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Q. I recently purchased a Kooba bag, the “Marcelle” style in the Moss green color.   This bag was a bit of a splurge for me and I was so excited to find it and could not wait for it to arrive!  I was thinking that this bag would be something that would still be in style for the next few seasons.  However, since receiving it a week ago, and after having seen some of the fall magazines highlighting bags that are a “cleaner less detailed style”, I’m now wondering  whether this style - with the grommets all over the bag and handles, the laces and the outside pockets at each end - is something that is going to carry me through a few seasons or whether it is already “kind of out of style”.

Since I have not yet used the bag, I’m now wondering if I should return it and look for a style with less detailing and a cleaner sleeker appearance, or if this Marcelle bag that I purchased is a style that will still be fashionable through this year and into next year at least.   While I’d love to have the luxury of being able to buy the “hottest” bag each season as the celebrities do, that is not my reality…but I do want a great, fashionable quality bag that can carry me through a few seasons! Thanks in advance for your perspective! 
-Bag it or not? 

Koob-Wy65 V1-BigA. First rule of fashion—LOVE what you buy.  If you love it, don’t get caught up in the what’s in and what’s out list that fashion editors comprise.  Carry it with confidence.  Kooba is a great bag company known for their detailing and luxe leathers. While the grommets and lacing are evident, the bag isn’t overwhelmed with additional big buckles or oversized outside pockets that might make it trendy. It’s a great bag that should last a few seasons if well taken care of.  My only question would be the color—do you believe you have enough pieces in your wardrobe, including classic colored jackets and coats to use this as an everyday bag?  I adore that you’re choosing color, but you should have a backup bag (it needn’t be pricey) that is brown or black for some occasions.

Kooba Marcelle bag, $595 at

Q. I recently started a new job and wanted to celebrate with a treat to myself…splurging on a great bag. Can you recommend a medium-sized bag I could use all year long and that is fashionable but not too trendy/flashy?  I’m looking for something classic, but I’m willing to spend a lot so I want to be able to use the bag summer, winter, spring or fall.
-Brilliant Bag

A. Oooh! This was fun.  Not sure what your “splurge” budget is, so I may have gone a bit overboard. Here are some suggestions of brilliant bags that are neutral colored and classic styles without lots of hardware to complicate the look or be too trendy.


Francesco Biasia ‘Pure Magic’ Large Satchel,
$480 at


Cole Haan ‘Village’ Large Drawstring Tote,
$425 at

P11007558 Ph Hero

Kooba Ginger Bag with Braid,
$635 at

0442131766682 275X275

Gucci Medium Shoulder Bag,
$1895 at

Q. I am going to a wedding Sept. 30th in Tennessee. I have a sleeveless black dress that I planned on wearing. I would like to wear a shawl as a cover for my shoulders. Are Pashminas past season, or would something else be more appropriate?
-Wrap Up

A. While other fashion editors may say Pashminas are passé, no doubt many of them still own them and travel with them. There are plenty of stylish wraps that will give a little coverage for the religious ceremony or just to keep your shoulders warm. If you already have a Pashmina that looks good with your chosen dress for the occasion, then by all means wear it, if not here are a few suggestions:


Tissue-Weight Cashmere Wrap
(comes in many colors)
$99 at


Sean Collection Bead-Trim Silk Shawl
(also in black),
$40 at

0402646756110 275X275

Ilana Wolf Satin Ruffle Capelet,
$225 at

Q. It’s the beginning of the rainy season where I live and I need help finding a cute and fashionable umbrella to take around. I’m really into the clear ones with designs on them and can’t seem to find any. Can you help??
-Stay Dry Stylishly

Nmd2489 An A. We girls at are big fans of the Burberry bubble style clear umbrella that comes in several color combos.  We wax nostalgic about having worn yellow rain slickers to elementary school and splashing in puddles. Of course, I still splash in puddles with my toile rain boots on!  With a clear umbrella you can stay dry and still see what’s ahead of you.  I’ve found a few “clear” choices for you along with a pattern that just jumped out at me.

Burberry Clear-Panel Umbrella, $115 at

see also the Kate Spade clear stick umbrella for $95 at

Rb01 White-1

We found a few cute clear umbrellas
at, like this clear bubble stick
version for $17.90


Echo Print Umbrella
$45 at
(also in a great striped print that I love!)

Q. I saw something in a magazine about a designer handbag club. You pay a yearly fee and then you basically swap the “it” bag of the season for a period of time without having to buy the bag. Are you familiar with the club and any info on the web?
-Lookin’ to be It 

Hp SosA. Yes, it’s called You can choose from Trendsetter, Princess, Diva or Couture status.  Membership starts at $9.95 a month and you can borrow the bag for a month, six months or even a year.  Plus, you can borrow more than one bag at the same time, it all just depends how much you want to spend and how badly you want that “it” bag hanging off your shoulder.  This is a simple and more affordable way to dress like the rich and famous.

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