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Awed By Monica: The ‘It’ Bag For the Working Fashionista



Awed by Monica Success is in the Bag - BellaNaija - July2014021

What makes a bag the perfect work bag? The size, the brand, the color or just its functionality?

There are many factors that determine how we pick our work bags; and not to say one decision is better than the other, but ultimately you carry the bag. So, no matter the decision you make, the bag must meet at least one of your function requirements.

Gone are the days of carrying that ugly briefcase and lugging around that heavy manly bag that you would hide once the work day was done. Now we have the modern luxe bag that transitions seamlessly from day to night!

Your job determines what size or silhouette of bag is necessary for your lifestyle. Do you need something big to hold various documents? Or a bag for a fashionista on the go? Are you traveling from one city to the other to achieve success? Do you require a compact bag to carry your electronic files, a full size computer or iPpad? These are some of the very important factors that will determine your functional needs and ultimately dictate what bag you buy.

After doing a little research I have come up with a list of amazing bags at all price points that serve working fashionable women.

Check out what bags hold the key to stylish success, as well as some of the very stylish women sporting these must-have bags.


Prada: The Prada Saffiano Luxe Tote
If you are familiar with this bag you know that the Saffiano leather is literally indestructible! The finish on the cowhide leather is beautiful and masks any scratching which will happen with normal wear and tear. The bag comes in a variety of sizes, with the bigger sizes proving to be more functional for work.

If you have more files and a bigger computer, get the extra-large size like Racheal Placide from Pink Peonies; or my size, which is chic and clean. You can also get the medium size that also features separate compartments making it easy to organize work and play.

I love my Prada Saffiano, a great work or play bag, the ultimate chic look!

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Racheal Parcell from the looks uber-fab sporting the over-sized Prada Lux Saffiano Tote.

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Our favorite gladiator is one stylish star! Kerry Washington’s Scandal character, Olivia Pope gets the job done in style with her Saffiano Lux Tote.

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Givenchy: The Givenchy Antigona
This bag which first debuted in late 2011 has proven to be the bag to have from the Givenchy brand. Celebrities and style bloggers alike flaunt this simple yet extremely classic design. The silhouette of the bag is spacious with more than enough room to hold work files, an iPad and whatever a fashionista on the go may need for a busy day of work and play.

Wendy Nugen from book blog completes this classic yet stylish outfit with the bag that mirrors her look.

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I rarely make impulse purchases, but when I laid my eyes on this Kelly green Antigona, I couldn’t resist. That was one jump I am so happy I made.

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Reed Krakoff: The Reed Krakoff Boxer Tote
The Reed Krakoff Boxer bag was inspired by the way boxers wrap their wrist. Reed believes that wrapping the wrist was an individual art, hence he used that as his inspiration when creating the knotted tie detail in front of the bag. This bag is a great option for a work or a play bag. It even comes equipped with its own iPad pocket! I love this option for its clean lines and classic appeal. This bag definitely makes the perfect stylish statement.

I love the sleek lines of the boxer making it one of my favorites!

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Reed Krakoff bags are known for their color-blocking – a feature that adds interest.

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Veronica Popoiacu from spots her Boxer in one of my favorite popping colors – pink!

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Fendi: The Fendi 2 Jour
This bag is not only good looking, but in the few years since Fendi has introduced this bag, it’s out-sold any bag the brand has offered since its inception. There is a good reason why this bag has done so well; it is clean, classic and also redone season after season in new innovative materials.

Supermodel Joan Smalls modeling the 2 Jour. I love everything about this bag.

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I am in love with Kate Lebrasse from‘s mink fur 2 jour, absolutely stunning!

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Celine: The Celine Luggage Tote
The famous Celine Luggage tote has proven to be a bag to have. Season after season, this bag continues to sell out, making it one of the most sought after bags. Even with the numerous price increases this bag has seen in the last 2 years, I suggest that if you want to take the plunge and splurge on a bag do it now before it takes another increase in price. The bag doubles up as the perfect work bag with its spacious center, zipper pockets and phone pockets. It also features an outside pocket for easy access to your phone.

When I got my Luggage Tote, it was less than half the cost of what it is today, hence I can brag to my husband that it has appreciated in value. Smart bag, smart choice.

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Folake Huntoon from is rocking her neutral Celine Luggage Tote. Love how it looks with her colourful outfit.

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Michael Kors: The Micheal Kors Hamilton Bag
This bag is a lower price point than the rest but holds its own. Designed by American fashion power house Micheal Kors, this bag has proven to be a favorite among celebrities, bloggers and fashionista’s alike. Simple yet stylish, this bag is a great option if you are not willing to break the bank on a bag.

Priscilla from is ready for casual Friday in this casual-chic outfit.

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A model sporting the brands iconic bag.

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Saint Laurent: The Sac De Jour
Last but not least, the Saint Laurent Sac de Jour. If I could only justify buying another bag, this would be my choice. My mouth literally dropped when I saw it. Clean and classic, my ideal type of bag. However I have to admit that the bag is on the heavy side, but that won’t stop any true fashionista from carrying a totally fabulous bag. Like all the other bags listed, this too is perfect for work and play and holds various compartments. It also comes in 3 sizes but the 2 bigger sizes work perfect for work depending on your work load.

Ranti from looks uber-chic and oh so stylish carrying her Sac De Jour.

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The always stylish Nicole Richie’s streetstyle look is complete with her Saint Laurent bag.

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I know you are thinking I didn’t include this bag or that bag, but there are only so many and I don’t want to confuse you. These picks are all it bags that will transition perfectly from work to play. If you think I missed a luxe bag you have or are currently obsessing over let me know.

Next time we will highlight some of the hot new bag silhouettes, but until then what was your favorite and how would you incorporate it into your successful lifestyle?

Photo Credits: http://awedbymonica.blogspot.comhttp://fashionbombdailyhttp://stylepantry | http://songofstyle | http://prissysavvy.comhttp://ranti-in-review.blogspot.comhttp://pinkpeonies.comhttp://netaporter.comhttp://bittersweetcolours.blogspot.comhttp://lebrasse.com


  1. Nams

    July 23, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Ok ooooh But can the majority afford these luxurious brands?!,,, just saying

    • AsHAnI

      July 23, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      And does everyone have an iPad? Galaxy tab nko? Hiss

  2. mojintouch

    July 23, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Made a video on TIPS TO FOLLOW WHEN BUYING BAGS recently. Anyone interested can watch here. Thanks……

  3. Babs

    July 23, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    welll….i guess the majority can enjoy viewing them at the least 🙂

  4. kes

    July 23, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Pls let us knw wen there re on sales,,,,, thnx

    • justdeywakapass

      July 23, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      As if u want to buy. cant u walk into a high class boutique and buy? did they say they are out of stock?

    • Grace E

      July 23, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      hahahahahahah lmaooo..oh u BN ppl will not kill me..I almost spilled my tea on my keyboard

    • AsHAnI

      July 23, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Calm the heck down! She just askedna question and if you don’t know the answer , do like your name and keep ‘waka’in’ hiss

    • Nams

      July 23, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      Maybe she meant second handed ones loool

  5. lover

    July 23, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    CELINE for the money….

  6. efe

    July 23, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Whao bags!!!!!!

  7. Mz Socially Awkward...

    July 23, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    A girl can only dream of that Fendi 2 Jour … *Homer Simpson drool*

    Nice tips. And to @Nams above, while I love me some arm candy, I can’t justify splurging on the above brands (save for the MK Hamilton… which was even a gift, so can’t say I splurged) on my shopping budget so my lower range substitutions are:-

    Prada: The Prada Saffiano Luxe Tote
    My version is a fantastic, structured leather tote I snagged from Next (during a sale, no less!) which is slightly larger and more angular than the Prada version. It’s my “Bad-Ass” bag for work when I’ve got business traveling to do or external meetings to attend as it comfortably holds lappy as well as paperwork. Never saw it in Next before then, never have again since and I always get compliments on it.

    Givenchy: The Givenchy Antigona
    My version is two fold. One’s a red bag I got from Aldo which is built in similar design and dimension to Givenchy’s and if there was every $60 that I don’t regret spending, that would be it. The second is an equivalent style which DKNY did last year and purcahsed in their outlet store. It’s chic and yet not wallet-destroying.

    Reed Krakoff: The Reed Krakoff Boxer Tote
    My version is a boxer tote bought from Dune (during their sales, no less… no doubt, you’re noticing a trend here… 🙂 🙂 ) and even at it’s full price, still won’t have been a bad splurge.

    Fendi: The Fendi 2 Jour
    I don’t have a version of this yet but have noticed H&M do a much cheaper look-alike design. They first released the green version mid last year and it sold out like cold icecream on a summer day. They must have decided to continue doing the style and it’s now available in black and maybe another color. Depending on your feelings about High Street brands, I’d say check it out, maybe?

    Celine: The Celine Luggage Tote
    Have to say that I still don’t understand all the craze regarding this particular bag. So I’ll pass.

    Michael Kors: The Micheal Kors Hamilton Bag
    What I didn’t realise about this bag was that it’s probably more a weekend/casual bag as opposed to an everyday bag? The reason I say this is I noticed the leather started to rumple not long after some intensive carrying-straight-through-the-week, It’s soft leather and I should have known but thought it would be more enduring? Probably me assuming too much.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      July 23, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      Oh and not to overlook the Saint Laurent “The Sac De Jour”. I have to admit that I find this silhouette to be quite regular looking, doesn’t jump out and make me think of wasteful things to do with my savings… feel a lot of high street retailers out there do similar styled bags, so you’ll probably be able to get different options for a lower-priced equivalent.

    • Nams

      July 23, 2014 at 6:55 pm

      Hailllllll ooooooo im feeling your comment would have prefer BN making it the main article

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      July 23, 2014 at 10:22 pm

      @Nams and Grace E, you know say BN stays keeping their steez at top notch class, na…. How Jennifer go do this kain high street rundown when correct Lag, Abj, London and NYC bigz gals cruise by here for style updates? So my own jara na just for we-we… You know, na…. 🙂 And Jenny babes, ya know I gats mad-crazy (emphasis on “crazy” since we’ve never exchanged so much as “hello”) love for ya! *slowly winking*

      @NaijaPikin, you sound like a similarly cool chica & prospectively great shopping buddy! Yasss!! It’s done. We’re friends. I mean it. Call me? I mean it!!! 😀

    • Grace E

      July 23, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      ahn ahn aunty socially awkward….na u oh….u da baddest!!lol nice review anyway… why don’t u own a blog nwa nne?

    • NaijaPikin

      July 23, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      We should totally be friends. You always make plenty sense.

    • AsHAnI

      July 23, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      Pls quit the sucking up! Geez

    • Que

      July 23, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Ahn ahn Ashani, did u drink alomo bitters?? ?….*wakaing pass*

    • AsHANi

      July 24, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      @ Que..yes my dear..the one you slipped into my hot chocolate. Lol. Come back and take your bottle oo

  8. Ibinabo

    July 23, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Nice review but please, i need something i can afford without drooling over.

  9. nwa_baby

    July 23, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    See… what Mz socially awkward is EXACTLY what the writer should have done. Give ‘style-for-less’ options too…ehn we know u have all (almost) of them but una for try for the majority of BN readers *sideeye*

  10. Meah

    July 23, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    My best buy? a well structured and handy Zara bag i got during sales last summer. Been logging it to work four out of five days in a week since i got it and everytime i step out, someone walks up to compliment my bag. Smart bag, very smart choice.

  11. sum1special

    July 23, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Lovely bags but those bags are not affordable oh.

  12. benita

    July 23, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    abeg bag na bag……..all dis ones na big money the majority can only view

  13. Miss Mo

    July 23, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    I still want that Celine Luggage Tote. Especially the multicolored one. Will be getting it b4 the price jumps up again. 😀

  14. Smallz

    July 23, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    I stay struggling to like Awed By Monica’s posts. It just doesn’t ring true for me. Why must everything you post be so expensive? The average Nigerian can not afford $2000 purses. Heck, even those higher than “Average” can not afford more than 1 or 2 of such closet items. Here you are essentially showing off your closet. WHy not so what Mz Socially Awkward did and give alternate versions of such purses? Kinda like a “Real and Steal” version. I’m sorry, but I just can’t.

    No, I am not a hater. I am just concerned about the growing trend of materialism in the Nigerian society. Lord knows how many people will steal, prostitute or go to China because of this post! LOL.

    • Stephanie-feld

      July 23, 2014 at 11:42 pm

      That is where cutting your coat according to your size comes in place. I don’t think anyone should have to feel bad to splurge with their own hard earned money. I am pretty sure you are currently using some technology gadget (Phone/Laptop/Tablet) to access the internet. Do you think every Nigerian has the financial means to do that. I am pretty sure those people living under $1 will also be wondering why you spent so much money on a gadget you are presently using. Why not just get a regular text and call phone since those are cheaper? Should person A steal money to get a Samsung Galaxy phone because he saw Person B using one? If someone goes to steal because of this post then maybe they didn’t get the proper training about not taking stuff that doesn’t belong to them. It’s like saying people who have the financial means to fly first class should go for economy because they will make someone else steal. Whatever financial stage/period anyone is: You enjoy and make good use of that period in your life.
      The ultimate goal is :Living within your means! That phrase is going to vary for each individual.

    • Nams

      July 23, 2014 at 11:42 pm

      Looooool my dear let them go alone jareh its their wahala bag na bag arent we gonna put the same thinks in them ?? Ahannnn

    • Nams

      July 23, 2014 at 11:43 pm


    • Lindsey

      July 24, 2014 at 4:00 am

      Abeg go to or h & m and stop whining. Every article on BN will not always appeal to all demographics. There are some ladies who work hard and buy these brands with their hard earned money…no aristo, no stealing and no “my daddy is rich” strings attached

  15. Omo1

    July 24, 2014 at 10:23 am

    What are you hissing at? Your response is so rude and states clearly what kind of person you are, and for sure makes no sense in connection with the first comment being refereed to

  16. Omo1

    July 24, 2014 at 10:26 am

    @AsHAnI… Your responses are so rude and states clearly what kind of person you are,..JEEZ!

    • AsHANi

      July 24, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      Yeah..same playground you rolled away from. Hurry back before someone takes your spot. ITK

    • AsHANi

      July 24, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      Lol..are u still trying to connect the dots?? Its just banter, don’t get your things all twisted…but ‘”assuming’ the kind of person you probably don’t wear any! Smile-you look pretty when u do#hugs

  17. Tosin

    July 24, 2014 at 1:45 pm
    I’m not big on the big bag thing.

  18. Dee one

    July 25, 2014 at 5:27 am

    My two Zara bags serve me well for work. When it comes to work bags, in Zara I trust shikenan.

  19. ak

    July 25, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Please please please,

    Those are luxury brands… if you can’t afford them, shop within your means.

    Na who tell you say make you go buy Mercedes when you no get rice to chop for house.

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