When I was a senior in high school, my mom took me shopping for a Very Special Present: My first adult handbag. I had my eye on the Louis Vuitton Murakami multicolor Speedy, because it was 2003 and that's what Jessica Simpson and everyone at my school had (in hindsight, everyone at my school had a knockoff, but that's neither here nor there). We drove to Orlando, where, at the Louis Vuitton shop in Saks Fifth Avenue, I anxiously considered how the Speedy sat on my arm. Truthfully (and probably to my mother's great relief), it felt like too much: Too trendy, too expensive, too peacocky for my style.
The bag that did end up making the cut was a small box bag in tomato-red leather by Kate Spade that I fell for instantly on the Nordstrom sales floor. I used it every single day, proudly displaying it on the corner of my desk in class. It made me feel different, and more importantly, terribly grown up.
It feels appropriate, then, that my current day-to-day bag is a saddle-style crossbody by Kate Spade. In a deep oxblood, it goes with everything in my closet, and the magnetic flap keeps my things secure while still being practical for running around the city. I get near-daily compliments on it, but as the weather warms up (well, sort of), I find myself wishing it had a lighter color. Enter: This version in "Grace Blue," the perfect, cheery pastel to go with all my swingy dresses and beat-up, light-wash jeans.
Kate Spade New York Orchard Street Penelope, $328, available at Kate Spade.
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