20 December 2010 – It’s in the Bag!

December 19th, 2010 § 9 comments

Crystalyn Kae Bag side, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Bag: Crystalyn Kae
  • Shirt: Splendid via Filene’s Basement
  • Sweater: Zen Cashmere via Filene’s Basement
  • Belt: Anthropologie
  • Skinny Pants: Banana Republic
  • Shoes: BR
  • Necklace: made by me!

Winter break is finally here. With the students all home and most of the faculty departing as well, I’m taking the opportunity to snap a few photographs outside before I duck out too. I have to admit that this outfit was actually worn last week, but not photographed due to end of term craziness, so I’ve re-staged it. I built this look around my new Crystalyn Kaematinee messenger” bag. You probably recognize the name because both A. and S. have reviewed other styles of bags by her. The one I picked to review is black tweed slashed with a pale green, blue, brown, and grey printed fabric, and I’ve been using it as a purse for about two weeks.

Crystalyn Kae Bag, originally uploaded by academichic.

I wanted to pull the blues and greens out so I decided on this turquoise top. Thanks to the plummeting temps I decided that a grey-brown cardigan would be a necessity and also play nicely with the color palette of the bag. Finally, black pants and grey felt heels completed the outfit. But I wasn’t satisfied with just one blue-green piece, and I wanted more of the blues to pop out. Also, the sweater is pretty cropped and I thought it looked funny on me since my trousers weren’t as high waisted as they might have been. I solved this dilemma by wearing my stretchy blue and brown belt a little above the waistband of my trousers, and thus visually extended the top. I also added a turquoise beaded torsade that I’d made this summer, which is one of my favorite pieces of jewelry.

But back to the bag. It happens to be the perfect size for me as a purse and easily fits my phone, camera, iPod (yes, I carry all three of those things separately because I do not yet have an iPhone!), keys, a moleskin notebook, pens, and a small paperback… and today my favorite on–the-go game Bananagrams!

Bananagrams!, originally uploaded by academichic.

The inside pockets help keep those things organized and the top closes with a single magnetic snap. I also like that the strap is adjustable so I can wear it long as an across-the-chest messenger bag or shorter as a shoulder bag. I think this Crystalyn Kae bag is going to come into some heavy rotation during winter break, so you’ll no doubt see it again! We often have readers ask about what bags we carry, but I wanted to turn that question back to you all. What types of bags do you like the most right now? Have you found one that fits all your schoolbooks and looks stylish too? What about on days off or smaller bags? (yes, I’m mid-slip in this photo, hence the awkward pose!)

Crystalyn Kae Bag front, originally uploaded by academichic.

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§ 9 Responses to 20 December 2010 – It’s in the Bag!"

  1. Kathleen says:

    I’ve yet to try Bananagrams but I’ve heard it’s really fun. I love Scrabble and bought Scrabble Flash this fall–it’s portable and a lot of fun.

    I have so many purses and bags but always find myself carrying the same bag for months on end due to laziness. I really should be better about switching purses. My current go-to-bag is a fuschia satchel from Old Navy but it’s on its last legs so I think I’ll switch it out for a cream hobo that will also fit all of my essentials.

  2. Sigh. I’m still in the throes of the diaper bag. BUT, I love mine, which is a Storksak Emily in Gold. Unless I’m switching it out for my black Timi & Leslie Genevieve. They’re both pretty fab, whether they’re diaper bags or not.

    For school, I usually carry a Mulholland leather messenger, but it’s being fixed at the moment (my books were too heavy for my comps…oops…), so I’m currently carrying an old JJill suede tote.

    And when I leave the baby behind, I carry the tiniest bag I can find!

  3. Karen says:

    Bags! I love bags! If it’s a thing that you put things in, I love it. But I find I do not like the current look for bags, all jangly chrome and poofs. I like sleek and understated. My two favorite bags are colorful leather: one a kelly green, one a deep red. My two workhorse bags are black nylon: a cross-body bag and an over-the-shoulder tote. The bag I carry most is my gym bag, with its special bottom pocket for shoes and a place for my water.

    I have found that I have exacting criteria for bags. I have three that I use over and over, and I would replace them with nicer iterations if I could find anything perfect.

    The criteria are: a way to fully close the top, either by a zip or by folding a flap over (those big magnetic snaps are a no-go); ability to bend my arm and have it immediately slip onto my shoulder–it can’t get stopped on my elbow; and for purses, a way to make them cross-body, because I like my hands to be free. Turns out 3/4 or more of bags do not fit these very simple criteria.

    I keep all of my go-to items (phone, money, iPod touch, lipstick, little Space Pen) in a small zipped bag I got at Walmart for $5. I just move it from bag to bag.

  4. Hope J says:

    brrr, this photo makes my feet cold! cool post; I just wanted to point out that you mean color palette, not pallet, right? Sorry to be a nudge, but this is “academic” chic

    • admin says:

      Haha, yes I was a little cold taking these pictures too! Thanks for catching palette vs. pallet – I just did homophones with my students and should have been more alert!

  5. T. says:

    I am a bag freak, and am ever on the search for the perfect bag. This one is so cute. I wish I hadn’t seen it, because now it will be haunting me.

    My favorite bag for function and comfort is the Vera Bradley villager. It zips closed at the top, fits my shoulder nicely, is well-organized on the inside, and is lightweight. However, it’s paisley, which clashes with 90% of my wardrobe. It only they’d make it in a nice solid color, I’d never have to buy another bag again!

  6. Diana says:

    Like Karen, I too have very specific criteria for everyday bags (I have many bags but a lot of them aren’t very practical!) Biggest one is that it MUST have a full (preferably zipper) closure- I commute on public transportation and on foot, through rain and snow, and a magnetic closure, especially on a bag big enough to hold everything I need for the day, is just not secure enough. I also need the bag to fit over my shoulder easily, preferably with a strap that’s adjustable to be cross-body. It also needs to be something at least somewhat water-resistant (leather or nylon or treated fabric).

    Currently I am primarily using a big Sak tote bag in metallic purple leather. It’s big enough to hold my keys, wallet, phone, sunglasses, ipod, lunch bag, umbrella, book/magazine and cardigan, but unfortunately my laptop does not fit. I must admit that on days where I lug my laptop around, I have been using my old and very unstylish but comfy Jansport backpack because my back and neck have not been happy with me lately.

    My ideal everyday bag is a Prada nylon messenger, but, um, it is a little dear! (I used to carry a similar style from Kenneth cole, but it has fallen apart and I have yet to replace it…) I love italian leather bags like Fendis and Valentinos too, although they are not always practical…

  7. T. says:

    One more comment. I also love the bags made by Maple Leather Company. Their web site is http://www.greatbags.com/ I swear I am not affiliated with them in any way. They hand make their bags here in the US. You can get a variety of fabrics and sizes. The material is lightweight and weatherproof. Inside organization is awesome. Tops zip closed. You can get over-the-shoulder or cross-body styles. Prices are not too outrageous. They are at art fairs throughout the country, so you can see them in person if they are coming near you. Maybe they would send one of the chics a bag for review if you asked them?

  8. [...] care services to their families. Similarly, we’ve paired with Crystalyn Kae in the past to feature this company’s wonderful eco-friendly bags made from repurposed vintage fabrics and hand-made [...]

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