Wednesday, March 2, 2016

How I Wear My: Tote Bag

Adrienne of The Rich Life in Wine Country.

Spring will be upon us by the end of the month and we know you have places to go, so Adrienne of The Rich Life in Wine Country and I thought it was a good time to devote a “How I Wear My” to the hardest working bag in your closet that can carry the most stuff—the tote!

This was a fun post to put together for the range of totes in everyone’s photos. It also reminded me how a tote can inject a bit of humor and color into your look. Enjoy!

Adrienne of The Rich Life in Wine Country, above, my lovely “How I Wear My” partner, writes, “This is my newest spring dress - a navy knit dress with white and pink dots from Lesley Evers. I wore it on a recent getaway to nearby Sonoma and carried a personalized tote bag, also in navy, from Toss Designs. It’s ideal for travel but I also carry it as my handbag - it fits a journal, an iPad, a pashmina scarf and all the other things I carry around with me.”

This is such a lovely and romantic look on Adrienne and I like that her tote does double duty as an everyday bag and a travel bag.

Yvonne of Funky Forty.

Yvonne of Funky Forty says, “This is my favorite tote bag for now, a Christmas present from my hubby in 2014. I’ll wear it with anything as it’s so neutral. I’m a great believer in wearing good bags - they will turn any outfit into an expensive looking one - it almost doesn’t matter what else you wear.”

I do believe that is a Louis Vuitton tote in Damier Ebène checkerboard, which is such a stylish bag. It looks so great on Yvonne and I know for a fact that tote is well-made and can carry a ton of stuff!

Dawn Lucy of Fashion Should Be Fun.

Dawn Lucy of Fashion Should Be Fun writes, “On this rainy California day, I wore my Jacket Society hooded poncho with jeans and riding boots. My fur bag was a flea market steal and tends to be a conversation piece!”

I love these colors on Dawn Lucy and what an unusual tote, I can see why people would want to chat with her about it! I bet she gets compliments on it all the time.

Ana of Mrs. American Made.

Ana of Mrs. American Made writes, “A favorite tote is this small black denim one that I made myself last fall when my son went away to school. He wore through the knees of some great jeans but the rest of the fabric was in good shape so I found an online tutorial for making a tote and I stitched this up. Since it is custom-made, it is perfect for my petite stature but it fits a change of clothes, make-up, snacks and a water bottle for the gym. Stylish and slightly sentimental, I use this one almost daily.”

I love the story behind this tote—literally cut from the cloth of something her son wore and that she made it herself. How’s that for American-made style, drive, and ingenuity?

Jacqueline of Petite Silver Vixen.

Jacqueline of Petite Silver Vixen writes, “Being a petite, I have to be careful that the size of my bag doesn’t swamp me. However, when the outfit is more tailored and fitted, as in my menswear inspired outfit, with a single-breasted leather jacket and sequin tie, I can get away with a larger tote. It is in effect here, a feminine briefcase!”

I like this look on Jacqueline so much and you know I never met a sequin I didn’t like so I am especially wild for her sequin tie! I blew up the shot so you could see it in better detail. Check it out!

I had to show this tie. Divine!

Trina of Tea Time with Trina.

Trina of Tea Time with Trina says, “This is my black and white tote which I will be using a lot during the spring and summer months. It pairs nicely when traveling with black and or gray color combinations. I love tying a little scarf onto this bag to give it just a bit of glam, then if I want to change up my outfit later I can simply remove the scarf from the tote and tie it right around my neck.”

Trina looks like such a stylish jet-set traveler! I love her hat, the tote and the scarf she ties to it. Babe Paley, the beautiful New York socialite who is said to have started the trend of tying a scarf to a bag (in the 1940s, I think), would approve too!

Maryna of Dragonfly’s Heart.

Maryna of Dragonfly’s Heart says, “Here is my latest love, a Longchamp Le Pliage in beige. Yes, it’s more of a warmer months bag, but we had a very warm winter on Sicily this year and I feel like I’m living through the fourth month of spring now. Also I absolutely adore this bag—it’s perfect for going to the library for a seminar or to just walk around the city. I’d love to have this bag also in navy in the near future—navy and brown look gorgeous and very versatile.”

I do love a Le Pliage tote, they are everywhere on ladies in NYC, in all colors, and one of these days I am going to have to pick a color and buy one myself! I like this pale beige version on Maryna, it’s a shade I was considering too, and doesn’t this color seem absolutely perfect on Maryna and in front of this amazing fountain? She is so lucky to be living in Italy right now!

Claudia of HappyFace313.

Claudia of HappyFace313 says, “During the week I always wear a tote to the office, because I can pack everything but the kitchen sink. Sometimes, when I have something planned after work, I’ll carry an extra bag in my tote, like this vintage Louis Vuitton Malesherbes.”

I love this look on Claudia so much, the multicolored leopard-print scarf (also Louis Vuitton maybe?) is wonderful, especially when paired with the Louis Vuitton tote. Below is her vintage Malesherbes, which is such a ladylike and gorgeous design. Behold again the power of a scarf tied to the bag! Is that a Longchamp Le Pliage I spy next to it?

What a great bag combination!

April of Ms. B in the Bay Area.

April of Ms. B in the Bay Area says, “I’ve been enjoying this versatile faux leather tote from Nordstrom for the last year. I call it my Mary Poppins bag because it can fit everything, including groceries and other small purchases. I’ve even used it for a beach bag! I’m wearing my favorite white jeans from Articles of Society and the olive colored shirt is by Wayf, both pieces are from Nordstrom.”

April looks so stylish here in neutral colors, carrying her lovely tote with contrast lining and wearing amazing silver jewelry! I love that big necklace and cuff on her. This is a great transitional look as we get closer to spring, don’t you think?

Nora of Jacket Society.

Nora of Jacket Society says, “I am so excited to be debuting Jacket Society’s first blouses, both available on our web site—our peasant blouse with lace in black and white. I am wearing the black one with my Zara white skinny jeans and the white one with Rag and Bone skinny jeans. For a pop of color I added my Prada red tote.”

You know I am a big fan of Nora’s style, which is so clean, modern, elegant and feminine, so I love that we get two pictures of her this month! I love this blouse in both colors and the gorgeous red Prada tote just ups the glamour quotient all the way around.

Nicole of High Latitude Style.

Nicole of High Latitude Style says, “I love that this tote works when I am wearing casual and work clothes. In winter, I need a large tote to schlep my pumps back and forth to the office. It’s just uncomfortable to wear heavy boots inside. In summer, I need a large tote to have a jacket, sunglasses, mosquito repellent and sunscreen, as well as a hat handy. It can get chilly fast when a thunderstorm moves in.”

This is such a great red tote on Nicole and once again I admire how she uses red (and leopard, look at those pumps!) as a neutral.

Malia of Style by Malia.

Malia of Style by Malia says this is a workday look for her, featuring a dress from Gwynnie Bee. She writes, “I love this dress with boots and my tote is a Calvin Klein reversible tote that I carry all of my work stuff in when I am on the go and need a mobile office.”

I love this stylish tote on Malia, it seems like it would make a chic travel bag as well. And I like that her striped dress looks so great against a polka dot background!

Alice of Happiness at Mid-Life.

Alice of Happiness at Mid-Life says, “This is my weekend uniform of comfy jeans, a tee and shoes plus a tote. A tote is a must for me when we go to the park.”

I love that our resident mix master has managed to work in three different prints in this ensemble. Her striped tote seems like it would be perfect year-round, for the park, the beach, and beyond!

Susan of High Heels in the Wilderness.

Susan of High Heels in the Wilderness writes, “This is my burgundy tote from Marc Jacobs that I bought at the Nordstron Anniversary Sale last July... at a great price. I love the pebbled leather. And the colour goes with all of my winter coats. Good thing. Because it looks like I’ll be wearing my winter coats for a while yet, if the weather forecast is anything to go by.”

I love this look on Susan of skinny jeans with an off-white sweater, statement jewelry, and brown ankle boots. I am crazy for the color of her Marc Jacobs tote, I have seen this beauty in person and that bag would be a chic workhorse in any woman’s wardrobe!

Linda of A Labour of Life.

Linda of A Labour of Life says, “This is my new Kate Spade pink tote, a bag I searched high and low for. I passed up a blush Kate Spade in the fall and I deeply regretted it. Once I saw this one in Orlando I knew I had to have it.”

I love this iced-out pink tote on Linda so much, especially worn with pink, white and black. I think she will get a lot of use out of this tote and a ton of compliments on it as well!

Pam of Over 50 Feeling 40.

Pam of Over 50 Feeling 40 writes, This is a black leather tote I received at a beauty event
at Saks Fifth Avenue last year and I really love it. It is my favorite tote bag right now.”

There is nothing more classic than a black leather tote and how lucky Pam is to have been given this by Saks Fifth Avenue! It looks great here paired with a white tunic and dark denim.

Rena of Fine Whatever.

Rena of Fine Whatever writes, “Along with the different totes I have for either the gym, tap dancing, the beach, etc., I have nearly always carried a tote with me to work. I view it as a feminized version of a briefcase and this is one of two work totes that I’ve been using for the past couple of years. For me, it’s the perfect combination of function, design, and most importantly, style. It’s the neutral ‘go with anything’ color and texture of the faux ostrich pattern that makes this tote a favorite for me.”

I do love an ostrich pattern so I am a big fan of Rena’s tote. This one is a perfect size! I like that she paired it with a floral print skirt and terrific navy wedge pumps. And did I read that right, she has a tote for tap dancing? I love knowing Rena is a hoofer!

Suzanne of Suzanne Carillo.

Suzanne of Suzanne Carillo writes, “I spotted this fun bunny tote at Anthropologie and just had to have it. I am an emotional shopper, no doubt about it. Do I regret the purchase? No way.”

Suzanne has nothing to regret, it’s a cool tote and now I want one too! I feel an eBay hunt coming on…I love this entire ensemble, from the blouse to the denim, from the bunny tote to the two-tone shoes, which remind me of spectator pumps.

Tamera of Tamera Beardsley.

Tamera of Tamera Beardsley says, “My French market basket is one of my favorite totes! From walking the flea markets to taking the train to San Diego to visit my girl, this functional accessory means I can carry new treasures and necessities in style!”

Oh how I love Tamera for wearing this to San Diego, one of the U.S. capitals of shorts and flip-flops (I lived there for many years so I ought to know!). I’m sure San Diegans were doing double and triple takes to have such a vision of glamour in their midst. I love this look on Tamera!

Cheryl of Northwest Mountain Living.

Cheryl of Northwest Mountain Living says, “I love tote bags because they fit my casual lifestyle. My very favorite tote is this orange Adora bag. I have loved the color orange forever and when I saw the color of this tote bag I knew it would work perfect with my wardrobe. A utility jacket, vintage flare jeans and wedge shoes are the backdrop for this fun bag!”

I love a tote in an unexpected color so this orange Adora bag is unusual and eye-catching! I really like how Cheryl has styled it here, it pairs so well with the colors in both her jacket and jeans.

Cherie of Style Nudge.

Cherie of Style Nudge writes, “How do you turn a regular, much-loved sweatshirt and jeans (that you’ve been wearing around the house all day), into a quick, chic look to run errands, pick the kids up, go to the grocery store, etc.? Voilà... Just add a moto jacket, some ankle boots, and a funky tote bag and you’re ready to go. Sweatshirt Chic! I found this vintage tote bag in a local consignment shop. I just loved the size, the colors and the price was right!”

Cherie is making me laugh because I so know what she means! I wish more moms were dressed like this at school pick-up, I love this look on her, especially that unusual tote!

I use a tote more than any other bag, especially for carrying around groceries and library books. When I spied this Elizabeth Taylor tote on eBay a couple of weeks ago I put a bid in immediately! I was the only one who wanted it so I got it for less than twenty dollars. The seller said it was a tote created for Liz’s 60th birthday party by illustrator and designer Michaele Vollbracht, a fact which I haven’t been able to verify, so if you have any information let me know in the comments section. I love the color and drama of Liz’s face here!

Love this vision of Liz by Michaele Vollbracht.

The seller wrote in her description, “Take those kissable lips with you everywhere,” which made me laugh since that’s what I intend to do. This will be my new library tote for hauling home all those gigantic jewelry books I check out (I have five at last count).

I wanted to keep the focus on Liz (I’m sure she would’ve approved) so I paired the tote with dark denim, a black shirt, a black field jacket from Levi’s, and a faux jet necklace with scattered floating beads. The nail polish is one of my favorites: “Caught Red-Handed” by L’Oreal. Those orangey-red shades always feel so old Hollywood to me, the kind Liz herself might have worn back in the day!

A faux jet necklace and “Caught Red-Handed” polish by L’Oreal.

I hope you are out and about with your tote, enjoying the end of winter!

For April’s “How I Wear My” we are going to focus on a look that never goes out of style—boho! So break out your flare jeans (or maxi dress), your long cardigans, your floppy hat, and all that fringe, and join us! Photos are due April 4, 2016 and you can send them to us at Be sure to tell us a little about your bohemian look!

Be sure to swing by Adrienne’s to see even more looks alongside a tote.

And THANK YOU to all the fine foxes who participated this month!


HappyFace313 said...

:-) I couldn't wait to get home tonight to look at all the wonderful ladies and how they wear their totes. so much fun! True eye candy.
Your Elizabeth Taylor is a real stunner and I'll be looking forward to more about her on your blog ;-)

With regard to your question: The black bag in the background is a Longchamp Le Pliage "shopper" with long handles.

Thank you very much, for putting this HIW together again.

Many hugs xoxo :-)

Denton said...

Jill that is a fantastic tote! Also you Suzanne! And all I can say about Adrienne is that dress is stunning and a great fit!!!

Suzanne Carillo said...

Claudia has quite the selection of super high end bags!

I adore Cherie's vintage tote and your one-of-a-kind Ebay purchase Jill. How unique and fun!

Thanks for hosting!


Happiness at Mid Life said...

I always look for to this series every month and this month is no exception. Love your new tote!


Hope to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.

Coulda shoulda woulda said...

I can't believe I didn't sent a pic - sorry! I really did mean to!! I love the pics and they all look handy and stylish too xx

Dawn Lucy - Fashion Should Be Fun said...

You look so urban chic & cool, Jill! Love this look on you and what a fun tote!

Yay for boho next month!

Dawn Lucy

GSL said...

That's a lot of bag Jill...are you carrying a sand wedge?

A custom Liz Taylor bag for 20 bones?!?! Sounds very Fortensky.

Nora Minassian said...

You look great Jill and I love that shopping tote, its so unique and fun. Thank you for putting all this together every month :)

Adrienne Shubin said...

Such a great post, Jill! I love your Liz bag. It's fun, glamorous and colorful and Liz is the ideal style icon for you - you have all that jewel-loving in common!
Looking forward to Boho next month - a lot!
xo, A

Petite Silver Vixen said...

So many different totes of all different styles and colours. I do have a soft spot for Dawn's furry tote, Suzanne's unusual tote and I love the scarf tied to Claudia's bag.

Thanks for hosting Jill and Adrienne.

Ana from Mrs. American Made said...

I always love how these posts make me see things in a different way. I never thought to have an image on the totes! And yours is super cute, Jill. I also kind of fell in love with Suzanne's bunny one. Thanks for hosting and looking forward to the next one, : ) Ana

Jill said...

Hi Claudia, if you bring your Le Pliage tote with you next time you come to NYC you will fit right in! Loved the LV bag with the scarf tied to it. Wonderful! xx

Jill said...

Hi Denton, I am glad you and Teresa could join us once again. Isn't Suzanne's tote great? I am going to begin my eBay search for one soon! Hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather! x

Jill said...

Hi Suzanne, I hope you are carrying your bunny tote around everywhere in the weeks leading up to Easter! xx

Jill said...

Hi Alice, I love your striped tote and that once again you are mixing patterns like a pro. xx

Jill said...

Hi Naomi, I hope you can join us again soon, maybe for a jewelry post. I think we may do one again in the next few months! xx

Jill said...

Hi Dawn Lucy, I expect you to take the lead on boho next month! x

Jill said...

My dear GSL, I will be toting gigantic library books on fine jewelry home from the library, hence the size of the tote. I would hope Liz's last husband would approve of his ex (and late) wife's face on a tote but maybe he despises seeing photos of her. Who knows? x

Jill said...

Hi Nora, love your look. I hope you join us for boho! x

Jill said...

Hi Adrienne, your comment is cracking me up--Liz and I do have all that jewelry love in common but she was able to actualize her gem lust while I will have to make do with mostly admiring! Boho will be a fun challenge for me, I think I have a few items to be able to pull it off! x

Jill said...

Hello Jacqueline, I am glad you joined us once again. I think Suzanne's bunny tote has been the unanimous hit of this post! Hope you will join us for boho next month. x

Jill said...

Hi Ana, I do love an image on a tote so I fell hard when I saw the Liz tote since I am deep in my obsession with her and her (former) jewelry collection. I also am a big fan of that bunny tote of Suzanne's, it is so cool. I hope you will join us for boho! x