As a full-time abaya wearer, I can tell you that going out in an abaya minus a handbag is like going out without your knickers...
In a sea of black abayas, it is handbags which a lost child trying to find their veiled mummy will be looking at to decipher which handbag is his/her mother's (I know because I've lost my mother enough times while grocery shopping at Carrefour).
So, what bags does this season have in store for us?
Ladylike fashion, as you probably already know, is EVERYWHERE at the moment...so dust off your Louis Vuitton Speedys and get your hands on a forties/fifties inspired structured handbag preferrably with short top handles/straps, locks or clasps and in mock croc, python skin and leather and get your grandmama green with envy.
While temperatures here in the GCC will never drop to a level requiring fur gloves/hats/coats, we can pretend that it gets icy here by carrying around an animal-friendly faux fur bag. Faux fur bags can be worn elegantly and they can also be done boho-style.
Honestly a tricky choice with abayas but can be done if you make sure the strap is long enough, cross-body bags were all the rage on the runway for A/W 2010/2011 with long leather straps, chains and even strings of pearls. A practical, hands-free option which adds a bit of seventies retro cool.
Let out your inner Oxford student and invest in a slouchy or structured satchel with loads of buckles and clasps. They don't have to have long straps; satchels with short straps which can be hand-held are also stylish at the moment. If you are looking for a satchel which will be fashionable forever, choose a classic leather satchel in tan colours with a vintage, worn feel.
You call it a drawstring bag, I call it a bucket, but they're both the same and were hot last season and are still in this season. Another seventies inspired bag, they are roomy and again keep your hands free, but can also feel heavy and get in the way as you walk! This is one bag trend which may only last for this season.
Perfect for work, perfect for a night out, the oversized clutch is also a multi-tasker which can be used as a bag, document holder and portfolio and be taken from the board room meeting to a lunch out with the girls to an evening about town. They may not leave your hands free, but they do look sophisticated and grown-up. Try a new twist on the oversized clutch by buying an oversized clutch with a small wrist/hand held handle.
A bag trend which has had less attention paid to it but still popped up on the catwalk in A/W 2010/2011 shows, the wristlet is ideal for an evening out where all you need is your mobile phone...and your mobile phone (you might be able to squeeze in a few riyals). Not advised for the typical GCC fashionista (including me on this one) whose everyday handbag contents look something like this:
|Cartoon by Saudi Cartoonist Yazid Al Harthi|