Totes!

64857-610x610-1328126070-primaryI’m not a huge fan of graphic anything. I think Juicy Couture and Urban Outfitters ruined it for me back in the day (although I totally had an “everyone loves an Irish girl” shirt, but can safely say I never had “Juicy” across my ass). I’m more of a straight forward kind of gal, leave the quotes and bold words for Twitter and Instagram … or a blank wall, not my choices in fashion. Like, for example, I was walking through the city last night and saw a girl wearing black short shorts that said “I love skulls” across the ass. Like why?

As I went from working in suburbia to a city transit commuter over the past year, I have adopted a love for tote bags. Reason being, I no longer have a car to stash all of the necessities for the day ahead, like a change of clothes in case I am going out after work, different shoes, makeup, a book, etc. Now, I need a bag that lets me carry my entire life without looking like a straight up bag lady … Mary Poppin’s style, if you will. I want be carrying a damn floor lamp and not have anyone know AND look super chic doing so.

I used to roll my eyes at canvas totes, probably because it reminded me of something my aunts would use at holiday functions to haul in all the delicious foods they made. They weren’t a statement of style … they were a statement of functionality (yawn). But not anymore. I gotta say, the tote game has been kicked up a notch this season … graphically speaking.

Now, there is a fine line between graphical totes that are acceptable to carry around. If it says something like, “HI HATER!” or “Ain’t No Wifey,” I will most likely light fire to it instantaneously. Just stop. No one cares if you’re trying desperately to be “gangster” and feel the need to express your teenage angst via your tote. Just stop. Sit this one out.

Luckily, this season, I have seen some really clever (and chic) graphic totes that are not only outlandishly cool, but a total conversation starter. And if you can’t tell the different between an acceptable tote and a non-acceptable tote, step outside of yourself for a second and picture someone else carrying that bag. If you don’t think, “man what a douche who is trying too hard,” it is good to go. Otherwise, run … RUN FAST!

To get your TOTES inspired (see what I did there … I’m so cool), here are some of my faves for the fellow bag lady, like myself.

Street Glitter Gallery’s …

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West Elm’s …

img34cMarc Jacob’s …

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ModCloth’s …

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Lulu Guinness’…

50005291_3K Is For Black’s …

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Bring Your Dressing Room A-Game

Today was the first day it actually felt like fall, in fact my hands were so cold that I’m pretty sure if some unfortunate soul had to shake my hand, they would think, “hey maybe I’m shaking hands with a vampire.” Regardless, I LOVE this chilly weather, but it calls for new fall clothes immediately.

And the malls get the cold memo instantaneously and feel the need to crank the heat up to make it feel like Satan’s den. So in order to have a successful shopping trip without having a panic attack or heat stroke, there are certain things one must wear and not wear to win this battle.

And honestly, women’s fitting rooms are a jungle. If you go to a quaint little boutique … sure, elegant sales attendants will be there to offer you champagne in beautiful suits with chic techno music playing at a relaxing pitch as you walk into your all white dressing room with a plush white chair for you to sit on if need be. But hey, most of us find ourselves in the seventh circle of Hell, a.k.a. the Forever 21 dressing room, where there are millions and millions of fashion hungry women with numerous things to try on (even though you can only bring in six pieces at a time). Babies are crying (why?!), teenagers are going wild because Susie TOTALLY stole the dress Molly was going to wear to the dance … that bitch, women are having personal conversations WAY too loud, the top 20 station is blasting at unnatural levels, it is a 1000 degrees … and then there is me. Deep breathing in my tiny little dressing room, sweating and trying to avoid a panic attack all the while focusing on getting the HELL out of there as quickly as possible.

So what should you wear to get in and out of these heinous dressing rooms as quickly and efficiently as possible?

1. Leave All Jewelry at Home- Sure we all want to act like we are on Rodeo Drive, glamorous and shopping with our girlfriends. But honey, bracelets, necklaces and big chunky rings get caught on everything adding more time onto your dressing room experience.

2. Comfy is Key- I am a big supporter of wearing leggings whilst shopping. They slip on and off very easily and sometimes you can even leave them on with certain things and still get the real impression of the look. Being fancy will get you nowhere, no one cares. Leggings are chic and easy. Period.

3. No Boots, For The Love, NO BOOTS- Unless you are shopping in Antarctica, NEVER wear boots while shopping. You’ll end up having to sit on the floor of a disgusting dressing room trying to rip them off (if they don’t have a zipper), which will make you hot and bothered before you even get started. They are stuffy, cumbersome and unnecessary, stick to chic flats.

4. Dress in Layers- You don’t always need to strip down to your skivvies to try things on, so wear a long sleeve shirt with a neutral tank underneath. That way you can just slip off the shirt and try things on with your tank.

5. Leave Your Coat in The Car- I promise you the walk from your car to the mall in the cold won’t kill you. And when you get in, a heat wave will most likely smack you in the face, so if anything, wear a cardigan that will be WAY easier to cart around with you if you get a little toasty.

6. An Oversized Purse Will Be Your BFF- Throw some water in there, some granola bars, your iPod and whatever other survival supplies you will need. A big purse will also be great for throwing in a cardigan or loose shopping bags so you don’t have to juggle 50 things while shopping.

7. There Isn’t A “One Time Only Visit” Rule in a Dressing Room- When you walk into a store, we all are guilty of getting overly excited and scooping up everything and anything to try on, but do it in shifts. Pick up five to eight things, try them on, sift through the crap, then go back out for round two. No one will judge and it will create a less chaotic visit.