2 April 2008

Woven totes can so go wrong, so wrong. You might buy one from a store you love, a label you love – and you think you love your purchase. And for the price you paid – you know you’d better love it. (Yes, I stand in a store and mentally calculate how much I love things, and what I’m willing to not spend on that week, or month, to procure the current can’t-live-without-it and don’t-even-wanna-try-to item.) The problem is, a woven tote can look cheap once you pile your essentials into it and hit the street, beach, or runway.

jcrewprovencetote.jpgIt’s not your fault, you don’t have bad taste (you have good taste!) – but when buying a tote bag with the woven effect you have to do your research. Since I want you to be able to watch old episodes of Project Runway that you have on your TiVo, I’ll tell you my research. (It’s totally scientific cause I wore a white lab coat and Chanel glasses while I did it.)

J-Crew Provence Tote (Alt Image)Don’t let a store trick you with words like ‘it has such nice hardware, and lining…’ – yawn. Since when am I going to let strangers peek inside my tote bag to see the lining? While I appreciate the small details that up the quality of any product, the foundation is what matters.

The J-Crew Provence Large Straw Tote Bag ($78.00) is something that looks beautiful from the first glance. That’s what I want. What I don’t want isJuicy Couture Straw fashion tote bag something with a fancy label that looks like something Farmer Joe is going to take to haul tomatoes down the road.

Almost deceptively subtle, the Juicy Couture Straw Fashion Tote Bag from bloomingdales ($250.00) lends the Uptown girl some Southern charm. You’ll be eating some cornbread in no time – low carb, of course.

You need to be careful with the MICHAEL Michael Kors Santorini Shopper tote bag from Macy’s ($278.00). The Michael Kors fashion tote bagpicture I’m showing you is one of three options. I believe there is only one option that you should buy: Vanilla. The Antique Gold tote bag looks like something a guy with really bad taste would buy and give you cause he thinks it looks expensive. But the color of the leather trim and the straw clash, and it looks just plain – yuck.

You might think you’d be safe with the Luggage option, which is a brown. Think again. It looks like something you’d buy at Target. And I’ve got no qualms with that store, but if you’re going to spend some real money what you buy shouldn’t look like it was $19.99.

Head over to Nordstrom for the Rafé New York ‘Similan – Camilla Medium’ Tote BagRafe tote bag ($395.00). This is what women over 40 want. It looks sharp and stylish, but has the ‘it’s summer and I might have a bikini stashed in here’ feel to it. This is high on my list of current favorite fashion tote bags. And let’s just say that the list rivals the list of celebrities who should have looked in the mirror before they went out on the red carpet.

Whether you head on over to Macy’s or bloomingdale’s I hope you get one of this season’s woven fashion tote bags.

Now those are some New York Bargains!

Jessica Rae

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Posted by Staff Writer at 06:00 AM

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