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Updated: June 12, 2010 15:56 IST

Bagged it yet?

GAURI SHAH
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In focus now: Everyone's looking at your bag. Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash
The Hindu
In focus now: Everyone's looking at your bag. Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash

Bags are not just something to stuff things into; they are the latest fashion statement.

“It's raining bags!” is the style diva's latest mantra. The style quotient around the globe has had a makeover; clothes are no longer the centre of attraction.

The new look emphasises what you wear with them; accessories are under the arc lights today! The hottest of them, without a doubt, comes with baggage! Your most cherished accessory has become the mainstay of the red carpet and the focus of the flash.

The fashion world appears to be splashed by bags from every direction. The bag, as every woman's faithful companion, has made a bold comeback. They're no longer just another item to be carried along to stuff all your essentials; bags are the brand new style statement. And they're not restricted to the age-old ‘ purses' with those floor length straps that aunties would carry for their kitty parties.

In fact, we are spoilt for choice with the large variety that designers are ushering in. All of a sudden every hot designer is discarding their scissors for leather.

Most women, however, aren't even aware of what's available on the rack. So here's how you make sure that you have one of every kind to add to your glam appeal.

Oversized handbag: An essential addition to every woman's wardrobe, a big-sized bag slung comfortably over your shoulder is perfect for any occasion. Carry it to office to stuff in all those files, palmtops, planners; to a brunch for those glares, SPF, scarf or a wrap (in case of a chill); or for retail therapy to dump all your purchases in. Having innumerable compartments for cash, mobile phone, pens, card holders etc makes it that much more convenient. The big bag gives you easy access to everything without having to rummage through all your stuff. This will usually be the ‘main' bag that you carry through the day; so keep in mind your colour preferences before you purchase it. Pick that startling purple only if you think you can carry it off; otherwise a basic black/beige never goes wrong.

The tote bag: A spacious and trendier (so-to-say) shopping bag is a coarse definition for a tote. Being a slightly smaller version of your oversized bag, this has no compartments (unlike the big bag); meaning it is usually a long rectangular bag where everything goes in together. Ideal for regular shopping, keep one in your car for an emergency, always. Totes are generally easy wear and throw, so not very expensive. Get an assortment in multiple colours and patterns to match your various outfits.

The clutch: A small tiny bag minus a handle that you hold in your palm, a clutch is the best accessory for an evening cocktail or a family get-together. Just enough room to hold your mobile phone, some cash, gloss and a tiny bottle of perfume, it's not too heavy and ideal for what you know are going to be one of those long evenings. Embroidered clutches are totally in at the moment, and those with a heavier wallet Swarovski or rhinestone-studded clutches are scorching! Score a cool designer one or a spunky street side one; either way, get one right away.

The wallet: Initially created just to carry money as a small pouch inside your bag, the wallet has now been re-invented by the biggest brands in the trendiest designs. Wallets, as a designer statement, are to be carried just by themselves mostly for social dos, especially when you have your spouse along to carry anything else that you might need. Just squeeze in some credit cards, change, your mobile phone and you're set to go! You're allowed to go wild with wallets, so don't hesitate to go for that funky orange or a leopard print one.

The batwa: The Indian version of the wallet, a batwa serves the same purpose; only it's meant mostly for an Indian function or best paired with a sari or salwar-kameez. Usually studded with beads, stones or zardosi and tied together with strings, it is like a part of that jewellery set and perfect for that big set of keys while stepping out. Splurge on an exquisite one since these are sturdy, never go out of style and are needed very occasionally; hence you can repeat them for years without having to change.

The sling back: For the more casual, laid-back look, especially for collegians and university goers, sling backs are the biggest rage. Big enough for a dozen books and stationery and easy to carry (just throw it around your shoulders), this uber-cool acquisition will put you on page one on campus. It is also a great alternative for that day picnic or a hike, where you need your hands free but still need to throw in a change of clothes. Try and get one in the biggest size and preferably a dark colour-cum-easy to wash material since you know you're gonna be roughing this one out.

With just one of each on your arm, you're ready to face the world!

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