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Put to The Test

Refresh: The 10 Best Investment Bags Worth Buying

The Best Bang For Your Hard-Earned Bucks
Filed Under > Noted By

The 10 Best Investment Bags Worth Buying, @waitingonmartha

Ah, designer hand bags. I recently remembered my love-hate relationship with them, with all their gorgeousness that I just HAVE to have and allllll those high price tags.  I had forgotten just how expensive they really were…I mean wow. 

Fortunately, what I’ve found over the years is that you really do get what you pay for when it comes to the best investment bags.  The go-to brands (Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Celine, Mansur Gavriel, etc.) know what they’re doing; expert craftsmanship, high quality leather and strong hardware that will withstand more than a few wears and transcend season after season in effortless style.  

Since you’re probably buying your handbags with your hard-earned cash money, you’ll want to stick to the tried-and-true brands and styles that will give you the most bang for your buck.  I like to think I’ve figured out (and learned a few lessons the hard way) about which bags are completely worth it. 

I’m sharing a few of my favorites in the scrolling widget below, but going into full detail about why they’re worth the big bucks in the breakdown as well.  Tell me, which bags would you add to the list?  Which ones are you lusting after?!  Truly, MKR

SHOP THE STORY / CLICK LEFT & RIGHT ARROWS TO EXPLORE

 

The Practically Indestructible Throw-It-All-In Tote

Louis Vuitton Neverfull Tote (Pre-Owned)

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There’s something to be said for a practically indestructible tote bag that you can have for years and years (and years).  I’ve literally had my LV Neverfull for going on 12 years, and I throw just about everything I own into it on a daily basis: tennis shoes, makeup, laptop…you name it. It’s one of those bags I don’t have to worry about, and for that, it tops my list for best investment bags always and forever. 

Another noteworthy bag under this category: my Goyard coated canvas tote bag.  I carry that thing every. where. 

The "Boss Bag"

Celine Phantom Leather Hand Bag (Pre-Owned)

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Nothing beats having a true “Boss Bag.” You just…feel like a boss when you’re carrying it!  To me, Celine Phantom bags are the end-all-be-all of “Boss Bags.” Again, you can throw a TON of stuff inside (the bag is big) and it’s really durable.  An important thing to look for when investing in a bag like this is the pebbled leather; it will last longer than suede or nubuck. The pebbled leather takes wear (and stains and spills) better than anything softer. 

The Bucket Bag

Mansur Gavriel Saffiano Large Bucket Bag

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Bucket bags are perhaps some of my favorites (as I’m sure you’ve seen in countless outfit posts on here). I believe that Mansur Gavriel bucket bags are simply the best, too.  With smooth, shiny Italian leather, they’re timeless and sturdy.  They include an adjustable flat leather strap, along with leather a drawstring closure to keep everything safe inside. 

They make a GREAT option for traveling, and are super easy to throw over your shoulder (or crossbody) for safe keeping. And can we talk about how cute the mini version is, HERE?! 

The Shoulder Bag That Goes With Everything

Gucci Soho Leather Shoulder Bag

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When a tote bag or shoulder bag is just too much, I turn to my Gucci shoulder bag (as pictured above; I have the tan version). This bag literally goes with every outfit, from fancy to formal to even your favorite yoga pants.  I’d highly recommend this shoulder bag in particular to anyone looking to invest in a medium size bag that won’t EVER go out of style. 

The Easy Crossbody

Chloe Marcie Mini Textured-Leather Shoulder Bag

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Everyday runarounds, summer concerts and trips…you’ll want an easy crossbody bag that will stand the test of time (and work around the seasons).  Enter the Chloe Marci Mini, another must-have in dependable pebbled leather and exquisite attention to detail.  It’s the perfect bag that can channel boho vibes while still being a truly beautiful, upscale accessory. Comes in a ton of colors too! 

The Statement Clutch

Lizzie Fortunato Safari Clutch in Cuban Hibiscus

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I’m a firm believer in not playing it safe. I know that’s easier said than done when it comes to investing in expensive handbags.  But I stick to this rule of thumb when it comes to clutches; they’re the perfect small (yet big) statement to any outfit.  They just always spice things up, and they don’t have to match! 

I love anything and everything by the Lizzie Fortunato sisters, and this gorgeous embroidered safari clutch is right up my alley. 

The Ultimate Everyday Satchel

Givenchy Nightingale Medium Satchel

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In my humble opinion, Givenchy makes some of the best everyday satchels.  They’re understated, timeless and simply above the rest.  That’s why I’m a huge fan of the Nightingale Medium Satchel. It’s not loud, in-your-face or obvious, and because of that, it’s impressive. 

Again, this one is pure quality; waxy calf leather with palladium hardware will take a beating better than a lot of others in its price range. Not to mention, it’s just such a pretty bag! 

And FYI, this tan style is on MAJOR sale right now.

The Simple Tote

Clare V.

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Nothing beats a classic, simple leather tote bag.  This one is roomy enough to get you through the day’s tasks, and it has metal feet that give it more stability than most others. It also includes a lined, 1-pocket interior and an optional shoulder strap. 

Sturdy cowhide make The Simple Tote a dependable choice, and the painted stripe adds just the right amount of tasteful flair that we’ve come to know and love from Clare V. 

The Work Bag

MCM Markus Leather Brief

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While I like to use my tote bags typically for work functions, I do appreciate a good work bag (read: laptop bag) when needed. This one is spacious enough to easily fit a laptop plus a few things, and won’t run the risk of everything getting all jumbled up and lost like it may in a larger bag. The structured pebbled leather is simply gorgeous, and I’m a huge fan of the navy leather covered canvas. Again, this is one is very understated high-quality statement to make in a board room, on your commute and beyond. 

The Great Mid-Price Bag

ZAC Zac Posen 'Eartha Jumbo' Double Handle Satchel

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It’s hard to find a good hand bag that’s mid-range in price.  Believe me, I’ve searched.  That’s why I’m loyal to ZAC Zac Posen bags.  The vintage-inspired yet modern feel and good craftsmanship make the bags (especially the ‘Eartha Jumbo’ Satchel) some of my go-to’s all year ’round.  They’re truly beautiful bags that look well above their price point. 

Featured image, Haley Sheffield for Waiting on Martha

Finding the Perfect Fit at Rigby & Peller

Read About My Visit to This Luxe Lingerie Boutique
Filed Under > Dressing the Part

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A personal lingerie fitting appointment was not exactly at the top of my list of things to do the other week, let me assure you.  Sure, I’ve been “fitted” in the past; I knew the routine with tape measure and cup size in order to find the perfect bra.  And yes, I know the importance of having a well-fitted brassiere.  It’s just the whole thought of the intrusive handling and intimate quarters that I typically prefer to pass on if I can, you know?!

These begrudging feelings, of course, conflicted with the fact that I had a date with a stylist at the luxurious Rigby & Peller, a brand known to be a world-class lingerie destination located at Phipps here in Atlanta.  I had never been to Rigby & Peller, but I couldn’t admit that I was not intrigued with the opportunity to visit the luxe store for a personalized visit. 

At Rigby & Peller, they believe that lingerie is the first layer of confidence, with the power to flatter, reassure and enhance.  They pride themselves on having premium collections of lingerie and swimwear that are designed and edited by the experts, from the best brands all over the world.  Think Stella McCartney, Chantelle, Ongossamer, Panache and many more.  

My visit started with the warmest welcome, followed by a chat about my fit preferences.  Like most, I am guilty of owning a few everyday bras that gape, and some that have straps that cut into me.  My stylist shared advice on style and cut that would help avoid all of those headaches, with recommendations on specific brands that really deliver the best bras.  

It was the most unique and worthwhile experience I’ve ever had with a bra fitting.  Apparently, the stylists at Rigby & Peller have to train for six weeks prior to being able to help customers, and FYI: there’s no tape measure involved.  My stylist helped me find more than a dozen pieces whose quality was second to none, and she answered every question I had, and trust me, there were a lot of questions.  The bras I picked out are utterly gorgeous, and many of them have convertible straps so I can make them strapless (a huge BONUS in my book). Plus with over 90 sizes there’s literally a size for everyone; even if you’re a K cup! 

I also discovered a beautiful body suit, which I’m absolutely obsessed with right now.  I’ve been layering it under a blazer for just a peek of lace; it’s the kind of piece you never feel uncomfortable showing (like you’re wearing just-a-bra-under-a-blazer kind of thing).  Lastly, I picked up quite possibly the comfiest, softest pajamas.  It’s basically all I’m wearing these days when I’m at home. So needless to say, I walked out of there with a pep in my step (and a bag full of amazing pieces) knowing that my lingerie wardrobe just took a major turn for the better.  

With 10 boutiques in the US, Rigby & Peller is helping women find lingerie that fits perfectly and feels comfortable.  You can say goodbye to the straps cutting into you, the gaping and the pinching that we all have come to know and hate.  Instead, they’ll help make you look and feel comfortable, confident and beautiful.  I am a new lifetime fan!  

P.S.  A great way to extend the life of your best bras is through proper lingerie care, which I bookmarked for later.  xo

 

Photography, Kathryn McCrary for Waiting on Martha | This post is in collaboration with Rigby & Peller, a brand we love and adore.  All opinions are 100% our own. 

The Importance of Finding The Perfect White Tee

Testing Tried-and-True Favorites Against Designer Duds to Find the Perfect Everyday Staple
Filed Under > Put to The Test

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It all started as a standard issue, a simple white cotton jersey crewneck during World War II.  But it wasn’t until the nineties did we see the white tee become a fast fashion staple.  Since then, we’ve seen it on everyone from your runway walking fashionistas to your most laid-back dressers on a daily basis…and it’s one of my go-to items in my closet for as long as I can remember.

It’s undeniable; the perfect white tee has staying power.  I find myself reaching for it season after season, year after year.  It’s the thing I hunt for when I complain about having nothing to wear.  Paired with my go-to leather jacket,  a pair of booties and my favorite jeans, I’m out the door in five.  But the problem is I feel like I cycle through at least a dozen of these bad boys every few months, so I knew it was time to take a few moments and find out just what white tee is really the best…and then stock up of course. 

Like finding the perfect pair of jeans, it can feel like quite the hunt to settle on the perfect white tee.  And with so many options ranging from $6 to $125+, it’s easy to fall for the wrong tee, only to realize it too late after a few wears and washes (believe me, I know).  So the WOM team recently set out to find the perfect white tee, hoping to take the guesswork out of it for good.  We brought out your low to mid priced basics: J.Crew, Old Navy, Madewell, Gap, Target, H&M, and Splendid.  We then pulled in the more expensive crew: PAIGE, Rag & Bone, James Perse, J.McLaughlin, T by Alexander Wang and Kit & Ace.  And we tried, and we tried, and we tried on all afternoon.  But we didn’t stop there, we also chose are favorites and test drove them for a month to see how they would stand up when it came to wear and tear; would they shrink, fade, or lose their shape?

The team agreed on a handful of factors that can define the perfect white tee.  Factors like the overall fit (do you want it to be loose, tight, semi-fitted?).  The material (cotton, tissue, spandex content?).  The weight (is it more on the sheer side or thick?).  Will it last or fade in color (pilling threads and snags should be the last of your concerns with a good everyday tee).  What about the neckline: boatneck, crewneck and v-neck versions can feel like entirely different shirts, with a give-or-take a few pounds effect on any body.  Lastly, cost verses just how long the tee will be in your daily wardrobe rotation before it gets shuffled to your nightly pajama or workout rotation.

We all of course had our different opinions, and I’m thinking we should do a Snapchat or Facebook Live to talk about which style we really loved best and why.  But until we get those cameras rolling here’s at least what I landed on.  

For my every day tee it seems history will repeat itself.  I’ve been wearing J.Crew and Madewell for years (and I buy practically in bulk when I order) and even after a dozen try-ons and wears of different brands, I’m most likely sticking to these two tried and true brands.  At $19.50,  Madewell gives you their best-selling white tee shirt, in an “airy slub cotton” that nails that perfectly lived-in look.  The weight of the shirt feels substantial when you’re wearing it too, helping it to drape in all of right places.  Like Madewell, J.Crew offers a similar rendition with its “vintage cotton scoopneck t-shirt” and it’s dependable, easy, and doesn’t break the bank ($29.50 but almost always on sale).  

I loved the long length on H&M’s white tees, but being on the low end of the spectrum when it comes to actual quality you’ll likely only get a few solid wears out of them.  And lastly while I’m a big fan of the  T by Alexander Wang tee’s fabric and high quality they shrink, like really shrink which doesn’t justify the cost.

The Rag & Bone basic white tee, PAIGE’s stretch knit tee and were absolutely beautiful, but likely fit the bill as an “everyday white tee” for those of you who will throw them in the dryer with the rest of your whites on laundry day (costing around $85+).  The sheer materials on both of these led the team to agree that they were too thin for everyday wear and the almost slinky effect of the sheer fabric on the torso wasn’t the most flattering on bra lines.  However these designer digs would be great for date night (with a pair of heels and a great lace bralette).  And speaking of dressed up versions, the J.McLauhlin Signature Tee and Kit & Ace’s stunning technical tee would be a great splurge for under a blazer or vest, as they have the comfort of a tee but function more as a top when it comes to the actual material.

Speaking of bra lines, the importance of a great t-shirt bra hit home for all of us on this shoot day.  Tell me friends, have you found your perfect white tee?!  What brand are your go-to’s?  Truly, MKR

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Photography, Kathryn McCrary for Waiting on Martha | LOCATION, AMBIENT + STUDIO | White tee’s, BLOOMINGDALES, J.McLaughlin c/o, J. Crew, and Kit & Ace c/o

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