Bags to Carry Always


There are women who like expensive clothes and there are women who are into expensive shoe-wear. Since I love shopping in general, I decided to shed light on a trend I am noticing in Pakistani elites-designer handbags. Handbags, like shoes and jewelry, are a perfect accessory to finish of a well-fitted and beautifully stitched outfit. They are functional, means of self-expression or a personal statement, and for many a status symbol. One may not be able to afford a luxury apartment in NYC or a stay in the self-proclaimed 7-star Burj-Al-Arab hotel, but they can feel part of that world with a Chanel bag. Women have been used to carrying bags all their lives. From school-bag days to our brunching clutches, we know bags are crucial in our lives. I am noticing more and more that women opt to invest in shoe and handbag pieces rather than jewelry and I am loving it. So here goes:

For Brunching

Hermes Clutch Swift Jige Elan 29 Noir-Hermes is in San Francisco so I don’t get the chance to visit it and see what is new in stock. However, I have spotted this clutch on Instagram and it is to die for. While a Birkin or a Kelley bag can cost you over $13,000, this clutch is perfect for your essentials and will cost about $4000. The handsome letter “H” will make you look sleek and stylish. It goes with both eastern and western wear.

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Kate Spade Camel Wicker Basket– I spotted this handbag/basket in a Kate Spade store and guys, it is caauutte! If you have a fun brunch date with friends, then opt for this whimsical piece to accentuate your outfit. I realize it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is a statement piece, hence, a conversation starter. I promise you will feel like a Moroccan princess with this one.

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For Work

Gucci Queen Margaret Quilted Leather Top Handle Bag-Nothing says success then a designer bag. This handbag comes in an assortment of colors and prints. With a sexy top handle, you will feel like a fashionista even if you are a software programmer in Silicon Valley (shout-out to my sister). It will look good with casual wear and for those days when you have an important meeting and have to dress up in slacks.

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For Shopping

Louis Vuitton “Masters” Handbags– Artist Jeff Koons remixed the iconic artworks of the old masters and presents them in a way that encourages new interpretations that will tickle your artistic fancy. Famous paintings like Mona Lisa are re-interpreted with the LV monogram. I personally love the Van Gogh’s Montaigne MM bag. A perfect size for shopping in Bay Area, where there is a tax on shopping bags (for environmental reasons, y’all) and you need space to put in some small shopped items along with a cell phone, keys and a wallet. I think Louis Vuitton has a winner here.

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For Travel

Stella McCartney’s Falabella Box Wicker Basket Crossbody Bag– Traveling doesn’t give you a passport (pun intended) to look like a hobo in a foreign land. This bag is perfect for those traveling vacations, when you want to look easy, breezy beautiful for photos and locals alike. It is a perfect size to put your essentials like your passport, foreign currency, sunscreen and sunglasses. You will look like a chic traveler in this one.

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Evening Wear

Chanel– I love Chanel bags and I see many of them donned on elites. I personally don’t want to spend $4000 on a day-to-day bag so I recommend it for more important occasions. The plush, quilted bags with the iconic symbol are in instant status symbol and you will feel like a million bucks. I also feel that many women like to hold clutches during their evening parties. While, it is very fashionable, it has been overdone. The chain on this bag will give you another way to carry the bag with your evening wear.

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Bottega Venetta- I love this clutch and want it so badly! Their classic weaved fabric or leather makes this an instant recognizable, yet unique accessory for your outfit. I had a chance to look at these personally and ladies, these clutches are a beauty! The nice saleslady named Tina, advised me to select colors I like rather than the usual gold and silver bags women go for. She said once I get a bag that is an unusual color and I love it, I will notice how versatile it is as a contrasting and complimenting accessory piece. Sound advice!

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YSL– I had a chance to see a classic fire red YSL clutch and ladies I am in love. Perfect size for a cell phone and maybe a credit card or two, this thin clutch will make you look like Elizabeth Taylor, I promise. It also comes with a chain and can be carried as well.

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For Winter Months

It’s a long, loved tradition of Pakistan to wear woolen shawls in the winter months. It is only in the far North area where I have seen men wear jackets, but overall the staple winter attire for women all over Pakistan is woolen shawls. When I was younger, I heard so much about the Kashmiri shawl. According to tradition, the founder of the industry was Zayn-ul-ʿĀbidīn, a 15th-century ruler of Kashmir who introduced weavers from Turkistan. However, around 1870, the Kashmir industry almost collapsed. Fortunately, a strong effort began in recent years to revive the industry. Highly coveted, they can be a luxurious touch to an important day-event.

These woolen Kashmir shawls are woven partly or wholly from goat hair called pashm. Shawls are classified as pashm shāla (made from the hair of domesticated goats) and aslī tūsh (made from the hair of wild goats). Kashmiri shawls are even fashionable in the West. In response to foreign tastes, the traditional designs were replaced to patterns such as paisley.

Cult Gaia is a Los Angeles-based fashion brand started by Jasmin Larian. This brand is perfect for those women that don’t take life seriously and like to have fun with fashion. These tasteful acrylic bags may seem contradictory with Pakistani fashion sensibilities, but, honestly, the sculptural shape of these bags make them versatile and affordable-must-have for any Pakistani/Indian-American women’s closet. For those women who think that high-end fashion look is not attainable, must look into Cult Gaia.


Hope this post gave you some inspiration or reasons to get a job or ask for that raise.

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