Despite the fact that I use a lot of different handbags when I create outfits for this blog, I know that most women have their staple everyday bag and, maybe, change it out every now and then, or once their go-to bag wears out.  It can be challenging enough to put a halfway decent outfit together, forget taking the time to change out handbags to go with each and every thing you wear.  So how does someone keep it stylish, yet functional?  Is it possible to have the handbag you use daily be an enhancement to every outfit you wear?  It is.  And in today’s Accessorized 5 Ways I am going to show you the easiest way to do it.

Before you run out and purchase a black bag thinking it will be the most versatile handbag you can use I am going to suggest you purchase a tan handbag instead.  Unlike the black bag, that you think will go with everything, a tan handbag will go with more.

Tan matches everything, black doesn’t

Everyone believes that black accessories, like shoes and handbags, work with everything.  But what happens when you wear brown or navy?  Often, wearing these colors requires a bag change.  However, if your everyday bag was tan this wouldn’t have to be something you’d need to worry about.  To get the most out of the handbag you use everyday, you want to choose a color that will fit right in with whatever you are wearing, from different shades of neutrals, like black, grey, navy, olive and brown, to any color of the rainbow.

What shade of tan is right?

There are about a gazillion shades of tan on the planet, from light buff to deep cognac.  How does one decide which shade is right to use.  There is no right answer to this, but going lighter in the warmer months and richer in the cooler ones is probably your best bet.  Also, look at your wardrobe on a whole.  If your wardrobe is more yellow-based, meaning colors like autumnal shades, a warmer or more yellow based tan bag is better.  If your wardrobe is filled with bright jewel tones and blue-based colors, more of a taupe tan will probably work better.

How to make a tan handbag your only handbag

Using this tan handbag from Nine West, below you will find five outfits of all different colors that look great with a tan handbag to show how easy it is to pair this color with whatever you are wearing, even black.  What you will also notice is that this bag not only works well with every color but the shade adds a level of sophistication to outfits that a black handbag can’t.  This is certainly not to say that you never need to buy a black handbag again, but, in terms of mileage, a tan handbag can be the one bag you can use the most often.

Outfit #1- A tan handbag with black

The reason I suggest a mid-brown or tan handbag over a brown handbag is because most women trade off between different base neutral shades in their outfits.  While a brown handbag can be rich in appearance, like a black handbag when you wear brown, a brown handbag doesn’t always work well when you wear black.  However, a tan handbag can go with both black and brown.

In this outfit, richness is added to this all black outfit using the tan handbag.  You don’t lose the sleek sophistication of the Reiss cardigan and black Elie Tahari pants over the simple white tank when this bag is added, in fact the outfit just gets richer and more interesting in appearance.  While black shoes could be used in this look and be just fine, I, instead, added a pair of burgundy suede flats to show how pretty burgundy and tan look together.  Lastly, a Stella & Dot necklace was added as a finishing piece.

Outfit #2- With prints and navy

Pick a print, any print, and it is likely that a tan handbag will work. This can take a lot of aggravation out of getting dressed.  I also love the way tan works with navy, which is why I wanted to use this Boden dress.  Here the bag adds a touch of elegance to this simple outfit that is finished with navy heels, a gold bangle and green earrings.  Of course, a navy bag would work just fine with this outfit but, in an effort to simplify, the tan bag enables you to not have to change your handbag the next day if you are not wearing navy.

Outfit #3- With shades of brown

Whatever shade of brown you are wearing a tan bag will be an obvious winner. The beauty of a tan handbag is it can be used in a dressy way or in a casual manner.  While the bag elevated the previous two looks, here it adds some rugged sophistication to the outfit of a tunic top, J. Crew jeans, gold heeled oxfords and hoop earrings.

Outfit #4- With red and shades of grey

Red and tan is a gorgeous color combination, as is grey and tan.  Often, when wearing grey, it is common to accessorize it with black.  But shades like brown and tan look equally good, if not better.  Additionally, if you are looking to do more with red, besides wear it with black, try tan.  It’s so rich.

In this outfit, a pair of grey corduroys, ivory tunic sweater from Modcloth and rusty red French Connection coat gets a soft punch of class with a tan handbag.  The outfit is kept warm with a pair of cognac booties and teal earrings are added for a pop.

Outfit #5- With coral…and just about any color

For the sake of example, I styled this handbag with this coral dress, however, any solid color can be worn with tan, from green to purple, orange to yellow, tan works.  Whenever you can use a black handbag a tan handbag will most likely work just as well.

Tan is also seasonless.  This outfit is much more summery than the look before, yet it still works.  This outfit is complete with a pair of seafoam wedge sandals and mixed-media necklace from Banana Republic.