When I was in college, my parents bought me my first ever Kate Spade bag – a gorgeous, vibrant pink with gold hardware and a 50s polished shape – and I was completely hooked. Prior to carrying the candy-pink KSNY bag, I’d been carrying a straightforward (still pretty!) Michael Kors black bag with brass hardware that I decided would get the job done and it did. But I always felt like something was missing from my wardrobe, and it wasn’t till then that I discovered what it was: color.
I’m sure you’re thinking by now: “But I love my neutrals! They go with everything and I don’t have to change bags often!” I get it. Your basic black and blushy nude go with everything from your sorority letters and jeans to an after-five event at work. But trust me, you need at least one wild bag in your closet, even if you don’t carry it every day. I quickly discovered my pink KSNY went with so much more than I originally thought, and what’s better, the more I carried it, the more adventurous my outfits became (Pink and aqua? Why not? Pink and orange? No brainer! Pink and apple green? Definitely!). Pink became my new neutral. Seriously.
Since my initial love affair with my pink bag, I’ve purchased a few more that I love just as much for their unique features and rich colors, and I thought I’d share my most wearable ones with you!
Plays Well With: Pale pink, black, gray, emerald green, banana yellow, cobalt blue, Tiffany blue, navy
Power Partner: Magenta
Wear Instead of: Your favorite navy bag
I thought I’d start off strong to get you thinking about all the wonderful ways you can wear a color like this in your day-to-day life. Jewel-tone purple, like the one above, works like a blue (such as your favorite jeans) since it’s in that color family and has more blue in it than red. My favorite way to pair this one is with a bright, feminine magenta top, skinny black pants, and black-and-gold heels and baubles to enjoy just the right amount of color payoff.
Plays well with: Bright yellow, clementine, hot pink, turquoise, navy, amethyst purple, teal, cobalt, coral
Power Partner: Salmon pink
Wear Instead of: Your favorite cream bag
Believe it or not, emerald green is a safe choice when it comes to mixing color into your neutral wardrobe and this bag serves as a wonderful introduction. Notoriously sporting and sea-worthy, this sharp color pops with other vibrant colors and simultaneously stands up to your neutrals. Pair this with a salmon pink button down, skinny jeans, your favorite athleisure sneaks, and some skinny, simple rose gold jewelry and you’ve got an easy outfit you can wear anywhere.
Plays well with: Teal, cobalt, yellow, navy, camel, Tiffany blue, turquoise, silvery gray, French blue
Power Partner: Lapis blue
Wear Instead of: Your favorite nude bag
Drop your nude bag, swipe on some bright lipstick, and switch out your favorite neutral for an easy, classic, and polished choice: cranberry. I especially love this bag for its patent texture, which offers a bit of a twist on an old favorite. Pair this with your favorite chambray shirt, dark skinnies, sky high lapis heels, and bright silver jewels to easily ease into color.
Plays well with: Magenta, lilac, lavender, baby blue, French blue, yellow, orange, lipstick red, navy, teal, Tiffany blue, French blue, Kelly green, camel, silver, gold, chocolate, lime green
Power Partner: Caribbean blue
Wear Instead of: Your go-to gold clutch
If you’re seeing all this pink and rolling your eyes picturing Elle Woods from Legally Blond, I urge you to consider Charlotte York from Sex and the City before your rule out this hue completely (read: polished, pretty, prim). This bag is tiny but mighty, feminine, and hails to a fun 80s-neon color palette (it’s neon gingham inside!). Pair this with a white skirt, Caribbean blue blouse, gold heels, and simple diamond studs for twist on your go-to power suit.
Plays well with: Any shade of pink, any shade of blue, yellow, orange, key lime, citron, lavender, olive, bright yellow
Power Partner: Amethyst
Wear Instead of: Your little black going-out bag
If you’re constantly wearing out your little black bag for drinks with your girls or date night, I encourage you to make this tiny switch to a comfortably sized and sweet little bag that is unexpected after-five. Pair it with an amethyst sheath, outrageous stilettos, and of-the-moment purply-blue lipstick and you’re set!
Plays well with: Everything you’d wear your favorite jeans with
Power Partner: Cobalt
Wear Instead of: Your big ol’ black bag
Sure, you may feel a little trepidation letting go of your catchall bag, but you’ll feel just as comfortable with a gorgeous Tiffany blue upgrade. Pair this with cobalt skinnies, your favorite chambray shirt, and some yellow heels for contrast and added pop of color.
Plays well with: All your favorite blues and oranges, bright green, creamy yellow, turquoise, navy, lavender, deep purple
Power Partner: Buttercream yellow
Wear Instead of: Your go-to camel bag
Salmon seems like a more adventurous choice when you see it on its own, but really, it’s in the same color family as many of your favorite warm neutrals and pairs beautifully just like they do. Try this one with a rich buttercream yellow dress and tan wedges in the summer or a tan skirt and pumps and buttercream button-down for the office for a refreshing, polished ensemble you can wear to just about anything on your calendar.
Head on over to Kate Spade to see what’s out now and promise you’ll at least look at one wildly colored bag!