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Bag It

It's nearly impossible to think ahead to fall fashions such as tweed skirts and twin sets when we're still sweating in sundresses and flip-flops. Get a jump start on your fall wardrobe by purchasing one of the season's hottest and most functional accessories: a bag.

The bag you choose to carry this fall should highlight the season's biggest trends. Tweed is the coveted fabric of the moment, so carting a purse made of this traditionally manly fabric is tres hip. The Gap has designed several affordable styles with chain accents. Fur is the ultimate luxury, but if a full-length mink seems too extravagant, opt for a fur or faux fur evening bag in a deep color or animal print like Anna Sui's printed pony hair clutch. Beadwork and gem detailing ruled the runways and the theme translates perfectly to handbags. If you have an extra grand, Fendi's jeweled evening bags with richly hued iguana trim are a spectacle.

The slouchy "black hole" hobo bag has been replaced by a structured style with a shorter shoulder strap or handles. Still roomy enough to carry all of your essential stuff (cell phone, lip gloss, keys), these utilitarian totes sport big outer pockets and zipper compartments so you can actually find your stuff. At $995, Balenciaga's blue suede arena bag is the prized possession, being both practical and very of the moment. Look for similar, less expensive styles in bright colors and metallics.

Buying a trendy bag is a great way to revamp your wardrobe. Make your new purse the focus of your outfit and you won't need to purchase many new fall styles. Of course, if you dish out for that Fendi, you probably won't be able to eat, let alone afford new clothes.

If you have a tip or have noticed a trend you think our resident fashionista should know about, e-mail your comments to product@creativeloafing.com.