Recently, I paged through a bunch of 2016 fashion magazines that were on the doorstep when we returned from a three-month hiatus in California. (I have mentioned before that our local postal employees miss us when we are out and, to lure us back home, forward as little mail as possible. Touching and rather sweet, when you think about it.)
What struck me about the new season's look is a trend in handbags: stripes.
I saw striped handbags of all types -- small satchels, hobos, bucket bags, clutches, messengers, all of them -- in fashion pages. Not so much on the streets yet, but that may be changing soon.
Some of these are in basic colors and perhaps could serve as go-to bags for the season. Others are rendered in such unusual hues that they probably require co-ordinating outfits.
I cannot recall ever owning a striped pocketbook, and I'm not sure I'm interested in buying one now.
What puzzles me is how this became such a "thing" this year. Did all the designers have a teleconference and agree to include striped bags in the year's collections? We could call them and ask, but I'm pretty sure they would regard such information as a trade secret not to be shared. Fair enough.
Anyway, here are some examples followed by a personal recommendation.
More Proenza Schouler
Sara Battaglia for Salvatore Ferragamo
More Sara Battaglia for Salvatore Ferragamo
Dooney & Bourke
Le Petite Joueurs
Kenzo from Paris Fashion Week
See what I mean? That's a lot of stripes.
It seems clear there is a bit of a trend here, but the question is whether to invest in it.
Most of the pictured bags cost north of $1,000. That's a lot to spend for one season's pocketbook, especially if you're not sure that the other cool girls will adopt the look.
Here's my thought: If you're really eager to buy a striped bag, why not just go to Target? The house Merona brand is selling several striped handbag/backpacks, including the one below.
I have two reasons for this recommendation.
First, it's a pretty basic design with basic colors. You could carry it with almost any spring or summer outfit.
Second, it's inexpensive. You can toss it out without regret if trends shift over the winter and the new look for 2017 turns out to be polka dots.