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Your Stylist: Solving the summertime bag dilemma and key items to add some pop to a warm-weather wardrobe

June 7, 2010 |  8:00 am

Resident Image stylist and market editor Melissa Magsaysay soothes your sartorial woes in the weekly Your Stylist blog column.

Dkrugercrossbody I hate carrying around a clunky day bag during the summer. What would you recommend as a light and easy bag to wear while running errands or going out this summer? DB, Encino

Who enjoys toting around a cumbersome bag? As the weather Colehaangypsy gets warmer, a clunky leather bag will look out of place and just stick to your already sweaty skin. The current trend in cross-body bags is the solution to your summertime satchel dilemma.

There are so many options out there at the moment, but make sure you get something that’s daytime appropriate – meaning light in color and feel.

My favorite is the Raleigh Whipstitch cross-body bag from Cole Haan ($239). It has that authentic 1970s feel, and the size is just right, not too big so you don’t end up with what feels like a sack full of rocks strewn across your torso.


This bag from Olivia Harris by Joy Gryson ($395) is a fun and vibrant blue hue that will add a pop of color to effortless summer staples like denim cut-offs and a white T-shirt.

Madewell has a couple options that have that perfectly-worn-in, vintage feel (remember, the key to sporting a summer bag is that it shouldn’t look too precious and polished). I love the white bag with fringe at the bottom ($98) for that summery/rocker vibe that makes for a fun daytime bag.

The cross-body trend is certainly something that’s not showing any signs of stopping, and the casual nature of the style is a natural way to keep your summer ensembles looking cool and effortless.

Dear Your Stylist,
Color is not my thing. In fact I barely own anything other than black, navy blue and gray. I want to start incorporating some color into my wardrobe and think summer is the perfect time, but don’t know where or how to start. Thanks. K.Z., TorranceSummercolors

I hear you loud and clear. I personally wear the exact colors you describe in your wardrobe every day and find it daunting and somewhat awkward when trying to throw on color.

But I’m happy to hear you’re willing to make the effort, and you’re right, summer is a great time to start stepping out from your comfort zone and incorporating color in your everyday.

I find that the best way to wear color is by going for shades that are as rich and dramatic as black, blue and gray – meaning pure but bright and vibrant hues.

Judging by the colors you’re comfortable with, pops of strong color will be easier to wear than wimpy pastels.

Treat color like an accent. You can wear a black dress with hot pink sandals or white jeans and a chambray button down with an ethnic print bag that’s woven with electric colored fibers.

Or start even smaller than this and add color to your look with beauty products. My favorite way to do this is with a fun nail polish on the toes. My current fave is definitely OPI’s “My Chihuahua Bites,” which is the most fun mix of orange, coral and red.

Incorporating these rich, bold colors will not only change your look but your mindset into one that’s daring and totally ready for summer.

Send your style queries to

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Top left photo: Diane Kruger wearing a classic Chanel bag as a cross body. Credit: Chanel

Top right photo: Cole Haan Raleigh Whipstitch / Cole Haan and Tylie Malibu "Gypsy Sidecar" bag / Tylie Malibu

Bottom photo, clockwise from top left: Nixon Rocio watch in goldenrad / Nixon, OPI nail polish in "My chihuahua bites" / OPI, Wayuu Taya bag / Kitson, See by Chloe sandal / Chloe