Honing In on Handbags

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Show off your love for this beach city with the APOLIS NEWPORT BEACH (pictured) or LIDO ISLE MARKET BAG, which are made of 100% natural golden jute fiber and perfect for running errands, $68, at Alchemy Works, Lido Marina Village. (949-438-1183; alchemyworks.us)

These practical fashion accessories are getting a makeover for the spring/summer season.

By Ashley Probst


Handbags are a must-have accessory for bustling fashionistas. Luckily, an abundance of shapes and styles have been seen all over runways for the spring/summer season.

“The best thing about a great handbag is that it can work with any outfit,” says April Rand, stylist at the Elyse Walker shop at Lido Marina Village. “Whether someone is ready to perfectly complete a bold new look or fun pattern, or if they would rather lean into a more neutral style and let the handbag speak for itself, it’s always a win.”

High-end designers have featured the likes of woven shoulder bags, vegan leather pieces, crescent moon shapes, oversize totes, metal hardware detailing and vintage-inspired looks. Another trend that has caught the eye of Bernadette Bowman, personal stylist at Macy’s Fashion Island, is bright colors, especially in totes, backpacks and crossbody bags.

“As the personal stylist, this is a fun way to encourage my Newport Beach clients to step out of the box and take the plunge into color, especially with spring and summer just around the corner,” Bowman says. “… Handbags have become a statement all their own and my more traditional clients love having more fun by becoming bold in their choices.”

Out of all these trends, Bowman is drawn to crossbody bags, which she describes as convenient, stylish and versatile. She also personally loves to use a backpack for business meetings, a large tote for beach days and a classy clutch for date night. Rand also turns to the latter two—as well as micro bags—for running errands or to elevate work outfits.

“Every look deserves a handbag, which is why there are so many great styles from which to choose. It completes the look,” Rand says. “Invest in your accessories, especially your handbags. A well-made bag will last for years.”

When it comes to styling these accessories, Bowman advises finding balance by pairing more delicate handbags with chunky shoes like lug-sole boots or platforms, which are also on-trend. That said, she doesn’t believe there are any specific do’s or don’ts when it comes to modern fashion.

“We can express and own our individuality through our style. I’ve seen flowy sundresses paired with a backpack—guilty—[or] oversized flannel shirts, boyfriend denim and lug boots with a pop-of-color crossbody,” Bowman says. “… Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Start with a new, bold handbag and work your way up to more pieces of your wardrobe. It’s fun.”

Regardless of your taste or the occasion for which you’re styling an outfit, there is certainly a handbag that will serve as the perfect accessory for your ensemble.


Coveted Carryalls

Newport Beach shops offer options for on-trend handbags and totes.


The chic leather MOYEN MESSENGER—available in both a sleek, waxed finish or a textured variety that was hand-woven in Bangladesh—offers one large compartment along with two detachable straps for an easy transition between a crossbody and a shoulder bag; straps in additional colors/styles may be purchased separately for some added flair, $495, at Clare V., Lido Marina Village. (949-612-7186; clarev.com)
Islamora Lux Crocheted Raffia Clutch - Tommy Bahama Spring 2022(1)
Playing into the beachy yet sophisticated vibe of Newport, the ISLAMORA LUX CROCHETED RAFFIA CLUTCH is handwoven and the ideal accessory for a night out on the town, $104.50, at Tommy Bahama, Corona del Mar Plaza. (949-760-1886; tommybahama.com)
Longchamp Le Pliage Filet Knit Bag
Incorporating woven detailing, a tote bag shape and a snap closure, Longchamp’s LE PLIAGE FILET KNIT BAG can be worn as a crossbody or carried by the double handles, available in multiple colorways, from $95, at Bloomingdale’s, Fashion Island. (949-729-6600; bloomingdales.com)
The Moreau Paris SUITE TOTE, as recommended by stylist April Rand, is a large leather piece that features hand-stitched detailing and hand-painted edges, $1,950, exclusively available in-store at Elyse Walker, Lido Marina Village. (949-612-2646; elysewalker.com)
1 copy faherty
Made of 100% cotton sourced from remnant fabric, the LARGE JACQUARD TOTE is an upcycled upgrade to your typical carryall that also supports Indigenous communities, which receive a portion of the proceeds as well, $78, at Faherty, Lido Marina Village. (949-612-7146; fahertybrand.com)
MASK_INC International Concepts Kolleen Hobo, Created for Macy's, $89 copy
Featuring an on-trend crescent moon shape along with sleek black leather and gold hardware, the KOLLEEN HOBO, enhanced with full zipper closure, was created exclusively for Macy’s by INC International Concepts, $89.50, with advance order at Macy’s, Fashion Island. (949-640-8333; macys.com)
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