My Favorite Bags for Summer & a Fun Bag Story

When it comes to fashion, my weakness is handbags and shoes, pretty much in that order. I love me some bags and shoes! Maybe it’s because when I gain a pound or 10, all my handbags and shoes still fit just as they did before…no problem! 😉



Summer bags are so playful and fun! I’ve always loved straw bags and Draper James, owned by Reese Witherspoon, has a really cute one out this year. This bag was available last year with an off-white leather, but I think this year’s reincarnation is much cuter. This year it’s in navy and the navy is so pretty contrasting against the warm, golden brown of the straw. The other thing I really love about this bag is that they’ll monogram it for you as shown below. It reminds me of the bags you see in the Nantucket area, very summery and beachy.

It’s available here: Straw Bag. Check out their sales page, there’s cute stuff on there! I love her style!

Monogrammed Draper James Overlook Straw Bag


I also love this blue and white tote she has available this season: Blue and White Tote

Draper James Tote Bag


That same pretty blue and white fabric comes in this style bag, available here: Blue and White Bag.

Draper James Vidalia Bucket Bag


Michael Kors has some darling straw bags available this summer, too. This seems to be the summer for the straw bag.

I love the way this one opens, it has a bit of a vintage feel to me. I remember bags similar to this when I was growing up, the ones that opened from the top this way. I’m so nostalgic for this style!


Michael Kors Straw Bag

It also comes in white leather and I love them both. They are both available here: Michael Kors Medium Straw Bag

Michael Kors Straw Bag in White for Summer

Here are a few more straw bags that I’m loving this year. Click on the title of the bag to read more about it.

Straw Tote by Michael Kors

Michael Kors Straw Tote for Summer


This one also comes in white leather, too. Which color do you like best? I’m torn between the brown and the white, love both! The white feels more summery but the brown would transition nicely into fall. I could see carrying the brown leather one well into fall.

Michael Kors Straw Tote in WhiteMichael Kors Straw Tote, White


Another cute one, it’s available here: Michael Kors Straw Tote

Michael Kors Straw Bag for Spring and Summer


It’s also available in white here: Straw Tote by Michael Kors

Michael Kors Naomi Straw Bag


The style of this one made me think of the classic Chanel bag: the shape, the flap closure, the chain/leather strap.  If Chanel made a straw bag, I wonder if it would look something like this. It’s available here in three colors:  Michael Kors Straw Bag with Chain/Leather Strap

Michael Kors Straw Bag Purse


Another cutie for spring…love this! Definitely need this for a beach trip! Shell bag is available here: Shell Bag

Shell Straw Clutch


A Bag Story

I have a fun little bag story to share. If you’ve been reading BNOTP for a while, you know I love Brahmin bags. Over the years I’ve purchased several, always new from Dillards or from the Brahmin store in Atlanta.

Occasionally for grins and giggles, I’ll look on eBay to see what’s there. One night, about a year ago, I did a search for Brahmin Straw Bags or Brahmin Woven Bags–something like that, and this bag popped up. It looked like it had never been used in the photos and the description described it as being in excellent condition with no stains or damage.

I fell in love with it and was fortunate enough to win it for a great price in the bidding process. I loved that it was vintage Brahmin since I’m such a fan of the brand and had never had one of their older bags.

Vintage Brahmin Bag


When it arrived, I took these photos of it and e-mailed Brahmin’s customer service to ask if they could give me a little more information about the leather and what year it was produced.

Vintage Brahmin Bag, Harbor Collection


It appeared to be a summer style to me, and the body of the bag looked like tiny nautical rope, all interwoven together.

Vintage Brahmin Harbor Bag


Here’s what I received back.



Fast forward 15 months and imagine my surprise when I went shopping in Belks a few weeks ago and saw these! I was so excited to see that Brahmin had brought back one of their vintage styles. I LOVE it when companies do that because it gives us a chance to purchase a style we missed or never even knew about.

This is definitely the first time in my entire life that I’ve actually been ahead of a trend! Or, maybe I’m 16 years behind, not sure which! I fell in love with it the night I saw it on eBay and never dreamed it would make a second debut the following spring.

Brahmin is still calling it the Harbor Collection and it’s available here: Brahmin Harbor Collection

Brahmin Trina Harbor Collection


The tote in this collection is available here: Brahmin Harbor Asher Tote

Brahmin Harbour Bag


Do you have a good bag story? Please share it in the comments! Think I should buy that first straw bag and have it monogrammed? Such a cute bag, it’s definitely calling my name!

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  1. Susan, buy the bag, you will regret it if you don’t! I love shoes…and I have way too many! Enjoyed seeing all the straw…so popular when I was younger! Pam @ Everyday Living

  2. Oh what beautiful bags – they just conjure up sunshine, sea breezes and sandy beaches! Love that you showed your vintage Brahmin – gorgeous! I had that bag – a Harbor Delita drawstring – and the leather was ivory with hints of gold. So beautiful yet so practical. To this day, I regret selling it on eBay. So glad Brahmin is bringing them back!

  3. Do I have A good bag story? Hmmm….nah, I don’t think so. Only about 300 or so….hahaha
    I love the Brahmin bag you’ve got and also the ones you’ve got your eyes on. Every time I think I want white leather, I end up not liking it. I have one, buttery soft, all leather (gets dirty too easily), but in your case, I would lean toward the darker leather. I think you’re right – the ability to transition it to fall would seal the deal for me. Love the monogrammed Reese bag. I still have the basket purse I made in 5th grade with the monogram cross-stitched panel – remember those? (okay, that’s a bag story…)

    • lol I bet you do…Rita you could have a blog just about bags, couldn’t you. So you even loved bags back then…amazing! I’m so glad you kept it!

  4. Eileen Jalet says

    Speaking of pocketbooks I just bought a Burberry it’s the Haymarket satchel and it’s trim is red rose, I call it Coral or orange. I bought it on eBay and the former owner sent me her sales slip from where it was purchased in Atlantic City. The bag is not even a year old. I will be going to London in the early fall for a wedding of my son and of course I will be taking my favorite bag. It’s the most I’ve ever paid free handbags but I just love it as you love your Brahmin bag. Now, I’m on the hunt for an authentic Burberry scarf. Love hearing your stories Susan and love your blog. Eileen

    • Thanks, Eileen! Oh, I love Burberry and the Haymarket Satchel is so pretty! I’ve never had a Burberry bag but purchased one right at the end of winter. I love the Burberry brand and that great check pattern!

  5. I love that bag! You must have it!! My favorite purse story…my sister and I had just landed in Paris and were in a taxi to the hotel when I spotted the most beautiful bag in a store window (the French have an expression for window shopping their exquisite store fronts…faire du leche-vitrine, literally window licking!). Anyhow, the bag was a beautiful spring green leather, shaped like a tulip. I obsessed about that bag all week and had no idea where the store was. The very last day we were walking towards the Eiffel Tower when across the street, I spotted The Bag. It didn’t seem so expensive until I converted the Euros to dollars, and being a thrifty person was in sticker shock. My sister said “you have talked non-stop about this darn bag for a week. Buy it or you’ll regret it the rest of your life.” So I did! Just looking it makes me happy.

    • Roxanne, I love that expression…how perfect! That’s about what we feel like doing when we see something in the window we like. 🙂 I’m glad you bought the bag. When something grabs your heart like that, you have to get it or you’ll be kicking yourself forever!

  6. Like you Susan, my bags and shoes always fit! I am a huge Michael Kors fan and have at least 5 of his bags. I love the large size of his totes, they are perfect for travel. I am in love with the Reese Witherspoon bag, but not the price, as I have two or three bags that are very similar in other colors. You know when people say “I have a guy”, well I have a guy who does lettering. I am going to dig out my file and see if I can get a monogram for at least one of my straw & leather bags. This was a great inspiration and will elevate my Talbots bag to a one of a kind. Thanks.

  7. I love today’s post about one of my favorite topics–handbags!!! :0) Handbags are my second-place vice (collecting dishes for tablescaping being my number one vice LOL).

    I LOVE Brahmin bags, have been a big fan of them for at least 15 years. I own at least 10 different colors of the Elisa hobo bags. On top of those, I must own least 8 or 9 more different Brahmin handbag styles. I think Brahmin does an incredible job with their croc-textured leather–it’s so realistic, so classy-looking. The hardware is also first-rate. I’ve lost track of how many times someone asked me if my handbag was made of real croc/alligator leather.

    Thanks so much for today’s fun topic!

  8. eo jordan says

    Love my huge Brahmin bag.. Saw it in a magazine and when we went to Cincinnati found it there.. It’s a beaut.. in the mahogany leather.. Bought a smaller one in red years later.. but the color faded.. I still carry it sometimes tho. I’m not into brands but this one does class act bags!!

  9. Linda Page says

    I also love purses but my most favorite purse was a soft leather purse that my cousin Sheila sent to me from France when I was 16. I carried that purse for almost 20 yrs before I finally had to toss it. It was the softest leather I have ever seen and I hated it when the purse finally just looked to pitiful to carry any more. Since then, my purses have mainly been “serviceable” until I found Miche Bags and I was in love again. Miche Bags have several base styles and you purchase multiple bag “envelopes” which cover the outside of the purse. Basically what this does is allows you to completely change the look, color, style of the outside without having to empty what is inside. I had two base purses, one black and one brown, and probably 12 envelopes but my black base finally wore out after 12 years and one of the envelopes wore out. I love that I can carry a different purse by just changing the outside design and all of my purse junk stays inside!! Here is a link if anyone is interested

  10. Takes me back to my John Romain days in the 60’s–everyone was obsessed with that brand. I was lucky enough to have 2–collected from birthday or special occasion gifts–a black and a bourbon colored one. Boy, I wish I still had those. They held up forever and still looked good when I passed them along to whoever or whatever worthy cause. When I was a little girl (4 or 5) and got a weekly allowance of a quarter–I always bought a small purse or saved up for a bigger one. Think there MUST be a purse gene and thinks it bears further study.

  11. I recently found a great brand of purse for traveling. It’s called Travelon and has RFID protection and cut proof handles. Comes in various shapes and colors. Here’s the link if you’re interested.
    I actually ordered mine from and really enjoyed it on a recent trip.

  12. Susan you have amazing taste in style, your clothes, bags, shoes and just everything. I love, love all of those bags however my budget (retired) simply won’t work with the price of those bags. I can still dream though can’t I? I always look forward to your post, you are by far my favorite blogger on the web. Thank you for sharing the lovely bags with us.

  13. Marlene Stephenson says

    Love the blue flowered tote and you must have that bag if you want it. I have had straw bags that I wish I still had and of course I still have more than I need! Lol!

  14. I love handbags too but I’m lazy changing them because I will forget where things are in the bag. For convenience, I just change seasonally even if it doesn’t match my outfit. As I’ve aged. I prefer smaller bags so I’m not lugging 20lbs on my shoulder.
    Coins sometimes just weigh a purse down and many times I’m carrying a tape measure, multiple pens. Go figure?…
    For elegant nights out, small designer bags are my favorite when its important to make a statement and look put together with my outfit. Recently I purchased a cute cork purse which has just enough room for essentials and it works with multiple summer outfits.
    Your bag choices are amazing and it really wants to make me shop online!
    Enjoy your purchase – it’s fun to get something new!
    Thanks for doing all the research

  15. Jill from Southern New Hampshire says

    Definitely yes to the gorgeous bag at the top, especially if you have lunches or events coming up. It is timeless! Talbots has a smaller bag that’s similar in blue and wicker as well as a matching baguette clutch that’s calling my name – wish I had a wedding or luncheon to attend!

    • I don’t but I may have to schedule one just so I have a reason to buy it! 😉 I do love it! And I think the style is timeless.

  16. FASHION FUN!! I luv!! franki

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