Holiday Gift Guide 2017: Bag Edition

“It is a known fact that a woman do carry an evening bag at dinner time.” Now this famous quote from the now iconic documentary Paris Is Burning holds more truth than people think. However, the quote should be interpreted by the fact that any outfit always feels a little more complete once you add a stunning bag to it. The perfect bag also has the ability to boost one’s confidence and mood. Allowing the wearer to express their personal style with a bag of their choosing. And for that reason, we here at Novella feel that choosing the perfect bag for that perfect someone is always a great gift giving choice for the holiday season. However, choosing the right bag can sometimes be extremely hard and with so many bags and personalities out there, having a guide on what to get is often very helpful and time-saving.

Forever 21 Faux Leather Crossbody Bag: $33.90

Photo: Forever 21

As fashion grows and progresses, so does the need to use it as a form of self-expression. Unlike the conventional bags most people are used to seeing. Today’s purses are no longer about functionality and stand more as a test of creative integrity and self-expression. One big trend that really encompasses this idea is the mini bag, while it may not be the most functional bag to its size, this Forever 21 mini faux patent leather bag is all about visual appeal rather than functionality. Sure you may not be able to fit everything in there. But this bag does hold its own perfectly fine as a party bag or evening bag. And its punchy mix of fire engine red and shiny metal hardware give this bag an edgy 80s personality that’s been all the rage the past few years.

Chanel Boy Bag: $7175.00

Photo: Chanel

The Chanel Boy Bag may be the bag to end all bags. With its iconic silhouette and chain strap. The Boy bag has become synonymous with Paris upper echelon. However, with a name like Chanel on the bag, the cost is automatically going to be quite astronomical for a purse. But its the quality of materials and craftsmanship that really makes this bag an extra special gift. Rather than purchasing your special someone a regular black Chanel Boy bag. Opt for this glittery sequined version. Which mixes the perfect amount of after-dark glamour with the conventional look of an all black bag.

Zara Knotted Bucket Bag: $49.90

Photo: Zara

Zara has a long-standing reputation for creating fashionable high-quality clothing and accessories that merge the high fashion appeal of the runway with functional everyday attire. This simple black shoulder bag is the perfect for someone who’s always on the go. It’s roomy design and thick strap are bound to last for those who can’t help but carry everything but the kitchen sink with them. What sets this bag apart from regular leather totes is its fresh design. The bag itself is very architectural. With the knotted straps creating a very angular silhouette that compliments the triangular shape of the bag.

Maison Margiela Patchwork Pouch: $2660.00

Photo: Maison Margiela

For those who want something more interesting than the average bag, Maison Margiela created this unconventional clutch. Utilizing the brand’s love for deconstruction. The clutch is decorated with pieces of Margiela staple patterns and fabrics. Creating an entirely unique look for those daring enough to wear it. Another interesting aspect of the bag is its shape. Rather than opting for a traditional square or rectangle clutch. The brand created an exaggerated and extremely elongated rectangle clutch that breaks the boundaries of what bags and clutches should look like. While this may not be the most functional option on the list, it does stand alone as a very interesting statement piece.

Aldo Wenang Light Blue Women’s Crossbody: $70.00

Photo: Aldo

These days bags can be whatever you’d like them to be and often, the more colourful and fun they are, the better. This fairytale Aldo bag brings the punch of colour many are looking for in the new year. The pastel colour scheme and embroidery is fun and playful without being juvenile. Which is often a very important thing for the purse aficionado on your holiday gift list. What makes this bag really special is how all of the colours and hardware work perfectly together. Rather than being jarring, the bag compliments itself. Especially the blue to pink gradient that makes of the colour of the bag.

Trading Places: Leather Jackets and Floral Dresses

As much as I hate to say it, I shop at Zara and I wear all black. I’m basic. Nothing against Zara, I think it’s one of the trendiest places to shop without having to shell out all your savings. The all black may have stemmed from character- or just plain laziness. It doesn’t require much effort and it’s safe. When I pick something off the rack, there’s a guaranteed eye roll coming from whomever I went shopping with that day. I don’t have what they call a “summer wardrobe”.

My clothing choices are predictable and almost always funeral appropriate. Needless to say, it’s now a lifestyle. So when I was paired up with Adina, who comes into the office wearing floral prints and coloured blazers, I knew I was going to have to get out of my comfort zone. I had the peace of knowing it wouldn’t be too crazy with mixing prints and all that, but it would still be difficult. Who knows, I might take something from this. Baby steps people.

DAYTIME OUTFIT:

Adina: I don’t think I’ve ever worn a sheer top before, so this was a new adventure for me. I liked the floral detailing on it a lot, but sheer plus the camisole is not my usual cup of tea. That being said, I think I’d be open to trying sheer things now that I know I can kind of pull it off. The pants were pretty comfortable actually, and I would wear them everywhere. I could have slept in those pants. I wasn’t totally sure if I put the shoes on correctly, to be honest. They were cute but confusing and squished my toes a bit.

Helen: Ok. Because we shop at some of the same stores, I didn’t think our styles would be a total contrast. I knew Adina would put me in patterns and colour, both of which are foreign for me, but I thought I would be fine.  I was entirely wrong, and a little, (a lot) uncomfortable not being in head to toe black. Jeans and a button up top shouldn’t make someone feel this strange but as simple as it is, this was not an outfit I’d ever pick out myself. For one, I don’t own an actual pair of jeans. However, I might go pick up a pair now that I’ve been reintroduced. The top was really comfortable but I still don’t see myself standing at checkout with it. And the wretched yellow bag- sorry Adina but that was painful.

NIGHTTIME OUTFIT:

Adina: You can’t tell in the picture, but those were some seriously high heels. I felt like a baby giraffe trying to walk for the first time. The highest heels I own are not even two inches tall. They made the whole outfit feel pretty fancy, but I can’t imagine walking anywhere in those shoes. The dress was more low cut than I usually wear, but since it was loose it didn’t feel super exposing. The leather jacket was my favourite thing out of both outfits. It looked badass and gave this whole outfit a bit of spunkier edge.

Helen: I’m in a dress. I’m wearing pink flowers. I also think my hair got even bigger from being stressed out about all the colour. Ok, that might’ve been a tad dramatic. It’s just that the handful of dresses I own are all the same, a black number with clean lines. This was not that.  I feel like this ensemble makes me look younger, and honestly, I probably would’ve bought this whole outfit if I was past me, before I found myself. I also don’t usually wear denim but this jacket I didn’t mind. You can’t see it in this photo but there was also a dainty rose gold necklace that tied this whole look together, which I would totally wear outside of this little experiment

Final Thoughts:

Adina: I think the only time before this that I’ve ever worn so much black at once was to a funeral. I guess I’ve always thought of black as being boring or for those who are more on the punk or goth side than I. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised to find that both outfits had more personality than I expected and that all those black pieces look good together. Both outfits were also much fancier than I normally wear, but it’s opened me up to more fashion possibilities. I’m also gonna go back to Zara when it gets colder so I can buy that jacket.

Helen: Adina’s style is approachable and not too crazy so I didn’t think I would have a hard time leaving the all black uniform for a few minutes. But I still felt a bit self-conscious stepping out of the shadows with that lemon yellow shoulder bag (because people could def see me now). Other than that, I didn’t mind the denim and could probably do with some jean additions in my closet. That being said,  I’ll leave the girl-next-door look to Adina and stick to my Addams Family attire.

Style Ivy – Beyond Personal Shopping

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If someone asked you to describe your style, could you do it?

How important is style to you?

Do you think style plays a crucial role in the way you carry yourself?

Lazina McKenzie, founder of style consulting company Style Ivy, has realized the importance of being able to respond all these questions.

McKenzie had worked her magic in the style consulting field for years, working with clients that ranged from large organizations to individuals. After a while, she decided she yearned to offer her services in a more approachable, personalized way. And that’s when Style Ivy was born: an agency with the ultimate purpose of helping people to look their best by teaching them to understand their own “style brand” — in other words, guiding them to be the best version of themselves.

This means no comparing one’s self to what they see on the red carpet, on the big screen or even on the streets. Your style has nothing to do with what everyone else is wearing: according to McKenzie, it’s about expressing your unique self in ways that make you feel happy, comfortable and confident.

“Each day, you are communicating who you are with others — your interests, your career goals and your personality,” says McKenzie. “We get a lot of questions about what to wear. Friends call, clients write emails, mothers-in-law beg for advice. Women everywhere have no idea to wear. Why do we feel the need to [get approval of] what we’re wearing to a party, an interview or a date? We need the confidence to share ourselves with others.”

And that’s exactly what Style Ivy is designed to give. McKenzie believes that tapping into our unique style signature could actually change our lives. Sounds like a stretch, but learning what styles work best for you can lead to a major boost in self-confidence, which can only lead to good things personally and professionally. It’s as much of a makeover on the outside as it is on the inside.

 Go to www.styleivy.com to start your style journey!