Let's be honest here: A handbag serves a much bigger purpose than a carryall that houses your essentials. It's a form of self-expression and in the words of Lilly from Devil Wears Prada, "it's prettty." But really, regardless of which style you have, whether it's a tote, a satchel, a cross-body, a handle-top purse, or a clutch, the right handbag can complete your outfit, and in some cases, it can make your outfit.
Here's how it's done: We looked to A-listers to give us examples of outfit-making bags and in turn, recreated their looks. Olivia Palermo, for one, color-blocked with a structured Anya Hindmarch tote (pictured, above). Alexa Chung accented her look with heart-shaped leopard print clutch, and Solange Knowles integrated texture with feathery cobalt blue add-on.
Steal sartorial inspiration with a closer look at a range of star-inspired spotlight-stealing bags that work for the office, the weekend or evening. Trust us, they're A-list-worthy.
1. For Work: Color-Block Your Look
Gravitate toward a satchel in a bold hue (our pick: Tory Burch, $395; toryburch.com), but instead of pairing it with safe neutrals, consider pitting it against another saturated shade, like Olivia Palermo in her cerulean coat. Shop out the look below: Coat: Reiss, $465; reiss.comScarf: Wilfred, $45; aritzia.comPants: Topshop, $84; topshop.comLoafer slippers: Ivy Kirzhner, $365; shopbop.com
2. For Work: Handle a Perforated Tote
Added detailing, like perforated leather seen on Vince Camuto ($198; vincecamuto.com), gives the classic tote an edge. Take Zoe Saldana's lead and keep the rest of your look minimal, though we like the idea of showing off the ventilated detailing on other accessories, like shoes, for a more spring-ready step. Shop out the look below:Coat: Band of Outsiders, $1,023; matchesfashion.comTop: Sandro, $355; sandro-paris.comJeans: Rebecca Taylor, $178; rebeccataylor.comPumps: French Connection, $120; nordstrom.com
3. For the Weekend: Make the Case for Shine
Steal Kate Bosworth's style and add a hint of glint to your weekend ensemble with a metallic cross-body purse, like this one from Vince Camuto ($100; vincecamuto.com). Shop out the look below: Sunglasses: Ray-Ban, $145; ray-ban.comCoat: Topshop, $150; topshop.comTop: Tibi, $245; tibi.comJeans: Mango, $70; mango.comShoes: Alice + Olivia, $345; aliceandolivia.com
4. For the Weekend: Go Wild for Leopard Print
As the master of street style, Alexa Chung knows that nothing makes a statement quite like animal print. Introduce it into your look with an oversize clutch (we like Clare Vivier, $275; stevenalan.com). Shop out the look: Sweater: Acne Studios, $494; mytheresa.comSkirt: Viparo, $200; viparo.comBoots: Miista, $315; shopanthom.com
5. For Evening: Tackle Texture
Grip a textured add-on to spice up a color-blocked ensemble. While Solange Knowles went for a feathered clutch, we went with one in color-blocked faux fur: Shrimps, $320; openingceremony.us. Shop out the look: Coat: Zara, $179; zara.comTurtleneck: Ralph Lauren, $295; mytheresa.comTrousers: River Island, $60; riverisland.comRing: Accessorize, $27; accessorize.comPumps: Asos, $48; asos.com
6. For Evening: Stand Out With Gems
Jamie Chung needs no help in the glam department. She topped off her ladylike crop-to-midi-skirt combo with a gem-encrusted envelope clutch. Do the same with this one by Stuart Weitzman ($695; stuartweitzman.com). Shop out the look:Tee: Alice + Olivia, $187; aliceandolivia.comSkirt: Tibi, $625; tibi.comSandals: ShoeMint, $80; shoemint.com
7. For Evening: Grip Easy With a Handle
While the handle clutch may be subdued in color (our pick: McQ, $570; shopbop.com), the silhouette is strong enough to make a statement. Case in point: Anna Kendrick clasping hers while out on the town. Shop out the look:Top: River Island, $44; riverisland.comSkirt: Topshop, $68; topshop.comBoots: Aldo, $100; aldoshoes.com