The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the air is more humid than a sauna, so it must be summertime in DC. While I always get nostalgic about this time of year, especially in a city as patriotic as our nation’s capitol, I am often overwhelmed by the heat and hoards of tourists. This inevitably has an impact on my fashion choices, and I find myself yearning for more practical wardrobe staples and accessories as opposed to bolder pieces that leave me in pain or in risk of a wardrobe malfunction.

Handbags are often a way that I enhance an otherwise ordinary ensemble; I truly believe the right accessories can elevate a look and make an incredibly affordable outfit look like its straight from the latest couture resort collection. When it comes to summer handbags, I look for pieces that are versatile, practical, and reflective of my social activities during this time of year. The Gucci Disco bag featured above is small enough to stay by my side throughout a crowded night out on U Street, but big enough that I can still fit the essentials (wallet, phone, keys, lip color, lady products) in it. I am still in love with its python exterior, which was a limited edition version of the bag I snagged at their flagship store in Florence close to two years ago.

louis

This Louis Vuitton bucket is literally everything I’ve ever wanted and more in a casual summer bag. I paired it with some hippy-esque Miu Miu sunnies in an attempt to bring out my inner flower child (cue the Hair soundtrack music). It can fit a beach towel, travel pillow, or packed lunch if need be, yet its fashionable enough to pair with a dress for a date night. I have my mother to thank for this vintage hand-me-down, as I’ve yet to find a more recent LV model comparable in size. I realize a Louis bag can be quite a splurge, so I’d also recommend any neutral coated leather or suede bucket bag, such as a Mansur Gavriel, as a similar alternative.

backpack

I am incredibly excited that backpacks have had a resurgence in fashion as of late. While I won’t be digging up my middle school Jansport anytime soon, I am seriously here for this faux-leather cream colored backpack from Zara I picked up last month. I paired it with a pair of tortoise Celine sunglasses, and I usually use it for lunches with friends or on my way to a yoga class. This backpack and Lululemon are a match made in athleisure Heaven. Luckily, its a light neutral color and also goes really well with any floral maxi dresses, light denims, or white ensembles I throw on. BUY IT.

proenza

Lastly, an ode to the messenger bag. This olive colored suede Proenza Schouler definitely goes under the lux category, but its versatility makes it a worthwhile investment. Its the most gorgeous color green that is light enough to wear during the summer, though I often find myself grabbing it from my closet during the fall and spring as well. It actually pairs super well with leather; I’ve worn this bag with a leather mini skirt and structured white blouse and the color combination is killer. There are a great assortment of messenger bags out there for various price points, and I’d definitely recommend it as a summertime staple.

Whatever your budget, definitely prioritize comfort and practicality this summer! These styles are my go-to’s for this time of year in the District- what are yours?

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