The 5 handbags every woman should own

Q. I would like to build a collection of handbags that are classic (so that they can be used for a few years) but are still fashionable and that can fit every occasion (everyday, date, special occasion, etc.). What is the range of bags you think every woman should own and can you please suggest a new handbag that I should buy for 2013? Thanks!

A. Absolutely! Below are five different bags that every woman should own, along with suggestions for a range of budgets that can be worn for years to come.

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1. All-purpose tote

Every woman needs a workhorse bag; one that is functional and large enough to hold important papers, some magazines, books, iPad, etc., and chic enough to wear to work. Look for one in a neutral monochromatic color that works with almost everything in your wardrobe.

2. Satchel

A satchel has a bit more structure than a tote and easily goes from desk to dinner to Sunday brunch. Look for one in a rich neutral color like red or oxblood, or with interesting accents like animal prints, hardware or colorblocking.

3. Casual cross-body

Cross-body bags are perfect for shopping, site-seeing or any time you need the convenience of a hands-free bag. Look for a mid-size style that holds all your essentials.

4. Clutch

A chic clutch is perfect for date night or dinner with girlfriends.

5. Special occasion bag

A dressy party clutch in black or a wear-with-everything metallic is ideal to have on hand for special occasions.

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