Monthly Archives: August 2010

How to Ride in Style

Long-time friend and Austin, Texas resident Erin asked me where you could find a cute backpack for bicycling to work and bars on a road bike. She has two leather backpacks which do not work in the humid Austin, Texas weather. Austin is a hip city and one cannot go riding around with any ole thing on one’s back. She loves a canvas backpack they are carrying at Urban Outfitters but it is a little too large. I asked her about messenger bags and she said she was open to them but that they slide forward when she is riding and create imbalance. She needs a medium sized-bag for holding the following items: “wallet, phone, umbrella, apple, swimsuit, small make-up bag, book.”

Bicycle Solutions

Not to be overlooked are some simple bicycle solutions which allow ladies to carry a wider range of bags.

Bicycle Type – Upright Styles

In fact, many commuter and road bicycles are integrating the upright position for comfort. You won’t be able to draft with Lance Armstrong but you will be able to carry a cross-body bag more easily. Whenever looking for a commute-friendly bicycle, features like chain guards (won’t snag a skirt), fenders (keeps dirt/mud from getting on clothes), and a bell (hey! close that car door) can be very helpful. Be aware that a fully enclosed chain guard or drive train requires a screwdriver if the chain jumps the gears, unlike a half-enclosed version, a lesson learned the hard way on my cruiser.

Biria CityBIKE series 700C-Lady in Sky Blue

Bicycle Accessories – Bicycle Racks and Baskets

A bicycle rack (fits above the rear wheel) or a basket (in front of the handlebars or on top of the rack) are other handy ways for carrying bags/purses. They will also save your back and shoulders. It may require some measuring or a trip to the bicycle shop to find a rack that fits the bicycle as they are not one size fits all. A satchel or purse can be tied down or hung on the rack in some cases with a cute, vintage scarf. Just make sure that the purse and scarf do not get caught in the wheel and that they are very secure.

Bag Solutions

Bag solutions are summed up conveniently in the following graph:

Bag Chart for Chic Stylists

Convertible Backpacks

If someone is just sitting around waiting for a million dollar idea to fall in their lap – look no further. I could only find one decent looking (non-leather) one online, by Alexis Hudson, and it is $225. Practical and potentially fashionable, a convertible backpack would be the ultimate solution if you can find one for a reasonable price.

Alexis Hudson Microfiber Convertible Backpack – $225

Fossil Heirloom Convertible Backpack (A leather version, maybe for non-Texans or winter months) – $188


Backpacks are comfortable and functional for cyclists but they don’t translate well for a dressier night scene. Urban Outfitters is a good place to look for nylon and canvas backpacks. Fred Flare currently has a recycled canvas backpack for $32. The design is simple and there are several colors. With a little thread, buttons, paint or an iron-on design it would make a great canvas for your creativity.

Fred Flare Recycled Canvas Backpack – $32

BDG Nylon Backpack – $48

Medium Cross-body Bags

There are lots of medium-sized cross-body bags and many have removable shoulder straps. Wider shoulder straps are preferred. Unfortunately many stylish ones are leather and apparently out of stock!

Everyday Essentials Bag – $149.99 (Out of Stock but a good example nonetheless)

Canvas and Vinyl Pocket Tote Bag (Out of Stock, ditto)

Annabell Canvas Tote – $128

Messenger Bags

Messenger Bags are a style of medium cross-body bags. They typically feature two buckles which close a top flap and are large enough to carry whatever it is that bicycle messengers carry. Luckily they are usually made from a breathable fabric like canvas.

Sound & Matter Valda Scout Messenger Bag – $32.50

Jenna Bag by Mimo Handbags – $89

Rugby Canvas Military Tote – $98

Cross-body Clutch

Totally impractical and yet adorable. Cross-body clutches won’t allow you to drag paperwork to the office but they will fit into a backpack to be removed for happy hour. Cross-body clutches are also nice because you can dance hands free without leaving your bag unattended or on a sticky dance floor.

Regal Tender Bag $65.99

J Renee 8031 Clutch – $80.12

Melie Bianco W9-340 Clutch – $52-$68 depending on color

Other blog articles about commuting and style:


Filed under Bags

Friday’s Fab Finds under Fifty ($50)

Nothing like a Friday work break to check the latest and greatest online sales. Yes most of them are summer-y and light-weight dresses but short enough to be worn over leggings (or jeggings) and with a belted sweater for fall. If you are fans of Free People, Roxy, or J.Crew you should especially take a look at their sales right now.

Favorite Steals

Free People Into the Wild Dress $40 – originally $98

Free People Into the Wild Dress

Anthropologie Long Embrace Cardigan $50 – originally $100

Anthropologie Long Embrace Cardigan in Gold

Kensie Viola Logo Temple Sunglasses – $50

Kensie Viola Logo Temple Sunglasses

Newport News Fish-Scale Textured Ballet Flats – $19 – originally $30

Newport News Black Fish-Scale Textured Ballet Flats

More Goodies

J.Crew Ruched V-neck Dress $25 – originally $60

J.Crew Cascade Ruffle Dress – $50 – originally $80

J.Crew Rogue Ruffle Dress – $50 – originally $88

J.Crew Sale Dresses

Roxy Hazlenut Sun Convertible Dress – $19 – originally $45

Roxy Train Journey Dress $50

Roxy Skip Around Dress $19 – originally $40

Roxy Sale Dresses

Express 2-in-1 Lace-Back Dress $48 originally $80

Express 2-in-1 Lace Back Dress

Urban Outfitters Sparkle & Fade Knit Cutout Back Flare Dress – $48

Urban Outfitters Sparkle & Fade Knit Cutout Back Flare Dress

Kensie Stella Cat’s Eyes Sunglasses- $50

Kensie 'Stella' Cat's Eye Sunglasses


Filed under Sale

Bazaar Fall Fashion September Issue

Ah the coveted September Issues. I have to say that Jennifer Aniston looks more like an Olsen twin than Barbra Streisand. The nose KNOWS!

Harper's Bazaar September 2010 Fall Fashion Issue

Leave a comment

Filed under Magazines

Blazers in session – Part I

Today I styled two blazer looks using Mary Wade original blazers (AKA my mom’s vintage blazers AKA FREE).

Mary Wade Original black velvet blazer with collared shirt and camisole

Mary Wade Original tweed blazer with denim shirt and vintage bow shirt

Honestly I was thinking about selling or donating them because the sleeves were too short but I saw a lot of blazers online with rolled sleeves. The denim shirt has also been in the swap pile but it works well as a layer so maybe I’ll keep it a little longer.

Get the look:

Isabella Oliver Smoking Jacket $329

J.Crew Knit Thandie Blazer $148 - Tried this on in store, fit is great.

Madewell Borrowed from the Boys Blazer

Banana Republic Stretch Cotton Belted Blazer $120

Stay tuned for Part II! Just bought 2 H&M blazers, each under $30.

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspiration, Styling, Vintage

Summer transition to fall

My new theory is that the worse weather gets in other parts of the country/world, the better it gets in Sacramento. The nights have been cool and we’ve stayed out of the triple digit temperatures more than usual. Whether it’s global warming or global cooling fall is just around the corner. For those of us with limited closet space, it’s almost time to do the bi-annual wardrobe change-up – when the summer frocks get stored to make way for the fur-collared sweaters. Here are some of my favorites from the August 2010 Anthropologie catalog to inspire for your fall transition.

Calderbrook Blouse

Terrace House Jacket in Orange, River Tyne Tee in Moss

Rushcliffe Cardigan

– From the Desk of Wade and Associates


Filed under Inspiration