In the bag

Start with trendy footwear and a great bag, and the rest of your wardrobe will fall together easily

10/11/2010 6:45 AM

10/11/2010 11:40 AM

If you want to add punch to your wardrobe this fall, go for an updated look in shoes or handbags — or both. “We all have favorite pieces, but when we leave the house we want to be wearing a great pair of shoes and carrying a wonderful handbag,” says Brenda Thomas of Nouveau.

When it comes to shoes, says Thomas, there’s lots of buzz about the so-called city sandal. Those are sandals with wide straps and showy hardware, worn either with a bare foot or with tights.

Ballet flats continue to carry over from season to season. Both of these styles are good choices until the boot season hits full force.

Fall handbags are made of materials ranging from soft cotton to plastic. You’ll see lots of leather, of course, much of it embossed, crackled and ruffled.

Metallic will be important and versatile; when your handbag is bronze, gold, pewter or silver, it goes with almost anything else in your wardrobe.

When it’s time to go shopping for a new handbag, keep these tips in mind:

*Look in a full-length mirror while holding a purse. Is its size in proportion to your body? Take note of the weight of the purse when it is empty. Think how much it will weigh filled with all your stuff.

*Make sure it has all the pockets and other features you require.

*Ask yourself, will it fall over when you set it down? Do you like one strap or two? Is the opening large enough?

Start with a pair of trendy shoes and a great bag, and the rest of your fall wardrobe will come together much easier.

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