Build Your Basics: Bags

Do you ever look in your closet and wonder how everything got in there? Maybe you have clothes from 10 years ago that you’re still holding onto because you might wear them sometime. Maybe you tend to buy new things and not know how to wear them. Or maybe you’re like me and regularly rotate your closet, but still find yourself going back to the same things over and over again. Over the years, I’ve gotten to really pinpoint my style and what I like to wear. Narrowing down my style and what I like has helped immensely in having a closet that works for me! I no longer waste money on clothes I don’t wear, I get a lot of use out of the things I do buy, and I have a closet with things that can easily mix and match with each other.

Throughout this year, I’m going to be sharing my must-have styles in the big categories for items in my closet, from bags to jeans to tops. While I’ll be putting my own personal spin on it, based on what I like to wear and feel good in, the intention is to serve you with some guidelines and recommendations for building your own dream closet. I want you to walk into your closet and feel inspired to get dressed and put an outfit together! If you’re spending an amount of money on clothes, you should want to wear them and feel good in them!

For this first installment, we’re talking about bags. While they’re not an article of clothing, I do think that bags are an essential part of your wardrobe. Unless, of course, you hate carrying a purse. Then this is all meaningless to you, haha! If you’re like me, though, and carry a bag regularly, I’m sharing my must-have styles below. If you came to me with an unlimited budget to start from the ground up and completely overhaul your closet, these are the styles of bags I would recommend to you.

My “Must-Have” Styles

1. A Belt Bag, aka The Fanny Pack

What I Use It For: running errands, walks or trips to the park with Liam
While this is definitely a style that’s very trendy right now, the concept of a belt bag has been around forever. What I think is helpful about the way that I wear them is that it feels more like a crossbody bag than a fanny pack. Anytime that I’m going out with Liam, this is the type of bag that I use. It’s easy to throw on, doesn’t get weighed down with extra stuff, and doesn’t get in the way when I’m carrying him.

My Favorites:

Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag (in White and Black), Everlane Italian Leather Sling (in Dark Olive)

Other Options:


2. A Large Tote

What I Use It For: travel, working remotely, a diaper bag + purse combination
I don’t think you could convince me that there’s a person out there that couldn’t use a large tote in some capacity. Whether it’s to carry your personal items to and from work everyday, for traveling, or to use as a diaper bag for children, it’s essential! I go through phases in what style of purse I like to carry with me everyday and sometimes it’s a tote. I find them particularly helpful in the winter or when I’m carrying around extra stuff, like snacks, gloves, and water bottles.

My Favorites:

Shop Bagging Rights Tote-ally (in Slate Grey), Madewell Zip-Top Transport Crossbody (in English Saddle), Able Abera Crossbody Tote (in Black/Cognac)

Other Options:


3. A Small “Camera Bag”

What I Use It For: date night, weekends, or for carrying just the essentials
A small bag like this is so versatile! It can be your everyday bag, your occasion bag, or somewhere in between. I typically prefer to keep my bag on the smaller side these days for ease of carrying around, so a camera bag allows me to bring what I need without being as casual as a belt bag.

My Favorites:

Tory Burch Kira Chevron Camera Bag (in Ivory and Pink), Tory Burch Fleming Camera Bag (in Black)

Other Options:


4. A Large Convertible Shoulder Bag

What I Use It For: date night, weekends, or when I’m traveling
This style is great for most occasions. If you’re someone that prefers to carry more things around with you in your daily bag, a camera bag will be too small. A bag like this is nice to be able to carry what you need without being as big as a tote. You can tell I’m a fan of Tory Burch convertible bags – they’re dressy enough to easily wear for date night or a special occasion, but not so fancy that I feel like I can’t wear them everyday, too.

My Favorites:

Tory Burch Kira Satchel (in Ivory), Tory Burch Fleming Quilted Shoulder Bag (in Grey Heron), Tory Burch Kira Chevron Convertible Shoulder Bag (in Grey)

Other Options:


Other Bag Types To Consider

5. Weekender Bag

What It’s Good For: a weekend or overnight trip


6. Clutch

What It’s Good For: a formal event, wedding, dinner date, etc. 


Hi there!

Lauren Bown Lifestyle Blog is an online destination where I share my personal style, beauty finds, and bits of life in hopes to inspire other women to feel good in their skin and find the beauty in the ordinary.

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