When writing this blog I have to keep in mind that everyone is at a different level of style knowledge.  Today, in my Accessorized 5 Ways post, I am touching on one of the simplest of questions: Do your shoes and handbag have to match?  Now, while you may know they don’t, the image above definitely does not support them having to match and if you’re a regular reader of this blog then you definitely know where I stand, I still want to address it because there is someone out there right now wondering this, and possibly running all over God’s green earth trying to find a handbag to match their shoes.

So you’ve heard it here, no, your shoes and handbag do not have to match.  In fact, if you try to match your shoes to your handbag all the time you are missing out on a lot of fun.  Imagine it, you’ve got a great handbag that you are wearing only one way, with a matching pair of shoes.  That’s money wasted.  However, if you can find multiple ways of carrying one handbag, you’ll get more with less.

Getting more from one handbag

When it comes to handbags, versatility is the name of the game.  Just this morning, a client remarked that she is having a hard time with the changing her handbags regularly and said she just doesn’t have the time to be bothered.  I assured her that few women really do.  Most have a staple bag and maybe change it up to something else from time to time.  With this approach of carrying one bag all the time, many women will go for the most blah and basic handbag they can find thinking they will be able to carry it with everything.  This may be true, but versatility does not have to mean boring.  Take this pink Coach handbag that I am featuring today.  It’s pink, a color few would think would get a ton of mileage, but, as I will show you in the five ways I am going to accessorize with it, it’s more user friendly that you would think.

Five ways to wear one handbag

Take a look at the following outfits and tips to get more from one statement handbag, to be able to carry it a variety of ways, and to get your money’s worth.

Outfit #1- As a work punch

Pink may not be very work friendly, but the color as an accent can be.  The beauty of using a handbag like this one, that amps up an understated work outfit, is it really doesn’t matter what color the bag is.  Don’t like pink?  Change it.  With an all neutral outfit, like this tan ombré top from T Tahari, a navy Reiss pencil skirt, navy peep toe pumps from Cole Haan, a navy lattice cuff and tan stud earrings, any colored handbag can be added for fun.

Outfit #2- As a color complement

Another way to get use from a statement bag, like this one, is to use it as a complement to another color.  While you don’t have to match your shoes to your bag, it looks best when the colors at least harmonize together.  In this case, the pink bag works with these mint Anthropologie sandals.  As a complement, there may be no pink in the outfit but the colors found in this French Connection dress and Sam Edelman earrings totally work.

To get the most out of handbags as a complement, it is important to look at your wardrobe on a whole.  Certain colors will just sit in your closet if  they don’t work with most of the colors you already own.  For example, an orange handbag can be fun, but what if your wardrobe has a lot of red in it?  Red and orange are tough colors to combine.

There are also a lot of shades out there that will complement most colors in the closet, colors like green, yellow, burgundy, teal and metallic.  If you want to step out with some handbag color fun, but are afraid to take a risk, consider these shades.

Outfit #3- As a tonal, monochromatic match

I think head to toe monochromatic dressing can get a little one note and boring, however, tonal color combining (the use of similar shades in one outfit) can work well with a few pieces in an outfit.  For example, this handbag works tonally with these Boden pants.  To add some excitement to the outfit, I threw in a third color of teal through these peacock flats, that also have a touch of pink in them, and the teal earrings.  With a draped top from Alice + Olivia and pendant necklace, all these pieces make a great look.

Outfit #4- As a pop

Like outfit #2, here is another example of this handbag color style with an outfit where the color is not found.  The  ivory and green Tory Burch dress, natural wedges, cream Kate Spade bangle and gold earrings get an added splash of color through the handbag.  Again, it is important to look at your wardrobe on a whole and identify which handbag pop color would be the wisest for you to purchase.  The point is, you can get multiple use from one colorful  statement bag with two totally different looks.  With the right choices you can get just as much use from a colorful statement handbag as you can a basic black one.

Outfit #5- To pull a color out that is found in a print

One of the safest and easiest ways to use a pop color handbag is to look at your prints and identify some of predominant colors.  In this outfit I took this Topshop kimono jacket (did you know kimono jackets have been a popular cardigan replacement for some time now?  Click here to read more) that has some pink in it and used the handbag to further extract this shade.  The outfit is finished with a pair of white jeans, grey tank and blue ballerina flats and earrings.

Shop for pop handbags

Now that you now you will get some use from them, and you don’t have to match them to your shoes, here are some statement bags to consider.