desperately seeking…

https://i0.wp.com/media20.onsugar.com/files/2010/12/49/0/1254/12546250/a757cea79ba11d62_chanel_255.larger/i/Most-Iconic-Handbags.jpgI always know what I want, and usually I get it. Occasionally I’m paralyzed by indecisiveness, but rarely. If you have lunch plans with me, and I ask where you want to dine and you say, “I don’t care” then I’m going to choose my favorite place. Only when I’m very tired or my creatively levels are low (or I’m trying to decide between two pairs of shoes) do I demure.

So it’s with a great sense of shock that I’m having a hard time choosing a new purse. I’m not a switch-your-bag-everyday kind of person. I like to buy one handbag and stick with it. Usually the way this happens is: I buy a new bag in the fall that I use through winter, then a new bag in spring that takes me through summer. Not exactly shopping rocket science, but it works. That’s how I justify splurging on some of my favorite designers and why I embrace today’s anti-matchy-match world where almost any color and texture combo is fair game. (Honestly, I hope color coordinated shoes and purses remain a relic of the past.)

But back to my inability to commit, the most perplexing part of my problem isn’t even that there are two bags I’m deciding between; I can’t find what I want at all. (Well, within reason.)

This summer, I had my eye on a purse called the Pippa (isn’t everything of “it girl” quality called the Pippa these days) by the British company Modalu. But back in August, when the color I wanted wasn’t going to be available until mid-October, I took a pass. (Now that it’s mid-October, of course I’m ruing the decision.) Then I had a crush on the Isabella Fiore Demi-Satchel but when I gave it a test run around the store, it felt a little too boxy (a-la-diaper-bag) to me. (This was one of those instances when Kassie, who was present for said purse try-outs, told me that she didn’t think the item I was considering was the right look for me.)

I’ve scoured my usual haunt, Kate Spade, but the problem there is I keep gravitating toward styles I’ve already owned. I want something different. I want a bag that screams Chelsea. On that note, I did contemplate a purse from the Chelsea line at Coach, but I just can’t help but feel like the Coach brand and my personality are not super compatible. A weekend shopping trip with girlfriends a few weeks ago to assist in the finding of the perfect purse only yielded frustration, not retail glee.

In case you have some suggestions to pass along, here are my specs: It has to have a zip or clasped top that can be easily accessed when I have a cup of coffee in one hand and a kid’s backpack in the other. I’m not afraid of color (after all, I just ordered two pairs of red-hued pants from J. Crew) though I prefer my purse fall in the “bold but neutral” category. (Too many brights in one ensemble and I fear I resemble a bowl of Skittles.) I learned my lesson with the Kate Spade Essex Scout this summer that I’m really not a small purse woman (though I did grow to love the hands free nature of a crossbody style). My purse must be large enough for my working mommy lifestyle (though I got mocked yesterday by my former boss for the moderately large bag in my current rotation). Seriously, a purse has to be able to hold my eyeglass/sunglass case, iPhone, wallet, small make-up bag, notebook, keys and whatever “treasure” the kids hand me to hold onto for them (sometimes rocks).

So if you see something along those lines, let me know. But if instead you come across my sugar daddy, let him know that the one purse I have seen and love is the Valentino Demetra. Yes, the price is equivalent to my first year’s salary when I first came to Capitol Hill. Yes, it’s the price of a small car.

But maybe it comes with a cute guy who would carry it for me when it’s full of rocks.

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Fall Fashion Finds

Fall Simply Soles Wish ListWho isn’t dreaming of fall? As I have previously established, it’s almost all that I think about. As if the Sweat Ceiling 2011 weren’t enough to send my daydreams in the direction of crisp October afternoons and brilliant foliage, I had to go and get the Simply Soles Fall Preview Catalog. I believe I previously referred to this catalog as “shoe porn” but it’s so much more than that. They sell purses. They have accessories. Jewelry. And I want it all.

I play this game with myself sometimes. I go to a favorite online store, put everything I want in the shopping cart, just to see how much the grand total would be if I could indeed buy everything. (Let’s just say when it comes to outfitting my fall wardrobe, I am in love with more than a mortgage’s worth of precious finds from the latest Simply Soles catalog). The way this game plays out is that I negotiate with myself. After putting together the “dream shopping cart” of everything I want, I go back through and ixnay the items that are too much like something I already own. I think critically about what outfits I could pair with the items in question. I don’t always look for versatility. But if I am making an investment, I want it to fit in my wardrobe without requiring additional purchases. The said good(s) should enhance my “look” and of course, I love something that I know is unique. I don’t want to be in an elevator in the Dirksen building sporting the same something as someone else, unless that someone is Adrienne (whose office is in the Dirksen building and who seems to share my taste in Chie Miharas). Of course, there is the matter of budget too. I have a cap. If I want to exceed the cap, I have to cut elsewhere, and/or go seek additional revenue. Imagine that for a formula?

While a picture is worth a thousand words (and all my favorite items look so pretty when pictured together) I do have to briefly expound upon each of my new true loves. First, the footwear. The Bettye Muller Treat in Platino might be my new favorite child. I actually own this pump in buff (the palest pink) and when I bought it, in my on-line review I wrote that I wanted a pair in every color. Two is a good start. As for the Frye boot, it is the perfect shade of distressed gray. I have been cruising for a tall gray riding boot, but nothing struck me as quite right until I saw this beauty. And I know a Frye boot will last forever, which immediately gives this item frontrunner status. The orange Dana Davis is the wildcard here. You know me and my pop of orange. I want to wear it with jeans, a structured blazer, and a great scarf.

Speaking of, does anything say fall more than the perfect scarf? While I usually opt for solids, this Orla Kiely acorn print in my favorite neutral hues has definitely caught my attention. And the Fornash necklace would work with just about every item in my fall wardrobe. (I have already tried it on mentally with everything hanging in my guest room closet where off season clothes wait to be worn.)

But really, the crown jewel of my list of needful things is the Isabella Fiore satchel. This bag screams autumn. It is busier than my usual handbag choices (I can see those of you who have seen my neon orange Kate Spade Scout rolling your eyes) but this bag has both the structure I like and the space I need.

While negotiators hole up in their partisan hovels, taking our economy to the brink, I am going to be playing my own budget game, but with less severe worldwide consequences. And if I reach a stalemate with myself, I might even resort to eeny, meeny, miny, moe.