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It goes without saying that our priorities — and wardrobes — have shifted dramatically this year. As a style editor, I’ve made a conscious effort to find the silver lining in canceled plans and virtual fashion weeks.
With fewer dates and meetings on my calendar, I’ve focused less on fast fashion and narrowed my purchasing habits, turning to responsible spending and investment pieces that I’ll treasure forever. Quality comes first: If a piece doesn’t spark joy or doesn’t look and feel timeless, it doesn’t make my digital cart or mental wishlist. Marie Kondo would be proud, right?
When it comes to my shortlist of all-time favorite essentials, there are a few clear winners: White leather sneakers, solid gold jewelry, a Zoom-approved blazer and coordinating cashmere sets come to mind.
While my closet has filled quickly with minimalist pieces and well-tailored classics, I’ve had a trickier time pinpointing which accessories will get better with age. We ask a lot of our favorite totes and satchels, stuffing them with heavy essentials and slinging them on for busy everyday routines. When it comes to handbags, I’ve searched tirelessly for well-made pieces that aren’t trend-driven and still feel fresh.
This Handbag Is The Essential Piece That I’ve Been Looking For
Good news: We have a winner. The one accessory I now never leave the house without? Hammitt’s VIP Med bag. Californian readers may recognize this locally-loved brand, carried on the streets of Manhattan Beach and West Hollywood for over a decade. Now, it’s trending on Instagram and taking over closets across the country. (Don’t be surprised if you find yourself double-tapping on the brand’s iconic rivets.)
Hollywood’s best-kept handbag secret has been hanging on Kaley Cuoco’s door, sitting in Mindy Kaling’s closet and dangling from Issa Rae’s arm, but Hammitt’s incredible functionality is just as much a headliner as its superstar-appeal. While I’m wearing my bag as a crossbody and shoulder bag to weather lots of hands-free shopping trips and mid-day coffee runs, its removable strap allows for the ultimate quick-change. When cocktail hours, concerts and runway shows return, I’ll be toting my VIP bag as a clutch, straight through from morning to moonlight.
The Sleek Design and Quality Materials Make This Handbag a Keeper
Perhaps this bag’s most irresistible charm stems from its incredibly soft leather. As we skip a typically-glitzy holiday season, celebrity stylists are encouraging a shift from sequins to all things soft. While knit sweaters and terry pants come to mind first, there’s something to be said for a polished leather bag that molds to your body and lets you run hands-free errands with ease.
While Hammitt’s iconic silhouette is available in of-the-moment leathers, I chose their classic black pebbled leather for an iconic (and versatile) indulgence. When paired with brushed gold hardware and a bold red zipper, the classic, supple material takes on a whole new life.
This crossbody’s inherent convenience has made it my Holy Grail of handbags. I keep sunglasses in its easy-to-unzip front pouch, and my cell phone sits comfortably in an accessible yet discreet back pocket. (Take it from me: There’s no worse feeling than investing in a great phone case, only to find that it’s time for an upgrade. I’ve swapped cell sizes twice since investing in my Hammitt bag, and there’s been plenty of room for each iteration.)
Speaking of size, here’s the thing: You’ve got options. I chose Hammitt’s original VIP Med, but the brand has also introduced a VIP Sml and VIP Lrg. Whether you’re looking for a little gift or plenty of extra room, you’re sure to find a design in just the right dimensions.
Find the perfect VIP size for you here!
Hammitt’s Bags Stand The Test Of Time (And Style)
Of course, no investment piece is complete without plans for the future. One of my favorite tips before making a splurge? Picture yourself in one year, five years and even ten years. Will you still parade that puffer jacket down the cobblestones of Greenwich Village? Would you be proud to pass a gold ring down to your daughter or granddaughter someday?
It’s surprising how many trendy pieces don’t stand up to the test of time. I’ve only had my Hammitt bag for a couple of years, but I’m confident that this is just the beginning. The brand covers every bag’s zippers, hardware, straps and lining with its signature lifetime promise.
From the seams to the smooth zippers and secure straps, I can tell my bag was crafted carefully and made to last. That said, even the best investment pieces need a little TLC from time to time. Just as you refurbish soles on your favorite boots or dry-clean your most-worn coat, you may find yourself in need of a new zipper or reinforced strap. Good news: There’s nothing like knowing a brand will stand by their products — forever.
After going steady with my VIP for a couple of years, it’s safe to say that Hammitt is my new accessory obsession. I can’t wait to expand my collection of their soft leather bags. Next on my wishlist? A roomy black tote and a monogrammed wallet.
Intrigued? Meet a few more of the Hammitt bags you’ll want to carry forever:
The winner of a 2020 Accessories Council Design Excellence Award, Levy is a total shape-shifter: Fill it with cash, coins, and cards and use it as a wallet, or wear it with a crossbody strap for a sleek everyday look.
Shop Levy | $245
THE NASH SML CLUTCH
It may be deemed a clutch, but this innovative design does it all. A social media sensation, the Nash Sml exploded with popularity when one devotee discovered it could be worn as a belt bag. Whether you’re wearing this little beauty around your waist, slinging it on as a crossbody or toting it as a wristlet, there’s a lot here to love — and plenty of room for essentials like your cell phone, keys and ID.
Shop Nash Sml 2 | $195
THE 110 NORTH WALLET
If you’re looking for a roomy yet secure wallet, you’ve found your perfect match: The 110 North features two bill pockets, ten credit card slots, a clear ID slot and a secure magnetic closure. Personalize yours with a metallic or debossed monogram.
Shop 110 North | $175
THE TONY SML CLEAR
Another favorite among Hammitt’s virtual fandom, the Tony Sml Clear gained steam as a stadium-approved choice that could be worn with peace of mind to concerts and sporting events alike. While these events are on hold, the bag’s fingerprint-resistant TPU is easy to clean, making it a pandemic-proof choice that you’ll still reach for far down the line.
Shop Tony Clear | $95
THE DILLON MED
As Hammitt’s first award-winning design, Dillon scores points for versatility, thanks to six looks in one bag. Did I mention the bag’s optional crossbody strap?
PS: For good measure, Hammitt also offers Dillon in a petite (and influencer-approved) size.
Shop Dillon Med | $495
Want to explore more of Hammitt’s rivet-adorned bags? Shop their Essentials and latest collections now on hammitt.com. The brand releases limited edition leathers every season, so be sure to join their email and SMS lists for early access to new styles.
Check out more of our picks and deals here!
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