10 Red-Carpet Worthy Evening Bags

The awards season officially opens this Sunday, with the Golden Globes. For me, the Red Carpet is usually more of a draw than the actual show (but shhh…don’t tell the actors!), as I sit perched on my couch with my cocktail and notebook in hand, awaiting the elegant gowns and jewels…or the ensembles worthy of a fashion citation. But it’s not only the actual jewelry that is sparkling, but also the evening bags and shoes. In my book, they count as a whole other category of jewelry. Don’t you agree?

With that in mind, I went on a virtual shopping spree to find some bejeweled and sparkling bags that are definitely worthy of the Red Carpet. Some are a major investment, while others are not. Here they are, in no particular order. (And if you’re interested in finding out more, then just click on the blue links for each one.)

Diane von Furstenburg

diane von furstenberg 440 stardust envelope clutch

marchesa lily medium python oval box clutch
Edie Parker

edie parker flavia confetti acrylic clutch


milly aztec gold frame clutch

gucci broadway beaded leather clutch

maiyet embroidered venus clutch
Whiting & David

whiting & david gia crystal & bead clutch

glint ombre crystal clutch

rauwolf labyrinth minaudiere
Judith Leiber (various colors and monograms available)

judith leiber couture monogram crystal slide-lock clutch
When you find yourself getting ready for a fancy night out, don’t forget that your bag is an important part of your outfit. I encourage my clients to make sure they have a few great selections in their closet, so that they are never left with having to ask their husband or significant other to carry their phone and lipstick in their sport coat.

Speaking of which, definitely think about what you need with you on a night out, as that will determine the size bag you need.  For instance, if you need an epi-pen with you at all times, make sure to have that with you when you shop, so you can make sure it fits in your evening bag. And also consider if there are any prongs or other things that may catch the delicate fabric of your outfit. You wouldn’t want that to happen!

Start with choosing a a bag or two in versatile neutrals (which may include a metallic) that will mix and match with your wardrobe. It’s an investment that many don’t consider when building their wardrobe, but it’s an important one. Many people just leave their bag as an afterthought, which I don’t recommend.

I, myself, recently found a great, simple black one on clearance during the holiday sales. It’s patent (which is now a year-round material), with a neutral metal long strap, so I can go hands-free. Yes, it still cost a pretty penny, but I then came home and got rid of all my old “prom-y” looking ones. I know I’ll get great cost-per-wear with this one, and I feel much more confident having a stylish choice in my closet, instead of having to weed through bags I don’t particularly love, while I’m trying to get out the door. In fact, I’ve already used it three times since purchasing it in December. Not bad, right?

Hope this article got you thinking about the evening bags in your own closet, and if you watch The Golden Globes, enjoy the fashion show!

Accessorize Me: Helmut Lang Black Dress

About ready to begin my 16th year as a full-time image consultant and wardrobe stylist, a big part of my job is accessorizing my clients from head-to-toe. Jewelry, is of course, a HUGE part of creating the whole “look.” I’m starting this new series, Accessorize Me, to demonstrate how to create different looks with the same outfit, just by switching up your accessories. Just as I do with myself and my clients, there’s a total range of price points — I love mixing high and low to create the look I’m going for. I hope you enjoy it, and I look forward to all comments!

First up is this cool crepe jersey dress by Hemut Lang that I recently purchased for a client. She is a hard-working author, mom, and wife, so this dress has got to take her out during the day or to a cocktail party with her husband.

Helmut Lang ruched-side crepe dress

First, let’s take it a little more casual, yet still with an urban edge. For this look, I opted for a long, statement necklace by Alexis Bittar. I just love the organic nature of the pendant with the clear lucite drop. In addition, the asymmetry of the pendant echoes the asymmetry of the dress. This necklace would work with a variety of outfits, for sure!

Alexis Bittar Lucite Jardin Mystere Pendant Necklace

Complementing the look with a cool stack ring, also by Alexis Bittar, and a simple, yet lovely pair of hammered silver hoops by Argento Vivo makes the right statement. The pave crystals in the ring pair well with the pave detail in the necklace, without being to “matchy matchy.”

Argento Vivo earrings and Alexis Bittar ring

To round out the downtown look, I chose a stacked heel by Anyi Lu (totally hot right now, and also referred to as a Cuban heel) and a simple black clutch by Oliveve.

Anyi Lu sandal and Oliveve queenie clutch

Now taking it more uptown, I went with a gold theme. This client is a mix of warm and cool coloring, so she’s lucky to be able to wear both metal colors. (If you’re unsure what metals are best on you, click here for my article on selecting the right tone.)

First off, I went for a much higher and dressier shoe by Manolo Blahnik. While these are a big investment, they will get a lot of play from everything from dresses to jeans, so the cost-per-wear will be pretty good. Then this clutch by Diane von Furstenburg is a great combo with the gold/black theme.

manolo blahnik shoe and diane von furstenburg clutch

And for the icing on the cake, we need some gold bling! I heart this bejeweled cuff by Jenny Packham, and you can’t go wrong with these stellar mesh drop earrings from ABS by Allen Schwartz (at under $100, great bling-for-the-buck!)

jenny packham cuff and abs allen schwartz earrings

While this is only two looks for this dress, I think we’re off to a great start. I’m sure we’ll even bring it down to total casual with flat sandals, a denim jacket, some more bohemian jewelry, and perhaps a simple cross-body bag. This $290 dollar dress is going to become a major work-horse this season!