I found myself in a conundrum planning this fall handbag feature while we were still under lockdown in May. As sweatsuits became the de facto uniform, accessories were quickly cast back into their dust bags and shoeboxes. Even I, a person whose day-to-day revolves around them, guiltily abandoned my leather treasures. This shift in lifestyle directly contributed to an existential career crisis: Who am I to confidently fill our pages with handbags when I hadn’t touched one in months?! As I cautiously started to open up my wardrobe again and took inventory of the untouched accessories, I regained the appreciation of the craftsmanship, quality material, and the proportions of my handbags. I began thinking about why we even carry handbags in the first place. Aside from looking great, they provide comfort in the knowledge that our most essential personal items are with us in the unpredictable outside world. But what about when we’re inside, amongst everything we “need?”

This handbag feature is a tribute; a subtle love letter to the hardworking leather goods that enable us to be prepared for anything thrown our way. Here, the season’s most covetable handbags take center stage, with barely any clothes to compete against, and held tightly and closely. These neutral-hued handbags in sturdy but sumptuous leathers and intricate woven styles, are classic go-tos that will last well beyond this moment in time. In their dependability, we can find comfort after all.

Lean on Me

fendi peekaboo
SAVAGE X FENTY BRA, WORN THROUGOUT, $50; FENDI BAG, $6,500.
KAT IRLIN

Barely There

tods bag
TOD’S BAG, (SIMILAR STYLE) $1,945; FREE PEOPLE BOY SHORTS, $24.
KAT IRLIN

Keep Close

chanel bag
SKIMS THONG, $14; CHANEL BAG, $3,000.
KAT IRLIN

Cross Body

dior bobby bag
DIOR COAT (FOR SIMILAR STYLES) AND BAG, $3,250.
KAT IRLIN

Hold Tight

ferragamo bag
SALVATORE FERRAGAMO BAG (FOR SIMILAR STYLES), $3,500.
KAT IRLIN

Close Knit

dolce bag
DOLCE & GABBANA SKIRT (SIMILAR STYLE), $995; AND BAG (SIMILAR STYLE), $3,695.
KAT IRLIN

Lean on Me

prada bag
PRADA BAG (SIMILAR STYLES); WOLFORD BODYSUIT, $240.
KAT IRLIN

Baggage Claim

louis vuitton bag
LOUIS VUITTON BAG, $5,700.
KAT IRLIN

MODEL: LULU BONFILS AT MUSE MANAGEMENT NYC