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Q. I want to graduate from the backpack to the messenger bag, mostly because, as my father told me, “no one looks good in a backpack,” but I don’t know what to look for and how to find one that will actually last without breaking the bank. All I need is something to carry my laptop and a few books (okay, not all).


A. I tend to agree with your father’s style advice: backpacks are not the most flattering bag option. Luckily, cross body (or messenger) bags are hot right now, so there are many stylish options available in a variety of price points. We scouted out some affordable styles for you that are a bit more chic and feminine than the traditional (and typically masculine) messenger bag. Most of these should fit a laptop and some books.

Last week we answered the question about how to wear bright bags for spring. Now that we’ve shown you some great runway-inspired styling options, we thought it only fair that we scout out some of the best bright bags for spring. Here are some of our favorites to update your wardrobe in every price range:


Q. I’ve been seeing a lot of super bright bags for spring, but I’m not sure what to wear them with. Before I spend money on one, can you give me some ideas on how to wear it?

A. Absolutely! Bright bags are a big trend for spring, adding an instant pick-me-up to any look. There are several ways to incorporate a colorful accessory into your look:

Perhaps the easiest way to wear a bright bag is to pair it with neutrals like white, black or tan, letting the colorful accessory pop.


A trickier trend that was huge on the runways is to pair a bright bag with other brights, creating a color blocked contrast.


Finally, you can go matchy-matchy with your bright bag, pairing it with similarly hued clothing.


Now that we’ve covered how to wear bright bags, in our next column, we’ll help you find the perfect bright bag, so stay tuned!

Q. I want to buy a chic but classic little bag to wear for evenings out or to go to dinner. I’m willing to spend a few hundred dollars, but want to make sure whatever I buy won’t go out of style in a year. Can you recommend something?

A. Absolutely! Look no further than a classic Chanel-inspired quilted bag with a chain handle. Though the Chanel original costs a lot more than a few hundred dollars, there are plenty of gorgeous bags that “borrow” the look, from designers like Michael Kors, Tory Burch and Rebecca Minkoff, that are well within your price range. Not only is this a classic bag you’ll wear for years, but it also happens to be incredibly “in” right now. Here are some beautiful options for you:


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