Fashion & Beauty

What We Want to Buy Now: 06.16.2021

Clockwise, from left to right: Anya Hindmarch Eyes tote, Banana Republic clutch, Hat Attack’s fringed top handle bag and Sensi Studio’s crafty tote.


WEARING A woven bag when the weather warms is practically a rite of summer. And, this season, there are more options than ever—from clutches to cross-bodies to totes and top-handles in neutrals as well as bright colors and pretty patterns. Here, ones on my radar.

LEFT: Instead of red, white and blue, how about this cheery color combination—pink, poppy, navy and mint, offset with a checkered top handle? Clare V.’s Bateau Woven Tote ($475, Anthropologie) is a sturdy carryall with plenty of space (18 inches wide by 10 inches high by 6 inches deep) for your farmer’s market haul or your day-at-the-beach essentials. Plus, there’s an interior clasp and d-ring to cinch the bag into a different shape.

RIGHT: Designer Soraya Hennessy works with Venezuelan women artisans who handcraft accessories in fashionable patterns, such as this 13-inch-high-by-17-inch-wide by 4-inch-deep Leopard Crochet Tote Bag  ($350, Anthropologie).

LEFT: Okay, I’ve had my eye on Anya Hindmarch’s Eyes Small Basket Bag Seagrass-Woven Basket Bag (pictured) for a while. Too long, I guess, because it’s sold out. Alternatively, the Eyes Large Basket Bag ($675, Matches), which is 24 inches wide and almost 12 inches high, is still available and just as darn cute.

RIGHT: The beauty of a clutch is you can’t stuff too much into it before it bulges and looks unattractive. When the occasion calls for only carrying a lip balm, mobile phone, credit card and a just-in-case mask, I’d slip this foldover, zip-top Mar Y Sol/Tula Clutch under my arm and be off. Handmade in Madagascar, it’s 100% raffia and sells for $130 at Banana Republic.


LEFT: Sequins and raffia make an unexpected but glamorous pairing on this medium-size (11.8  inches high by 16.5 inches wide and 5.9 inches deep) tote from Vanessa Bruno. It’s $290 at SP24.

CENTER: The fringe on the side gives Hat Attack’s tortoise-handle fringe bag ($134, Tuckernuck) its charm. It’s sold out on the Hat Attack and Shopbop sites, so if you like it, waste no time.

RIGHT: Founded by her grandmother in 1925, Caterina Bertini gave the Florentine accessories label a fresh new stamp when she took over the helm and expanded from straw hats to handbags. Lined in nylon with an inner zip pocket, the 10-inch high and 10-inch wide Colorblocked Raffia Tote Bag ($178, Anthropologie) comes with a 30-inch crossbody strap.


LEFT: Wouldn’t this square-shaped, braided paper straw Shopper ($24.99, H&M) with a fringe top edge and two handles look just splendid worn with a white eyelet summer dress?

RIGHT: If you fancy one of these handmade Canasta Mexicana totes, be prepared to wait between two to three weeks, the time it takes to complete one. Woven of the same toquilla straw used to make the finest— and most expensive–Panama hats, it is $276 at Sensi Studio.


LEFT: I’m a long-time fan of Helen Kaminksi hats and bags.  Kaminksi launched the brand in 1983 with hats she designed to protect her children from the searing Australian sun. In 1990, she expanded to bags with a raffia “sac” that I kept for many years until I wore it to a cigar party in D.C. and could never get the smoke smell out. The brand has new owners, but the emphasis on design remains, as do the high prices. The Madelyn Saddle Bag ($400), a mix of raffia and leather in a scallop shape, comes with a detachable leather shoulder strap and protective studs at the base of the bag. My personal peeve: most handbags, even very expensive ones, don’t have them.

RIGHT: Refresh your summer staples with a sunny silhouette. Made of wicker and vachetta (untreated leather designed to age), the Bess Wicker Basket ($298) from Frances Valentine—a modern take on the ladies-who-lunch bag—also has a detachable, adjustable crossbody strap. The peony-and-tulip printed cotton lining is a sweet throwback.



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2 thoughts on “What We Want to Buy Now: 06.16.2021

  1. Nancy G says:

    In clearing out my mom’s things from their apartment, I came across a wonderful multicolor straw bag in a half moon shape. I remember her carrying it. My mom was always the most stylish mom around. Now I can be too.

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      Nice memory. You already are the most stylish mom around.

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