Red hot

Oh, do I have plans for these ...

Strappy. Red. Sexy. Tall.



Wanted: A Workin' Bag for a Workin' Girl

There are some tenets of life that I strictly abide by. “Beer before liquor, never been sicker,” for example. Avoid stretch pants, cell phones are NOT an accessory (so do not hang them from your belt!) and do not drink and dye (your hair).

One of my favorite little ditties (ok, so I sort of made it up myself) is “New job, new bag.” And ladies (and gentlemen?) I am proud to announce that I’m officially starting anew the Hunt for the Black Everyday Purse.

Now, I’ve already picked out a cute Spring purse made by Nine West. (As an aside, I like Nine West bags because the few I’ve had have been very sturdy (important for something you’re using each day) and they are reasonably priced (less than $100) and easy to find (in addition to Nine West stores, most department stores around me carry them with nice sale prices). But now I’m rambling.)

I’ve been wanting a grass green purse and when I saw this one, I said, “If I get that job, I’m buying this purse,” as a fondled it at the mall last weekend. And lo and behold!

So, I was looking for a picture of the purse at NineWest.com (go visit and register, they send out notifications of sales and free shipping offers!) and I couldn’t find one of the particular bag I wanted (for a punchy little post called “Where the Green Bags Grow”) but I did see one tote-style bag that is in the running to be Charming’s Next Black Everyday Purse.

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It’s the Hipster Tote and I like it because it looks big (14 inches wide by 10 tall) so I could fit a dayplanner and possibly even a legal pad in it. And, if you read the description, you’ll see that it has one of my FAVORITE feature of almost every Nine West bag I’ve ever owned – two compartments divided by a top-zip pouch.

Now, you might be saying, “Dear, of all of the things to love about a bag, you’re picking the interior pocket?”

Yes, I am. In this case, at least.

Look, I carry around a lot of stuff. Make-up, medicine, healthy snacks, keys, pens, marketing materials, my wallet, hand lotion, Band-Aids, etc. And trust me when I say that without a well-compartmentalized bag, I will pull out a tampon instead of a pen to take notes at a meeting. I will. Scout’s honor.

So, I throw all of the stuff that you don’t want to accidentally pull out in an inopportune time into the big middle pouch that zips. And then one half of the bag is “personal” items like my wallet and make-up case and the other half is “work,” where I stash the aforementioned pens and legal pads and dayplanners. This system does work for me, but it also does require that I clean out my purse often so to avoid accidentally pulling out last night’s tab from the bar when I’m looking for stuff for an expense report. So not cool.

So, I also like this tumbled leather bag from The Gap. Nice bucket shape and long drop, which is good. Probably doesn’t have as many pockets, but a simple, uncluttered look all around. (Unlike the Nine West Hipster Tote, which is a flurry of rivets and buckles and external pockets I’ll probably never use.)

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And, while online at the Gap, I kind of started crushing on this Large Leather Hobo, even though I doubt I could fit a legal pad in it. (And, no, I don’t want to carry a separate brief case. Booo.)

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And, of course, we have the bag I won’t spend that much money on from Banana Republic, called the Tangiers tote. It is cute, but not $198 cute, in my opinion.

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I like leather braiding, but I don’t LOVE leather braiding. (I’ll go on a date with it, but I’m not going to have its babies.)

Sigh, the search must go on.


Sunday Sale

Two quick sale items I'm dying for from Ann Taylor Loft, home of cute work clothes and fabulous sale racks.

I've actually seen both of these in person and they are tres cute. (I tried the shoes on in black, but ultimately decided I had enough black shoes. However, I didn't see them in red at my ATL.)

I'm thinking that both of these would be great for a not-too-dressy day at work, a weekend brunch or day social occasion (like a shower) or a fun little evening on the town. I'm thinking black wrap dress, I'm thinking silver hoops and I'm thinking cute red shoes with a matching small red mini bag and some good red wine to boot.

That's one bonus to buying shoes and handbags at the same place. You know the colors will match. Not that they HAVE to match, but it is nice to know that one red won't be too orangey.

And red sandals are a great outfit maker for spring and summer. I wore some very inexpensive Steve Madden knock-offs in red for months a few years back. Red shoes are one of many ways to make jeans and a tiny tee into an outfit.

Now hurry, before I buy them all!


Regarding Steven

I happened upon some fabulous little finds on Steve Madden’s Web site whilst browsing the other day.

There is the cute little pair of black wedge heels called Sloane. Nice rounded toe with darling dotted detailing and a big rounded button to boot. Nice for work, me thinks.

I also found the Oceana particularly adorable. I’d like them in the green fabric. They are the perfect summer sandal with the tall espadrille heel. I’d love love love to wear them with a blousey linen skirt and a tank top. The stones and jewels make them special enough to wear with a really simple outfit. Of course, the lack of structured support means I’d probably fall all over the place. (I haven’t tried them on, so who knows.)

And I liked the Thunderr in aqua as well. I’ve wanted some cute D’Orsays for awhile and these with the wedges are darling, darlin’.

If we’re talking handbags (and how could we not talk handbags!), I like the Btaken, which mixes a very classic concept (the framed structure) with the slightly slouchy body.


These are a few of my favorite things


I started this to quench the thirst for all things shopping. I’ve slowly caught shoes and bags seeping into my actual journal blog, Charming, but Single. So, we’ll see how I do when I’m only talking about such things.

That being said, I’m no Fashionista. I don’t have buckets of cash to feed my habit. In general, I have more taste than money. I don’t live in a huge city with designer goods surrounding me. I’m just an average lady who likes pretty things that won’t break the bank. I’ve never spent more than $100 on a purse or a pair of shoes, and unless my fortune changes, I doubt I ever will.

I don’t get all worked up about every little piece of fashion. Vogue is not my bible. I’ve never set foot in Neiman Marcus. (I know, I know. Trust me, I know.) And just in case you were wondering, I would rather gouge my own eyes out with a lead pencil soaked in sewer water than wear leggings. (Unless I was at them gym and my yoga pants were tres dirty.)

This is just a place to opine on the special things I see in stores or online. The inexpensive, the moderately priced, the stuff I’d buy if I won an especially large Powerball jackpot. Mostly shoes and bags, I’m sure. But I’m not ruling out various foods, home décor (love me some Nate Berkus!) or pieces of technology. And, I’m sure from time to time, I’ll dip into discussions of marketing and trends that should just not be.

So, sit a spell and let’s dish, shall we?