Thursday, July 29, 2010

She's Got It In the Bag


red vinyl laptop bag (Vie via Target)
clear acrylic beaded necklace (Kohl's)
black cami (Old Navy)
black and white print wrap dress (Target)
black patent belt (H&M)
black leather wedges (Lauren Ralph Lauren)

While wearing this black and white ensemble, I was extra conscious of the red laptop bag I've been carrying to my summer class.  I've said before that I find myself gravitating toward classic black and white combinations fairly often, and though I don't think this look "needs" a pop of color, I do like what the bag adds to the outfit.  I've been carrying this bag (which dates back to my days as a high school teacher) because my giant German textbook doesn't fit in my favorite scholarly bag or my new summer staple, and it has has reminded me what a big impact colored accessories can make.

Since I was thinking about my bag, I looked around my class and realized that the bag is another thing that sets me apart from the undergrads; every last one of them has a backpack!  Last week, when I was thinking and writing about why I might have been mistaken for the instructor, it didn't even occur to me that this bag might have been the (mis)leading indicator.  I think I might have been oblivious to the ubiquity of undergrad backpacks for two reasons.  First, I carried a messenger bag in undergrad (yes, I went to school during the four years when those were cool), so I haven't carried a backpack myself since high school.  And since my own high school students weren't allowed to bring their backpacks to class, backpacks haven't been on my radar for about ten years.

This easy wrap dress has been a staple in my wardrobe for years, so I'm kind of surprised that this is the first time it has found its way onto the blog.  It was actually one of the first things I bought when I decided I was going to make-over my wardrobe to look more tailored and professional.  A friend of mine who still teaches high school was just telling me that lately, she finds herself more and more drawn toward buying dresses instead of separates (Hi Danielle!).  I think a few versatile jersey dresses are definitely good foundational pieces for building a professional wardrobe.

And look at that-- we've surpassed 100 posts on the blog!  When we started writing, we had no idea what kind of response we would get, but we continue to enjoy your participation in these conversations.  You all reassure us every day that there are plenty of other intelligent, critical, serious thinkers out there who also nurture an interest in style and fashion, and we're so glad to have found you!

  • Do you prefer carrying a shoulder bag, a backpack, or something else?  Or do you switch between different styles of bags depending on the event?  I carry single strap shoulder bags almost exclusively, but I do like that double strap bags tend to be easier to keep on your shoulder while you're rifling through them.
  • Do you have any suggestions for our next 100 posts?


Katie from Interrobangs Anonymous said...

Wow - you look goooooood! (note: that's not to be read in a creepy way, only a highly appreciative way). Red, black and white is so clean and modern looking, and I love the idea of putting a belt over a wrap dress.

Sara said...

Congratulations on passing the 100 post mark! I have fallen in love with this blog, so I look forward to the next 100+ posts.

I agree with you - black and white does not need a jolt of color. The combination just works, like it does in your dress, on its own. But I love the bright, saturated red your bag brings to this look. The look stands on its own without the bag, but the bag brings something different to it. I love that!

Reiko said...

I love the red bag with the dress! Red and black is such a great color combo.

In response to your question, I'm a grad student, but I typically carry a backpack because I ride my bike to campus. But, on a day where I need to look really pulled together, a bag is definitely the way to go over a backpack.

Sarah said...

For the most part I am a shoulder bag girl and have been since the 2nd grade. However I switched to a backpack in high school due to the amount of weight I had to carry around, as we did not have any lockers. I'm sure I'm destroying my posture by carrying a shoulder bag with my laptop because I can instantly notice a difference in the weight distribution when I switch to my backpack (done in days of forecasted downpours).
I have ideas for a few new posts! I not sure if any of you have created a monochromatic outfit yet. When I see it done in fashion magazines it looks nice and I find it inspiring. I've just yet to execute such an outfit. I also think it would be very interesting if one of the three of you or an outsider picked an image and each of you created an outfit based on your interpretation of such image. You could even mix it up and do a more literal or abstract interpretation.

Michelle said... the past few years I've been surprised at the pervasiveness of our undergrad women choosing Vera Bradley bags as their campus carry-all, rather than backpacks. I wonder if that trend is falling off and being replaced with backpacks, or if those Vera Bradleys just aren't in your summer class.

Fantastic dress; I do like the monochrome with the pop of red. (That was the color scheme of the outfit I wore for my orals.)

Rad_in_Broolyn said...

oops, are messenger bags out of style? I carry one because backpacks are too bulky for the subway, but I am really rough on pleather/leather purses. I have army style canvas bag that I can throw a sweater, books, wallet, phone, etc. into.
Black, white (or grey) and red are some of my favorite colors together.
@Michelle, my undergrads don't carry Vera Bradley bags, they are more into Coach and LV, but I noticed a lot of women in the airport do. They're not my style because they look too much like the diaper bag my mom carried in the mid-90s.
And finally, congrats on the 100 posts.

Sarah said...

I should elaborate and when I say monochromatic, I mean a color.

Michelle said...

@Rad, I still think messenger bags are stylish. They're an urban style accessory, and they're ubiquitous in Europe, or were when I lived there. Vera Bradley isn't my style either, though my mom (who quilts as a hobby) loves her VB handbags. I just associate it with an older generation, and thus seeing it so popular with the 18-21 set is interesting to me. Just found & checked out your blog, too! I like it!