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all in the details: the nautical tote

Kate M.W. ~ Around this time of year, I start demanding something a little different from my handbags. Sure, my day-to-day work-appropriate classics still reign Monday to Friday, but I’m now looking for something that longs for casual kick-around weekends and that can stand up to the structured jackets and tendency towards layers that my wardrobe takes on. I look for duffel or hobo bags whose focus isn’t necessarily structure, and whose colour isn’t limited to black. When I came across the Sea Duffel from AANDD I immediately stopped: deep wine colour, playful rope accents, and just enough shape to keep from looking disheveled.

Sea Duffel, AANDD, $484

Inspired by the rope detailing, I immediately thought of stripes (blame the nautical connection) but opted for a sweater that could easily be a foundation for many an outfit. Though there’s a natural tendency to use dark wash denim, your favourite medium or light-wash jeans still work at this time of year and contrast nicely with the depth of the navy in the sweater and the colour of the bag. And of course, since I’m known for arguing that a good jacket is a fall fundamental, I’d look for an option that provides ample contrast: an olive green with a particularly structured nature. That, and this particular one from Emerson Fry was just too good to resist (apologies for retail indulgences!).

Etienne Bar Stripe Crew Sweater, Cardigan, $195 / Matchstick Jeans, J.Crew, $148 / Army Coat, Emerson Fry, $485

In an effort to make sure that the details of the outfit aren’t too distracting, I’d stick with one category and go from there. Since the sweater already has stripes, I’d skip a necklace and go straight for a wristful of bracelets and simple pearl studs in my ears. Mimic the olive tone of the coat with this woven chain option, a cool pearl-capped bangle, and an oversized tortoise shell link to bring in the colour of the handbag. Speaking of that colour, dare to let it nearly match when you’re choosing your footwear, in this case a pair of classic boots. Either let your jeans hang down over the tops, or unzip them slightly at the back and let your jeans rumple down into the top of the boot. On a brisk but bright day, bring in your favourite navy-based scarf and classic shades.

Monogram Plush Wrap, Banana Republic, $75 / North Country Boots, Anthropologie, $258 / Highstreet Sunglasses, Ray-Ban, $145 / Pearl-Cap Bangle, Majorica, $85 / Oversized Pearl Studs, Juliet & Company, $21 / Woven Charm Bracelet, Brooks Brothers, $68 / Tortoise Link Bracelet, Loren Hope, $40

Inspired by a bag like this, it’s easy to make sure that adjectives like playful and fun don’t get lost amongst the layers of autumn, since by now we all know that they’re easy to play up, if you keep it all in the details.

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