By Mickey Hightower
Sacrificing style for substance is not something handbag fans have to worry about this season. The hottest handbags for summer 2014 are a mixture of design and functionality. Whether they be crossbody, boho-inspired fringe, or petite wristlets, there is a style of purse for everyone seeking to add some pops of print, color, and practicality to their summer look.
The crossbody bag has been everywhere the past few years. It is the ideal design for one of the best pastimes of any summer: traveling. Like this style’s name implies, the bag is worn across the body from shoulder to hip. It is great for traveling because it is more comfortable then carrying the entire weight of a purse on one side of the body. This purses are traditionally flat with small compartments, making them perfect for storing travel essentials like passports and euros. Although they are perfectly practical travel companions, there’s no reason you can’t sightsee in style. Burberry offers gorgeous versions in their classic house check pattern, while neon hues like blood orange and canary yellow are all the rage from Marc by Marc Jacobs.
The wonderful thing about handbags is that they come in a vast array of textures and colors that can enhance any outfit. The fringe handbag, a staple of boho chic style, is being seen this season in everything from camel-colored leather to ruby red suede. Traditionally, fringe handbags were made in the crossbody style. However, brands like Gucci are adding fringe detail to their iconic hobo handbag shape. Stella McCartney, daughter of Paul McCartney and high-profile fashion designer, has debuted a new line of handbags completely covered in layers of metallic blue and platinum fringe in an homage to the flapper dress of the 1920s.
Summer is about stripping down to the essentials, and that’s what makes wristlets a great choice for days spent tanning at the beach and nights dancing at rooftop bars. Although they are small, they pack a big punch when it comes to the array of prints and patterns like kaleidoscope florals from Rebecca Minkoff and polka dots from Kate Spade. So-called because of the looped strap that one wears around the wrist, they are just big enough for identification, a credit card, some cash, a phone, and your favorite lip balm or travel-size sunscreen stick. One of the best bets for summer accessories, wristlets eliminate the bulk of carrying a large purse stuffed with items that are unnecessary for summer activities.