New Spring Bag(s?)

While packing up all my belongings and getting ready to move to Chicago, I deleted six purses from my life. Six. That is three times my current collection. (Can you do the math? I confused myself, too, don’t worry.) Let’s get right to the issue:

I have two purses.

I have ~25 pairs of shoes, numerous jackets, 6 pairs of jeans, etc… But two purses. One of which is disgustingly damaged, as you may remember. The other is a $17 Marshall’s purchase that, to be quite honest, I’m just not that fond of anymore. One is black, one is white – could I get more boring?

I know that I need a new bag – immediately. I think I might even know what I want… Sort of. I’m attracted to:

  • Double handles
  • Vivid colors (solid mostly, but I’m open to patterns)
  • Optional cross-body-ness

Yes, leather. I need that buttery, soft, sturdy, long-lasting goodness in my life. However, it’s not a dealbreaker if I can’t find some good leather under $50, because, well, sometimes that’s impossible. I’m really attracted to the graphic sleekness of bowler bags, but the only leather ones I’m finding are really expensive. Also, some bowler bags are just too kitschy for me… I don’t want to look like I’m over-trying to be a Pink Lady, you know?

Really, the first inkling of “NEED” I had was the result of the April Lucky Magazine’s Handbag Guide. I saw a promo photo of this bag:

It’s by Roxy (golly, could you tell?) and I love, love the green. I dislike the ROXY!!!!! embossing and the little silver plaque. This is the kind of vivid color I’m looking for. Also, the shape is clean and perfect. Damn you, Roxy.

Here are some potential winners I’ve discovered:

Woolly Bowlers
Red Tango Woolly Bowlers
$49 $29.99

Okay, obviously this is not the classiest choice of bowlers… But the shape is perfect, and I might consider buying this as a super-casual, super fun bag. I think it’d be against the rules of life to pair it with any type of dressed up garment, though… It comes in 5 colors, though, which is neat. All with that little kitty and the studs.

Coby Coco Bag
Bamboo 54 Coby Coco Bag

This is one of the patterned ones I’m considering. I don’t really dig the flower on the front – I’d probably end up taking a seam-ripper to it if I did (which definitely means I shouldn’t buy it). I do like the Hamptons-esque wicker and the gentle contrast of the dark colors. Something to consider!

Leather Bowling Bag
Bisadora Leather Bowling Bag
$65 $44.99

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How sweet is this little bowler? It might be a little too literal for my taste… But… The more I look at it, the more the deep black leather calls out to me – “I’m so versatile, Miss Elle! Look at how clean my lines are!” It’s difficult to resist. You should hear it’s voice – totally precious.

Quilted Satchel
Bagtique Quilted Satchel
$59.99 $39.99

Once I recover from how “old-lady-shopping-off-the-tee-vee” the brand name of this adorable bag sounds, I’m sure I’ll fall right back in love with it. I’m not usually attracted to quilted things, but I loved the mushy bowler shape and rich chocolate color of this bag. It’s the perfect size and looks like it could liven up any boring outfit. It also comes in a “princess cake” white color… But that screams “needs to be cleaned after 5 minutes of use.”

Stripe Piece PU Satchel
Bagtique Stripe Piece PU Satchel
$79 $43.99

This is the best I’ve seen “light grey” done in a bag… Sure, it’s a neutral, but it’s a noticeable neutral, that pops out at you. It also comes in bright, bright red – but, unfortunately, the already fake-looking crocodile embossing looks exceptionally cheap against such a punchy hue. I like the silver + grey combo on this bag, and the architectural structure of it. Very, very cute.

Which bag do you like best? What do you think of the whole “bowler” style?

Leave ya thoughts in da comments.


  • pc

    I’m new to your blog but I gotta say – Love it! I’ll be the first to chime in… You saved the best for last! The grey one is my favourite.

    Although I do like the first one as well – the green one. Perhaps I’m missing something? What is it you have against Roxy?

    I too am high on style, but low on bags. I just can’t seem to fathom how some can spend hundreds or thousands on them. ???

  • I love that Bagtique Stripe one – and I agree – most grey handbags are, well, ugly. This one is cute!

    Any suggestions on where to look for vintage inspired bags? Got a friend who has been looking for a Kelly bag style – can’t find anything that looks super cute and retro…just dull and ugly or overpriced.

  • I love the bowler style. I used to be OBSESSED with Roxy – in fact my AIM and LJ sns are still “roxyjanine” – but not so much anymore. Still, I love all of the skate/snow/surf bags, and I would carry that green one before any of the others. I have a faux croc Billabong bag in that same green. <3

  • The green bag is beautiful. I think I need to buy that for myself. The bowler bag is so cute. It looks so neat and versatile. x

    Sherin´s last blog post was I want this dress!!

  • I’ve always liked the bowler silhouette in general. To me bowler bag = good day bag for lots of stuff, and that’s an equation I love.

  • Sold on the last one. The literal bowling bag is cute.

    A lot of the bowlers are too big for my taste (and shoulder??) – Though I’m finding the same problem with satchels as well.

    Birdie´s last blog post was The Small Things!

  • Those are all cute bags, but I must say I enjoy the Roxy bag as well as the Bamboo 54. I think one of those two would be great on you as you stroll the Magnificant Mile downtown :)

    I love CHICAGO!!

    Christina´s last blog post was This is . . . The Strangest Dream I’ve Ever Had!

  • I’m right there with ya, Elle! I have a ton of shoes, several jackets, and three purses. One of which the strap is too long on, one of which I’ve had to repair several times, and the one I currently use day to day. I’ve just never been much for coordinating my purses with my outfits, for some reason (well, laziness mostly).

    Also, that Red Tango purse is ADORABLE. I wish it was a different color scheme because then I’d snap it right up. I like the literal bowling bag too.

    edit: Um. Somehow I totally missed that the Red Tango purse comes in five different colors. Totally getting the black one when I have some cash!

    Michelle´s last blog post was Daily Outfit!

  • Nicole Marie

    Honestly, I thought I hated bowler bags till i read this post. I agree that they can seem too kitschy sometimes and feel like I never actually see anyone earing one! But I love the shape and color of the Roxy bag, and the color and detail of the gray / silver option you showed. And then I found this, which makes me want a bowler bag in this great yellow. Good luck with the decision!

    • Oh my gosh, that yellow bag is GORGEOUS! I wish I could support Urban Outfitters. =( Maybe I can find it somewhere else.

      It’s truly perfect, you’re a love! <3

  • The third bag is great one.;D
    I love it.=)

  • amanda

    I like the Bagtique Quilted Satchel. I am not big on the bowling bag style bags though.

  • Sal

    I’m partial to the Bisadora. I carried a bowler for years and ADORED it … but having straps that fit over your shoulders is key, if you ask me. I like a bag that can be carried in-hand and on-shoulder.

    Sal´s last blog post was Pregnancy Chic: A Guest Post from Allie!

  • I like the first bag sans the logo all over the dang place, and the last one

    That’s it.

    Damn, picking a bag is hard work

  • Jen

    I found a super-cheap bowler at Fred Meyer, of all places. I got my mustard yellow purse instead, but I’m certain they’ve still got some good selection. Too bad they don’t sell online…

    Also, I own a Red Tango mini-bowler and the strap started coming off at the base WAY too quickly. It’s so adorable that I can’t get rid of it, though, so I use it as a little bedside bag. (Because it zips, it’s a sneaky place to put those, ahem, bedroom things!)

    Jen´s last blog post was Secret Sale Shopping: Saint Grace!