Michelle Oliver: Fashion

Michelle Oliver: Feeling shy about a bright handbag? Let color pop

Fashion blogger Michelle Oliver pairs a midi skirt with a yellow bag.
Fashion blogger Michelle Oliver pairs a midi skirt with a yellow bag. Michelle Oliver

It wasn’t very long ago the only purses I owned were black.

I always thought of black as a staple color that went with every outfit. I never gave much thought to the idea of branching out and owning purses of other colors until a couple of years ago.

I had always thought black was the only purse color for me because I tend to be very rough on these essential accessories. While black is the practical option, I find myself stepping away from practical and going with my heart, which consistently tells me I need more color in my life. Well, on my purse at least.

I’m not afraid of color by any means. If you have ever seen me at the gym, you know that I have plenty of color going on. Most days I look like an orange traffic cone from all my brightly colored attire.

I guess I never thought twice about a world of beautiful colored purses until one day when I was shopping at a boutique in Merced. I don’t remember what boutique it was, but in the window was the most beautiful purple handbag. I fell in love instantly.

It was the perfect size and just had to be mine.

I bought it without any hesitation and was thrilled. It started as an obsession that has only become more powerful. Most recently, I purchased a very bright handbag from Christina’s Fine Clothing in Merced. It is bright pink and has a beautiful shape.

When it came time to use it, I knew the outfit I put together was going to have to be good. I decided to pair this perfect purse with a pair of distressed denim capris. I added a gray coverup and a pair of black heels. It is a great outfit for a night out on the town or a casual shopping day with the girls.

If you are unsure about how a colorful purse can fit into your lifestyle, I completely understand. Let me give you some advice for finding a great colorful purse that has good quality:


Pay attention to the fabric:

If the fabric feels cheap, then it probably is. Cheap fabric tends to scratch, snag or lose its color in the sun. You get what you pay for. If your bright purse only cost you $10, the quality will only be equivalent to $10. I personally recommend you pay a little bit more and get more use out of it. That is how I always justify my purse purchases.


Make sure it’s comfortable:

If the purse does not fit on your shoulder or is not comfortable on your forearm, you will probably never use it.


Think outside the box:

There are plenty of purses out there that come in neutral dark colors, like brown and camel. They are a great alternative to black and still add a pop of color to your outfit.

I hope after reading this column you are encouraged to buy a brightly colored purse. Have a great Saturday.