K/R: The Bags

I think I am seriously striking out here.

The shoes are unlikely to be comfortable because of the lack of arch support (though I am still debating on those).

One VC top is too big, and the other one just doesn't feel like "me." - the pattern feels too strong for my colouring, though teal in itself is a good colour for me.

The VC skirts are the wrong length and the alteration I thought might be so easy could in fact spoil the line of the skirts: Krish points out that the curve would disappear if we just cut them off at the bottom - a very smart observation. And it is the curve that makes the skirt. I'm still undecided on these, however, because they could be shortened at the (elastic) waist.

Up for review now: two bags. In the coat pics, please imagine me with tights on, and gloves, and maybe a hat...not walking around as I am.

First up, the Elliott Lucca snake print bag. For winter, I have this coat and my grey puffer. I have mixed feelings about this one, but I have never had a bag like this, so I will be interested in your impressions.

The second is the Halogen mixed media tote. It is HUGE, far bigger than it appeared in pictures. And it really dwarfs me, I think. But it also tempts me. I don't have a tote. This one has a very clever design; you can fold the handles completely inside and collapse the bag down somewhat, or you can wear the handles on your shoulder. It's really more like a piece of luggage on me than a handbag. I can see how it might be very useful for travel, though. But I'm feeling ....confused.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Sylvie replied 8 years ago

    I like the size/shape of the Eliot Lucca bag on you but I think I would have preferred the "taupier" color. The stark black/white color doesn't seem to fit into your new color scheme.


    I like the Halogen bag as a tote, not so much as a shoulder bag. Do you not have a tote because you don't need one or because you haven't found the right one? I find my tote extremely useful but it's a very lifestyle-dependent thing.

  • BethL replied 8 years ago

    Suz, I love, love, love the Elliott Lucca bag in #1; for some reason which I can't quite put my finger on, I don't like it as well with your coat. I really like the black bag, even though it is huge. Do you teach at the college level? If so, it'd be a great teaching bag for marching across campus, although you'd have to be careful it didn't get too heavy. It would also be a good travel bag, but, again, it could easily get too heavy.

  • K. Period. replied 8 years ago

    I own the Elliot Lucca snake bag. I love the Elliot Lucca snake bag. I wear the Elliot Lucca snake bag with everything. But I'm not sure that it is the right bag for you.

    I think it is a little too light and a little too cool-toned for you and your wardrobe. Seeing you in taupe really brings home that difference. You look fantastic in taupe. (Taupe looks horrid on me, by the way.) This bag is very gray, much grayer than the putty color of taupe. This bag is nice, but not perfect. Can you believe I just sold out my favorite bag like that? Would you consider one of the bramin bags that were on the NAS? They come in a beautiful stone/taupe color and have great texture too.

    I like the black bag a lot more. I even am 90% sold on the size. I need to see you holding it without your puffer, though. I suspect that that will either show that it totally works and reads simply as oversized bag wonderfullness or it will totally not and will show it reads as hugely dwarfing. Any chance of another picture? Maybe with the contents of your current bag in it so we can see how it drapes when filled?

    ETA: (Facepalm) Suz, good points. I just realized that a couple of things are holding me back on this. First, in the first photo you are wearing warm leopard shoes and a dark top. Both of those throw the visual off for me because the bag looks so light with nothing else light to tie it into the outfit. But of course, this isn't the way you'll always wear it. And you do wear lighter tops and wear cooler colors well. Second, with the red jacket it again pops out, but probably more so because the jacket is dark and so are your boots. However, with that said, I do think it is a strong contrast with the red. I feel like that is a little overwhelming, but I'm overly cautious. More importantly, does this bag really feel like it furthers your style goals? I think that something streamlined and interesting might move you further in the direction you are seeking--that is if I'm right in my perception of where you are going! And I hardly know where I'm going, so that's for what it's worth! ; )

  • krishnidoux replied 8 years ago

    Agree with Sylvie on the colour on the first bag! Maybe not with this particular coat. I see it with a shorter jacket of a different shade. Post with more outerwear before deciding!

    I actually like the second bag, and knowing what you do, it might come very handy to carry a lap top or books and notes. It echoes your black boots nicely too.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Hmm. My winter outerwear is limited to this coat and my grey puffer coat.

    KCan - I wear a lot of grey and blue-grey, as well as the new taupe. I look really good in grey. So that it is cool is not the problem, but if it doesn't work with a red coat, that IS a problem! Thank you for sharing your wisdom & experience.

    Sylvie, I just don't have a tote because I hardly have any bags, period. I only own 3 bags total, one of which has just fallen apart. My bags are both small cross body bags.

  • Vicki replied 8 years ago

    I'm with Krish on this and really like the second bag, Suz. It doesn't seem to overwhelm you here. Also, if you plan to use it for travel and a tote, then size does matter.

    There's something too light or just off with the EL bag. We seem to be on the same page at times, even though we're miles away. Last Sunday I stopped into Nordstrom and held up your snakeskin bag in the mirror and, while I loved all the features about it, the color didn't work for me. I'm also one of those people who have to carry a bag that is light in weight, because I usually put quite a few things inside.

  • Sona replied 8 years ago

    I like both bags. different syles. very versatile!

  • Joy replied 8 years ago

    The first bag seems like it would work better for you if the snake were a taupe/grey rather than grey and ivory (as it looks on my monitor). Below are some that look more the taupe/grey I'm thinking of, although pricey. Somewhere there must be a less expensive version.





  • rachylou replied 8 years ago

    I really like the second bag for you... although it looks like it could be awful heavy empty.

    Don't love the first bag for you because of the dainty strap and the overall impression of a whiteout in terms of color.

  • MsMary replied 8 years ago

    I am with k can shop on the Elliott Lucca -- I own it and love it but for some reason I'm not completely sold on this one in this color for fab you. I also vote pass on the tote unless you really have a need for such a huge piece.

  • qpswan replied 8 years ago

    I LOVE the first bag. It is versatile, classic and stylish. The proportion is great and it will work year round. The reptile finish will add interest and texture to any outfit.

    I found it on Zappos and it shows much "taupier" in their photos.

    Now I want one...

  • Glory replied 8 years ago

    Suz, I love both your selections but am not sure they are working with your capsules. The first one must work with the coat but appears somewhat off. Could you try adding a scarf with a print in similar colours (white. grey, burgundy, taupe etc) and snap a new pic? And, although I love the second one as well, I am not sure it was what you were after as it is quite large but I don't think it overwhelms you.

  • Elly replied 8 years ago

    I like the snake print but for some reason don't love it with your red coat, although I love it in pic 1. Too bad those shoes won't work, I like them on you but I know about foot shape and comfort. I think bag two is too big--- your red coat is already dramatic and adding an oversized bag seems to make it seem like your outerwear is eating you. Any way we could see the snake bag with your two coats and several of your favorite hats?

  • Gaylene replied 8 years ago

    I'm going to echo MaryK and K here. I'm not crazy about either bag. I think the Lucca bag is too light, especially in a Canadian winter; it looks like you've grabbed a summer bag to wear with your winter coat. And that tote is really huge for your small frame. Unless you are in love with the gigantic bag look, or really need an overnight bag for travel, I'd pass. (And, if you did use it for travel, could you lift that sucker if it was full?)

    I totally sympathize with your dilemma regarding online purchases from the States. Last year, I kept my NAS purchases because they were OK, not great, but not terrible. But I did realize that, if I had been in a B&M store, it's unlikely that I would have purchased any of them unless I was desperate. Maybe apply that test? If you were in Nordstrom's, would you love the items enough to want them for your curated wardrobe? Do they make you as happy as that Cleo skirt? If your answer is no, then box it up, ship it back, and tell yourself that the shipping costs are less than the purchase prices. I wish I had done that with my NAS orphans.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Thank you so much, all.

    I think everything is going back, except MAYBE the skirts, if I can wear them with tights and if it is possible to make them shorter without compromising the line.

    There's more, too - it just gets worse. Wait until you see the shirts!

  • Gaylene replied 8 years ago

    Online shopping from the States is NOT an easy solution to our limited shopping dilemma. The reality is so much different than the expectation, but hang in there. Remember Angie's PPP mantra: patient, picky, and practical.

    ETA: Edited this to "patient" instead of "perfect", but the thought is the same, no? Maybe we need PPPP? :)

  • CocoLion replied 8 years ago

    Of the two, I prefer the second bag.

    Regarding the skirts, can you wear them rolled up? I mean, does it look bulky? I have a thin knit maxi with a slit in it, I roll the skirt up all the time, and it doesn't show because the knit is thin and I wear waist surrendering tops.

    I'm surprised you don't like the teal top, I like it on you.

  • missvee replied 8 years ago

    I'm not fond of either bag (sorry!). I think the snake one is kind of a boxy shape, and the colour really does read very light against your coat. I'm sure you can do better. And as others have said the black one is SO big. Smart style, but is it practical for your needs. It's too bad that your purchases haven't worked out very well, given the hassle of cross border returns. :-(

  • texstyle replied 8 years ago

    I think you're making the right choice to keep trying. I understand the pain of return by mail. I'm putting the last 3 pair of a total of 11 pairs of shoes back in the boxes today. Only one pair I'm considering keeping and they weren't really the "dressier" flats I needed so I'm not even 100% sure on those. And handbags - whew! I've shopped for about two months and can't find the right bag. I know what I want (style/size/features) but I can't seem find it anywhwere.

    The up side I guess is that we're all learning more about what we like and what suits us, etc.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 8 years ago

    Oh Suz - I'm so sorry your Nordstrom shopping isn't working out the way you had hoped :(

    I realize now that I didn't even see what the Elliott Lucca handbag looked like with my red puffer coat - but to be honest, I'm not sure I care! If I limited my handbags to what works with my winter coat, I'd have black, grey and more black. For me personally, I want a handbag that works with many things and will not worry so much about how it looks outside in a blizzard. That having been said, I do like the Elliott Lucca in the green shade (the one I have) more than the grey shade that you have. The grey tone reads too white to my eye. But I think the green shade would have possibilities for you. The size is wonderful. But if you're not feeling it, you're not feeling it.

    I think the tote is lovely but would be heavy once full due to its size.

  • K. Period. replied 8 years ago

    *Big Hugs* I share your return pain, Suz, although on a lesser level since I don't have to do cross border returns. In my imagination, we're sitting back in our imaginary recliners, kicking off our fabulous shoes ('cause of course we have fabulous shoes on), and watching a little Pride & Prejudice to console ourselves while the UPS guy lugs all our returns back to whence they came....

  • catgirl replied 8 years ago

    Suz, I love the first bag for you. It's muted pattern and seems to be a great size. But you need to adore it. This is why I don't do statement bags. My Coach bag is perfect for me in black with buckles. :)

    The second bag is huge as a handbag, but good for a tote size. Small women can carry a big bag much better than tall women can carry a tiny bag, IMHO. So if it fills a need, I like it.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Awww. You guys as all so sweet. I appreciate the virtual hugs! Having a low shopping/hair day here. Just got it cut and it looks lousy!

  • unfrumped replied 8 years ago

    It's hard for you to look anything but great in anything, I think. But I might say ixnay on the bags. But only because I think there is more fabness out there.

    If you like gray, I think it may be that you would steer toward warm grays/medium charcoal and not silvery. I agree that the light bag reads pretty "cool". The thing about reptile prints is, there are so many color variations, I'm just sure there's one out there that will bridge your color range better. Gray and taupe and black mix, or something, so it's light enough to pop a bit against dark tones and dark enough to be an accent for your taupes. That's what I would look for on my computer monitor while "shopping".

    I think the black tote is pretty big on you. Again, if you have a definite purpose and think the tote has cool features, maybe yes. As in, do you carry legal size files or overnight stuff. But, black totes come in all materials/price points and so if you can identify a range of dimensions that is a better size for you, then you can search for those features. A tote in a just- large-enough size is one you are likely to carry more often.

    I'm struck by how wonderful you look in those taupe-y outfits compared to black or very dark colors. Have you tried to identify the "taupology" of the color situation, and is the theme the color, or the level of saturation, or what, and have you been able to translate that to your other neutrals and accent colors? I had a color epiphany of sorts ( I still need much more enlightenment ! ) when I realized that even though I have fairly dark brown hair and pale skin, the typical "winter" dark jewel tones wash me out, but just slightly more medium tones of the same colors look better. So color is complicated, as noted in the prior post on warm vs. cool and Summers and so on.

    So, take that with a large shaker of salt, as that's all well and hypothetical, but you may feel it's hard to track these items down.

  • rae replied 8 years ago

    How heavy is the black tote? I love the design, and I don't think it swamps you. But then I am a fan of large bags. I prefer the lower-contrast of the black with the color of your coat to the bright white of the Elliot Lucca.

    Hrm... maybe hold out for a taupe bag?

  • Caro in Oz replied 8 years ago

    Chiming in late - hope you're feeling better. I think both bags are beautiful #1 looks like you but doesn't seem to work with your coat & #2 does look a little big to my eye. If you love #1 I think you should keep it because it seems to me it would work with a lot of your wardrobe. Maybe you could buy a plain black messenger to work with your coat.

  • replied 8 years ago

    Oh Suz, I'm so sorry! Do you have wine? That might help.

    You are one stylish woman and I'm so glad you're making all of these purchases jump through hoops to make the cut before allowing them into your wardrobe. Sometimes you just have to say, "To heck with the cheese, let me out of the trap!" If it saves you duty, ship them to me and I'll return them to my Rack.

    I didn't have time to comment on your skirt/top post this morning. While I love navy and green stripes, I'll have to admit that my eye went to your top, not to your face at first (is this a sign that a print is *wearing you*? Still trying to figure that one out). The skirts are kinda cool. I actually like the long length with pumps (the wedges that aren't working--bah!) I'm not sure about the bright blue color and how that would integrate with your wardrobe. And how practical are the knits once you break out the hosiery?

    These bags are okay, but I think you need to visit me and go to Last Chance! I still like the idea of snake for you, but you need to try it on to see what it looks like with your coloring and your coats. While I love black footwear, I'm not crazy about black bags. They can look common, and you deserve something a bit special that will be a vehicle for your style. I feel like this one is sort of style-neutral.

    I'm so, so sorry to be so tough on these things, but I don't want you to spend all this money unless you think they're 10s.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Thanks, again, sweet friends. I DO have wine, and I had some tonight with my whine, and I am feeling much better. PPP is what it is ALL about, right?

    I am sending the bags back. Well...I will check out the black one again carefully before making a decision, because, in answer to several questions, I actually have a huge need for an overnight tote; I travel to my mother's once a month via train to stay with her for a few days and help care for her. Of course I bring a little suitcase, but i also bring my laptop, books, a sweater or jacket or gloves or scarf....you get the idea.

    Unfrumped - you are right - I look best in mid-tones, neither light nor dark, although I can take more darkness than light as a rule, so long as I play it carefully. The flash might be affecting things, in the taupe outfits it wasn't always on.

    Just to reassure everyone: returns really are not that bad. I didn't have to pay duty on these items because my husband was in the US and picked them up there. And to return them, I just have to drive one hour across the border where returns will be free. So it's not a terrible inconvenience. The only trouble is that I still need a bag, some tops, and other wardrobe items.

    Ah well. In time, they will come. And in the meantime, I do have some nice jeans to put on!

  • Transcona Shannon replied 8 years ago

    *clinking wine glasses with you*


  • unfrumped replied 8 years ago

    suz, that sounds like good thinking. If the tote works for your train trip bag situation and you have fun using it and are good to go every month with a place for everything and everything in its place, that can a worthy problem-solver bag. If you really would like more versatility and overlap trips and daily toting, maybe less so.

  • Sylvie replied 8 years ago

    Suz is there any way at all you can get ahold of the taupe/green version of the EL bag? Do you otherwise like the shape/size? Because I really, really do think that color will work for you.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Thanks, Sylvie. I could order it, yes...but I'm not convinced I like it enough to do so. I think I'm better off waiting.

  • Carole replied 8 years ago

    Suz, I have the EL bag in this exact color but just a smaller version, and I LOVE it for me. I'm just not sure if its the right color for you. I really like the black bag, but it seems so large for you. If this is a practical size for you then I say "yes" to the bag. If there is a doubt I think you should wait for the right size and color. You are so clearly on the right track and in tune to what your style and fashion goals are, you will do the right thing.

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