The Fashion Magpie Belt Bag

Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 70: The One on Kanye West’s Album Analysis.

My Latest Snag: The Inexpensive Belt Bag.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram know from this post that I idiotically left my tote bag in mini’s stroller while I was chasing after her in a splash pad in Central Park, and looked up just in time to see a shady man fishing around in it for my wallet.  The thought of it still leaves me incensed — both at the audacity, the wrongness of it, and also at myself, for letting my guard down.  (I’d never left my bag in the stroller before that day, but made an odd game time decision to assume the best of people in a playground.)  I grabbed mini out of the water and stormed over to the stroller, eyes locked in on him — but was startled to find that while he did drop his hand from my bag and casually, slowly act as if he was messing with his shoes, he did not run away.  As I approached him, something inside me said: I don’t know if you want to antagonize this man.  You just never know.  So I didn’t.  Instead, I grabbed my belongings in a huff and stormed off to the opposite end of the playground.  One of the creepier things I noticed is that he was holding a pair of children’s shoes in his hands — presumably because he had a child there, or maybe as a decoy?  I don’t know whether I did the right thing or not; part of me wishes I’d made a scene so that other parents would have been on high alert, but I’ve also learned to trust my instincts, and there was just something odd and discomforting about the fact that he lingered even though he knew I’d seen him.  Better to just move on?

At any rate.  The incident left me hunting for a belt bag so that I can keep my credit card, phone, and key with me at all times, but leave mini’s gear in her stroller.  Also — as evidenced by the chic pea above — they can look SERIOUSLY stylish.  I had contemplated one of the high end Gucci ones for some time, but my sole purpose in purchasing a belt bag is so that I can wear it through sprinklers and while ice cream is dripping down mini’s arm and while I’m picking up Tilly’s poop.  (#momlife).  Probably not the best circumstances for a pricey bag.  I need something rough and tumbly.  I was very close to ordering this Clare Vivier style, but it still felt a little steep for what I was looking for, and then I found this sleek and simple Cuyana, but it’s sold out for a few weeks and only available in black (not my go-to color).  And so it’s come down to one of three inexpensive styles:

+This stark white State Bags style, which would go with everything and has a kind of mod coolness to it.

+This floral brocade, which is more my style in general (patterns! pinks!  florals!), but would not always “play well” with whatever I’m wearing.

+This $18 (!!!!) palm leaf print style, which is almost too well-priced and fun to pass up.  Would look so cute with white jeans and a white button down, or a breezy white dress.  Still…same problem with choice #2.

I just can’t make up my mind.  Magpies, please weigh in!  I’m hellbent on buying one of these three in the next week or so…

You’re Sooooo Popular: The Striped Sundress.

The most popular items on Le Blog this week:

+This dress continues to be THE dress everyone wants to be wearing RN.

+Followed by this as a close second.  I get it.  Both have the same easy boho breeziness I want to channel once the thermometer reads over 80 degrees.

+The top shoe on my lust list for my 34th year of life.  (See my resolutions and full wishlist here.)

+A seriously lifechanging way to spend $20.  (Mr. Magpie uses it daily.)

+Frothy prettiness for a summer wedding.

+Super chic flats for a great price (I am getting them in pink!)

+Very into this scent!  Cannot stop smelling my hands!

+The chicest accessory for your backyard.

+Easy breezy beautiful.

+We all need one of these.

#Turbothot: The Dissect Podcast.

At the suggestion of one of my smart Magpie readers, I have been listening to a podcast series called Dissect, which selects one album each season and “analyzes one song per episode, measure by measure, word by word.”  I’m listening to the season on Kanye West’s album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” after the lyrics for his song “Violent Crimes” from his most recent album caught me off guard with their vulnerability and specificity.  I’m bowled over by the quality of the podcast’s analysis and the depth of the album itself; I’ve always thought Kanye had a unique voice, an incredible ear for catchy new styles and beats that seem to push the envelope and challenge the “ambient sound” that defines pop at any given moment (his assimilation of folktronica, electronica, synthesized sounds, etc has shaped a lot of contemporary music in my admittedly ill-informed and unstudied opinion), and extremely witty lyrics, but I’d never fully afforded him the respect he deserves because of his jarring personality and bizarre antics.  (And, at a certain point, the overplay of hits like “Gold Digger” drained it of any artistic merit for me by brute force of repetition.)  The strength of his artistry neither atones for nor obviates his behavior, but it certainly changes the way I think about him and his music.

The podcast deals in a language familiar to me: that of the literary critic.  It is a close textual reading that examines each word play and reference, but with the added layer of musical analysis. I’m learning a lot about music and music theory (tonic chords vs dominant chords, what what!), but it’s not overwrought or daunting; it’s delivered in a legible-to-the-lay-person style, and eschews any airs of snobbiness or academia.  At some points, the analysis feels a little far-fetched (there was a long-winded attempt at connecting a particular lyric to the historical figure of Louis XVI that felt flabby, for example), but it makes me think — and carefully.

Strongly recommend if you’re looking for something a little outside your normal lane.

#Shopaholic: The Org Hack.

+I would love to re-organize my sock/underwear drawer with these.

+Veronica Beard is having an incredible sale, and there’s a big part of me that wants to channel my friend Inslee’s style (if you know her, you’ll know she has an ultra chic uniform that involves tailored olive green cargo pants and striped tees): I want a pair of these, this button-shouldered tee, and this shirt-dress.  Also: not so much Inslee’s style, but I am dying over this heavily-discounted asymmetric blouse!  SO CHIC.

+Also, all of Inslee’s artwork is incredible.  I loveeee this oyster print!

+If there is only one thing you take away from this post: this denim romper.  On sale for under $50 plus an additional 40% off.  DONE DONE DONE.  The perfect one-piece outfit for a pulled-together but comfortable look whether you’re a mom on the go or a weekend warrior.  I’ll wear mine with these slides to elevate the look.

+How cute are these for a backyard soiree?

+I wish I had this to throw in my suitcase for our vacation this week.  I can imagine wanting to wear it constantly while barefoot in the backyard / running out to the beach / cooking dinner…so comfortable.

+Mr. Magpie had a Brio train set growing up — how adorable!  I love that they still look the same.

+OK, these are super fun.

+I love this skirted ottoman — the prettiest shade, the most impractical fabric…sigh.

+This dress!  $35!  LOVE!  Kind of nails that Aquazzura for De Gournay vibe!

9 Comments

  1. I’m catching up on all my Magpie posts from this past weekend, so sorry to be late to the party, but I love that floral STATE beltbag! It may not go with every single thing you have, but what a statement! I think it’s beautiful. Not to confuse you even more lolll, but my friend had a bag from Hipsters to Sisters, I had never heard of it before, and it’s pricier, but the bags are SO cute, especially this little neutral number: https://www.hfscollective.com/convertible-belt-bag-camello-raffia

    Whatever one you get will be so cute though!

    1. Ooo! Had not heard of this label — super cute. I like how small it is. Thank you!

  2. It’s funny, my BFF (who is an UWS mama of two) just texted me to ask whether she could justify spending $500 on a belt bag or if she needed to go with the under $20 option she found on Amazon (we debated but landed on the “save” option). Of your choices I’d say the white one for sure, you won’t want to use the bold printed ones if they don’t go with everything. But if you feel like you could justify 2, that palm print one is pretty sweet.

    1. Ha! So I’m not alone int his quandary…thanks for the vote! Leaning that way…xo

  3. I vote for the white leather State belt bag! I, too, love the Clare V., but for me, $300 is too steep for a v. trendy item that will need to be used in a variety of messy situations. I think the white State bag is the most versatile option (and will therefore be the most bang for your buck) — though I do love the floral option as well!

    Don’t know how I missed that Free People ruffly dress (I click on/bookmark many of your links, haha!) — so good for this time of year/this heat wave we’re in!

    I’m intrigued by the Kanye podcast, and may look for other episodes with artists I’m a bit more familiar with. Thanks for the rec!

    P.S. I had a beloved Brio train set when I was little … my dad built and painted a table for us to use with it and it was our favorite! I still remember coming down to it on Christmas morning when I was about 5. 🙂

    1. Woohoo — TWO votes for the State bag…!

      I think the podcast also did a season on Kendrick Lamar if he’s more to your taste!

      xo

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