Henri Bendel Handbags

Rating: Trust It!

I am generally not the kind of girl who is swayed by direct mail aimed at "my demographic."  But when a Henri Bendel catalogue showed up in my mailbox earlier this year, something made me take notice (and it wasn't just the 30% of all purchases coupon). I was tired of struggling with other bags that just didn't work right. There is nothing more embarrassing than being out in public rummaging around for a few minutes too long in a saggy satchel to find your keys/wallet/phone/lip balm. There is also nothing worse than an investment bag that goes out of style a year or two after you add it to your closet.

Enter the Henri Bendel West 57th E/W Tote ($298/$208 on sale, shown above). It's beautifully structured, with an open top, generous interior, and just the right number of well-placed interior pockets.  The design is absolutely timeless. The leather is stylish and wears well, the bag is comfortable to carry, and it has proven to be very versatile.  Since buying the original bag I have added a few more items, including a card case I use as a small wallet (West 57th Card Case, $38, $27 on sale, shown below), a convertible cross-body clutch (wallet on a string, a truly brilliant design, $198, $138 on sale) andtravel accessories including a pill box, jewelry tote, and jewelry roll (also below).  Each item is very well made and I was able to take advantage of the company's regular, generous discounts and sales.

... as worn by Jennifer Holmes.