury}

I might lose cool points for this (depending on the person), but there’s nothing that I’m more excited about on the fashion-front than the return of overalls. Yes, you read that right. Overalls.

I practically lived in these during my late teens, and let’s just say we were well into the new millennium by that point to give you a frame of reference, likely making me one of the last people in LA, possibly the entire state of California (that wasn’t a farmer), to officially let them go. I remember proudly rockin’ overalls to my classes in film school, thinking I’d be extra “hip” and don a slightly off-centered baseball cap for added “style.” (Ah, the things we do when we’re young, broke, and trying to find our way in college.)

Admittedly, after many moves since those collegiate years, and multiple closet purges, I could never quite bring myself to throw them out and said overalls are STILL hanging in my closet (albeit deep in the back) as I write this.

Suffice to say, I have a lingering fondness for overalls, though I haven’t personally worn them in over 10 years now. My boyfriend has laughed at me more than once when I’ve mentioned that I’m thinking about buying a new pair and rekindling my secret love affair with that illustrious one-piece denim suit with the built-in denim-clad suspenders.

And I’ve found the perfect styling inspiration from Annabelle over at Viva Luxury on the right way to rock the return of overalls…and keep it 2014 appropriate.

What immediately makes this look very modern and fresh is that Annabelle chose a fitted pair of overalls in a dark wash, with just the right amount of distressing at the hip (as opposed to a baggy fit in a stone wash, channeling 1995).  She keeps that momentum all the way through via the rolled pant legs, which produces a more relaxed feel – and highlights those amazing metallic Armani ankle strap heels, playfully contradicting the overall casualness of the ensemble by including a touch of polished high fashion.

When accessorizing, nothing screams “on-trend” at the moment so much as chunky statement jewelry and the dynamic layering of bracelets built of different styles and textures. Further, so as to not compete with our focal piece, Guess’ Classic Denim Overalls, she opts to carry a light clutch over a large satchel or cross-body to impeccably bring the look together.

What I adore about the styling here is the contrast of ultra glam against super casual, showcasing a creative approach for a piece that many might consider a trend best left in the last millennium. I can certainly see the argument for those in favor of and against its return. Overalls aren’t necessarily an easy thing to pull off. Despite how comfortable they can be, there’s a limit to how and where a gal might be able to wear them particularly, over the age of 10. However, I think Annabelle found the best inspiration I’ve seen yet. I think I might have to take the plunge and grab a pair before the window closes and overalls are, yet again, a thing of the past.

This is the anatomy of a do… and it’s the overall comeback.


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What I’m Lovin’ Right Now

A few random things bringing a smile to my face at this particular moment and interestingly, that thing we call “love” open and closes my short list today. When I saw Frida Kahlo’s quote on an otherwise blah day, she kinda blew my mind with these 12 words.

And speaking of love – if you’re looking for a good Thanksgiving weekend read to lose yourself in something else besides turkey and pie, check out Falling into You, then the sequel, Falling into Us by Jasinda Wilder. I can’t recall know how I stumbled upon these books and I don’t really read much of this genre (other than 50 Shades, because hey, who hasn’t at this point?), but I couldn’t put either book down. Jasinda Wilder has a way with stories. I read Falling into You this summer (insert a handful of other books in between) and I’m just now finishing up the second. Wow! Alert: they’re “steamy!” though not pushing 50 Shades territory…and much better written.

Insert my “Carrie Bradshaw-esque” voice here: “I couldn’t help but wonder…do people actually have relationships like Colt and Nell; Jason and Becca?”

A girl can dream.

Here’s what i’m lovin’ right now…

Blend

Frida Kahlo kinda just blew my mind | ellafrancessanders.com

Blueberry and Jam Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Buttery Vanilla Glaze | averiecooks.com

Black Rutilated Quartz Gold Necklace | Friedasophie on etsy.com

Studio M Moto Jacket | macys.com

Falling into Us | amazon.com

Highlights

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{Instagrammed shot of the Hollywood Sign.}

The first few days of summer were full of sunshine and birds chirping here in LA – a picturesque manner in which you’d expect. Then June gloom took over for a few days (boo) …just before a heat wave that will continue well into the weekend. I’m always surprised by much the weather affects me. I know some welcome the cloudy gray skies, but this type of weather makes me want to stay indoors and watch movies all day. It produces such a lethargic energy in me that lets me know I’d probably die of depression if I lived anywhere else, and certainly limits my options during those times when I fantasize about moving to another city for a while. I’m sure I’ll start complaining shortly about how hot it is, but I’m enjoying the clear blue skies and sunshine in the meantime.

A huge highlight for me since last catching up with you, was that I finally crossed something off my bucket list that’s been there for quite awhile. On a gorgeous Saturday morning I got up early and tackled the Hollyridge Trail – the famous hiking site in the Griffith Park area for up close and personal views of the beloved Hollywood Sign. Full post to come on that amazing experience next week.

I can’t say I’m happy at how fast time seems to be going, but I am happy to bid June gloom goodbye once and for all. This was a roller coaster month for me, in retrospect. Full of good days and bad, but I’m very much looking forward to welcoming July. My summer plans are all set. The 4th is just around the corner and I’m still that girl who totally digs fireworks.

This weekend I’d like to make it a point to get out and enjoy the sunshine with perhaps a book on the beach or under a shady tree at a park. Then once I’ve had enough of nature, enjoying the air-conditioning when we go see Pedro Almodóvor’s new film, I’m So Excited.

Have a great weekend. xx

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{Enjoying Lake Balboa Park on the first day of summer.}

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{In love with my new sunnies from Free People.}

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{Taking a moment to sit in the sunshine – I don’t think there’s anything quite as spectacular as light on water.}

{Experimenting with a quick video clip which I wasn’t going to include – but thought was pretty funny because it’s so bad. I couldn’t keep a straight face and my allergies were killing me that day.

Yes, I did go to film school and should be ashamed of myself.  Yes,  these will be improved. Yes, that Rice Krispies Treat was yummy!}

Effortless Style

We’ve all had those lazy hair days. You know, the days where you’d rather sleep in for another 20 minutes and just throw your hair back and call it a day? I’ve been having those days lately and while I’m all for ease, I do like to make it look like I still put some effort into something that didn’t require a lot of effort in reality. I’m calling it effortless style.

After wearing my hair back most of the week, I decided to put a different touch to my look by adding a simple brown scarf as a headband. It’s a 2 second trick to spruce up a bun or any pulled back up-do. I put on a pair of chandelier earrings to dress up the look a bit more. I then realized this is also a better way to show off chunkier earrings that would otherwise be hiding under your hair. This gave me further confidence in my excuse to be lazy more relaxed. Win, win! I was ready to go in 5 minutes flat, with 20 more minutes of sleep.

P.S. I got more compliments on my look that day than if I’d gotten up and put those 20 minutes into flat ironing and styling my hair down as I normally do. Needless to say, I’ll be on the lookout for more hair scarves and accessories when I’m out and about. I’m loving this newfound effortless style concept. Enjoy the long weekend!